March 8th, 2008

Sea dragon

Sicily plans; Friday memories

Well, I've got the room booked for wechsler and my/me/mine trip to Sicily. (Help me, grammarians!) We'll be at the Villa Fiorita in Taormina for the whole trip. This wasn't my initial plan - I wanted to stay in Palermo - but RyanAir pissed me off so much that I decided to go somewhere else altogether (Catania). While I really wanted to see some of the cool Easter celebrations, they appear to be concentrated on the northwest coast, which is a three and a half hour train ride away - plus time to get to whichever hill town we were aiming for. (This is because there's a VOLCANO in the way. Stupid Mt. Etna. Who does it think it is?)

Anyway, on the side of the island we're on, the descriptions of the various towns were uniformly grim (industrial and polluted) - except for Taormina, which Frommer's practially peed its pants about. "Such writers as Goethe and D. H. Lawrence, besotted with the glories of Taormina's panoramic views of the bays beyond and Mount Etna looming in the background, spread word of the area's charm." Well, okay, fine, if it was good enough for Goethe, it's good enough for me - and we can do day trips to Syracuse and the Aeolian Islands using Taormina as our base. I guess Palermo can wait for another year. Right now I'm thinking I'll go for a full 10 days there for Easter next year. April 2-13th 2009, who's in? I'll find us a nice villa near Palermo and we can play in the ocean and look at Greek ruins and watch people in devil masks whip each other in the streets on Easter Sunday. It'll be a blast.

Last night was QUITE the drinking riot. My plans to meet with a large posse (dimitra, babysimon, souldier_blue, shadowdaddy, wechsler, spikeylady, is that everyone?) at the Boot and Flogger were unexpectedly changed when I arrived to find the streets closed due to a police action nearby ("suspect car" or summat). Fortunately Posse 1 (spikeylady, lilithmagna, and seph_hazard) had just shown up at Red Cross street, so we hiked together to an alternate pub - which was too packed for us - and then another pub (the George) which was open but where we were forced to sit outside. Er, let's see, so it was a bottle of white for four here, then over to the B&F (when the streets opened) with the newly aquired trishpiglet and babysimon and wechsler and drinks for seven, and then eight (port and then olorosso sherry and two bottles of Rioja - "Tonight the house drinks good red" indeed) and then eleven, then to the George again when the B&F closed for, oh, I don't know, at least two bottles of white and two pints of the George's home brew for Mr. J and ... then I was on the train and, I'm pretty sure, asleep until just before Putney, and at home and in bed and out like a light at about midnight. I will mention that I had about a gallon of water over the course of the night and some really awesome dreams about having some kind of color-related superpowers (it was like the Power Rangers gone to the dark side) ... and got up at around 10 and here we are, a rainy Saturay afternoon. J and I are catching up on "stuff that needs doing" - paying bills, getting stuff together for taxes, making plans for our anniversary in May (15!), organizing some things for his trip to New York - and kind of taking it easy. I expect this will be a fairly chilled out weekend, and I'm looking forward to not doing much.