We run a pretty tight ship around the house in the mornings. Wake up way too early, get coffee going, make lunch, do the stretches, hit the beach path for an hour of serious walking... not much time to just kick back and relax before rushing out the door to work. The coffee gets short shrift most mornings. So sad.
Sad, because I really love the whole coffee ritual. I like to fill the kettle with water, grind the luscious smelling beans, heat the milk up...yeah, it's only 1%, but I still enjoy it. We have stayed true to the paper filter in the cone system, going back and forth between the two cups. Mmmmm. No fancy machines or anything. What can I say. It works for us. On our "sleep late" day, when we blow off stretching and walking and don't have to go to work, we have our cups in bed, reading art, travel or food magazines. Luxury!
Sometimes I'll get out the silver Bialetti espresso maker on our days off for an afternoon pick-me-up.
We'll put extra hot milk and even sugar in these special treat cups. Funny, because when we are in Italy, we only use the Bialetti.... Most places we've rented have them, and they even have a cute little tiny gas ring on the stovetop just for this purpose. It cracked me up the first time I saw one of these. Cute little gas ring thingy!
A massive difference when we are in Italy, is that we drink cappuccinos in the morning with lots of milk and sugar, and we'll throw espresso back any old time of the day. Morning, noon, night. I think we walk so much while on our trips that no matter what, I'm going to sleep like a log. And dream. We'll stop in to the local bar in each and every town we visit, knowing that the cups are always going to be like heaven. Often we'll go native and stand at the bar just long enough to throw back one shot of espresso. Boom, and we're gone. Other times, it's a long rest or a chance to chat with the locals, or other travelers. I like to catch up on my journal writing over a cup, too. Johnny sketches while sitting outside, gazing into the everyday life of the piazza. Sweet.
|These beauties were enjoyed by my folks and us in Certaldo, Tuscany. We were there for a local festival|
celebrating all the local food and hand crafted products.
We know it almost always costs more to sit outside and be waited on, but when the town center or piazza is active with kids kicking soccer balls, moms with strollers, grandmas gossiping on benches and cats, it's totally worth it. If the sun is shining, all the better. The slice of life you get to enjoy is worth the extra charge every time. And don't get me started about the pleasure I get when the bells go off at whatever church is close by. And there's always a church nearby. I get all teary eyed just writing about it. Damn.
|Macchiato in Rome, from what I can see on the map.|
|At our favorite Bar Gallo in Panicale, Umbria. |
For me, a cappuccino is breakfast.
|Espresso at Caffe Degli Artisti in Cortona, Tuscany. |
The dolci were on the house and yummy.
For the price of a candy bar here in the states we can sit for hours if we want, sipping our cups, enjoying whatever show may be unfolding before us. One of these days I will learn that I can do this right here, at home... why don't I? Seems there is always something that needs to be done right now that keeps me from taking the time to relax. The clothes need washing, the garden needs tending, the groceries need buying, the house needs cleaning...I NEED RELAXING.
But, hey, that's what vacation is for, right? You better believe it.
|Two photos after the fact...Assisi on top, and I think Venice is the second.|
|Our morning treat in Paciano, after walking from Panicale.|
Then the long way back!