for the week of 07/24/16.
Sun, 07/17/16. Farmer's market and bbq.
Today Jean and I were feeling much better. Our eyes are still a little red, but our headaches and fevers are completely gone, and we don't seem to have given the pinkeye to anyone else here yet. I'm pretty sure now what we have is a virus which explains why the antibiotics aren't doing squat. It's just a coincidence, I guess, that Gemma got a totally different, bacterial pinkeye a couple weeks ago. I actually think Jean and I caught what we have from the Sardinia swimming pool, which was nice and warm and shallow but maybe not the most hygeinic thing in the world. Anyway, we had a great day and Elijah, Margaret and Tony are amazing hosts, waiting on us hand and foot. They took us to the farmer's market just a few blocks away from their house, where there were like a million people out because it was a beautiful day today, a rarity here it seems. At the farmer's market there was a nice playground for the kids and we ate delicious dumplings, fruit, cupcakes and ice cream. In the evening Margaret's friend's daughter Talia visited, and she's staying here too til Wed. Tony fired up his fancy grill and barbecued salmon, chicken, sausages, and burgers, all incredibly gourmet, along with delicious salads, bruschetta, and grilled corn. It was so good and we're all completely stuffed now. Max and Gemma have been having a great time. Gemma loves Elijah reading books to her, and Max loves playing with Elijah's guns. We tried some basketball today too, without much success though. The kids all did some math problems too, and although Max and Gemma are way, way behind Elijah in reading, they can hang with him in math. I gave them problems that started easy and got progressively harder, including 3x5, 13-14, 2-5, and 4800 + 4800. Max somehow got all of them right except 2-5. I have no idea how he got 4800+4800 as we have never done anything like it before, but he got it. I think it might have to do with his practice with money or something.
Sat, 07/16/16. Super 3 Rock band.
Today Jean was sick with pink eye and fever and stayed in bed all day, and I had the same but not quite as bad, and Max and Gemma just stayed in pajamas all day and played with Elijah. They did several rock performances for us with Elijah's toy guitar and drum set, singing a heavy metal version for example of "Un Oiseau un fond d'un etang". Elijah is still a big reader and can read whole books to Max and Gemma, which they love. Tony and Margaret made a gourmet dinner for us with rotisserie chicken provencale and potatoes, beans, and a delicious pesto pasta. They are great cooks but at one point Tony, who had been raving about how great their double oven is, accidentally had started the wrong oven for an hour. I did some internet research on our pink eyes and it seems clear it's a virus, not a bacteria, because the antibiotics don't seem to be working and also we have headaches which typically accompany the viral form. So we just have to wait it out and hope not to infect everyone.
Fri, 07/15/16. Crazytravelingday.
We had a day of rushing to make 3 different planes, very stressful and exhausting. We first had to drive 3 hours to the airport in Sardinia, and I navigated the wrong turn at one point and it led us down an extremely narrow one way street. Anyway we made it, then flew one hour to Roma, then had only one hour there to make our flight to Paris, where we had 3 hours before our flight to Dublin. But one of our bags got lost, and after various mishaps like going to the wrong terminal and getting bounced out of line in customs, we ended up going through the metal detector like 20 min before our flight was scheduled to leave, and then had to walk like a mile to our gate, but somehow made it. It was great seeing Margaret at the airport to pick us up and drive us to their huge house in Dublin, where we got to see Tony and at long last, Elijah. It was very exciting to get here, but Jean has a fever now and she and I both have pink eye. Au revoir, Paris, au revoir.
Thu, 07/14/16. Wind.
We're not in Kansas anymore. There was a huge windstorm last night, with probably the hugest winds I've ever seen or heard. It felt like our whole cabin was gonna get blown away. Instead of going to the beach as we'd planned, we instead stayed on the campground and swam in the pool and just generally hung out. After dinner at our usual pizza place, Zio Pedrillo, Max and I went for a little walk and stumbled upon our next door neighbors here, two German boys aged about 7 and 10, playing soccer on the basketball court. We watched them for a bit, and then they asked me in German if Max wanted to play with them. I said yes and they weren't sure how to play with 3 people so we ended up playing Max and me against them. They got an early 1-0 lead before their Mom came and I told her we needed her on our team. With her help we jumped out to a 2-1 lead before ending in a 2-2 tie. Max played great and needs to learn soccer strategy but was just as fast as the German boys. I still can't believe they asked us to play. I can't imagine counting all the times we sat watching kids play soccer in France and Max never got asked to join. Tomorrow we're off to Rome for an hour, Paris for 3 hours, and Dublin. Arrivederci, Cala Gonone Sardinia, Arrivederci.
Wed, 07/13/16. 10 course meal.
Max was so tired yesterday he said he couldn't even carry his shadow. So, we took it easy today and hung around the campsite mostly, going swimming a couple times in the pool here. Max and Gemma are getting really good at swimming. Gems and Jean did a little sortie to the aquarium which they said was cool. In the evening, we went to a place recommended in our guidebook called something like agritourismo naragh mannu. It was out in the boonies about 10 min drive away, kind of on a farm. It was extremely scenic and they only opened at 830pm, but they had space for us. They had no menus at all, and it was just a prix fixe menu and we had no idea what the prix was. They kept serving us more and more courses, and the dinner lasted past 11pm. We were so stuffed and tired. I don't think I can even remember all the courses, but a few were cheese and salami, gnocchi, tripe, goat, pork, olives, salad, this special sardinian dessert with a pastry shell filled with riccotta cheese, watermelon, delicious green plums, a huge jug of wine that tasted like Manischewitz, an alcoholic drink that tasted like Robitussin, and coffee. Everything was delicious except the alcohol and tripe, and it was probably one of the best meals we've ever had. The goat was a little sad but incredibly delicious. And then came the bill ... only 68 Euros! We couldn't believe it and left 80, which they were thrilled about.
Tue, 07/12/16. Cave tour.
Today we took a boat tour of the caves and beaches South of us. It was really scenic and fun. The boat driver, Marco, drove a tight ship and totally guilted us and another couple for making him wait like 30 seconds before leaving one of the beaches. He also drove the boat about a million km per hour, which Max and Gemma loved. Gemma called the white wake behind us milk. We stopped at one place where it was not very deep but not shore either, and we had to just jump out of the boat. Max and Gemma were scared but did it after I did, and really loved it. We also played a lot of hot potato, throwing the kids from one of us to the other and making huge splashes. Another popular game is to see who looks the most like Roberto, as there seem to be about a million Roberto lookalikes here.
Mon, 07/11/16. pool wars.
Today we had a peaceful day, hanging out at the pool mostly. However, at the pool there were tons of French kids who attacked us with spray guns as soon as we entered and completely overran us until I surrendered in broken French, saying "La paix. Pas plus de la guerre." We've been going to the same restaurant for dinner every night and it has not disappointed yet. I think we've had almost everything on the menu.