Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Afternoon Adventure...

Yesterday, Sister Veronica accompanied me to my doctor appointment at Salvator Mundi hospital. We took the tram to the Vatican and then tried to walk the rest of the journey. LESSON #1: distances on the map look much closer than they are in reality. As the minutes passed and we were getting dangerously close to being late, I decided to abandon the MAPQUEST directions. LESSON #2: taxis in Rome are white or yellow - other colors mean an independent driver with independent rates. Dr. Zanninelli was very happy to meet Sister Veronica. We chatted about her aunt who lives in McLean, VA and teaches at Georgetown University. The doctor is still a fellow at Harvard. Smart must run in the family! She said my throat still looked red and did another culture. Fortunately, there was no office charge and a much smaller charge for the second lab test. I'll hear more next week. I do hope this germ has surrendered...

Dr. Zanninelli gave us walking directions from the Giancolensi neighborhood to the Piazza Navona. She said it was a beautiful walk down into the city and should take us about an hour. Along the way we would see the Garibaldi statue and magnificent mountain views of the city. was a beautiful walk...and we did see the city from a great height...BUT, an hour into our walk we were asking for directions and, once again, made aware that we were VERY far off from our destination. Not only that, the road that would take us to the Tiber crossing had no sidewalks - an ancient, curvy road. LESSON #3: never walk on streets w/o sidewalks unless you want to meet Jesus sooner than later.

We were exhausted and VERY hungry by the time the second taxi dropped us near the enoteca. (Remember...the wine library?) It was 2:45 and we were famished! It was the best meal for so many reasons. We tasted two new grapes - Aglianico and Nebbiolo D'Alba. Both delicious but very different. Aglianico is from the region called Basilicata. It is a soft red - rich in fruit aroma and taste. Nebbiolo is the great Italian grape from the Piedmont region. It is the grape from which the great Barolo and Brunello are made. The grape grown in Alba is a softer version. Tannic and capable of aging, it is a dry, distinctive red. In plain English - yum!

This outing was the very first time Sister Veronica and I had some time alone. I loved having her all to myself...giggling a bit...and talking about our wonderful community. I treasure time with her - all the more since she was missioned to Richmond. Now that we've traded places and she's once again at the monastery, time together is still at a premium. This wonderful meal - shared with my sister - was like a taste of heaven. OK...the food...homemade liver pate w/ Cognac, Greek Salad w/ fresh Feta, pasta w/ olives, dried tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, a lovely Orange tart and homemade ice cream from the must of grapes. Yup. I actually had wine-related ice cream! Who knew there was such a thing?

I can't close without thanking the community for sending us to this wonderful city. It is a privilege to study and to absorb the culture of Rome. And many thanks to so many friends who's generosity made yesterday's lunch a pure gift. We prayed for you all in our grace before the meal.

I am at the Casa today. Most everyone went on an adventure. Sister Veronica is at the catacombs with a large group of sisters. I had planned on going, but my body said "no" this morning. My legs hurt from walking in the wrong shoes yesterday and my throat felt a little sore again, so I decided to roll over and sleep. I walked to the market around 10 am and bought a birthday present for Sister Veronica. Sunday, January 20th, is her birthday. How wonderful to be in the country of her birth on her special day. I'm sure Sister Joan Ann has a special present for her at home, but I wanted her to have a little something to open on her day.

The sun is shining for the second day in a row - be still my heart! I plan to rest some and study some. The gang will be home later in the afternoon. I look forward to hearing of their travels at supper. Love to you all and every blessing... - Sister Vicki