Tuesday & Wednesday, July 1 & 2
Tuesday was my first full day in Acqui Terme. Jan and I went to breakfast (espresso and a brioche - typical Italian breakfast) at a bar nearby. She was heading to her Italian class. I went with her partway so that she could show me the tourist info spot. A map and info on the town is always wonderful to have. I spent the morning wandering around the town. I found a pretty big grocery store where I bought some yogurt and water.
Later in the morning, while continuing to wander around I decided to try to find this place I remember stopping in two years ago for lunch when I was with Diana to have lunch and also possibly use their computer. I was not having much luck and seemed to be walking in circles. As I was standing near the outside fruit market area, I heard my name being called. I figured at first the person had to be calling someone else since Jan was still in school. It took me a minute before I realized it was Diana. She was in town doing errands. She showed me this beautiful courtyard and then took me to Balala (the place I was looking for). I had a wonderful pomodoro and mozarella sandwich for lunch. All the computers were occupied after I finished my sandwich, so instead, I tried to find Jolly Blu, an internet place Jan mentioned. I was not able to find it so instead I had a gelato. Later when I met up with Jan, she brought me to Jolly Blu where I bought an internet card which gave me I think 3 hours total of time. After we both spent time using the computers, we stopped in a little shop where she bought some mushrooms to take back home and I bought some pecorino cheese to have for breakfast with my yogurt.
Earlier in the day, I talked to the maid about my TV problems. For some reason, my remote control would not work, the little black box which has other channels also was not working, and the remote control for the AC was also missing. She solved all of the problems while I was out wandering around. When I returned to my room, Jan was in her room. Together, we tried to figure out how to get the black box to work. The box started at a station in the low 100's. We found lots of Arabic stations, then some French, then some German, and finally after going through almost every number, we found CNN, SKY, and BBC. My regular TV Italian stations were also working but for some reason, Canale 5 (my favorite station) was in black and white.
We both hung out for a while in our rooms catching up on the news and then went out for dinner. We ate at a little restaurant nearby. We both had the pasta with zucchini. It was just ok. The waiter was very nice. He may also be the owner. After dinner when we were leaving he asked me if I could show him how to crop a picture on his computer. I tried to do it using a couple of his programs, but all the menu items were in italian and I could not find the crop tool. We finally suggested that he download Picassa.
Wednesday morning, I spent more time wandering around, looking in some of the shops, and taking more photos. I was starting to figure out how some of the streets connect, but Acqui for some reason is a confusing place for me. The streets don't really go in a grid. I found the Jolly Blu on my own and spent some time on the computer and then met Jan for lunch. We went to her classmate, Elizabeth's apartment and had a wonderful lunch. Elizabeth is from Denver and is now living in Acqui Terme. Her apartment was amazing.
After lunch, Jan showed me how to get to the train station. I was planning to do daytrips to places nearby on Thursday and Friday. I took photos along the way just in case I got lost. After our walk to the train station, we went into this beautiful garden area, which had wonderful views. The weather has been perfect for me since I have been here - not too hot and not too cold. I have not used my AC yet.
For dinner, we stopped at a huge grocery store to pick up some food and went out to Diana's place for a wonderful dinner. I met Diana's friend, Birgit, who has been staying there for a few weeks. After about an hour, another friend of Diana's, Gregorio arrived. We had a wonderful evening laughing at all of his hilarious stories. The food Diana and Birgit made was so delicious. The best I have had yet in Acqui Terme. It was a wonderful evening of food and laughter.
I have 4 minutes left on my computer card - not enough time to get completely caught up. Oh, and if it was George Clooney, yes I would have walked if I had to back to Portofino!