This morning the wind and the weather returned to normal – with waves and a temperate breeze – which must be the attraction here. The water is very clear with a visibility of maybe 80 or 100 feet. At present, I am sitting beneath a palm frond thatch roof about fifteen feet above the sea. The waves are regular and crashing below – and only yesterday, the waves were a consequence of the many passing yachts with little breeze at all. It really is beautiful and a spectacular blue. The mountains in the distance - a cloud covered, forested crater from the volcano which created this island - the sleeping giant the locals call it.
I’ve noticed that some of the Italians don’t much appreciate Americans , and much less invading their resorts. Fortunately, there are some Germans here, which Italians like much less. Perhaps it is my Livestrong wrist band, the fact that I don’t wear a very fancy watch, or that I am bigger than all of them (except one camera man from the TV station yesterday at the opening – gigantico) – my ability to carry three suitcases in a single bound and persistent smile, or that I don’t wear a speedo – oh, did I mention that all the girls cover up their boobs when I walk by (it can’t be my big camera lens which some have referred to as Paparratzo). I do feel a little like the odd may out, or the one funny retard that everyone wants to look at but tries not to make it obvious. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the UT hat.
I talked with Ernesto yesterday a little bit about the economy – Gloria’s husband. Gloria is the well connected Vice Mayor of Rome and head of the Rome Film Festival and Gallery that facilitates the sculpture exhibits here in Italy - plus a few other important things. He is in the finance and investment business. He said that the World downturn has affected everyone – and that in his business, clients do not or cannot pay for a very long time – which for everyone introduces a variable that slows down everything. Gasoline here is about $9.97 a gallon.
I trust that the fourth of July was celebrated well back home. Paula and I had a late night dinner of Ham and Melon with a glass of good red wine and we toasted our country. At last nights dinner – right on the ocean at a very nice restaurant – I ate from the biggest buffet I’ve ever seen in my life – at least one hundred feet long with food from every group – Octopus to Roast Beef – an entire ham leg clamped down into a cutter – a wheel of Parmesan the size of a tire, bread, salad, fruit, zucchini, egg plant, pasta, pasta, pasta. The wait staff – probably 50+ were all dressed in the most exquisite white uniforms.We will drive by Mt. Vesuvius tomorrow where today, Italy issued a volcano eruption warning. Picture perfect I hope.