Day 24: Modena
POTD: Madam: Senhora
Weather: Warm, up into the mid-90s at times, no humidity, stays warm well into the night
Department of Corrections: THB was actually mostly in and around Bologna yesterday, not Modena. The name of the town that nobody (but our co-leader) shopped in is Vignola, not Vongale.
Department of Unmissed Opportunities: It appears that THB and DB didn’t miss much by skipping out on dinner. The same guy that overcooked the pork tenderloins a few nights ago did this meal as well and, from limited feedback, there weren’t many courses worth making a detour for…as it was, the group got back at 11pm, so we’re doubly thankful we didn’t make it.
THB and DB are up very early, after a long night’s sleep. Walk along the road, meeting up with two mountain bikers. Actually, they were meeting partway on the hill, on the gravelly section, one going up and then joining his partner who was going down.
They baled hay along the road yesterday: looks like the wrapped the bales in Italian colors.
While the group last night got the word that the departure time was set back 15 minutes, THB and DB did not. Not a big deal, at least they didn’t wake us up at 11pm to tell us of the adjustment.
And, true to form, even with the extra 15 minutes, two are at least 5 minutes late including one of the co-leaders.
Opera02 is very close by to the Ferrari Museum. We get headsets and after about 10 minutes THB realizes he would enjoy (well, tolerate) the tour a lot more if he just turned off the headset. THB is clearly not a car guy. The guide is not turning THB into one, either.
After the tour, our group has an hour reserved for “real simulators” where two members can “race” side by side. THB is also not a video game or arcade game guy, so passes on the “real” simulation (THB will ride a roller coaster….a “real” roller coaster).
|Hybrid: costs a lot more, doesn't save much gas|
|There must be a fake simulator AND a real real simulator somewhere else|
Our lunch at Ristorante Montana is a short ride from the museum, and was highly recommended by Ferrari dealers in the US.
The first course is thinly sliced and steamed zucchini done the only way THB can think of to recommend with zucchini: drizzled with olive oil, pepper and salt, and toasted pine nuts. Recipe hint: this also works without the zucchini. Serve with good bread or hard rolls.
The second course is also exceptional: a large crepe rolled up like a bag with a twisted top and tied off with a string of leek, filled with béchamel and then settled on top of a pea pesto puree (well, it was green, THB thinks it was pea). Rich and savory, and also should be served with good dunking bread or hard rolls.
It’s very good, however it is very hot in Montana and DB is not feeling well (tummy problems; it’s amazing that the entire tour group hasn’t fallen to the wayside…on other hand, this is our week four of eating like this and they are only on week one) and since it’s a short ride back to Opera02, Luigi takes us up the hill.
THB will find out later what the rest of the meal was like.
Ed. Note: THB did not find out what the rest of the meal was like, going into slacker mode on day 387 of eating like crazy
DB and THB rest up, well needed, and are early for the departure for dinner. Three more join us: one co-leader’s parental units and the other’s hubby
Our last night’s event is at a nearby B&B, not exactly your normal B&B! It’s behind a gate in a very upscale development, includes a gorgeous pool, a big vista, a wood-fired pizza oven, and its own vineyard, cherry orchard, and veggie garden. A young couple (with young children/helpers) and the parents of the husband are on hand (with another family of friends) to aid us through the meal.
There’s picking of the salad greens, the making of pizzas (and the lightly topped pizza dough as appetizers), serving parmesan and their own balsamic vinegar, frying up those sopapillas, and several wines and a beer.
THB rolls his own dough out, ladles on tomatoes, cheese and eggplant, turns his own pizza in the oven, and thoroughly enjoys the meal, chatting away with the parental units.
Around 9:30, THB requests a ride back to the hotel so we have a semblance of a chance of getting a few hours of sleep before the 3am pick-up. That gets the ball moving for a final-final goodbye. Around 10:30, we’re at Opera02 and saying another round of goodbyes, nobody is going to get up at 3am and wave us goodbye.
One more round of gossip: Among the Canadians, there is one odd couple: we can tell she’s older and he’s around 50. He’s doting on her to the point of infantilizing her. They live part-time in Ft Lauderdale, part-time in Toronto. From idle chatter, we gather that she’s actually quite a bit older (20+ years?) than him (though he may not realize it), extremely wealthy after selling her business to a VC outfit, has a huge architect-designed place on the waterfront of Ft L, divorced from an older guy and ended up with the house (and money), and that they may only be engaged, not married yet. Is he in it for the money?
Another rumor is that while they are on this reasonably expensive trip, she’s doing the paying…for all six of the Canadians? Just for two? The Canadians seem to be well-off and can afford to pay their own way, though at least one of the women was looking forward to shopping the outlet mall on Sunday. We think that is just old-style behavior.
Who knows! That’s what makes it gossip….
|It's a lawn rumba: cuts the grass unattended|