Weekend di Compleanno a Muto

Caught the 7:34 train out of Termini and arrived in Cassino at 9:30.  Mom and dad were there waiting for me and wished me a Happy Birthday once I snuck up behind them (since they didn’t see me exit the train). We went to find the car and then struggled to find the shoe area of the Mercato.  Once we found it, we parked, and then mom and I strolled up and down the bancarelle, me getting frustrated with lack of sleep and lack of success in shoe purchases. Lame! By 11:30 we had met up with dad, and we were searching to find a cappuccino and a bathroom for me.  As I entered a bar to ask to use the bathroom, I hear a little voice saying ‘Hey look! She is from Union College!’. A family of 6 or 7 catches my attention and tells me, mom and dad that they are from Schenectady.  Obviously my mom says, “no way we are too! We’re actually from Rexford! My parents anyways…” The other Schenectady family responds; “Really? Us too… what is your last name?”  Our response: “Serafini”, their response… “No way! I’m Michele’s Pharmacist!” My mom: “OH YOUR BOB THE PHARMACIST!”   Really… what a small world that we run into Nonno Michele’s pharmacist at a dumpy bar in Cassino, what are the chances of that?  We chatted for a few minutes then we were off to find a Pasticceria to buy me a birthday cake.  We ended up finding a place that sold us a 10 euro millefoglie cake with Nutella, then headed on home to Muto to make it for lunch.

Pooped from barely 4 hours of sleep over the past 48 hours I scarfed down my lunch then sluggishly walked up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom to sleep the rest of the afternoon away.  I had to prepare myself for the Notte Bianca in Broccostella that night… I was on a non-stop schedule.

6pm I rose from my bed and headed downstairs to find the rest of the family.  We hadn’t eaten the cake at lunch because we had gotten too full, so we pulled out some Prosecco in hopes of eating the cake before we went out to dinner at Tapa Wine bar with the D’Ammassa’s, but of course we were still full from lunch and we were only able to drink the Prosecco and yet again the eating of my birthday cake was delayed.

8:30 we met the D’Amassa’s at the Tapa Wine Bar of Fontechiari. Splitting the table by kids and adults, the kids made the executive decisions on what kinds of pizza we would be getting and how many pitchers of beer.  Reality was, Nancy and her diplomacy were in charge and she got straight down to the point and ordered the table a variety of pizza’s, 4 red, 3 white, and kept the pitchers of beer coming. Brava Nancy!  It was nearing 10:00 and I was supposed to be back at Muto for Ilario to pick me up at 10:00, so I asked the D’Amassa’s if they wouldn’t mind taking me into Brocostella with them after dinner, and I went to call Ilario to tell him I would meet him Brocostella.  By 10:45 we arrived in Brocostella, a sneaky way that Gigino knew, so we found prime parking right behind the comune of Brocostella.   I followed Gina and Nancy to Christian’s bar, I went to the bathroom, and they got me a beer, and introduced me to a few different people, all part of Gina’s boyfriends extended family who owned the bar DeVito in the center of Brocostella.  Shortly after I met up with Ilario and I headed off with him and his friends further down the street where we ran into a festa at “Nonna Nunziata’s”! 

Nonna Nunziata… a sweet old nonna who had her house opened to anyone who wished! Two long tables with sandwiches, finger foods, and jugs of sangria were out that she willingly was serving to drunken young community of the surrounding towns of Fontechiari. So entertaining.  A few glasses in they all began to sing drinking songs starting on the lines of screaming “BEVOO, BEVO, BEVO, BEVO, BEVOOOOO” then some other words that I couldn’t understand.  Out front there was a DJ blasting greating music and a pile of wooden crates upon which a 70-year-old man was dancing with his shirt off.  He was insane! Wouldn’t stop moving, shaking his hips and having a grand ole time.   A few hours later I saw him hobbling to go sit near the food… I think he may have pulled a groin…

After Nonna Nunziata’s supply of sangria and food was exhausted we said our thank yous and kissed the sweet old lady, then walked back down the main drag toward the main piazza where a outdoor discoteca was slowly coming to life.  There was a stage with half naked hired dancers flaunting their stuff in the piazza of the main church, a loud sound system and DJ and a bar that was continually pouring beers for the ever-thirsty population of Brocostella.  What a scene!  We spent the remainder of our night in the main piazza at the discoteca, only leaving to use the bathroom or to accompany someone to the porchetta truck located a few hundred feet away.  It was quite the wild night and I returned home safely by 4:30 am.  The festa life slowly draining all of my energy…

Sunday I got to sleep in a decent amount, but not too late as to oversleep lunch.  Prompt as usual Nonna had lunch out for us by 1:00 and our stomachs were pleasantly filled by 2:30 in time for our afternoon siesta. We hung around Muto all afternoon, I went on a run and my parents began to pack their bags up.  We did one last run into Sora right at 4:00, so that mom could by another 3 kilos of coffee from La Brasilera, refusing to believe that their suitcases could be overweight on account of coffee.  When we returned home we agreed that we would only eat fruit for dinner along side with my birthday cake that we still hadn't eaten.  With much struggle we convinced the nonni to come sing the cake with us, and we finally ate our 10 euro millefoglie cake from Cassino.  Nonna was raving about how delicious it was, I think she had 3 slices!  It's funny how much she liked it, and how much she had liked the cake for Michael's birthday.  Both cakes tasted good, but not to the extent Nonna and Maria made them up to be! Cakes in America are better than Italy, in terms of birthday cakes that is. Every other type of food is better here though.  And it's not that cakes aren't good here, just when you grow up in America you have that sense of what a birthday cake should be like, whether it's an ice cream cake or a betty crocker box cake piled high with frosting, you keep that expectation and when you end up having your birthday in Italy and celebrating it witha millefoglie filled with Nutella, or a fruit covered spongy rum cake, or a fruit tart, it's not that they don't taste good, it's just not what you want and expect on your birthday. Insomma, la millefoglie di nutella era buona, e sono stata contenta con il weekend :)

After the birthday cake we made sure all of our bags were packed and that we had a plan for Monday morning's departure.  Then we headed back into Sora for one last passegiata down the Corso until our next appearance in Italy together (2012 woo!).  We grabbed two slices of margherita pizza from Pizzeria Carmela since we hadn't yet indulged on a slice.  The woman gave me 3 decently sized slice and only asked for 2 euro, pleasantly surprised with how economical the most delcious pizza in the world is.  We walked down the Corso with our pizza a taglio then headed toward mom and dad's favorite bar (which they still didn't know the name of) and we sat down to have a drink before returning home.  Dad got some birra bionda in bottiglia, mom got some wine and I got a spritz... Afterwards we headed home to sleep until 4:45am. 

Monday morning by 5:15 we were out the door, by 6:00 I was at the Frosinone train station, I kissed my parents good bye, I headed toward the track to catch a train back into Rome and make it to work on time, and my parents headed back to the car to drive to Fiumicino and head back to Boston.  Their stay was too short in my mind! Especially since I was only able to see them on the weekends because I am a working lady here in Italy.

During work mom called me from the airport announcing she got kicked off her original flight because it was overbooked. She seemed a little bummed that she would no longer be arriving at a resonable hour in Boston, but after she explained the bonus she had received for agreeing to take the next flight, I told her I would have agreed to the conditions in a heartbeat as well!  She received almost an entire reimbursement of her ticket and would be flying first class on the way home.  So jealous! I'm hoping this happens to me when I head to the airport too!

That's that. 21 over and done with!  Well celebrated with friends and family even in a country where the age has little significance. I was happy that I didn't regret not being back in the states for it, and I was thrilled I still had one month left in this amazing country.