Food,  Language,  News


So, this June will be 20 years. My father-in-law offered us a week through his timeshare. After a laborious search on a timeshare site in need of some serious development hours, we narrowed it down to two, and then eventually one.

It was quite the toss up between a TradeWinds excursion (half spent on a catamaran trek and half lounging at a beach resort) and a rustic Italian village/resort (or their more English-friendly site) to be used as both peaceful retreat and base camp for exploring the green center of Italy. The catamaran sounded interesting, even exciting, but the all-inclusive fee of $200/person/day, for a 7-day jaunt by two people was intimidating, to say the least. It was discouraging, really, when we discovered it.

Initially, we were put off by the half-board concept offered by La Casella, and many of the other offerings in Italy. But, upon further study, we actually found it to be a pretty cool idea – basically, in advance you are covering for a decent breakfast and dinner. And from what I can read in reviews of La Casella, the five-course dinners are pretty impressive.

A nice aerial shot of the clubhouse at La Casella

And what’s more, it’s close to Orvieto and all that Etruscan wonderment, and an hour-and-a-half-ish by train to Rome. It is surrounded by wine country, cheese production, history and art. And it has all the on-site potential for cooking classes, hiking the Italian countryside and horseback riding. The choice was clear upon review.

Well, this certainly has put some of my current language learning goals in perspective! Revisiting Italian is definitely in order, even if it means putting German, French, Chinese and Korean on a back-burner (maybe just a simmer). Kicking off on Duolingo, I found my previous self-led efforts had not been completely wasted. I cleared 21% of the existing material in Duolingo, though I am most certainly rusty. Kim also started Duolingo’s Italian course. She is expressing feelings of annoyance with Italian at this time…

As mentioned, I already have some other materials on the shelf that I will be looking at. Here is a sampling:

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Oh, and major goal while in Italy, besides enjoying the stay with my wonderful wife? Collecting a copy of Il signore degli anelli, of course!

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