Friday, March 7, 2008

Aosta - Where Tiramisu-Related Dreams Come True

This weekend we decided to take it easy, and boarding in the Dolomites seemed to be the best way to relax. Our friend Gabe knew an Italian woman in the small town of Aosta who offered her place for us to stay for the weekend. She was a very sweet older lady and an amazing cook. Emphasis on the amazing. I'm talking about food euphoria. On top of that, her son is the top snowboarding instructor in Aosta, so he got us free gear! We only paid for our train and our lift tickets.

We had planned our trains like good travelers, giving us a 15 minute interval to catch our train to Torino from Milano. The Italians though get bored quickly, and to make thing more exciting they pulled into Milan at 6:14 for our 6:15 train. I wish we could have bird's eye footage of Father Pat and Nicole sprinting over the yellow line, Gabe carrying his backpacker's pack and me darting around old women while hugging my bag in my arms. Somehow we did make it to the train, which was standing room only, much to the chagrin of the poor passengers who were put inches for our sweating, huffing bodies. Ew.

The drama of travel though was repaid in full when we arrived at Umbretta's house with this view to console us.
While our original plans were to enjoy a weekend of snowboarding in the mountains, I began to strongly consider staying with Umbretta just to eat. As fun as clipping down the side of a mountain was, Umbretta's tiramisu takes the cake.When cool things gather, God tends to commemorate the celebration:

And of course, we did do a little boarding:

And no snowboarding trip is complete without shameless posing pics 8000 ft. in the air:

"Hey Father Pat, do you want to come and pray evening prayers with us?"

"Ummm...tell Avram...that I'll pray later..."

Nursing our (well, my) wounds at lunch with hamburgers and beer:

At the end of the day, as we were getting into the gondola that took us all the way down the mountain, Gabe sat down and broke the window of the car. The Italian monitoring the gondolas walked over, gave the window a pat, said "A posto" (everything's in it's place), and walked away. That would never fly in the States! Only in Europe...

And how about a little artistry at the end of the day?

Only now am I feeling the repercussions of testing the physical limits of my left buttcheek. Let it be known to all that if you spend an entire day falling on the same spot, it will turn into a deep purple, Van Gogh-like bruise that spans from the top of your tailbone to the back of your knee, and you will most likely spend the next few weeks on the prescription level of ibuprofen. Oh, and avoid stairs.

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