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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Maniago Market Place

Most week days of the week, there is a “Market” in one of the local nearby towns. This is where we could get close to the locals who pick up some of their fresh staples for the week. It is quite an event in that several streets leading to the center of towns are filled with merchants. Everything under the sun can be found there. I bought a genuine Italian wallet! It didn’t even say, “Made in China”. It was styled like my old wallet and it fit my bill!
Our Hotel with Dolomite Mountains in background
We walked in several directions looking at all the wares that were for sale. A Cappuccino was in order! A side walk cafe was nearby and so we enjoyed the coffee and listening to the locals talking. They were probably doing the same thing with us. Sam said he wanted to go down the next street and checkout the cheese vendors. I was also looking to do this and we all followed him. Now, how does one communicate with a vendor who doesn’t speak English? The vendor had dozen and dozens of different cheeses. “A sample gesturing with my hands”. The next thing was “I wonder how much this piece would cost?” Well, we watched a few customers ahead of us and kept an eye on the scale and the Euro price. Not bad! A wedge as big as a good size apple pie was going for 3.50 Euro. That would be about $20 back in the states. Helen was talking to Joan when this guy noticed she was talking English. He also spoke English and Italian. He said he was from Canada. I said “Quebec,” he said, “no”, I said “Ontario”. He didn’t speak French and I hit it right on the head. With his help, we had some good cheese. One was sheep and the other I already forgot, but I can tell you they are both delicious!
Pork chop was done to perfection!
On a different topic, we have been staying at the Mountain View Inn here on base. You can only extend for three days at a time and so far we have extended three times. Tomorrow we will be moving to an efficiency apartment for $3 dollars more. This Friday, we are taking the train to Venice to visit Joan and Sam’s friends who have a house up here in Aviano. Time will tell if we get to stay at their Aviano home. Lara’s parents are in ill health and she has been taking care of them so we’ll see how all of this shakes out.
This afternoon, we did a dry run to the train station for Friday morning’s trip to Venice. It was a good thing as we ran into road construction and didn’t notice the Italian “Detour” sign. For fifteen minutes, we tried to detour around, but had to back track a couple of miles. Finally, after a detour to the next town, we made it to the train station! We would have had a heck of a time without Joan and Sam. They have taken the train before and know the ropes. Things like buying a train ticket and having it validated, at an electronic machine, before getting on the train. Things like using the tunnel to get to the other side of the tracks to get on the right train going in the right
This train will take us to Venice on Friday!
So far, the adventure has been a pleasant adventure! Today, we will be checking out of our first floor room at the Mountain View Inn. This is the name of the Air Force Inn in Aviano. Because of advance reservations, the Inn is booked solid. We will be moving to a different building to an efficiency apartment with two bedrooms. We will be sharing the apartment with Sam and Joan. This building is mainly used for families that are in the process of moving to a different duty station, better known as PCS (Permanent Change of Station).
We did have our challenges with the first day back at BWI (Baltimore Washington International) and the flight delayed a day, but that was easily overcome.
What surprised us most, I guess, was the fairly low cost of eating. We have been having breakfast in our room prepared in our kitchenette. Lunch has been at the Italian Military Mess hall known as “Menza” and evenings were at a variety of restaurants. Even the evening meals were not overly priced and exceptionaly delicious! I never knew you could do so much with “Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar”

That is what we saw and did!

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