We have been celebrating around here. Anyone who knows me knows I am out of my head for birthdays. Well, at least for MY birthday! As far back as I can remember, I have celebrated not only the day, but usually the week, and sometimes even the entire month of December. Yes, I exaggerate and I don’t care who knows it!
This past week continued my tradition of exploiting my birthday and now a year passing of our health issues…so we celebrated…tanto…troppo! We began the week with a day trip to the province of Asti to attend the Fiera del Bue Grasso…the festival of the fat ox. Seven of us piled in and drove up through the snow to Northern Italy. What a gorgeous trip…we wound through the coast roads of Toscana and Liguria to end up in Piemonte.

Even though the sun hid from us the entire day, the colors of the architecture and landscape contrasted brilliantly against the snow and fog. We ate and drank amongst the locals at the Sagra del Bollito, a feast of strange and wonderful delicacies. Can you imagine, the menu included, among other things, a version of raw tartar of ox (which most ate like a hamburger), crowns and innards of a rooster, and boiled tongue and head of the ox served with salsa verde. I bravely ate everything…cannot say I enjoyed it all, but I sure am proud of myself for being adventurous.

We continued the week taking time for languid walks through the woods and fields with the puppies, attending a gift regalo expo, decorating the live Christmas tree, pizza with friends (because it is not a celebration without pizza!), a delicious Italo-Americano dinner in a beautiful home high on a hill, and the icing on the celebration cake…a surprise birthday dinner party at a Mexican restaurant. Yes people, you can take the girl out of America and drop her in Italy, but please don’t mess with her love of Mexican.

Grazie mille to all of my lovely friends here in Italy and from afar that contributed to this year’s festeggiamenti. What a week…I so cannot wait until next year…I am already planning. Gosh, I am a lucky lucky girl to have all I do and all of you in my life.

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