3 August 2010
The hat game was not working in my favour today, started off with the cow gal hat which I had to wear through a mall and at McDonalds but then I hit the jackpot at the petrol station and got the cap. We were then to head straight to the villa but we had an ice order to try and fill so we stopped at the garage I jumped out to see what they had, even had to ask for it by drawing ice cube shivering and saying ice, and finally they go it but alas, no deal. So head back to the car and what happens, they are all standing around pointing out that I have scored the Elvis wig and sooty mo, of course I indulged but was thinking that Ma and Pa will be like, "typical Abbey" so would have to swiftly explain the game on arrival! Well we arrived in Castellina in Chianti at our villa Salvolpi and heard the gang out the back drinking; I rocked around the corner and got a great reception, sooty mo kisses for all. The team that had arrived for Bazza's 60th( or arriving on the following day or 2) included: Neil (Buck) and Christine Buchanan, Graham and Gwenda (Gwenny Boo Boo) Malloy, Linda and Noel Eade, Rob and Nicola Milne Hatch, Ross, Pauline, Amberley and Myles Green, Aundrea Donald Brad and Karen Sutherland, Rose, Trev (T-rev the T-rex) and Nikki Anderson, Debbie Telf, Jeremy Mulvey and of course us Pattons and Narelle, makes 28 of us!!! What a wolf pack! Straight into a cold beer and the pool after checking in. Sun was beating down and pool was refreshing!!! Good catch up and down the road to the party venue to test out the cuisine enjoyed beautiful fresh pizza and wines.
4 August 2010
No hangover for me which was brill, enjoyed the first morning of our free Italian breaky oh my gosh what a blooming smorgas board of food, bread, bread, bread though obviously but you could make your own dippy eggs, fresh meats, croissants, fruit, yoghurts, cereal, huge big coffee's and the cutest wee Italian lady who couldn't speak a word of English but would natter away to you in Italian even though she knew you didn't understand, and after you said thanks or Grazi she would be prego prego prego all over it!! (thanks, thanks, thanks). We tripped off in three cars to some small wee villages in the region, Gaiole, Radda and Greve. Beautiful wee towns, lush bush and vineyards galore!!! Had a beautiful lunch in Radda with a beaut bottle of red and a mosey around some of the shops in each town. Back to the villa for dip in the pool and it was time for some more drinking can't beat a cold peroni lager in the pool can ya?!! We set up in the garden and thrashed the red wine, deleted Bazza's supply of 16 bottles of red wine in one night it was going down a treat. Then as the sun went down the music went up and we started singing, much to the dismay of the hotel employers and one silly guest who said he had a bambina sleeping (a baby) so eventually the security police arrived. Well they didn't really do much as I think they could see we were just having a bit of harmless fun so the guest came over and tried to shut us up. Rossy Jo was having none of that as the guy tried to steal the iPod player Ross poked him away and told him he was being silly and sent him on his way. We carried on until 2am. We met some Americans who loved our singing he was like, wow you guys have so many folk songs you sing we only have Yankee Doodle haha go the Kiwi's. Simon was the last man standing although according to Nikki he actually fell asleep at the table outside, she wasn't moving him so the wee night porter Zuchi had to put him to bed!
5 August 2010
Birthday day!!! Bazza was welcomed into breakfast with a sweet sounding Happy Birthday song, filled up on breaky and prepared ourselves for 9:30am set off on a bus tour of a couple of villages and two vineyards. We went to San Gimignano which was an amazing town beautiful hops and a market. I purchased a beautiful ring, so did Debs, she really want to be MY twin!! (haha Wenz I have stepped it up!!) Back on the bus to vineyard one. These Italians really know how to do wine tasting. Firstly we were given a tour of the cellar and told about the wine making process and the wines that we were going to taste and then we all sat down at the restaurant and were served breads and cheese to have with our wine tastes. The wine was delicious and Debs and I made a purchase of red to enjoy later on the trip. The next stop was at a castle like village I forget the name but as we got off the bus it started spitting with rain and then we heard loud rolling thunder and saw lightening. It was a rush to the nearest bar for a bite to eat and drink. We got some plastic bags to cover our hair and made a mad dash back to the bus. Ma pat pat looked like a drowned rat when she got back on board and some of us weren't much better. We used Simon and Bradley's new Michelangelo David's briefs to dry off and headed to our last stop which was the Casanova vineyard. We were welcomed by Stephano who looked more like crocodile Dundee than an Italian wine maker. He talked us through all his products, how they are all made, visited the wine and balsamic vinegar cellars and then into the tasting room. He makes all sorts including, red wines, dessert wines, balsamic vinegars, olive oil, truffle oil, rosemary and lavender oils, soap and moisturisers and we got to sample it all!!! I purchased a wee bottle of the balsamic vinegar which you have with all sorts of things, only like 2 - 4 drops and we tested it on ice creams, oh divine, tasted like caramel. But apparently you can put it on fruits, scrambled eggs etc and every different thing it goes with it has a different flavour, so looking forward to trying that out!! We climbed back aboard the bus, had a few more stories about Bazz, and told a few myself about all the things he has gotten up to in his 60years then we were taken back to the Villa to get ready for more partying. We tidied ourselves up and met in the garden for photo shoots and drinks. This was followed by a fantastic horse race that Lee had prepared in NZ and put o CD, of course Bazza the Beast the Italian Stallion won the 60th anniversary race, was a great laugh and good entertainment!! A few more stories, Bazz knocked back a beer bong and we presented him with his book that Grace and Mum had organised. A book of photos of him and family and friends from the past 60 years it's a pearla!! We then headed down the road to the restaurant for dinner, drinks, and speeches! The waiter who Dad told us his name was Dunny (later we found out when he wrote it down his name was Giovanni, told Bazz this but h said well he is Dunny to me and that's how it is going to stay) was blooming brilliant. We had red wine, white wine and beers galore followed by delicious food it was good times. Rossy Jo kicked of speeches with a great wee poem about Bazz, followed by a few presentations of presents. He got some beauts, from Jaime and Sandra he got a great card and new pyjama's as he is about the only one of his mates that wears pj's so he opened up the bag and it was empty - take the hint Bazz and sleep naked!! Buck got u and said do you I've a man that has everything - they gave him a giant yellow comb for his comb over. Trev and Rose think a like and got Bazza a pair of Michelangelo's David undies too so now he matches Simon and Bradley! Gwenny Boo Boo and Graham got Bazza a pair of Speedos, because he is a swimming enthusiast . . . not, but we did discover earlier tonight that he did complete his first level on his swimming school - 5 yards, to which Noel said that back in those days you got your first level just for getting in the shower!Followed this by a few stories of Bazz from the past and then he stole the show with a beaut speech about his 60 years!! After that we were into some songs - the best was when I said it was Brads turn to crank out a tune and he lurched straight into Queens Bohemian Rhapsody word for word - don't worry team it is documented, caught on tape and I will be loading that bad boy up to YouTube and facebook soon!!! We also whipped out 10 guitars. Before we left I threw both the chef and Giovanni over my shoulder and waltzed them through the restaurant. At 2am we trucked on home thinking that we could have a few beers on return but princess Marie lurched out the upstairs window and told us little b*****s to get to bed, so after burying Simon in the driveway we finally slipped into our beds!!
6 August 2010
A lazy day, farewells to the Malloys, Andersons and Buchannan's and then Grace and I lazed pool side until 1pm then strolled into town with Ross and Simon for lunch, a looksi at the shops, and a yummy gelato was enjoyed overlooking the scenery and vineyards in the distance of Castellini. I purchased some delicious olives OMG they were amazing!!! When we returned to the villa Ping Ping (Pauline) was chelaxingin the heat. She said 'now if you kids are thirsty, Amberley and Myles have bought some drinks,like fanta and coke etc and put them in the fridge in the room'. Ping ping was drinking a can of fanta at the time. Well knowing Amberley and Myles there was no way they had done that! I also knew that every, or nearly every room had a mini bar in the fridge, so I said 'um Ping Ping are you sure thats not the mini bar?', 'I don't think so she replied', 'Um, I think it is Ping, we all had drinks like that in our fridges but we took them out so we could store more important things like beer'. The poor wee thing realised and that soon put an end to us helping ourselves, haha well she said 'I only had a fanta'. Oh bless your little cotton socks!! We returned to the pool for a swim and sleep and awaited the clans return. They slowly dribbled in some had been to Sienna, some went backto San Gimi and Greve. The gang once again had a few drinks in the sunshine at the villa then we strolled down town for tea. We were in a crazy little room off the downstairs bit of the restaurant and we could barely hear ourselves think when we started talking because the acoustics, there was the boys table and the gals table, it was pretty even steven for noise competition but according to Rossy Jo our table was loudest as I was sitting there. One couple came and sat at the spare table in thermo, they looked a bit dubious when they sat down, well next time I looked over the had disappeared like David Copperfield, couldn't handle the noise!! We had lovely waiters (wink wink) and even complemented me on my Italian pronunciation when I was ordering my meal. Deb-o-rah and I shared a pesto spaghetti and also a stuffed wild boar both delicimo! Plus we slotted away some lovely red wines yet again, favourite was a Le Castellina drop of red or rosso as they say here in Italy. Well after we had finished we were treated to an orchestra performing in the square for free. We arrived just in time for them to perform such songs as - Maria and America from West side story andsome Strauss tunes it was beautiful!! Most of the young guns stopped in r a night cap on the way home, a lot cheaper at this joint - €3.50 for pints, €2.50 for red wines. On a side note it pays not to be too friendly to some locals as if you say ciao bello as you cruise down the street and they stalk you for the next hour, wierd!! Also met some locals who couldn't speak any English but we were able to communicate some actions for which they pronounced how to say it in Italian, was very funny. The walk home was a bit of an adventure, I decided it would be funny if we all picked up a small truck, but when I went over to test out the weight of it, I discovered that des and troy had not lost their power and could lift the truck up myself. Then the jocks decided to amp up the photography Simon should put his head under the tyre while I continued to lift, he later said he didn't really know what he was thinking as it was really the arrest thing he had done in his life and Mulvey was so impressed he told me I was stronger than Bradley!!!! (Take that sucker). Simon mooned some jokers on their scooters as one drove past with his leg out and so he then decided to come back flying down the hill and nearly ran us over, I think he must have wanted to slap Si's ass he was that close!!! We made it home and got swiftly in to bed to eagerly await the Ranfurly shield challenge about to take place in Invercargill against Otago, 6:30am our time.