Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for March, 2005

Doing Palermo the Rick Steves Way

Thursday, March 10th, 2005

I have to be really, really fast here so no editing just writing and I will take care of the rest later.

I was a little worried yesterday about that guy thinking I was Albanian the other day, like maybe I look like a maid, or a hooker. Is it the purple hair? Cannot figure it out.

Because of our lost afternoon Tuesday, we got out early yesterday and ran around Palermo like crazy women. Went to the opera house in the morning – would not have done that, if not for Colleen – but it was awesome, the opera was rehearsing and we got to see for a minute and it was fantastic. Then onto the archeaological museum where I saw something truly weird, a small bronze of an erect penis, that HAD a penis, also a tail and legs. We walked around the port a little, also almost got bit by a rabid dog, then went to get a pizza.

This was the best part of the day. We went to a famous place called Antica Foccaciaria di San Francesco, which also happens to be where we breakfast every morning. We sat next to this big table of seven guys and two girls. After some eyeing of each others food and smiles and stuff, the one girl who spoke some English spoke to us (all the guys were speaking too, and we did the best we could.) So Colleen tells this girl we are here for my birthday, and she tells the group, and they bust out singing Happy Birthday to me. Then all the guys got up and kissed me! (Cheek kisses, not Albanian hooker kisses.) I turned all red and my heart was beating so fast. It was pretty awesome, let me tell you.

So after that Colleen had it in her mind to go to the Crypt of the Cappucine where there are all these dead bodies decaying on the walls. Like 8000 of them. So I decided we would walk, but instead of on the main street, on the back streets. CRAZY. PAZZO. More on this later… then we got there and Colleen was totally grossed out but I made her look at all the dead bodies for a really long time, like 10 minutes.

I am really running out of time now, we are off to Monreale and later, Cefalu… more when we stop running. Fantastic dinner last night, at a place recommended by a friend in Rome… called Sant Andrea. I told Colleen she should start telling everyone it is my birthday and we are going to start counting the cheek kisses. Eight, so far.

Palermo, Pazzo

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

I am having a bit of a writers block situation and I think it is because this place is so insane that I cannot even begin to write about it. So this will be really boring but here goes.

Got here OK, even with four flights it seemed to go by pretty fast. But my luggage did not make it. Colleen came in several hours after me so I walked around looking for something to buy to sleep in. There are tons of clothing stores and everything is on sale. Our room is really a suite with two rooms and a little kitchen, and the owners have been so awesome… if it was not for them I am not sure I would have my luggage back…

I feel at home here so far, walking around I seem to know my way, and I am even crossing the street like the locals do, which can be a little terrifying at first. Because seriously, red lights mean nothing.

Right when they opened, I went to this cool wine bar right on our street called Mi Manda something or other and had a glass of wine in there… so far this place is the coolest place I have found, bar wise, but it is possible that I am just from another planet. I may as well be. Then I went home to wait for Colleen.

Colleen finally came in (she missed her connection and arrived at 9:30) and we immediately went back to the wine bar to eat dinner.

OH MY GOD. OK, I was starving but starving or no that was one of the best dinners I have ever eaten. Or maybe I just have not been to Sicily in a really long time. We had a salad with radicchio and pomegranate seeds and pancetta, ravioli stuffed with eggplant and with an eggplant tomato sauce, and I had this pork braised in Chianti. It was huge, like a whole leg or something. It was so good that I ate almost all of it. Plus they had these little rolls stuffed with olives. All that with a bottle of Montefalco Rosso was only 47 Euro.

After that we went back and totally crashed until mid morning. Outside there was thunder, and really heavy rain. But that stopped right when we went out.

After coffee and cornetti, we headed out to the big Cathedral here (awesome on the outside, but the inside did not do much for me) and then walked up to this park where there were some kids playing soccer. We sat on a bench and this old guy comes up and starts talking to us. I tell him my Italian sucks. “Albanese?” he says… (do I look Albanian?) I tell him no and then he asks if I am Italian! Dude, if I was wouldn’t I be speaking it a little better?

We left there and went to where the President of Sicily has his quarters and there was some kind of demonstration with lots of cops. I kind of like Italian cops, so we hung out there and thought maybe we would see the President. The old guy comes back, tells us it is some sort of demonstration for the workers. Then he asks if we like Bush and we say no, and he says Bush is always making war. (Colleen got that one – don’t give me the credit.)

Sadly after this we had to rush back to the apartment because the guy who had my luggage didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand him, and he thought MY name should be on the door instead of the B & B’s. So, after many calls by the B & B people and many hours of waiting (plus I was starting to get really nervous, also stinky) the luggage arrived.

More walking around and now we are headed to eat at a place called Vino Rosso.

Sorry this is so boring but I will try to do better. I think my body is all the way here but my brain has to catch up.

Leaving Slowly on a Jet Plane

Saturday, March 5th, 2005

The packing is done, and the floors clean. I think I am too tired to be excited quite yet, about the journey that is right in front of me. Tired from a lot of work and not enough sleep. I am ready to be awake now.

Now it is almost time for the trip. I’ll be in the air, or waiting to be in the air, for twenty-four hours straight.

It’s almost better sometimes this way. A lot of stimulus right before you go to make you forget about the trip, so that when you finally get there you are like, holy shit, I am fucking here!

And I can swear all I want now that I own this website. That kind of freedom is uber-liberating, even when I felt like I could get away with a lot of swearing before.

Can I just say, how happy I am that I have the life I live and the friends I have? It has been done, but I have new friends now, and you know who you are. My last entry was called Lucky. I am the lucky one. I am seriously an extremely lucky person, flaws and all.

Next up, Palermo. A place I have never been. I’ll breathe deep that cigarette scent when I find it next. Cigarettes, and warm pastries, car exhaust and coffee. I am thinking that is what Palermo smells like.


Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

I woke up in a cold sweat this morning. Somewhere between sleep deprivation and anticipation, I think.

We are headed into a great freeze. Snow on Mt. Etna. Red wine weather.

Yesterday I talked to one of my customers, who told me he was going to Italy for his honeymoon. They will be in Venice the same time as me – Easter week. With NO hotel reservation! A quick search on Venere told me they were up it without a paddle.

I emailed my friend Amelia who owns Ca’ Bernardi B & B, and by some twist of fate she just had a cancellation.

Are these honeymooners lucky or what? They are so lucky, they have no idea. And they get ME to show them around.

So with this theme, Luck, I give you the lyrics to one of my absolute favorite Radiohead songs. Just imagine three guitars gently crushing your head when you read them.


I’m on a roll,
I’m on a roll this time
I feel my luck could change.

Kill me Sarah,
kill me again with love,
it’s gonna be a glorious day.

Pull me out of the aircrash,
Pull me out of the lake,
I’m your superhero,
we are standing on the edge.

The head of state has called for me by name
but I don’t have time for him.
It’s gonna be a glorious day!
I feel my luck could change.

Pull me out of the aircrash,
Pull me out of the lake,
I’m your superhero,
we are standing on the edge.
We are standing on the edge.

Let’s get the bad luck out of the way, before Sunday

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

I am so bummed… Wilco just announced a show here April 29. The same day that I have to be in San Francisco to help put on the Wine Literary Award tasting for work.

Of course it has to be that day.

It’s a crushing blow.

I’ll try to figure something out.

How to Ruin Yourself Completely

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

There is a thread over on the Fodors message board, a guy asking for advice on his week long trip to Rome (first trip to Italy…)

Day one: arrive at FCO, rent car, drive to apartment, check in, look around Rome.

Day two: Drive to fucking Florence! See many things in Florence, go have dinner (7:30), drive BACK to Rome.

Day three: I think there is a Pope thing happening.

Day four: go to Capri, and then to a shrine near Napoli or something.

Day five: Drive BACK to Rome.

Day six, seven. Hang out, see some more of the Pope (maybe.) Return car. Leave.

Am I high, or is this plan just a little psychotic?

Thank god for laziness. MY laziness. Ambition while traveling can be deadly. Not to mention overestimating yourself.

Five days, till my own lazy Blast Off.