May 9, 2009

The sea in winter

The gorgeous day beckoned us to the beach. We left after a lazy morning of cartoons and late pyjamas, caffellatte and toast.

The gingerly 30-km drive handed us over to the shore in time for a seafood lunch and a stroll on the water's edge. The crisp, windy air in Maccarese was incredibly clear and we could see the coastline vividly for miles and miles. Funny how a clean atmospheric conditions shorten visual distances. 

Everything looked closer.

The lifeguard flags flapped fiery red atop makeshift poles and couples laid half dressed on canvas sunbeds, soaking up the early summer sun. We sat on a canopied deck overlooking the beach, at a corner table. We shared the terrace with few other patrons: a Roman family with dog, a young dad on weekend shift with his joint custody kid, 4 young girls giggling into their mobile phones and the 2 sashaying daughters of the cook who waited tables gracefully.

E. and I shared a seafood antipasto of escabeche anchovies marinated in vinegar and lemon; sauteed wedge clam bruschetta; octopus salad; deep fried moscardini and stewed mussels (E. omitted the shellfish). I felt like beer today, so I ordered a chilled Menabrea beer.

We didn't have to wait long for the divine orata gilt-head sea bream baked along with crispy potatoes and halved cherry tomatoes. We devoured our two definitely large portions so avidly and quickly, that I forgot to take a picture to post here.

E. played in the shade while I closed my eyes on a lounge chair, relaxing. I could feel the past week's tensions seeping out of my body as the beer played its usual narcotic effect on me. I tried to stay awake and keep close watch on E. as he quietly shoveled sand, drew maps and built dams at my feet. I kept nodding off but I was scared of falling asleep, so I drank a piping hot double espresso and spotted the man selling kites.

We flew a little orange borrowed one for 30 minutes, and then headed back to the car as the sun began to bid its farewells among a colony of pink, orange and yellow clouds.

This was a good day. I needed it.


  1. Menabrea, gorgeous beer, I love it. Sto parlando troppo di alcol, brutto segno. Mi fa piacere che tu abbia passato un buon giorno. I see you enjoy life and nature e ti muovi di qua e di là. Sono anche i figli piccoli che spingono a farlo, per la loro salute. Siccome le mie due sono ormai grandi finisce che mi muovo di meno, e faccio, come dici, il fraticello. Però oggi sono andato in bici per tutta Roma. Meglio di niente. Devono concludersi delle cose e poi sarò più mobile. Devo resistere un mese e mezzo. Un abbraccio. Invidio la tua notevole padronanza linguistica.


  2. Sounds perfect.....
    Glad you enjoyed it and came back rested.

  3. Hi Lola, that's better, I understand it now. But odds are the same - don't cheat!
    Hey! What a fantastic Blog! Glad you dropped by to see me. I recognised the Zombie Chicken Award presented by Chad to you. I was part of the 1/5 original award sharing it with Chad and four others. We are all mad you know! But nice with it! See you have lots of trophies nailed to your side panel. If you like funny stuff I've done quite a lot and a few serious things as well.
    Nice to make your aquaintance. I have signed up as your follower just now. Ciao! Eddie

  4. It does indeed sound like a perfect day. And I'm so impressed that E has such a sophisticated palate. My 7 yr. old great-niece will only eat hot dogs, french fries, bacon and mac n' cheese.

    Glad you were able to get away for the day and de-stress. The sun finally came out here and I felt very accomplished by completing all the household/garden duties that have been piling up.

    The beach sounds much, much better! Especially the way you tell it.

  5. Lola,
    Yes, the beach will connect us, and the sky above too. Should you come to the west coast, do tell me and will get together for sure. Glad to know that E enjoys lots of different foods. How old is he?

    Happy Mother's Day, cara bella.

  6. sounds like you had a pretty amazing day...hope you have a great mothers day!

  7. Oh, I wish I was there too!Sounds wonderful!xx♥

  8. What a lovely shot of the beach...I miss the sand and smell of the sea...I better get down there soon (No excuse, I live on an island!) The expresso sounds satisifying too. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day...

  9. Wonderful headline, great post ....

  10. hmmm...your day on the beach sounds alot different than my day on the beach. I like yours better i think,yummy food, cold beer, kite flying...I am usually sweating while running on the sand, only tortured by the cooking smells coming from the campgrounds! I think i need a beach day in Italy.

    So glad that the two of you darlings enjoyed.
    love, Lori

  11. Lola I swear that you could make crap sound good.

    I drool every time I come here.

    Yeaahh I am happy you are home.

    Happy Mother's Day dear friend. Hurry and finish your job so that you can come back and play with us.

    Love Renee xoxo

  12. Lola: I felt teary envisioning you and your little guy on the beach together, knowing that as a single mom you probably would have loved to fall asleep and just rest. I'm so glad for you and for him that you love him so dearly. I am not a single mom but played one for two years when my spouse was overseas. My daughter was also very young, and some of my best memories ever are from those years when she and I were kind of all we had. It's a dear time. I kind of live it again reading your accounts of times with E.

    Your meal made me hungry as usual.

    Also Lola, if you have time I hope you'll go back over to my blog and check my comments to your recent ones. This writing issue is an important one. I've appreciated your thoughts so much, and added some to yours.

    Ciao, artist! xo

  13. Scenes from a movie, dear. What a day! Beauty indeed.

  14. You couldn't have chosen a better title! The saline solution is indeed able to wash away the daily dust!

  15. Giorgio - Grazie, my friend. E io invidio invece il tuo quartiere. Cerco casa in affitto, se senti voci... Fra un mese e mezzo, cena!
    Mandy - It really gave me a chance to replete.
    Eddie - Thank you for becoming a regular here at my little kitchen. As I always do with my new guests, I pour a glass of wine, ask you to help with chopping the veggies while I simmer the sauce. At this point the conversation begins.
    Patrizia - I trained E. to eat healthy, his own taste guides him towards anything that lives in the sea. Congratulations on the good (house)work.
    Rosaria - In June I will be traveling to America. I'll be coming up the coast, most of my family's in norhtern CA and my agent lives in Marin County. We could meet in Big Sur for Ambrosia Burgers...
    Brian - I did, thank you!! Ciao
    Natsy - Come on over, bring the gang! I'll do the cooking, you relax on the beach.
    Cynthia - Thank you for stopping by. Do come again soon!
    David - (blushing copiously) Thank you, sir.
    Lori - Beach day in Italy? I'll say it again: swing by here after Mama Africa! Casa mia, è casa tua!
    Renee - I'm back, yes. Working but freer to blog. And laugh at your hilarious one-liners. Ciao lover
    Sallymandy - I loved how you put that: you and your daughter were kind of all you had. It's exactly like that for me/us.
    Erin - It was a perfect day, Lou Reed-style.
    Valeria - Contact lens wearer too, I gather?

  16. I thought you lived in Trastevere. It is not bad at all. Ok, in a month and a half. Cerco di non deluderti. Se mi gira pure prima. Ho la tua email. Terrò le orecchie aperte per la casa. Di fronte all'ospedale Celio hanno fatto un giardino che è l'ideale per i bambini. Would be nice to be rione neighbours. Ciao (I wish I could go back to Calif too)

  17. Sounds wonderful, really wonderful!

  18. Giorgio - Ahimé non a Trastevere bensì Roma nord. Hai presente tutti quei terribili ventenni con le micro-car e i portafogli pieni zeppi di spocchia? Ecco. Il parchetto del Celio è uno dei nostri preferiti. Monti o Celio mie mète agognate... Fatte senti'

    Saretta - Thank you, sweety

  19. Great post and great to meet you. Congratulations on POTD.
    See you at the race ~ Eddie

  20. That sparkling water and wet beach sand took me back to childhood in Florida...congratulations on Post of the Day!

  21. Ideal day, ideal beer, ideal photo.

  22. I'm packing my bags and heading for the beach. Your eloquent descriptions grabbed me immediately as did your awesome photos.

    Congrats on POTD award today!


  23. You are a wonderful storyteller! I think every one of us will be heading to the beach now!

  24. beautiful pictures...
    congrats on being the post of the day !!!

  25. Hi, I'm over from authorblog. Congratulations on the Post of the Day Award!

  26. Thank you for the Post of The Day kudos, I greatly appreciate David for making us share our writing like this. He's a true benefactor of the 21st century!

    Eddie - Thank you, see you at the start line...

    Sandi - How can anyone live far from the sea, I wonder...

    Vicki - T'was indeed. So relaxing.

    Wolynski - It felt good to be there. And thank you for your ideal comment!

    Jane - Mission accomplished! I love to spark enthusiasms and trigger desires through words. Grazie

    Jewels - Oh, that would be wonderful!

    Ms. Neha & Cheffie Mom - Thank you very much! It's very exciting.