Bienvenue, benvenuto, kia ora Hubert & Marie

Before we move on to today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent grappa tasting at Market Marilena yesterday evening.

We have been regular customers of Market Marilena since we arrived in Arabba in December.  They have been very friendly to us and nothing is a problem. They even found some old sleeping mats which we’ve been using for yoga.  The young fellow, Bob who works there has been to Australia and speaks very good English and Marilena, who owns the store, well…she gives it her best shot!

And give us her best shot she certainly did last evening.  We have been wary of grappa to say the least.   The stuff is actually rocket fuel disguised as an “aperitif”  But tonight, Marilena introduced us to the beginner level.  Only 28% proof, this is “grappa for children” she explained.   Perfect…just the place for us to start!   But we also knew Marilena was joking as Miriam from Bar Peter had previously explained to us that they only give children watered down wine and prosecco – not grappa.    Good to know?    But in sampling  Marilena’s many & varied thimbles of grappa, we’ve been seduced by the hazelnut flavoured locally made product.   There’s no way that we’d have bought a bottle for ourselves but we have some guests utilising our couch over the next few weeks so we should be able to do the bottle justice.  I mean to say..it’s always important to have a digestive after a heavy evening meal.

marilena-grappa-tasting1

marilena-grappa-tasting2

And so this morning, we had a few jobs to do before heading to Venezia’s Marco Polo Aeroport to pick up Hubert & Marie.   Most importantly we had to pick up some telemark skis for Hubert.   Unfortunately, the only place within reasonable driving distance to hire a pair of telemark skis is the infamous Renato’s in La Villa where we bought our boots.  Needless to say we were a little nervous about how all this would go as his service on Graeme’s boot fitting was a little below par to say the least.  But this morning.  All smiles.  Renato greeted us like long lost old friends!   Go figure?   We wanted to hire at least 180cm skis for H, but he only had 174cm in the rental stock.  “No problemo”, he says and walks to the new ski rack and plucks a brand new pair of 185cm Trab skis from the rack and says he’ll have them mounted with telemark bindings by this evening.   We were shaking our heads at this one.   We hurriedly pulled out google translate in both german and english to make sure he was not trying to sell us a new pair of skis as we only wanted a 2 day rental.    Yes.  He was happy just to rent.    “Grazie mille, Renato!  Bravo!”   Hubert will be very pleased.

Then onto Venezia…well only to the airport.  No problems getting there, just a lot of twisting mountain road, followed by an autostrada. And much excitement when we picked up H&M from the arrivals.   We turned on the “blah, blah machine” as H likes to refer to it and chatted all the way back to Arabba.    Except for one stop.  Poor Marie suffers from car sickness so we stopped to put her in the front seat about half way up the mountain.  We knew the car-sickness was reaching a peak level when Marie’s conversation began to lag and her colour started to become a distinctive shade of green.  Fortunately, we arrived in Arabba just in time.  We stayed in town and organised M’s ski gear here, while the boys travelled on over the hill to pick up H’s new rental skis.

We were greeted like old friends that evening at Bar Peter as we introduced H to their fabulous “honey & walnut” beef fillet.  M too, was in heaven.  She loves potato gnocchi and informed us that she intended to eat her body weight while here….she’s only small!

First night together!
First night together!

And of course we had to end our evening with a little thimble of our newly acquired hazelnut grappa before hitting the hay for a VERY BIG day tomorrow.

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