We had a wonderful visit from one of the BATB*, Laura Klesper, and her husband Gary. Laura just retired and they are celebrating with a long vacation in Italy and France. They visited Ascoli on the heels of a one-week cooking school in the countryside east of Rome, prefaced by time touring Rome, Sorrento, Capri and Pompeii. We sent Carlo, a local taxi driver, to pick them up at the cooking school to maximize their time in Ascoli. The Klespers arrived bearing delicious gifts of wine, cheese and salumi from farms they had visited the week before. Their time here was too short, only a day and a half, but we were glad to see them and appreciated their extra effort to get to Ascoli.
It was fun to show someone from home our new town and confirm that we are not looking at Ascoli through rose-colored glasses. We heard them say things like, “wow, there is a photo op around every corner,” and “this is like the place you always hope to find when you travel, but rarely do.” We had great meals at Il Desco and Country House San Giorgio, now rated #1 and #2 respectively on Trip Advisor. However, Gary said if it were up to him he’d switch the ratings as he thought Country House was better. They left Ascoli by bus to Fiumicino airport outside Rome. From there they flew to France where they are now spending a relaxing couple of months enjoying the country Laura loves. So, who’s next?
(Sorry about the photo but an hour of messing with it has gotten me nowhere but older. You can see the important folks!)
*BATB – acronym for Babes at the Beach. This is a group of about 17 incredible women from SAIC that I am so proud to be a part of. We have been getting together for a pot-luck every three months or so for about 24 years – yikes! When we started, we worked in La Jolla and originally met at La Jolla Cove or on the beach near Scripps. All the BATB have now either retired or left SAIC, but our bond just gets stronger every year.