The last couple of days have been a bit of a whirlwind! Up first was spaghetti dinner at St. Leo's church in Little Italy, filled with quite a few of Baltimore's Italian septa and octogenarians. They were incredibly civil and at the same time uncivil to those that they felt deserved it. I heard the Nonna say "get that cocksucker out of here" under her breath and in the next moment she was squeezing and kissing Tom like he was her little baby. Good to the good and bad to the bad with spot on calls.
It was at least an hour and a half wait with thousands of people showing up to what was just a small Catholic community church. Football scores were announced, Ravens winning 5 minutes to go! molto buono! along with ticket numbers and also various innocent gambling devices like wheel of fortune and 50/50. Once your number was called you were ushered into a basement like room with mural painted walls of Tuscany and large round family table settings where everybody got to know everybody else, all again with complete politeness. Nods and winks got the cheese passed, no verbal communication necessary. The plates of spaghetti and ravioli were mounded as high as Vesuvius and erupting with meatballs. Most at our table could not finish, we don't know if that was because they were polite or just light eaters. Nonna did not like this, mangia mangia! We had no problem finishing our plates, which inspired Nonna's love. Good eater= survivor! The atmosphere within the dinning hall was completely foreign and averse compared to the conditions existing just two blocks away at the Whole Foods where it was push shove and get the F outta my way! Ahh old world civility, can I please have another helping!
Complete with Renaissance art (we didn't dare get close enough to see if it was panel or cardboard) I wondered if she was threatening us with a waist measurement!
The rest of the weekend included boarding a Norwegian sailing vessel under full salute from its crew and Captain, Irish clog dancing, primitive jingle-belled mock warfare performed with sticks, straw wigs and black masks, German tires made in Brazil mounted on our German car, Smart car test drives and multi-mile walks around Baltimore's downtown and harbor areas, which was surprisingly quite pleasant!