Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter with Paolo and Markus

Fast forward to the Saturday evening. We left our house around 5pm for a 10 minute drive to Paolo’s and Markus’. We had already agreed to stay overnight; better safe than sorry, eh? They moved into their new house high up on a hill last summer which overlooks their small village.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the boys and Tina, their sweet Jack Russell, and were taken to our room. It was filled with small details everywhere that just make you feel cozy: chocolates on the pillows, flowers, bathrobes, a bottle of San Pelligrino water and an Easter basket filled with goodies on the commode. What a welcome! We soon changed into our jogging pants and joined our hosts downstairs for a few glasses of Prossecco, chips and a delicious guacamole. Tina however, preferred her snacks (given to her here by OrangeX).

After a bit of chatting and fun, we were told that they had heated up the sauna for us. We slipped into the bathrobes and were escorted by Markus to the sauna for a first round. While we were enjoying the heat, the boys were preparing the next steps. After 20 minutes, we came out in our bathrobes and were taken to the balcony. A refreshing glass of orange juice, prossecco and a few warm snacks were served.

The evening was fresh, but not cold and we took in the pure air and enjoyed the beautiful view on th ruin of a neighbouring village. Unfortunaely, it was pretty foggy up there, but I think you still get a good idea.

We decided to go for a second round of sweating while the boys were fixing the second course. There’s nothing like cooling off in the shower after a sauna. After about 20 minutes on the balcony, we were wrapped in blankets. Mine sort of reminded of mink, so to top it off, I was even given a crown, too.
By then, we felt revitalized and were prepared for the yummy rutabaga carpaccio that Paolo had prepared with a bit of white balsmic vinegar, pepper and fresh parmesan.

Of course, Tina made sure she was getting enough attention.

The table was already set. I loved their idea of using hay as place mats. Luckily, none of us are allergic.

Next on the menu was a satay fondue served with jasmine rice. That’s right, satay. It’s similar to a fondue chinoise, but instead of using only broth to cook your meat and veggies, you add satay sauce (a spicy peanut sauce) to the broth. We had a choice of shrimps, chicken, pork and beef, and a diversity of fresh vegetables. It was by far the best fondue I ever had and can only recommend it (if you like it spicy oriental food!).

After all that food, it was time for a break. We chatted and laughed some more while clearing the table and finishing the wine. One of their cats, Tiggi, joined in to rest in front of the fireplace.

The desert consisted of fresh pinapple, quickly heated in a skillet with butter, some kind of schnapps and spiced with (I think it was) garam masala and served with vanilla ice cream. It was heaven!

We went to bed around 4 am and the church bells (and then Tina) woke us up again at 10am. To our surprise, the weather was beautiful and quite warm, so we decided to have breakfast on the terrasse. We soaked up the sun for another hour or so, before it started covering up again. Here are a few more picts. Markus, Paolo and Tina.

The time spent with Paolo and Markus was just absolutely fabulous. We simply adore them!

We said our goodbyes and left for home shortly before noon where we were greeted by a very annoyed black cat meowing something like: “Where have you been all night??” and “Where’s my food?”.

We gave Dale his late breakfast, let him out for a short run and then he cuddled up to us, purring like if there was no tomorrow. Ahhh. It’s also good to be back home.


Expat Traveler said...

That first pic made my heart sink and made me feel homesick! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. We had mostly all rain all weekend with a few bouts of blue followed by hail, downpours and grey skies... Oh well... April, makes everything green... :-)

CanadianSwiss said...

It really is idillic, isn't it? Sorry I made you feel home sick, though.

Babsbitchin said...

Now, that's living!!

Expat Traveler said...

Don't feel sorry for me... It's not like a turn around and pout and feel all sick inside... I smile and shrug it off and dream. :)

Michael said...

Wow, what an amazing time you folks had.

I hope to god doesn't read this post because I feel like a slacker now!

xmichra said...

wow.. that sounded amazing! The pictures alone were breath taking.. i would love to lounge around with those guys too!!

CanadianSwiss said...

Expat - I know you just miss Switzerland ;-)

Michael - Naaaw. Never!

Xmichra - You'd never want to leave! They're the best.

Anonymous said...

You are so fortunate to have Friends like this,they really spoiled You.Dad

Just another American Expat said...

Looks like you guys had a very enjoyable Easter!

Hey thanks for the comments! That Orange-X actually took the time to itemize was pretty cool. Actually a few people did which led me to think that I should have shortened it somewhat!

Orange…The Browns and the Indians are separate entities. Browns being football, the Indians being baseball…but both are in Cleveland. Does your firm actually use those skyboxes? If not, give me an address and number. LOL

How about PSV Eindoven. I’m partial of course…Beasley plays for them. ;-)

CanadianSwiss said...

Dad - Spoiled? US??? Um, yeah. You're right ;-)

Just another - I'll leave the reply to him, but he had fun replying.

Sal DeTraglia said...

Whoa. Friends who can cook AND have a sauna?!

Sigh! A sauna.


CanadianSwiss said...

Yeah. Friendship, great food/wine and sweat! Nothing like it! The fireplace is pretty nice too, btw. ;-)

Expat Traveler said...

oh....i've got a new coon pic for you!

Haddock said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Good company, delicious food and a sauna. Sounds like perfection! :)

Mrs. TBF said...

Hey CS and OX - Sounds fab! I love those guys...will never forget the haircut TBF gave to Jarl under the watchful eye of Markus!!! And Paolo took good care of us when we lived there.
I have to know where in the world they found rutabaga??? I actually brought one back for TBF last time I was in Chicago because we've never been able to find them here.
Anyway - looks like you had a great time. TBF will be very jealous when he sees they have their own sauna.

CanadianSwiss said...

Expat - I discovered it before I saw your comment ;-)

Haddock - I was perfection!

Mrs. TBF - It's not the "real" rutabaga. The white and smaller version of it. I just knew people would know what I was talking about if I used that, but don't know it in English. BTW - Ever tried Globus? They must have it in season.

Doesn't Mr. TBF still want to get an appointment for his "self offered" X'mas present - the massage. Maybe he can add a few sauna sessions to it.

Mr. Fabulous said...

Man, the whole thing sounds perfect. I need a couple days like that!

Babsbitchin said...

I just love the matching bathrobesw. You two look bigger than life. Hope you really had a good time. Later Lady!!

Kieran said...

Hmmmm...Swiss Chocolate.

Ms Mac said...

What a wonderful weekend. Nothing beats spending time with good friends!

CanadianSwiss said...

Mr. Fab - Come on over!

Babs- I almost took the robes with me, but on second thought, I'd rather go bac for more sauna and fun.

Kieran - Plenty of it!

Ms. Mac - You're so right!

Mrs. TBF said...

CS - Have looked at Globus, but will keep my eyes open. TBF will be making that appointment soon and I'm sure he's going to be inquiring about a sauna too!!!

christina said...

Excellent time! My husband would kill for that sauna. He's been talking about installing one in our (unused) garage for years, but I know he'll never do it.

Rob7534 said...

As always, I love reading about (and seeing pics) of your fabulous entertaining get togethers!

merlinprincesse said...

Nice friends, nice doggie, nice CAT and nice food! A perfect time. You were in Heaven???? :)

Orange-X said...

HI Rob, nice to see you pop up again. Sorry, I haven't been a very faithful blogger lately. The business is draining me at present. But as you see, it won't keep me from having great entertainment :-)

Merlin Princess - All was great that day and evening. The boys, the dog, the cat, the fod. I couldn't put a sequence in terms of rating the four. We simply enjoye like we always do when we get together.

Ginnie said...

I get such a kick out of your galavanting around with friends here, there and everywhere! Something very high brow about it all :) The food, the wine, the setting, the views, the long evenings and awaking in the mornings to continued friendshipping. You both take the cake for doing it up right :)

I loved clicking and enlarging every photo to get the full effect. Well done!

Patrick said...

Nicely done CS :) You and OrangeX are blessed with very good friends. I have a long way to go to bring my cooking up to that level but it's nice to hear about great ideas like that. Keep 'em coming!

I especially liked the hay for placemats, great idea!

CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie - High brows?? ;-) If that means that we enjoy a good party and friends, you're absolutely RIGHT!

Patrick - Welcome (finally ;-)). Paolo comes from a hotel/restauration family, so I guess he was born with the gene ;-)

All- We'll be at a few more parties in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more culinary adventures!

Kim/Thomas said...

That table looked sooo incredible!!

I want friends like that, sign me up, I've visited friends, and no chocolate on my bed, but drool on the pillow ;) haha

looks like you had a fantabulous time!

CanadianSwiss said...

kim/thomas - Thanks for dropping by. I've seen you around on other blogs. Hope you'll be back!