Sunday, February 3, 2013

Matera: This town rocks!

We were at the vet with our cat, who had been sedated and shaved, when we ran into our friend, Nathan.  He mentioned that he and his wife, Kim, were planning to go out of town this weekend and where should we go?  Regardless of the particulars, we decided to go somewhere on Wednesday and left on Saturday morning.  It's really a sweet life!

Matera is this very old town in, I suppose you could say, the in-step of the boot.  This little town has all of these "sassi" or cave houses in which people have lived for 9,000 years!  Holy cats!  But apparently in the 1950's, Italian law required everyone to move out, instituted piped utilities instead of cistern systems and the place is now re-populated with adorable B&B's, shops, and trattorias, though I do believe that some original residents have moved back in to their refurbished homes.  The Sassi house museum that we went into which was re-filled with period furniture, had a statue of a horse inside.  I mean, people lived in caves with no indoor plumbing with livestock.  So before you go telling me about gentrification, there is some element, of you know, standards of living and safety involved.

We started our trip to Matera with a much longer car ride than it should have been.  I got car sick, we couldn't find a gas station, we needed snacks.  Meandering through Italian countryside, I remembered a discussion which Tom and I had previously had - about that time that I was ABSOLUTELY sure that I saw cows and sheep in the same field and proclaimed it to be a "thing" in Italy to co-field your livestock.  "Tom, they are living a boundary-less life, like God intended."  Well, since that time, which Tom doesn't believe actually happened, I've been searching the road side on all Italian adventures for another sighting.  And, alas, have yet to see it replicated.  During our lengthy car ride, I scoured.  And Team Jacobsen joined me, not Tom, in the efforts.  Whenever we saw a field of livestock, we all started shouting and Kim whipped out her binoculars (which can we just note that only AMAZING people travel with binoculars.  Talk about being prepared!  Bincos???  Seriously.  Team Jacobsen brings the mother load on trips!) and we'd check.  Nearly 9 hours of car time yielded no second sheep-cow-harmonious co-fielding sightings BUT we did see sheep and horses in the same field and I think that's progress.  I have another year and a half to prove my point.  Which is that I'm never wrong.  Ever.

And what trip with me wouldn't be complete without at least one awkward bathing experience.  Our swanky room in our 4 star hotel was super modern and filled with incredible up-lighting (Christopher Lowell of HGTV fame would have been SO proud!).  And then there was the bathing.  There was a HUGE bath tub at the foot of the bed.  After taking a picture of us (fully clothed - fear not!), sipping wine in the ol' tub, I got serious the next morning in my bathing pursuits.  I filled the tub, and filled the tub, and filled the tub and the darn thing just wouldn't fill that fast!  So I decided to just wash my hair with the little hand wand.  Those hand wands and I just don't ever play nicely together.  I set it down for just.  one.  second.  And the whole room was soaked.  It's like a fire hose when left unchecked!  Water = everywhere!  Confounded European bathing.  #fail.

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