Visitors from distant shores

We are starting to plan for the arrival of summer visitors. Today we bought a small freezer which now holds pride of place in the kitchen (and the dining room and part of the lounge) so we can do ice cubes, gelato and actually store meat for more than a day or two. And get beer really cold in a hurry.

The barbecue is being specified at present. We are thinking charcoal as that seems to be the accepted norm. Around here gas seems to be for gattino – look it up. Also a slew of other home comforts are being put in place because it’s the beginning of the visitor season.

In the next month and a half we have visitors galore.

Villa Crognole outside Radda in Chanti.

First up we catch up with Jean’s friend Kate Maclean who worked with Jean at Clemenger. Kate and her partner are working in the UK. Kate’s family are coming over from New Zealand for a holiday which involves a week in a villa in Chianti. It has been arranged through our villa wizard Olga and is the same one we stayed at in 2006. A fantastic place. We are popping up for drinks and dinner in mid June.

Next up is a flying weekend visit by Gill from the UK. We are thinking pool life combined with excellent meals in Siena. And the odd bottle of New Zealand Chardonnay mixed in.

At the start of July the Mowday family packs the car and leaves Tuscany heading for Positano where we have rented an apartment off the lovely family who own and run Eden Roc Hotel. The really good news is we get full hotel privileges (pool, bar tab, meals on the terrace, Tony’s cappuccino for breakfast, etc) but stay off site so the dogs don’t disturb the hotel’s peace and quiet. We are there for two weeks and Jean’s sister Charmaine, brother-in-law Mike and their baby James arrive towards the end of the stay.

Jean, Josh, Andre, Gill and Jordan around the pool in 2010 while the dolphin watches on.

Back to Toscana with Charmaine, Mike and Jimmy for a week and then Gill, Josh and Jordan arrive from London with Andre following after his pilgrimage to the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. We are still looking for large, slightly disturbing, inflatable animals to go in the pool prior to their arrival.

We are also expecting a mate from work, Danny Malone, to put in an appearance at the end of July on his 2011 European trip to round things out. An excellent month at our place.

We then head south to Rome for a weekend at the end of July with Charmaine, Mike and James before aiming the Peugeot at Nice for a car swap in early August – and a week at the delightful Hotel Welcome in Villefranche sur mer. See an earlier post for rave reviews.

After that we are ready to welcome other kiwi visitors – you know who you are – through August and September as the summer crawls to an end and our thoughts turn to autumn.

Excitingly it looks like our old friend Isabel and Charlie will be visiting in late September/early October as well. I think I can call Isabel an “old” friend as we both have had very significant birthdays this year.

Let the fun commence.