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Wednesday, 10.13.04: My inner Italian

I started out the day planning to go to Argentina. We have lots of frequent flyer miles, not because we travel so much but because our USAirways credit cards accrue miles for every dollar spent. Now I'm afraid USAirways will go belly up and we'll get stuck with our beautiful miles.

The USAirways web site is wonderful for straightforward transactions but mysterious about things like cashing in Reward Miles on their partner airlines. Yesterday I poked and dug till I finally found the pop-up that said I couldn't get to a Buenos Aires reservation online but would have to call them directly.

That was enough to send me off the the bookstore this morning. I was hot to go to Buenos Aires, but not sure what we'd do there or if we'd do any side trips. I sat there and read. Then I bought the books.

I went back to the web site and it took me another twenty minutes to find the number to call. When I tapped through the annoying phone tree and told the reservations clerk that I wanted to go to Buenos Aires in November, she said, "This year??!!" She tried to find us an opening, but no go.

Back to square 1. We need to go somewhere. The USAirways "suggested destinations" page included some hurricane-ravaged islands, plus London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid... I was considering Madrid (which I visited in 1968), when Jim walked in and said, "If you've never been to Italy..." Italy wasn't on their "suggested" list, but when I checked it out there were dates available.

I pounced. November 21 - December 6. YES!

Suddenly, I was thrilled. Italy! We're going!

Ever since I had my first taste of pizza at Herman's Tavern in St. Louis (was I 5?) ... ever since my grandfather nicknamed me Flub-A-Dub because my favorite meal was meatballs and spaghetti... there has been a little Italian in me trying to get out. When I think about it, it's really nothing more than my palate -- is there a more heavenly combination of tastes than tomato, garlic, basil, olive oil, pasta or bread and mozzarella? I think not. I am already thinking maybe I should get serious about dieting so that I can plan my trip, not museum to museum, but restaurant to restaurant.



Flub-A-Dub was a puppet member of the 1950s Howdy Doody cast.

In my tribute to Ewald, how could I have forgotten that his nickname for me was Flub-A-Dub, shortened to Flub when I was older -- a silly nickname I never, ever took offense at because I knew the origin.


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