No Room at the Inn (Part III)

NRI3Far across the universe — in this still moment in time. Hours stood still. On the third night of our stay, in our stay in the Inn, in Cuneo, because there was no room for us in Paris. We were hungry after a day of grandma visits, driving in the snow and dance party ice skating. The stars are out and it is time for dinner again. And in fact, it is my birthday. I took a short moment of personal time. I went into our room to change into dinner clothes and took a short moment of silence for myself to regroup.

I went outside and crossed the few feet from the Inn, past the barn, to the restaurant. There were more people there than what we started off with. There was a long table covered in cloth with two rows of plates on either side. A party was waiting for us. Not because it was my birthday but because it was the day after Christmas. The room just looked so beautiful and there my Poinsettia was standing to the side of the  welcoming counter. And so, there was a group of people. a good group, about ten or twelve. Before we sat down we had a ‘Cocktail hour” if you will. We had some wine and mingled with the other guests. Batti, the owner of the Inn, bed and breakfast and barn asked “How is your cold?” In Italian, remember the cold I had the day before? Daniel translated to me what he said and I smiled and said ah much better after the medicine, thank you. Batti smiled and held a plate of food in front of me. He said have some, it will make your cold better, in Italian. Daniel translated that to me again. The food looked like cheese. I was like okay, (I don’t know how cheese will make my cold feel better) but I listened and took a slice. And it did help me feel better. But they smiled and chuckled, something was said in Italian. I smiled and nodded as if I knew what they were saying, and then I said ‘What?’ What was it you ask? It was lard!! so gross. I wouldn’t have eaten it had I known. But I ate it, and it actually did kind of taste good. They eat that, like a normal thing to eat in Italy. So ha ha ha we all laughed that I ate lard.

We found our seats near the end of the table and dinner is served. Like I said, there is a good crowd. The seat was filled to the left of me, Ethan and Daniel sat across from me, a girl from Malta was to the right of me, and her boyfriend, and then there was another girl, with this crazy awesome accent. She was like trained in French, Italian, British and a few other languages and her accent reflected all. She had her own unique accent. Her father was the city mayor who in fact ate with us too. And that girls boyfriend was there and the mayors wife was there and a few bunch of other people. And we had wine and dinner and regalled each other with tales, to me it felt pretty cool that I got to have the day after Christmas dinner with the mayor and his family.

Then, THEN, the lights were turned off, a cake with candles was brought out and everyone began to sing ‘Boun Compleanno’ and the cake was placed in front of me! And the town mayor was singing, to me! and I was so touched. “How old are you?” Ethan asked me in English. Venti Sei, I said.


A rendering of the Italian restaurant. Color sketches to be added in the future.

On December 27th it was our last day in Cuneo, and a beautiful day. Hours before this day there was  snow fall. Layers and layers of snow. On this day the sun was shining bright against the white snow. The day air was bright. It was fresh and cool, kind of like the environment you feel when you are skiing. The sky is blue and the ground is white and the air is fresh and you hear a crunch crunch crunch everywhere you step.

Hop in the truck! We are going hiking! Andiamo! Lets go! And we’re off. First stop, off to the nearby family to pick up some hiking clothes. My boots were not made for hiking. I borrowed guys boots that were a little to big, but they worked and someone else’s bright red winter coat. Next stop, the mountain.

Away we go, Daniel, Ethan our friend from Malta, her boyfriend and the mayors daughter and her boyfriend, and the dog came with us. And march! To the top of the mountain we went. Everything along the way was white, the ground, the trees, the branches, the signs, the benches, the rocks, the river. If it wasn’t white, it was an icicle. Please view the pictures below for a better idea. Ethan leading the way! Over the river and through snow, our midpoint stop, I’m not going to say the top of the mountain, but it was pretty up hill. At this up hill rest stop was a cabin in the woods. We walked in, sat down, and then we had polenta and Vin Brûlée and rested. And then the Journey was over and we walked back to our car.

And so this was our last day of our stay in the Inn. Time would not allow us to stay any longer for we had to go back home to regroup of our next journey.

As you can see below are some pictures of this day. You can see how truly pure the afternoon truly is.

When I got home after my Italian Journey I told my mother about the story. And she told me “That sounds like the story of ‘No Room at the Inn!'”




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