At first glance I thought we'd made a terrible mistake. Approaching the hotel, the doors and windows of the lobby area were thrown wide open and I had a moment of panic. The website said "air conditioned". I couldn't have mistranslated "aria condizionata". No way. There is supposed to be cold air blowing within the walls of this establishment! Had they lied? Was it not functioning? I feared we'd be searching for a different place to stay.
It may seem trivial, but we wanted relief and had booked this place specifically because it had the ol' a/c. Fortunately, the friendly manager escorted us to the room and explained how the simple control panel operated, turning it on and allowing the chilled air to flow forth. Aaaah. Yessss. Blessed relief if only for one night.
Assisi is beautiful always, so when our former neighbor in Corrales contacted us that she'd be touring Italy with her sister and the closest stop to us was Assisi, we quickly agreed to meet up with them. We hadn't made any getaways recently, so it was a nice little break. And, did I mention the a/c? Yes, I guess I did.Irene and Helen arrived in the late afternoon, bus-weary but ready for a dinner out on the town. After introducing us to their group leader, a personable chap named Andrea, and freshening up, we drove the short distance from their hotel into the centro storico of the pink-stoned splendor that is Assisi. The restaurant was packed but the meal was very good, and we chatted nonstop about their trip thus far, what's been happening in Corrales and Albuquerque, our adventures of the past year, and generalities about life in Italy. A few hours of fun-filled dining with our neighbor. It was great!
Then the second heat wave hit...two sack-loads! Treasures in little containers...the yellow label bearing the New Mexico Zia symbol, with the precious words HOT green chile. This is the kind of heat we can stand! Sweet Irene...she toted twenty (count 'em, twenty!) cans of green chile across the ocean in her luggage, hauling it along on the trip to deliver into our very grateful hands. We did wait until we got home to Ascoli to crack one open, though the tempation was great to ask the pizzaiolo to top our pizza al taglio with the stuff at lunch the next day.
In one day we got to have air-conditioned bliss and a welcome dose of heat for our mouths. Thanks, Irene!