"The Italians are coming!"

Paul Revere never knew such excitement...

When we found out that Eleonora and Marco Calamai would be coming all the way from Florence, Italy for dinner in Tustin, California during their Grand American West Travel Adventure, we nearly alerted the whole neighborhood.

My mother, Darci, met Eleonora about 15 years ago when she went to Florence for a month and enlisted in a cooking class that advertised teaching you how to shop at local markets and how to cook local food. Darci signed up and was told to meet "The woman with the duck purse" at Sant'Ambrogio market. Lo-and-behold, their friendship has endured this long. Every six months or so, some ambassador from our family goes out to Villa Monteoriolo to visit our Italian family. When we are lucky, we all go. 

Five years ago, their daughter Livia and then-boyfriend-now-husband Giacomo came to visit us in California. Three and a half years ago, everyone went for their daughter Livia's wedding. Three years I moved Florence for a year and spent nearly every weekend up at the villa cooking with Eleonora and lounging on the couch. Two months ago we hosted their son Tommaso in our home in Southern California. It goes on...and...on...and..on.......

Here are a few photos from their visit to California last week.