This was the first time I met Elisa. She is the daughter of another cousin of my grandpa's. I have met and spent time with her mom -Maria- and her aunt -Italia- both other times I've visited Abruzzo with my parents and brothers. (Maria and Italia are also cousins of Mario... Gina's late husband.)
About a week or so before going to Abruzzo, I called Italia to let her know that I was coming. I was extremely pleased when I put the phone down... as I understood the entire conversation AND she seemed to understand me! (Especially with a full summer without speaking any Italian.)
A day or so later, I received a phone call from Elisa - Maria's daughter... Maria, being Italia's sister. Italia had called them to let them know that I was coming and Elisa called me, on her mother's behalf, to invite Angela and I over for lunch one day! Very sweet!
So... before lunch, Elisa took Angela and I to the beach in her area - Villa Rosa (next to Alba Adriatica). It was a great morning - a lovely walk on the beach... and I really appreciated how good Elisa was at speaking slowly and clearly for me... as well as re-wording some sentences when she could tell that I did not understand.
At the beach with Elisa...
With Maria - at her house for lunch!
Elisa's husband, son, me, Elisa, Maria, Elisa's daughter, Kimberly (Italia's granddaughter), and Italia: