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Well this past weekend was fun!  We got to visit with Patrick’s parents and we always have a great time.  Every year Patrick’s family plays in a Bocce Ball tournament.  I have been the last two years.  It’s always a lot of fun.  The money from the tickets to enter the tournament all goes toward food and drinks for the event.  Some of the more competitive teams try to be as “Italian” as possible and it always ends up being a really funny sight.  Italian is is quotes because they dress up real cheesy, almost like a parody.  One tent of people had a picnic table with a nice linen tablecloth topped with wine decanters covered in twine, long burning candles, and a ginormous beverage dispenser (with spigot) full of Sangria.  The soundtrack from the Godfather and other mobster movies was blasting from someone’s car off in the background.  It was fabulous.

This Etsy jewel was exactly what the "Italians" had on their picnic table

This Etsy jewel was exactly what the “Italians” had on their picnic table, sans seashells

I had never played Bocce Ball before last year but it’s a pretty simple concept.  There is a court which is a long narrow lane flanked on all sides with a board about 4 – 6 inches high which keeps the Bocce balls from rolling out.  The court is divided in half by a marker (in our case it was a mini Italian flag).  The ends of the court are also marked with flags and these “end caps” are the throwing zones.  It’s where you stand when you throw the Bocce balls.

A team consists of four players, two stand on each end of the court.  There are two sets of colored Bocce balls (in our case they were red and green) and a marker ball (ours was white).  The marker ball is small, about palm size.  The Bocce balls are larger (like candle pin bowling size) and heavier.  Whichever team goes first, based on a coin flip, they throw out the marker ball and it has to pass half court.  Then each team either throws or rolls out their Bocce balls to see who can get them closest to the marker ball.  The team who has the closest Bocce balls uninterrupted by the other team’s balls gets a point a ball.  I’m almost positive this is how it works (said your mom).  Sorry I had to…

Somewhere between that and whoever wins, there is a lot of alcohol consumption, good laughs, and smack talking.  Since it was pouring rain half the day and the courts were pitting with puddles of rain and mud, all bets where off as to who would win.  It was no longer a science but sheer luck.  Luck was on our side for the three games that we won!

Bocce Champs!!

Bocce Champs!!

I may be exaggerating a bit when I say “Bocce champs” but it’s okay.  Winning is neither here nor there…the point is we had fun.  Also, the sun did decide to come out for a bit, baking the clay fields on which we played Bocce, and my face, but that is neither here nor there….the point is I got a sweet sunburn.

Whoops, I’m losing focus.

Our time spent down south was short but fun.  I love Patrick’s family.  They are (and will soon legally be) my family.  They are just as crazy as my family so I fit right in.  I look forward to seeing a lot more of them in the coming months 🙂

Happy Monday everyone!