Next stop was to O and Co Olive Oil shop. They had gotten some fresh Tuscan bread from the bakery across the street and we did some tasting of their various oils and vinegars. We got quite an education regarding Olive Oil. Did you know that if you buy olive oil in a transparent container, it is basically worthless. When light is allowed to permeate the olive oil, it causes it to lose it's potency. So when you store your olive oil at home, you need to do so in a dark cabinet.
Next we went to Pesce Pasta where we enjoyed a nice meatball with marinara sauce. It was so good, Ashley and I returned on Monday for a full meal. Next stop was Rafele Ristorante where we had a classic Eggplant Rollatini with a glass of wine. I don't normally order eggplant but this was delicious! We were not done yet! Next stop was Milk and Cookies Bakery for a warm Chocolate Chip Cookie. It was good, but nothing extra special in my opinion. Next we went to Murray's Cheese Shop for a sampling of cheeses. Our final stop was Rocco's Pasticceria for a mouth-watering Cannoli! I got to eat mine and most of Ashley's - it was really good and sweet! Needless to say, we weren't hungry at the end of the tour and even skipped dinner later.
After our tour was over, we went to a small bar in the Village and joined our tour guide, Robin, and a friend of hers for a glass of wine before heading back to our hotel for a quick nap!
Saturday morning we found the USO office and got some free tickets to an Off-Broadway Play that night as well as discounted tickets to a musical for Monday night. The play was Livin' La Vida Imelda. We figured if we didn't like it, we could leave since the tickets were free. But, as it turned out, it was quite entertaining. It was a one man show written and performed by Carlos Celdran. The show explored the cultural sensation that has surrounded the life of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines. I knew nothing about Imelda except that she loved shoes and had thousands of them. But I learned about the Manila Cultural Center that she had built .... without a parking lot!! Apparently, if you planned to attend a performance there, you'd better have a limo and a driver! Also he told us about her plan, unknown to the British Royal Family, to have her daughter marry Prince Charles. Oh there's more - Mrs. Marcos order a Folk Arts Theater built in 77 days for the 1974 Miss Universe pageant so she could put her country on the world stage. A typhoon struck at the last minute and the story goes that she ordered the grass to be painted green and pieces of white tissue paper put into the trees to give the appearance of blossoming flowers! The craziest thing I learned was about the Manila Film Center that Mrs. Marcos ordered built in just a few months. It was a colossal structure modeled on the Parthenon built for the 1982 Manila International Film Festival. But, in November 1981, a section of scaffolding collapsed killing many workers who were impaled on steel bars or dropped into quick drying cement. There was no time to excavate the bodies, the story continues, so the limbs protruding from the concrete were sawed off and the workers entombed!! Isn't that gruesome??!! I think she was one crazy lady!