19 March 2008

march european vacation part 2: salve!

12 March. Arrival in Milan was your typical Richard-Anne stress event with the rental car: he drives because it’s stick shift, I have to read the map. I suck at map reading, he gets mad, I get tense. Somehow, about an hour later, we’re in Bellagio. And it’s beautiful.

Parking is a problem. We steal a sweet spot in a pay lot, but it’s down by the lake. Our rented apartment: up about 40 cobbled steps. Muscle boy carries the big yellow suitcase while I gasp for air behind him.

Of course, no one is at the apartments to let us in. And our cell phone doesn’t get good reception until muscle boy goes back downhill. After telling the landlord 5 times that we’re at the apartment, he understands what Richard is saying and says he’ll be right over.

We snack, we nap, we relax.

Bellagio is very quiet, very few tourists. Translation: not many restaurants open. But we found a nice trattoria, a decent bottle of red wine, great pasta, so we sat back and eavesdropped on the weirdo couple sat next to us. Some old American guy mumbling psychobabble “men are from mars” crap to a middle-age woman who got her Gs on after a few drinks and put the old duffer in his place. Buona sera!

13 March. Ferry Day! Dropped about $100 just taking ferries all day, back and forth across Lake Como to various small towns: Menaggio, Varenna, Cadenabbia. Same crew each time, probably thinking: "stupid foreigners! They could have bought a day pass for one euro."

Bought a deck of cards and played Crash while drinking beer. Ate lots of bread, cheese, pizza – followed by wine. But it’s OK because I bought one banana, one apple and one orange from a local fruit seller. And got some vitamin D from all the sun we got sitting in piazzas drinking espressos.

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