My non-international experience got the best of me this morning. I awoke at 5:45, pretty normal for me. I made my way to the living room (which was the wifi room as no other rom provided a very strong connection) and waited for Blane. Our loose plan (although it seemed pretty tight to me) was to go for a morning run together. So, I waited. I paced a lot, I went down to what could have been a pretty great meditation rock if it wasn’t for the bugs and got….well, bit. Then decided to explore some of the hillside trail just below the villa. Out a half a mile, back a half a mile. Out another direction, back to the beginning. After about 3 1/2 miles of this I decided to head up to the entrance rode, run down the hill into town and back. BTW, you know when it’s steep and painful DOWNhill that turning around won’t be pleasant. Yep, still true. Got in 6 miles nonetheless.
Oh, sorry, anyway, my non-international experience…. See, I’m up, I’m in Italy, I’m READY to go!!!! Not so much everyone else. Most of them didn’t begin moving around until at least 9 AND my honey slept till almost 11 am that morning. Yikes! I couldn’t do that on a bet.
|I turn where?|
For the most part it was a day for finding the right place to grocery shop, enjoying the pool, and soaking in the vibe of the villa.
Then came the problem. Not a BIG problem mind you, just a pain in the ass kind of problem. The navigation on “Chiara’s car” was Italian Tom Tom. Translation: it sucked. SO, on the way back from the super Italian grocery store, the guidance proved to be non-guiding (and we actually FOUND the super store by accident). 30 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back trying to remember where that road that leads up to the villa might be. I had that happen a few more times before I learned to successfully navigate our non-navigation system (it became all about making the turn at Poopy’s Pizza (not it’s real name, I think it was Poppi’s or Puppy’s or something. I just called it Poopy’s). Poopy was the key, once I was at Poopy, I knew where I was.
Nonetheless, my coolness under navigational fire became my persona for the rest of the trip. My new attitude became, “whatever, I’ll find it,” OR “we’ll figure it out.” That be calm, be cool attitude came from one place and one place only: my ability to let go. That, of course, was based in my “In then end, who gives a rats ass?” philosophy. A great no-fail travel outlook, I believe. Helped me anyway.
Sunday was one of two nights where a chef prepared our dinner. I remember completing the dinner survey: which thing would you pick, what would you like etc…. Upon completion, I was pretty sure that if these meal choices were what I would have to eat for the rest of my life, I would become stylishly slender in no time. I like my fish cooked, my cheese on pizza, and tomatoes, well….. not at all. I recall the gnocchi being good and after that……
On the upside was that it was Kevin’s birthday. We turned dinner into a nice celebration. As per usual, dinner was followed by another night of drinking and chatting. While I totally get this phenomenon, I have to confess that since I don’t drink and since most of the chatting is older their-side-of-the-family stories, my participation was minimal.
10:30 came around and I was off the hook and into the bed (Large group travel tip: once you’ve established yourself as the early to bed guy AND you don’t drink, you’ve pretty much guaranteed that you won’t have to stay up too late). SO…… night night.