Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Favorite Pic of the Trip

It was hard to get out of the NICE-WARM-bed! And rightfully so as we were about to freeze our derrieres off again. We did however get up and agree, after I had coffee, to go to San Gimignano today because it is only 14 Km away. That equals roughly 8-9 miles, but here that does not equal about a 15 minute drive! It took about 30 minutes and that is not including wrong turns, at which we are getting very good. It was obvious that this place was going to be lovely as we approacechd. Parking here is a challenge for me, as everyone parks so close to each other that sometimes they have to crawl in the other door to even get their car out. But park we did, and we took an elevator to the entrance walkway. We entered a relatively quiet little piazza, one souvenir shop, one restaurant, a church and misc. other buildings. It seemed all stone, no grass, very quiet. We discussed eating but decided to have a look at the church prior to eating. The church had a convent attached and we look at that too, it was very peaceful and there were people praying out loud as we passed a window. When we got out of the church we decided to walk a bit, and all of a sudden we were in a different place, shop after shop, after shop. BUt full of lovely things inside and out. We found dolls for the little girls as we had left Molly Dolly at home. Pippa (a purple bear in a ballerina dress) and Poppy ( a bunny with floral skirt and ears) were promptly adored and purchased, one for each girl, now we wait to see which one Ghianna gravitates to and leaves over for Samantha ( who just joined us May 5) . You can read the blog we do for them at:
After all that work we really needed lunch, so stopped at the first place that looked good. I had mushroom bruschetta and salad, and Jodi just had bruschetta. Mine was not a do over, but hers looked good. I wanted to see some of the towers for which San Gimignano is famous and we found a museum to see. So in we went and it included a opportunity to climb to the top! Which we did, and were very glad. The view, even in the rainy weather was incredible! We lingered, freezing, but reluctant to leave the view, but finally went back down because we had to have a 5 PM meeting at the cottage to lean how to do laundry (which was very easy once I was shown!). The car was parked in crazy, so Jodi offered to get us out while I paid the parking which ended up being 10 Euro, That is even worse that parking in a big city during the day! I had all kinds of trouble getting my ticket to give me a total, had to go from machine to machine, then talk to a guy on a speaker, and finally watch a lady at another machine empty the money ( wow what a racket, she pulled out at least a thousand Euro, if not more!), and finally she had to just tell me what to pay. We raced back, sort of, Jodi had to stop at take several photos, I was torn between wanting those pics and being late for the date with the washing machine.
The washing machine is very easy to learn to use, much easier than a French one! so we throw in a load of laundry and leave for the grocery store. We went to a big store called COOP. We bought a melon, some strawberries and cherries, which had to be weighed. It seemed a simple thing to weigh it and get the UPS tag, but who knew, that there is a special way to push a button. Again with the aid of helpful people we got our fruit weighed and were on our way. Bread was a conundrum, prepackages things, fresh but packaged in the store and then bread behind a counter, I opted ( to my later chagrin) for that and got a small loaf. The meat counter with my limited Italian, was beyond me, so we opted for prepackaged meats, a salami and ham. Milk was yet another issue, I like full milk for my coffee but what does that look like here? So I just picked out a cream ( for which I did know that word) to help it along. Water, we do not want gas, so had to make sure we were not buying fizzy water. The toilet paper was easy, I just bought what was at the cottage already! then we went to the bank for more Euros, and after to look for food. Which may seem easy, however, I had visions of one of the 2 local places that Sr Bardi had told us about, but one place led us into a ( we did get to see a lovely place) pickle, and the other was closed. The Pickle? Well JOdi had to drive the car out of it because I t was so steep a turn onto another road that I kept stalling the car. SO back into town, but one had to find a place to park, blue lines, not white or yellow, and to our chagrin, there was another do, which made parking extra hard. We traversed the area looking for a spot, over and over, and by the time we found a place to park, it was after nine. The pizza place was of course closed, so I said, let's try an Enoteca I saw, which was cfull and no one came and I began to feel like an idiot waiting, with everyone in the place ignoring us. So we left and found a Bar/Paticherria open and Jodi got two tiny pizzas and I got 2 biscotti for the Am, and would have breakfast for dinner. Bed after a hot shower, the shower does get good and hot!

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