Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's raining, It's Pouring, The old girls are snoring

As I lay in bed last night bright eyed and raring to go (did I mention it was 12:45AM here?), I thought of several quippy titles for todays post. This was as I listened to the soothing sounds of rain progressing to a outright downpour! To drive in the mountains in this rain and wind or not, that is the question.
Our trip here, while certainly not as interesting as last year, still held some challenges. The valet baggage check from Indy to New York managed to break the handle on Jodi's brand new light-as-a-feather bag. So, now it is only really suitable for some one under 5 foot tall to pull. No one at the American Airlines ticket counter wanted to help and the solution was to leave the terminal (and under go the exquisite pleasure of the TSA again), or call. I elected to call, which was simply a circular morass of number punching, waiting and listening to the tin lady. That pleasure ended in being told to go to baggage claim or go on-line to the American Airlines website and file a complaint. This was buried so deep I did not think I was ever going to find it,.  When I did I fought with the page because to file a baggage claim one must have a number and we only had a red valet tag. I finally got an e-mail through, but seriously doubt we will hear anything back. The flight was delayed an hour.
I watched a bossy Italian lady (I know this because she bossed her poor husband, Franco, terribly) try to cut in line, only to be turned back by the gate attendant. So we finally got on the plane, nearly the last ones on,  because now you can pay to up your entrance grouping number. (Seriously what way will they think of next to extort money from the passengers?) I was determined that our bag not be checked for us again, and as I was trying to rearrange things to get out bags in Signora Bossellini told me to get in my seat because I was holding things up. The guy in the seat behind us COULD not let his bag be a few seats up, it HAD to be right over his head (which made me wonder what was inside the bag?). Just as my poor arms were beginning to feel like jello, a hero a few seats behind offered to help, but it would just not work without Signore Secretive letting us move his bag. Finally they told us there was some room in first class overhead, and I MOVED!  On my way back to my seat, Signora Bossellini tried to apologize, but Jello does not have a gracious feel to is, nor did I.
At rest at last, I realized I had left my book at home, and only brought a pathophysiology book with me, which would have been o.k., well sort of, but no overhead light in my seat! Seriously? So I watched a movie, and ate the bland poor rendition of food American Airlines choose to feed us. We had pasta with a insipid sauce, but the alternative was a noxious meat-loafy thing that appeared to be even less food like. We both slept some and were darned glad to find the trip over.
On to find the auto rental, which I was led to believe, from my Fordorite buddies was a Hertz product.
Firefly rental was off site in an area that was, let's just say, interesting. I began to wonder if the cute little guy was taking us some where to rob and murder us. He was cute, until I began to dispute the additional 12 Euros a day he wanted to charge me for auto insurance. The plan I purchased from Economy Car Rentals  had insurance with it.  So Mr. Cute ended up putting a 1500 Euro hold on my credit card, and in a rather "Twandish" moment, I told him fine, go ahead. Just in case I wreck the thing, because the plan I bought will reimburse me.   So, finally all the paperwork completed with this now surly little guy, (Funny how an attractive appearance can get so ugly with ugly behavior) and out we go past the Ford Ka's that I had signed up for, to a little Fiat that looks like a red box on wheels. I marched back in when I noticed nothing for music besides a radio and also a brown stain on the ceiling of the car. This time a lady came out and showed us poor stupid Americans how to use the radio and took note of the stain. Off we finally went after I (Jodi) figured out how to put the darned thing in reverse. About an hour later we realized the darned thing does not have air conditioning either!
Things began looking up, though the car has no get up and go, but we managed to find the B&B Monte Tondo with relative ease. It is a cute little place situated within a vineyard. The room is great, the bed comfy and I love it. It was a good option for the first couple of nights! We napped and then went into Soave to have a look around and get a bite to eat. Soave is a cute little walled town complete with a castle. It is about 4 blocks by 5 or 6 blocks and so a easy walk, though a tiny bit hilly. The vistas though, are lovely. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and of course, nothing much was open to serve food, so we ended up in a wine bar, Jodi had a caprese ( With a HUGE glob of delicious Mozerella!) and I had just a plate of local meats. Our food was accompanied by a glass of Amerone, a local wine, that was fabulous! We walked some and then had a gelato, Chocolate for her and Hazelnut for me. YUM! We were then ready to see the castle, but alas, it was closed. Maybe tomorrow, we agreed. So back to the room and in bed by 7PM, hence my insomnia at 12:45.
Post note: Saw my favorite blog with this cartoon after I wrote this.
I am a little leaning disableed though so will have to let you cut and paste the link.

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