Saturday, May 7, 2011
Leaving a home, returning to another
It is taking us a good part of Monday to pack. Since we have decided to come back to the same place for another three months next year, we are leaving all our household items here at the agriturismo. Luca has told us to just pile the boxes into his van and he will take them to store in their warehouse. We had considered looking for a less expensive place to stay next year, but less expensive could mean we might be without wireless Internet, without adequate heat, without warm and strong showers and without the convenience of having absolutely no worries or extra bills for maintenance or utilities. We also love the fact that right outside our kitchen is a patio with a large umbrella that we can put up or down so we can eat in the shade or sun, whichever is preferable at the moment.
Perhaps even more importantly, we feel at home in this place and in this neighborhood. We have started to develop some relationships that we hope will grow stronger in 2012, and in years to come, if we continue coming here, which appears likely at this point.
By midnight, we have not finished packing, but we go to bed to catch a few hours of sleep before we have to take Randy, Lela and Micah to the airport in Pisa. I take them in the rental car at 4:15 a.m. while Lucy gets up to finish the packing. I find the airport with no problems, but I miss a turn on the way back and find myself in the little town of Cascine, wherever that is. I find a sign to Lucca at one intersection, and then there is nothing about Lucca at the next four intersections. If I had a map, I would be fine, but I thought I would just be going from one autostrada to another. I missed the first turn because there was no proper advance warning, just a sign right at the exit, actually about 20 feet after the exit. I am sure of this, because, to my utter frustration, I pass the same exit for a second time a little later.
Once back on track, I am soon in San Salvatore, where we finish loading the car and head to Padova. Suzye has taken the train to Padova the day before, and after we unload our suitcases at Steve and Patti’s house, we meet Suzye and continue on to Venezia to return the rental car and have lunch together. Venezia, as always, is fascinating, intriguing, mysterious, not to mention expensive and full of tourists. The restaurant where we dine charges both a coperta and a service charge, adding 10.31 euros, or $15. Two bottles of water contribute another $3.62 to the bill. Luckily my ancestors came from the Tuscan countryside, not Venezia. Otherwise, we would have been out of money in a month.