A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The ways of the world...

On Thursday of last week, Andy and I left to spend an extraordinary long weekend in Milan, and then Trento, where our good friends Valentina and Mike live. One of the best moments of this trip, besides seeing Val and Mike and the beautiful countryside they reside in, was meeting their beautiful Lilyan and getting to know her.

Lily is the sweetest little angel with such a lovely disposition. It was wonderful to interact with her and see what a lovely family the three of them make.

Prior to heading up to Trento, Andy and I enjoyed a quiet evening in Milan, where we wandered around, taking in the sites and eating a lovely meal outside in the Duomo Square. The red wine was glorious, and Andy enjoyed his bruschetta, however we messed up on the pizza by ordering one with fish on it. But no worries, I knew we would make up for it later - which we did. (Val and Mike took us to a fantastic pizzeria where everything was delicious and the right choices were made.)

We took the train to Trento on Friday, which was mostly uneventful, and enjoyed some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.

We were met at the train station by Mike and Val, with a beaming Lilyan in tow... the smile on that angel's face could melt an ice burg in the harshest winter, let me tell you.

The next day, we all went up to Val's parents in the mountains, where we enjoyed a great hike, after which, we were treated to the wonderful hospitality of Valentina's folks. They are absolutely lovely people and couldn't have made us feel more welcome.

The next day, we drove up into the mountains to one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been, for an authentic Italian lunch, which itself was a great experience. We weren't sure of everything that came out, but we tried it all. Andy amazed me by drinking a full glass of red wine! He doesn't even like white wine but I think he was carried away with the spirit of the Italian moment :) Mike then drove us up further into the mountain, and led us on another hike to a castle ruins. Again, absolutely breathtaking. We shared quite a lot of laughs along this hike, merry with wine and great company.

Because we'd eaten so much at lunch, we ended up having ice-cream for supper - and what an ice-cream selection it was. The 'gelato' in Italy is my favourite by far. None of us left that place parlour feeling disappointed!

The next day, we had to say good-bye, and make our way back to Milan. I happily had a bottle of the local red wine packed in my suitcase, that Mike and Val had so thougtfully given us.

Now the train trip back to Milan wasn't so uneventful.

Let me explain:

First of all, we missed our train out of Trento, which wasn't so bad, as it gave us time to have a snack. When we finally got on the train, we had a hard time finding a seat, but managed to sit side by side in the seats with a table. Unfortunately, we had the pleasure of sitting across from a 'foreign woman'. I hesitate to even say this, but I don't want anyone thinking this person was Italian.

Anyway, I was looking out the window, intermittently reading my book, when I heard her burp. Out loud. I thought to myself, owell, we all have accidents. A few moments later, when I looked across at her, and she was dozing, with her mouth open, in a most unattractive manner. Funnily enough, her son was sitting across the isle, snoring away. Later on, she started talking to other people in the car, other family members, or so it would seem. Why they were all spread out over the car, I can't explain.

Anyway, after another few moments had passed, she burped again. And again. And again. And made no apologies, nor seemed embarrassed. When I looked up at her in disbelief, I nearly died, as her finger was so far up her nose it looked as if it would come out her mouth. I had to look away. What a blight on the beautiful scenery outside. I put my book up in front of my face, trying my best to read and ignore the constant stattico of her burps. I then made the mistake of looking at the man across the isle from me, an Italian who had the luck of sharing with the woman's snoring lad. He shoulders were shaking as he was trying so hard to contain his laughter. That did it for me. We made eye contact and I nearly roared. I laughed so hard, my shoulders shaking as well, and tears streaming down my eyes, as I tried to keep it silent. I've never in my life encountered such a pig. Andy wasn't too shocked though, as he says he's seen this in prior travels. I guess life really is a continous lesson.

Luckily enough, our train ride to Milan was less eventful and we were happy to finally be able to make our way to the subway, to catch our last train of the day to the airport. Because we were rushing slightly, I wasn't paying enough attention when two young women cut in front of me with their pull-luggage (something that happens often in the underground). Of course, me being me, went right over it and landed on both knees. I don't know what hurt more, my knees or my pride. You'd think I'd be used to this by now, eh? Falling seems to be my speciality. The girls were horrified and kindly put out a hand to help me up,and Andy grabbed my bag as I hobbled along beside him. Yesterday, both knees were bruised and sore, with my right one looking like I had grown a second kneecap. Thankfully today the swelling has gone down and its feeling much better. How my knees aren't completely ruined, after the constant beating they get, is beyond me.

At the airport, we grabbed our last taste of Italian food, and I of course forewent the pastry shop for a second slice of pizza. It might be airport food, but I'll take Italian airport pizza any day over British Pizza ;) Sorry, they do a lot of nice food here, but pizza isn't their specialty.


So ends yet another of our holidays. However we now have our upcoming visitors to look forward to, and of course Kefalonia.

Oh, and I have to publish this photo, Andy's pride and joy from our weekend away, taken with his new camera:

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