Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cranky and Car-less in Italy

I woke up at 8:30ish this morning to the annoying sound of what I thought was weed wackers...who weed wacks for an hour in a small city with little grass???  I looked out the window and to my mortification the entire street was devoid of cars and there was a street cleaner and people out with hand blowers.  Oh crap!!  This is not a good start.  I ran into Michelle and Kelly's room and had to sadly announce (before their usual 10 AM wakeup call) that I was pretty sure our car had been towed. 

Michelle ran out the door in her pajamas and yes, the car was in fact missing.  The ironic thing is that Michelle and Kelly went out last night to check on the car and noticed the street was pretty empty but yet made no connection to the fact that perhaps this might be some foreshadowing.  Even Michelle commented after the fact that she didn't really look at the signs and essentially we were all just waiting for something to happen.  Also ironic is the fact that they only clean this street on the second Wednesday of the month (we actually looked at the signs after the fact) - of course, the one Wednesday we were here. 

Now what to do.  We emailed the owner of the apartment and he very quickly responded that he would call the police station to find out where we needed to go to get the car.  Michelle and I ventured out and attempted to walk to the police station thinking we knew where we were.  We did not and eventually took an over priced cab to the tow lot.  I wish I'd taken some pictures but of course, hindsight is 20/20. 

The process to get the car out of the lot was fairly standard as it is in the US - you pay the tow bill (ours was 82 euros, just add that on to the cost of this trip) and then a fine (another 38 euros)... all stuff that Michelle as a Boston resident is all too familiar with.  Awwww it's just like being home, only in Italy.  We got the car out and headed back to the apartment. 

We probably should have avoided the apartment.  The kids were already in a cranky mood before we left to get the car and were even crankier upon our return.  In their defense, none have been to bed before 10 any night of this trip (and mine at least go to bed around 7:30 normally) and have been run ragged.  In our defense, we have done a ton of things to accomodate them which they of course don't agree with (yes, Kelly and I "wanted" to sit around at the lagoon yesterday to just watch the kids swim) and said that we should be doing more for them.  Ahhhh children... someday you'll get it. 

So instead of going to Pisa as planned (now planned for tomorrow instead of a return to the Cinque Terre), we laid low in the apartment.  Our internet was pretty much down which made working pretty difficult for me and of course, I had rush orders to do.  The kids went to the park with Kelly and then again later on with Michelle.  Finally in the late afternoon we decided to take a drive to Sestri Levante, a beach town just south of us.

And it was such a cute beach town!!  Of course we arrived there and I realized that when Liam fell asleep in the car, he also managed to poop himself (sorry Liam as you read this years later and suffer horrible humiliation for that) and I didn't bring extra clothes or wipes.  Let's just add that in as one more thing today.  Off Aidan and I went to the pharmacy for wipes and the undies hit the trash. 

Center of town

Center in the other direction

Center in front of me

The beach - it wasn't pebbles like ours in Rapallo but it was kind of dirty... however the view was spectacular!

Michelle was a good sport and went on the roller coaster with the boys


We wandered around for a little bit and found a cute little artisan market. The kids all got new journals and pencils that were handmade. They were pricey but they kept them entertained and not complaining thru dinner and so it was well worth the investment. We finally found a restaurant for dinner - Polpo Mario. The food was phenominal and everyone finally was relieved of their moodiness. Maybe we were all just hungry or perhaps the adults hadn't had enough wine (but more than enough whine) to drink during the day.
I like the green building - ALL of the details have been PAINTED on which is very traditional for this area

Market area

Liam at dinner

After dinner was gelato - yummy.  However, Liam had to pee, of course, right after we left the restaurant.  I tried to take him into an inconspicuous corner of the street and had him pee on a planter rather than the wall.  I somehow figured if he was contributing to nature in a way, it was ok.  However, as he peed I realized that the plant looked more like rosemary and became pretty mortified that he perhaps was peeing on someone's future freshly spiced potatoes.  Hmmmm, we left that area pretty quickly.

Gelato was great and we took the scenic road back home (which had it not been dark would have been even more amazing than it already was).  Aidan and Haley fell asleep on the way home which just reinforced that it was just one of those tired, cranky days.  Tomorrow, Pisa and Tirrenia where it looks like there is a nice beach.


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