July 12, 2012
(I’m a little bitter in today’s entry… heads up)
I slept horribly last night. Maybe because admittedly I was a tiny bit sketched out by where we were staying. It was fine though! Either way, I got little sleep. After I woke up this morning and took a shower as Kelly was still asleep in her bed, I was staring out the window watching people fanning out towels or blankets, drinking their morning café, and simply waking up to another beautiful day in Barcelona. The neat thing about staying where we are is that it is more of an immersion. Our window faces a sort of courtyard (though there isn’t an actual courtyard, but a one story building of which we see the roof) that is open to the back of multiple buildings. For us, it’s a window into their culture instead of mingling with a whole bunch of people from all over the world but none from where we are like in staying in a hostel. So in this new experience, I have really enjoyed and appreciated staying here.
Kelly woke up, we packed our things ditching a few items we felt have over stayed their welcome in our bags (I had to finally ditch a not so pleasant smelling and worn with holes pair of Toms), had our vitamins, tea, and breakfast of champions, then headed to the airport for our flight to Milan!
We can’t seem to manage to get the timing spot on for arriving at airports. We have done fairly well with timing for trains (not including the London to Paris train) so that we don’t have to wait too long but with airports we either arrive way too early or anxious to make it through security on time. I’m writing this blurb from the Barcelona airport – a very nice airport – because we have a lot of time. We just finished lunch. Ready for this? I had crackers and a cliff bar and Kelly had cheese bread sticks. Yum (…sarcasm…).We are so ready to have a delicious hearty Italian meal. We are also staying in a best western in Milan and have fingers crossed (on both hands so please cross yours too!) that there is a hot tub and/or pool. Mmm 🙂 More gin and boarding now.
WOW. Kelly and I have decided that manners are apparently not a global trend. Way too many times in the two weeks that we have been here have we encountered extremely inconsiderate people! People walking on the sidewalk with lack of consideration for others sharing that same sidewalk seems to have been the worst offense. Yesterday we started played chicken with people on the sidewalk. We still LOST! Probably because we were too nice to follow through with being rude like everyone else. I apologize if this comes off offensive – I’m not trying to make a generalization about all Europeans but damn! This is starting to bug us. I guess you really would find this anywhere in the world (just as much in America) but its just one of those things that starts to get on your nerves.
We got reprimanded on the flight to Milan by the people sitting across the row for shuffling the cards too loudly (okay, understandable but they were not friendly about it, they didn’t just ask… They were a bit loud themselves). Then the woman in front of me shot straight back to lounge in her chair hitting my knees so hard I reacted with an immediate “ow!” No reaction on her part as I stood up to readjust. Hmm, deep breaths. We are in Italy. Though even just going from the airport to the hotel rubbed me wrong.
The man that sold us the tickets for the train toward where we needed to go started singing “Oh Susanna….(the rest in Italian)” which I am really taking as a sign because I cannot wait to see Susanna in Sweden! That made me a little less irritated. Italy is great, Italy is great, Italy is great. Mantra time… Kelly and I need food (or to go back to Portugal).
After a few train rides and bus rides back and forth we finally made it to our hotel. To be honest, I was getting a little frustrated and started to not like Italy off the bat. That changed when we went to dinner. The man at the desk of the hotel is super nice! He showed us the best places to get food locally and pointed out his favorite restaurant. He got very excited when he found out I lived in New York and told me he went for the first time this past June. He told me with a big smile on his face that he cannot wait to get to go again. He absolutely loved it and it showed as he explained how magical it was for him.
We wandered down to the area he showed us and settled with a restaurant that grabbed our attention. I mean that literally because the owner (I believe) was standing outside and said welcome etc. in three or four languages then sort of looked at us with a quizzical look before asking in English, “what is your mother language I should speak to you?” He was a funny and welcoming man, he told us so when he was telling us about his modesty… After he told us how his restaurant was the best. Ha. We browsed the menu of other places but ended up going back to him. He was right after all.
Kelly and I both had the exact same thing. It was delicious. A tomato fresh mozzarella basil oregano garlic pizza. YUM. A happy tummy means happy travelers – mood-o-meter boosted a few notches. The man came by the table and asked us where we were from and where we were headed. He told us to come back to eat there again but we told him we were off tomorrow to Florence… His face lit up so it seemed like he was okay with that. He told us we must also go to Sienna, said it has the most beautiful square in the world. The waiters were great and got a kick out of us trying some Italian (Kelly brought a phrase book) as they tried their English with us. Satisfied, we said our good byes to the nice Italians and headed down the street for some gelato (Kelly and I have yet to have gelato that we think is better then Sonny’s in Boca though) before heading back to the hotel.
Italy ended better than it started and I’m sure it is a wonderful country. Looking forward to a train ride instead of a plane as we move on to Florence in the morning (after we stuff our pockets with the free breakfast of course — I’m almost out of granola bars and apple sauces!!!).
It is so wonderful to sleep in air conditioning again 🙂
Buona notte, ciao!
P.S. we didn’t bother with the search for a pool or hot tub. We were quite content with the bathtub!!