Thursday, June 25, 2009


Two days ago, we went to Lucern, in Switzerland -- amazing city. Will post about it soon. But for today...

Mark's dad likes to say, 'You win some, you lose some.' Last night, we may have lost some. We took a plane from Torino to Trapani, Sicilia, and though the flight was a riot (I will post about it later), after we landed, things were a bit shady. We bought a bus ticket for 16 euro-- at 10:30pm -- to the farm we were staying at, only to find out AFTER they sold us the tickets, that we would still need to take a 30 euro taxi.They wouldn't refund our money, but told us to get the taxi straight from the airport, which would be 30 E and faster. The taxi drivers (all 8 of them -- all bored and wanting a job) had three GPS's, four friends, and 8 puzzled looks surrounding the location of the farm we booked. After a half hour, one of the guys yelled at me in Italian and in no time we were racing down dimly lit streets with a swearing cabbie. (Those days in Valle d'Aosta taught us a few swears...) Eventually, he stopped, swore some more and we just sat for about five minutes while the meter ticked. I finally got up enough courage to say, 'Um mi dispiace ma non lo capito.' My best Italian for, WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?? He yelled at me again. Finally, another car pulled up, and we were off. In the other car was the owner of Podere San Giovanni, leading the cabbie to the farm, since apparently he had no idea where he was going. So, we arrived at the farm around midnight, farrrr outside the city, with no dinner except dried figs and beef jerky (which I actually did not mind...), a very expensive and shady cab ride, and to top things off, no internet. Mark was not happy. His fantasty baseball season is over now.

We woke up this morning and took a 10 hour train journey from Trapani to Oliveri. We went back and forth about getting a car, which would have saved us 7 hours, but since Mark can't drive stick, and that is all they offer for a reasonable price, we opted for santiy and peace over the time. We still may rent a car for the last few days of the trip. The train rides were uneventful, though beautiful.

Cousin Nato was waiting for us at the train station. He is personable, handsome, and easy to understand. Love it. He took us to meet his wife, Graziella, at the beach. From the beach, he pointed to the hotel he booked for us. My heart dropped a bit. It looked really far, was outside of his hometown Oliveri, and I didn't know what that meant in terms of money and transportation. I thought we were staying with them. I tried not to worry though. Like Joe Massaro says, you win some, you lose some. And since we are in Sicily, so how bad could it be??

Nato drove us to our hotel, and we recognized the chain -- the Hilton. We checked in -- all paid for, courtesy of Nato. We went to our room -- the view, absolutely breathtaking. Huge kingsized bed, with a locked door. No couches, no dirty sheets, no roommates. The bellboy was up within ten minutes to get all of our nasty dirty clothes. Nato and Graziella are picking us up for dinner in 6 minutes. Tomorrow, Nato drives us around the city for morning, and up to the church of the black madonna, and then to the beach.

All things considered, I'd have to say to Joe - you win some, and you WIN some.

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