Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 12: Italy!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today's highlights:

Hey, guess what? We are in ITALY!!! Never been here before! Top bucket list place for us both! We are starting off our Italian experience in Lake Como. We are sleeping in Menaggio at hostel #2 and hoping to visit Varenna and Belaggio just across the lake. We don't really know much about this area (other than George Clooney has a house around here somewhere) but we are stoked to be here. Oh man, so so excited! But ayayay (how do you spell that?!) it was rough getting here. 

We left Switzerland early this morning, around 6:30 to catch the train that would eventually get us to Lugano, Switzerland (right on the border of Italy) from which we would just have to take a bus to Menaggio. We were already only gonna have about 7 minutes to get to that bus (at a separate location within walking distance). Well, the train getting into Lugano was a few minutes late, giving us only about 4 minutes to get there, and we didn't know where we were going! So Robbie stopped to ask this nice old man for help.

Bless these Europeans. They are so helpful and nice! But darn it, sometimes they are a little too helpful. Never thought I'd say that. This guy, Constantin, was so great (and even Romanian) but was the slowest talker and walker of all time and insisted on us following him. Even when we were like, "Thanks but we have to hurry, so we'll figure it out," he didn't seem to notice. He kept talking to us in a way that made us feel bad to leave him, especially since he was trying to help us. So we followed him, knowing in our hearts that it was too late. We had missed the bus. Because of a man trying to help us find the bus. Oh, the irony. 

So we had to go find out if there was another way to Menaggio, but because it was a Sunday, they said there were no more buses running! What?! We missed our only chance?! We were freaking out (and when I say "we," obviously I mean "I." Robbie doesn't freak out). Luckily, through a lot of digging, they found another bus for us two hours later. And bless Constantin, he followed us around to every place we went. Even when we tried to say goodbye, 17 different times, he still kept following us. Poor guy. Never even knew he made us miss the bus. 

Anyway, so we made it to Menaggio around 3:00, and had the rest of the night to explore.

First impressions of Italy: HOT and beautiful. We were starting to acclimate to those Alps and enjoyed that mountain cool air. And now, we are in a very different land. Sticky and humid, but so incredibly beautiful. 

Obviously the first order of business upon arrival was getting our first real Italian gelato. And mmm mmm MMMMM! It was good. I will be eating a lot of these. And a lot of pasta. and pizza. And might gain 900 lbs. But that's what vacation is for, right......?

We also had our first real Italian pizza for dinner. Believing that this was normal, we decided to each order our own pizza. I can't really retrace the steps of our minds to figure out how we came to that conclusion, but we did it. And they were HUGE! Huge and delicious. Mine had spinach and an egg on top! Rob's had bacon (would you expect anything different?). But we both ended up taking half of it back to our hostel where we begged them to let us put it in the fridge. Every scrap of food we can save is that much less that we have to buy later on. 

So let's talk about hostels for a second. It seems really fun, to stay in a hostel and share a room and sleep in bunk beds. and it can be, for sure. You can meet so many different kinds of people. In fact, here I sit, on the front patio of our hostel in Menaggio, Italy, watching the sun go down as the Israeli boys play ping pong and the Australian lad strums on the guitar. People are chatting, eating pizza, laughing, and I am just so happy and content to be here :). But also, hostels can be hard. It turns out in bunk beds, you can't really snuggle. And we are big snugglers. I fear being married has made me a little more high maintenance that way than I ever was before. So while it does save us money, we are gonna see what else we can find for cheap that doesn't feel like military barracks. Then we can snuggle to our hearts' content.

Lastly, here's a picture just to say.... Dreams do come true.


  1. good ol' Constanin! bless his little heart!

    and hear my words: I order to eat eat as much gelato as is humanly possible! yes, that's what vacations are for!

  2. Try getting a private room at a hostel. We only did a bunk room once--I was not down with European men walking around in their teeny tiny UNDERWEAR--but we have gotten private rooms numerous times (even with our kids) and they are great. Obviously they cost a bit more than a bunk bed, but they are still WAY cheaper than a hotel or anything else. Also, sometimes you can find places where people rent out rooms--they will come to the bus stop and look for guests on the fly. I have not seen this in the EU but we saw (and did) it everywhere in former Yugoslavia, so I would guess that Greece and Romania (if you even need it there??) would be the same. Also, I have friends in Hungary--in Budapest--if you need a place there.

  3. I loved this post. Especially your story of missing the but because of the Romanian man. And that you said you were freaking out because Robbie doesn't. Neither does Cameron. But I make up for the both of us. ;)
    I'm SO jealous you're in Italy! Its on the top of my bucket list too! You'll be the ones we go to when we finally make it over there!
    Have so much fun!