God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Montichiari--Lake Garda

These are late posts as I have been saving until we had a connection--so these are just catching up with us. We are actually at Lake Como now and have a connection for just a few minutes. I will post another to show up in a couple days.

A Presto!

Our little mini-vacation within our vacation has not begun well, sorry to say. We arrived at our B and B in Montichiari which seemed charming, relaxing and garden like when I was perusing its website in detail. Usually the process works and we find ourselves at charming, relaxing and garden like accommodations. However, this time my infallible

radar failed and things are not as I envisioned. We are not in the countryside somewhere between Lake Garda and Verona, rather, we are in middle of a small Italian town which offers little reason for being here unless you call it home. There is a castle on a hill which we hope to visit—but there are reasons I shall go into below which are working to derail that plan.

The place we are staying is, as promised, a 500 year old palazzo which, I am sure, has witnessed many things over the centuries, including its share of intrigue and conspiracy. The family that lives here today is the same family that lived here 500 years ago. As in any place like this it does hold the charm of wondering what was. I am pretty sure our room is where the servants’ quarters would have been.

The irony is that we would really appreciate a charming, relaxing and garden like environment in the countryside or along the lake right now as we are confined to quarters or sitting in the loggia, which fortunately has a slight breeze passing through, somewhat offsetting the heat and humidity of the day. It seems that something Ken and I ate last night is having a winning argument with our innards. This in turn makes it unlikely that we will climb the many steps to the castle and its promise of interest or drive to the lake and see its beauty or venture to Mantova, which would probably be too hot anyway or do anything else that would be fun. We are hopeful that today’s nothingness will prepare us for tomorrow’s trip to Gardaland—a downscale version of Disneyland—for Casey. Truthfully, not a day I look forward to with anticipation except it is an excursion meant for kids like Casey.

Tonight we are supposed to go to a very nice restaurant—in the countryside, at last—to celebrate Casey’s entrance into the world of double digits. He turned 10 yesterday—a day that was not much better than today. Here’s his report on his big day—he had to leave his soulmate, Camilla, to accompany his grandparents elsewhere (tears), he had an earache which became progressively worse until we ended up at the hospital at 9:30 at night (tears) and he forgot Niki, his beloved nighttime/fur worn off, companion down in the car (more tears.)

At this point, a day spent at Gardaland sounds upbeat and inviting. I’ll let you know.


tourmama said...

Oh Jane! When it rains, it pours. Just adopt a new mantra, breathe deep, and say, over and over "at least we are in Italy, at least we are in Italy" etc.

Hope by the time you read this your luck has turned, you survived Gardaland, and everyone is back in good health.


sabauda said...

Oh dear - I hope it all gets better, especially your tummies and his ears!! If you get to Lake Garda, you might still see the many adorable tiny fluffy grey baby swans we saw there not long ago, paddling around after their mom and learning to manage their long necks, which they don't seem to know what to do with.......quite fun......Casey might enjoy that, as would you, I think!!
best from Laurie in Torino

janie said...

I hope Casey is alright and that your vacation starts looking up!

Kookaburra said...

Thank you Jane for your fantastic blog - it's helped us greatly in tuning up our family trip to Italy in 2009 - Greve in Chianti is now on the list. I hope Gardaland treats you well - we're contemplating it for our trip with our kids - 11, 7 and 6 years old.

Palma said...

Oh, Jane...

It has to get better!

Jane said...

Hi, All--since i am on limited access, just want to say "thanks for comments! I love getting them." We are in Milan right now and just got back from taking Casey to the magnificent roof of the Duomo. Tomorrow we have lunch with Alice Twain (Silvia) and go to the Last Supper.