Our dear friend Myra has come for a visit. This is her first time in Europe and we’re so happy to be able to share some of our experiences with her. No matter how much you prepare or think you’re ready, the trip over here is just a killer. Even if you do manage to sleep on the plane, your internal clock is all messed up and you just feel like a zombie. Then when you finally get off the plane, there’s more traveling to do before you can finally relax.
We met Myra at the airport and took the train from Rome to Arezzo, where we left our car. It’s not a bad trip at all, but the train leaving Rome was late, causing us to have a good bit of down time just waiting. There’s really nothing worse after you’ve jetted across an ocean than to have to stand around a train station. waiting and waiting. And, to make matters worse, the platform we were at was far away from the main platforms and was completed uncovered. It had been raining pretty bad all morning, but fortunately the rain had stopped by then. But that made things pretty warm and muggy. So there we stood until finally the train rolled up and we got settled into a compartment – just the four of us – Myra, us and Millie.
We finally got to Anghiari after Myra’s day of planes, trains and automobiles. Getting to Anghiari is the easy part. Getting into the apartment is the challenge. The historic center, where we live, is pedestrian only. There are a few cars that can park there by permit and delivery vehicles that can come in, but you can’t just drive up to our apartment. So when we have guests, we have to get their luggage to the apartment. There are two ways to do this. One is by driving up to the piazza, unloading, and walking up a not insignificant incline to the apartment. The other is to unload at the city walls and hauling the luggage down the stairs to the apartment. The stairs are 800 years old, so they’re not build to code. They’re uneven, worn, slippery and just plain difficult to navigate. We chose to bring her luggage up from the piazza. It’s uphill, but it’s not far, so it’s better in the long run. After a nine hour flight, one hour going through airport stuff, three hours dealing with the train, 30 minutes in the car, schlepping your luggage up a hill is the last thing you want to do. But schlep we did and we finally got settled in.
We walked around town a little and had an early (by Italian standards) dinner at the restaurant below us and sent her off to bed. We had lots to do and she needed to adjust as soon as possible. The only thing better than living in Italy is having dear friends come to visit. It’s wonderful on so many levels, but the best thing is falling into familiar rhythms. And getting to see things that are now familiar to us through fresh eyes. It reminds us of why we’re here.