Saturday, October 9, 2004
As much as the Agriturismo San Giorgio wasremote and deserted we were going to miss this place. The girls had spent many a morning playing on the playground and blowing bubbles outside our apartment, and we’d gotten used to being on our own. But all things must come to an end, so I cleaned up (naturally) while Mark kept the girls out of my hairchasing lizards and catching bugs outside. We had decided to return to Milan by following A12 up as far as Genova and then take A7 to Milan. Charlotte promptly fell asleep as soon as we got going, and we drove through most of the Cinque Terre area until she woke up. What beautiful countryside (what we could see between the tunnels, that is). Genevieve enjoyed pointing out all of the bell towers and insisted we open the windows when we heard them ringing. Definitely an area I’d like to return to when we have more time. We decided that getting to Cinque Terre on a daytrip wasn’t the best idea, so we got off of the Autostrada at Chiavari which turned out to be an industrial town. We hooked up with the road along the coast but didn’t find any restaurants until Rapallo. At Rapallo we parked and found the tourist area near the water, and had lunch at a likely looking restaurant. Genevieve ordered the seafood pasta because she really likes mussels. It came with a whole shrimp which she decided washer pet caterpillar. She played with it quite a bit, kinda grossing me and Mark out what with its beady little eyes staring at us and all. We finally convinced her that she needed to put it on the plate and the waitress would come and let the caterpillar out the back door to go and play. I don’t know why, but she bought it! After lunch we went to explore the town by walking along the water. We looked into a cruise to Portofino or other seaside town but the roundtrip would have taken more time than we had. Genevieve pretended to be firing the canons on the rocca, and then we decided to take a little tourist train around the town. Hmm, I think we underestimated this place! Great looking villas and one of the best playgrounds we’d seen in Italy. We stopped by thetourist office on the way to the playground and discovered that there were no vacancies due to an international boat show. Oh well. At the playground, the girls had a blast playing with all of the new equipment. They even had speakers shaped like rocks in the landscaping that played Disney tunes. Some Italian children were very taken with Charlotte, who has an infectious laugh, so they cornered her in the play structure and did all they could to make her giggle. Genevieve even got into the act! We pulled the girls away from the playground, got our gelato (again, small town = fabulous gelato) and got on the road to Milan. About an hour later we were there. We drove around a bit before Mark decided that maybe the Novotel right next to the freeway and airport would be a good bet after all. Indeed it was! They had a room at the low price of 130 Euros. I wish we had been pointed in this direction for our arrival hotel as well. I was told that I might as well go into to downtown Milan as it was so close to the airport, but as you may recall it was actually kind of a hassle finding the Hotel Galles. We unpacked our stuff into our room with one queen and two twins all squished together such that there was barely room to move around them, and went down to the restaurant for dinner. The kids were good and we stopped by the sitting area by the elevators on the way up and they colored and I checked my email for the first time in over two weeks (215 messages!!). The kids got their bath and then we tried to get them to sleep but they get so excited being in the same room with us that they just won’t go down. I think we finally had silence at 10:00 after many threats and a few bed shuffles.