Apr 21, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Recapping the weeks highlights

Monday, April 12th, 5 pm: Arrived in Italy to beautiful sunshine and incredible scenery. Checked into the country house (amazing views) and devoured a Tuscan styled steak.

Monday, April 12th, 10 pm: Rob rolled the rental car down a 200 foot cliff while Elizabeth watched and screamed as the car continued to crunch. How this event even happened is a story that needs in person explanation and would take way too long to write in this blog.

Tuesday, April 13th, 1 pm: Driving in the new rental car back on vacation. Crazy. Spent the day in the town of Fano trying to figure out the culture and how it works. Aka, trying to find an open restaurant because Italians shut it down between 1 pm - 3 pm every day.

Wednesday, April 14th, 12:30 pm: Headed south to the Frasassi Caves, a place that makes you realize how great God is. Not to mention we were lucky enough to have a personal guide who took us through the caves. This guy was a classic who loved to repeat himself four million times and used the word "admire" more times than Randy Jackson says "Yo Dog." For some reason he loved poodles. Lastly, we spent the rest of the day in Urbino, a very cool Roman stronghold sitting atop a collection of hills.

Thursday, April 15th, 2 pm: Travelling through the mountains trying to cross into Tuscany, we were blockaded half way through our trip on the only major road going east to west between our destination and departure points. In order to save time and not have to track all the way back and around, Rob decided to take a small, one lane, dirt road up the side of the mountain while Elizabeth sat white knuckled on the brink of tears. Let's just say it made for an awkward and eerily silent drive.

Friday, April 16th, 9 am: Woke up in midst of the beautiful Tuscan hills of Chianti. Highly suggest a stay in this place whenever visiting Tuscany. The food was incredible; just ask anybody who looks at our stomachs. After spending hours trying to find and figure out parking, we arrived in Siena. Another Roman city known for its wealth throughout the ages. Although, somebody decided it would be a grand idea to drop a tourist bomb on this place because it was crazy. Besides that, it was beautiful.

Friday, April 16th, 10 pm: Finally turned on a TV just to check the news. Supposedly some volcano erupted and was causing problems. Like morons....We didn't think too much of it and prepared for our bike trip.

Saturday, April 17th, 11 am: We are looking sweet in our alien helmets riding bikes through the olive groves and grape vineyards on a beautiful Tuscan afternoon. Enjoyed a tour through a Chianti vineyard, wine and oil producer. Ended the trip with a well deserved gelato for a euro (that is not a typo). For those who have been in and around major Italian cities, you know that most gelatos run you close to five Euros. They say in Italy "The Italians have eyes like a fox." We guess so.

Saturday, April 17th, 10 pm: Started to realize this volcano was not messing around when we looked at Ryanair's website to see that they cancelled all flights until Wednesday.

Sunday, April 18th, 1 pm: Arrived at Florence central station to begin our quest back to Germany. The line did not seem too long.

Sunday, April 18th, 2 pm: Still waiting in line.

Sunday, April 18th, 3 pm: Still waiting in line, with a slice of pizza.

Sunday, April 18th, 4 pm: Still waiting in line, Elizabeth left for the bathroom for the fourth time (costs us more than the slice of pizza). Rob's lower back is done.

Sunday, April 18th, 4:30 pm: Received our travel plans via train back to Germany. Starting in Florence and ending in Dusseldorf with an overnight stop in Zurich.

Monday, April 19th, 12 pm: Went to Florence airport to return the rental car. Elizabeth was singing for joy upon the relinquishment of our automobile and Rob was crying looking at the bill (refer to Monday car accident).

Monday, April 19th, 3 pm: Spent the day trying to kill time before our train leaves at 5 pm. We had trouble enjoying lunch because of the teenage Italians basically having sex in the park outside the train station.

Monday, April 19th, 12 am: Arrived in Zurich after sitting on a train with no air conditioning, yikes! Walked to the cheapest hotel we could find and were greeted by a ninety year old man smaller than Elizabeth. According to the man, he had one room left and the other hotels within walking distance were sold out. Rob wanted to go see for himself to price shop but Elizabeth was not so keen. The old man demonstrated his wily salesman skills one more time by telling us that another couple called earlier and wanted him to save the room. However, he told us since we were there first, we could take it. Elizabeth was sold. In her defense, it was late, we were exhausted, and we did not want to risk sleeping in the train station.

Tuesday, April 20th, 10 am: We assume our flight to Chicago will be cancelled watching the reports on CNN before we catch our train. (Remember this later)

Tuesday, April 20th, 6 pm: Finally, our feet touched German soil. Who would have thought those words would ever touch our lips. After picking up our car from the airport, we go to a friend’s house to check the internet on the status of our flight back to Chicago. We soon realized we should have called Lufthansa earlier in the morning because our flight did indeed take off for the motherland. We could've been home right now.

Tuesday, April 20th, 10 pm: After talking to a representative via Skype, we were fortunate to get our flight changed without much damage to the bank account, but we will have to wait another week.

Wednesday, April 21st, 7:02 pm: We are done writing this blog.

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