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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 27, 2009

Sunday - A Frustrating Day But It Ends Well

Probably the less said about Sunday, the better. However, this is a record of my journey, so I will briefly record Sunday.

I had a plan – I would once again walk down to Greve. There is a tiny museum there that opens for the afternoon at 3:00 so I thought I'd go down around 1:00, have a look around, have some lunch, visit the museum and climb up the hill again. Once home, I would shower (those treks up the hill are work!), do my little bit of laundry (did I tell you I could do that here?), have dinner at the other restaurant that is up here and so would end another peaceful, beautiful day.

I packed my new backpack as lightly as possible so I could bring back whatever I might buy and also not have my purse hanging off my shoulder. I only took my available cash, one credit card, camera, batteries, water, and my book for lunch reading.

So here's the result of that “planning”...

1. on way down stopped for picture – no memory card – not really a big deal – it was the same scene as yesterday.

2. got to Greve and discovered there was a mostly pottery/craft show in the piazza – kind of a shame not to be able to take pictures, but would be interesting to browse (more than yesterday's market).

3. then, in spite of my aforesaid plan, I began to waver - should I buy bread & cheese and eat on a bench, with dinner later at that restaurant or have lunch at a restaurant now, and take home bread, etc. for tonight...hard time deciding.

4. finally decided on lunch there and had a tuna, white bean (very Tuscan) and onion salad that was quite tasty (and no frustration except the repeating one of having to pay for water and usually at a restaurant, that's 2E!)

5. then went to seriously look at fair. bought black truffles (insane, but I've been curious about them ever since I first learned about them), and after looking at all the pottery, thinking maybe this, maybe that, I found "IT". It would take my remaining cash so I offered 10E less, with an english guy helping with translation and he turned out to be the maker of some little 5E jugs that I had also thought I would buy, so I gave the IT guy the 50E, (I know - I shouldn't let on what I spent), told the english guy to get his 5E for the jug from the IT guy, saw the IT guy hand the english guy 10E, even reminded the english guy to give the IT guy 5E back and left the area penniless but happy. It has only just dawned on me as I type this that I should have got the 5E back. I'm definitely my own worst enemy.

6. so I thought well, I'll get cash out of the machine and buy my little bits of food for later tonight, forgetting that I had not brought my debit card so I couldn't get cash – I know you can do it with a credit card but I never have and if I have a pin number, I have no idea what it is.

So, I made the excruciating climb back up the hill facing an evening of two restaurants up here that don't take credit cards, very little to eat, a book that I've almost finished and then nothing to read, very intermittent or non-existent internet access today, and I guess that's it.

I'm going to take a shower, go sit outside amidst the beauty of Tuscany and contemplate the vagaries of being a crazy old woman on her own in Europe, come back and eat what little there is and maybe just finish off the rest of my bottle of wine and go to bed sloshed to the gills.

P.S. I do love the special piece I got for myself.

P.P.S. - The evening turned out lovely, of course. I really think there's something in the air - it's impossible to stay upset about things. And so you know what that means - I felt like taking more pictures! (Am I hearing moans of dismay? There won't be any more to read after the pics, so you won't be missing anything vital if you don't scroll down.)

He tried real hard to keep his head turned, but I jusst waited...

A stairway to nowhere

A Montefioralle wedding or maybe just came here for pictures?
Now these are skinny trees!
Same skinny trees - more elegant view?
Not very big, but a moon over Tuscany


Christopher said...

Ah, I confess I have to chuckle just a tiny bit at your day... :) Only cuz the way you write it up I can totally hear you telling the story, and can totally imagine the situation. Sigh---even in paradise, technology and money still get in the way---glad the air has that special something to make you generally not care about the day's "trauma" after a little bit... :)
PS---love that uphill "Bella!" shot!

Sandra from Sydney said...

Mary Lynne, what gorgeous photos and what a wonderful holiday you are having. But - did you say on PPers that you went without some stitching to do in the evenings vbg? I am enjoying following your adventure even if I can't imagine not relaxing with some petitpoint in my hands at night.
Sandra from Sydney
'Adventure before Dementia'

Mary Lynne said...

Nice to hear from you Sandra! With the enormous trip you're on, it's amazing you are keeping up with everything else too. Just for readers' information, Sandra lives in Australia and she and her husband (and son, I believe?) are touring the country in a caravan for, what, Sandra? Six months, isn't it? I've been catching our blog periodically also and your photos, being so different from anything I've ever seen, are wonderful! Hope all continues well with your journey...

vrmichie said...

Lovin' your trip. And your pictures and your commentary. I got worried reading what you had in your backpack, afraid that the trauma would be you had it stolen, dropped it over a cliff, who knows so it came as a relief to find you merely penniless. And all in a good cause since you ended up with a treasure. Re the minatures, I meant to ask at the time, were the two pics of stick buildings at the Medicis minatures of their house? That's what I assumed and thought you must have been quite delighted. I'm hoping to send a long email this afternoon or soon.

Mary Lynne said...

Chinch - you're right, it could have been a lot worse. That's why I didn't give it the "trauma" label. And if you mean the two pics that I think I called models, they were miniatures and had something to do with theater (which is all I know because of course the signage about them was only in Italian). But yes, they were fun to look at ...

January said...

Aside from the annoyance of not getting your 5 euro back, that doesn't sound SO awful. I'm glad you didn't stay frustrated enough to not enjoy the evening. I can't wait to see IT. Be sure you pack IT with lots of love :)

Mary Lynne said...

Frustrating, not awful. It was the "nothing to eat for dinner" part that was probably the most annoying. But I had some cheese left and some stale bread and, of course, chocolate. So I made do. But I sure was hungry when I went to bed!


Jamie said...

Can't wait to see IT! All things considered, sounds like you are doing great! I would probably have dropped IT on the way home. The evening photos are great. Love the uphill "Bella" and the sliver of moon. Your camera is doing a great job. I'm sure Chris is very proud of you! The whole purchase event sounds too much like a story problem for me.

Waiting on the next update!

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