Planes, Phones & Automobiles

We’re back at our second home—Viterbo, Italy. In tact, but a little hotter than usual. Good for the grapes. Humans, not so much. 

The view from our balcony
The thing about traveling is you become all too aware of your vulnerabilities. My biggest one is when things don’t work as they should. We have phones, iPads and laptops we like to make internet- and/or text-ready. Right away. This can be done in an hour or so at a phone store, usually, but the trick is getting there when they’re open, and getting there with enough time to wait in the line before they’re closed again. I’d say 90% of the people who come to the phone store ask a question and are responded to with a shake of the head “no,” after which they leave, seemingly having expected that what they wanted to do would be not-doable. Sometimes they’re clever enough to politely interrupt the line, ask the question, and be done with it.

We arrived without a hitch. Quick flight to Paris. As usual, too short for me. Didn’t even finish my movie. A not-too-long layover, and then on to Rome. Lots of customs lines in Paris, so none in Rome, which was nice. We took the bus together up to Viterbo, settled into our apartments and met at 8:30 for dinner. This all went fine. Same place as usual for dinner, but it was especially good this time, possibly because they felt bad for giving away our table for 25, causing us a half hour delay. But also possibly because of our beautiful new guide, Carlotta. When we were first introduced to her via Facebook, I said to one of the faculty, I know one Lynch who’ll have a crush this summer. Maybe two, actually. Hell, all three of us will!!!   She’s great—in real life, too, not just Facebook.

 A welcome gift from Carlotta, our guide for the month.
 A water-stocked fridge, also from Carlotta.
The tap water contains arsenic, so this is truly a life-saving touch.

The Piazza has a carnival ride in it right now.
Day Two is when I get the car, charge the technology, and do the big shop. The first two parts went (seemingly) swimmingly. I was a little concerned when the car they gave us was a huge Fiat 500. Like jumbo shrimp, it sounds like an oxymoron, but for someone who drives a Mini Cooper at home, this was a little unwieldy. It’s truck-like, in that it’s a big step up to get into the driver’s seat, and to rest my arm out the window, I have to stretch for the tip of my elbow to reach the door. Not the restful effect I’m looking for.

Owen, Kelly (Fred’s co-teacher) and I did the big shop together. Kelly’s first Iper Coop experience (a very large department/grocery store). She was appropriately awed. Coming out of the parking lot, I couldn’t see very well out the back window of the car and hit a pole. Hard. So much for what a deal we got on the car rental this year because of how low the euro is. I have no info on how much this will cost me. It might be nothing (due to my credit card’s insurance); it might be $600 (the fee they already put on my car in case of damage); it might be more. Nobody was hurt, and the damage does not effect the car’s ability to operate. What’s done is done. We will speak of this no more.

Huge bread from Iper Coop! Bruschetta bread!
We will also speak of this no more: I have been back to the phone store twice since the first, and will go back tomorrow because none of the phones or laptops have charged and/or stay charged. None except for the phone Fred uses, or I should say the phone Fred doesn’t use, as he really doesn’t know how to use a cellphone. But we insist here in Italy that we all be reachable. So, back to the phone store I will go tomorrow to sort it out again. Six hours yesterday in my pajamas were spent at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to text…. only to find at 6 pm when I finally gave up and went to the phone store that I didn’t put texting on the plan. 

Dessert on Night Two

Today was the annual lunch at Purgaturio. I take pictures every year and they are just as beautiful (but quite similar) every year. 

I skipped something exciting that happened in Viterbo this morning, but that’s for another post.
Lunch at Purgatorio

Funny Dr. Seuss flowers.

The view of Purgatorio. Same picture I take every year.
Today it poured while we were there, but ever so briefly,
and the sun was back out again in no time.