So a weekend break from being on the computer was for two reasons.. one – not enough time and two – Andrea’s Mom’s house doesn’t have wireless internet. Sorry!! I am currently typing this on the train from Verona to Venice so I don’t have the pictures loaded yet either. As soon as I do I will link them and add captions as soon as possible.
So, when I last left you I was anticipating the weekend in Verona… and we had a lot of fun!! We spent most of the day relaxing in Andrea’s apartment before (of course) taking the train from Venice to Verona on Friday mid-afternoon. We made it to Verona in time to stop by Andrea’s Dad’s house to pick up Andrea’s car, stop by him Mom’s house to drop off our bags (his Mom was in Milan, coming back on Saturday and then spending the night at her boyfriends house so the 3 of us could stay at her house), get some pizza at a local pizza place (where you buy pizza by the slice and they cook it for you once you have ordered it… very tasty), and the run to Andrea’s church so he could be there for confession. Since its Easter week and Lent this was a very special confessional day.
Interesting side note, Andrea’s Mom lives in an apartment very close to the city center and she has a garage for her car. To get the car into the garage you need to go down an enclosed hallways and then turn about 45% to get into the garage. Andrea had the hardest time backing out and seemed quite frustrated. Britt, who also seemed quite frusterated, was trying to direct Andrea to keep the car going straight but it was quite difficult for him. There was even a guy watching us try to back out. We got about halfway and I felt bad but with all the tension and commotion I just started laughing!! Luckily Andrea started laughing then as well! It became quite a joke about the driving skills that Andrea possesses. We have nicknamed him Cruella De Vil! After about 15 minutes, he had the car backed out. It took all of 2 minutes to get the car into the garage.
Once at church, Britt and I sat off to the side and started giggling about how many pictures I have been taking and how funny it would be to take pictures of the church since it was built in the 1970’s and is not historic at all. As I was giggling I looked over and saw a lady giving me a death stare… which make me even more giggly!! I tried not to make noise but I was laughing so hard I was crying.
When the priest came out he said something to Britt and I in Italian, which I thought meant that we were getting in trouble but found out he had only asked that Britt and I move closer, so we did. They sang a few songs and the priest talked for a minute before doing confession. Once confession started Britt and I went for a walk outside. Once outside, we found it interesting that the local teenagers tend to hang out in front of the church. They probably found us speaking English quite interesting as well!!
After our walk we met back up with Andrea and drove the car back into his Mom’s garage and then walked to the city center. This is where all of the historic sites, shopping, and restaurants are. It was beautiful. We spent some time just walking around, Andrea showed us some sites, and we got some gelato!! Yummy!!
Around mid-night we got back to Andrea’s Mom’s house, got changed, and drove out to an Italian club. There were two separate rooms at the club… one for house/hip-hop and one for a mix of all languages, genres, and ages. The second room even played a little bit of Shania Twain!! I thought my Mom would love that!! LOL!! The dance club was hot… very, very hot!! I didn’t dance at first and started sweating. I figured if I am going to sweat I might as well dance!! We stayed there until about 3:30pm and then went back to Andrea’s Mom’s house. I was so sweaty and gross that I had to get a shower even though I was sooooo tired!
The next day we woke up around noon and headed back to Andrea’s Dad’s house for lunch. He made us a very good pasta dish with white sauce and sausage. I really liked it. Afterwards we headed back to the city center to do some shopping and some touristy type looking around. I found a few Italian style jeans that I absolutely love and purchased and a pair of boots that I loved but they didn’t have in my size. The rest of the time we gawked at the stores we can’t afford, had a “hot chocolate” that is at one of Andrea’s favorite spots (which was a combo between American host chocolate and pudding), and I took a lot more pictures.
For dinner we met up with Andrea’s mom and her boyfriend and went to his Mom’s favorite place Osteria Pan & Panella di Puglia. We each had pasta in a bread bowl, wine, and a ricotta cheese with strawberries dessert. It was all very amazing; I can see why she loves the place! Her boyfriend can speak some English so he told us a few stories. Unfortunately he didn’t really understand when Britt or I talked in English so I just listened. Andrea’s Mom doesn’t speak English as all so Andrea translated between her and I. I didn’t take any pictures during dinner but she is extremely cute!!
After dinner we met up with some friends of Andrea’s and headed out to a lake about 45 minutes away from Verona. It was a lot of back roads and unfortunately I don’t do well in car trips so by the time we got to the lake I didn’t feel well. After a little walk I did feel better. We could see a little bit out into the lake but not far. Apparently the lake is very big and in the summer the town we were in becomes very packed. However, it was pretty cold so we were able to walk freely. After a bit of a walk we went to an ice cream/drink place and each had a dessert. I had what would be a strawberry and chocolate milk shake. It was very good but who am I to complain about a dessert!! I found it funny that we were all in jackets, cold, sitting outside by a heater, but all ordered some kind of ice cream for dessert!! Only in Italy (or at least not in Atlanta)!!
After dessert we walked a little ways again before hopping back into the car and heading back to Verona. On the way back we had ANOTHER run in with the Italian police… they had a roadblock up for drunk drivers coming back from the lake to the city. Our driver had to take a breathalyzer to make sure she had nothing to drink, which she hadn’t. The roadblock took us about 30 minutes to get thru!! Britt says that 3 run-ins that he has had with the Italian police is enough for him!! Once again it was a late night and we were back in bed around 3am.
Since today is Palm Sunday, Andrea wanted to go to church so he and I got up early and went. It was a lot of fun going to church!! It was interesting to hear a Catholic service is Italian. I really enjoyed it!! Britt only wanted to sleep in so after we came back from church and had rested for a few minutes ourselves I finally woke Britt up around 1pm.
Andrea had to visit his grandmother and he didn’t want to put Britt and I thru the visit so he went there and we went to lunch. Britt and I ate at Osteria Le Vecete, which was once again amazing!! I had a pasta dish with olive oil, sausage, tomato, and egg plant. Very tasty!! We stopped by the gelato place we went to on Friday night again so I could get some dessert. I love vacation!!
After eating Britt and I met back up with Andrea so he could take us to the train station. There is a driving restriction in Verona for today to help with air pollution. The restriction requires that all vehicles on the road must have at least 3 people in them. So, on the way to the train station Andrea picked up 2 of his friends that we had gone to the lake with so that on the way back from the station he would not get into trouble!
Andrea is staying in Verona one more night but Britt and I need to get going… we have a vacation schedule to keep!! LOL!!
Just to inform those who would like to be ‘in the know’ here is what Britt and I have planned coming up:
- Going to bed early tonight to get up around 8am on Monday.
- We are taking a train from Venice to Florence and spending Monday afternoon in Florence.
- Monday night we are taking a train to Cortona to visit one of Britt’s friends. She is studying art there however she doesn’t have room in her apartment for us to stay so we will be sleeping Monday and Tuesday night in a hostel near by.
- Walking around Cortona Tuesday.
- Taking a train to Perugia Wednesday morning. Perugai is where Britt stayed last time he was in Italy so he will be able to show me all around!!
- Wednesday night we are taking a train to Rome and staying with a friend of Britt and Andrea.
- Touring Rome on Thursday and Friday.
- Friday night or Saturday morning we are taking a train back to Verona to spend Easter weekend with Andrea. On Monday we will take a Train to Milan.
- Tour Milan on Tuesday
- Tuesday night or Wednesday morning we will take a train from Milan back to Venice, maybe stop thru Padua to visit Gilda’s (a friend of all of us -- currently living in Atlanta) Mom.
- Hang out in Venice on Wednesday (if we don’t visit Padua).
- I leave Thursday morning :(
I will be so tired when this next week is over but I look forward to it all. Since we are traveling so much I may not be able to get Internet access so I may not be updating much. However, I will when I can!!