Why should the SconeLady state that she has not thought of Italy in terms of travel? It must have been so late at night that I utterly forgot a key fact: that I had actually already traveled there! And because of this one thing, I knew that the Italians were kind, and expressive, and funny.
Granted, it was 1983 and perhaps I might be forgiven for forgetting about it. The SconeLady's husband was stationed there, and it seemed only right to be there too. So my mother (bless her) and I bought Eurail passes, packed up the toddler and boarded a train in London. We carried with us Frommer's travel book on Europe, which became dog eared and marked up before we ever hit Belgium. I think it was Europe on $10 a day. Mother and I were very eager to try out this $10 per day business, because we were always close with our money. The toddler didn't care.
Dametra Cafe, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Traveling in Europe wasn't super easy, and I'm afraid Mr. Frommer couldn't render that much support. We didn't understand which money was which, and it all became hopelessly jumbled. Getting around Paris on the Metro with a stroller had its drawbacks. And a toddler who 'didn't WANT to se the Hall of Mirrors!' might have benefited from her daddy's voice.
But when it came to the evening meal, Italy won our hearts. It was the epitome of food with fellowship. And there was just so much of it, but we dug in heartily and made the most of it because the next morning, it would all be bread again.
Riding on Italian trains was nice because the conductors were eager to try their English out on us. If anyone entered our train compartment and saw the toddler sleeping, they would whisper, "Bambino!" and leave us alone. This came in handy. The toddler did not like being wakened, and we felt proportionally eager not to.
All of this only means that we were thrilled to see that handsome young Air Force officer approaching us at the station in Venice. All of a sudden everything was perfectly grand! Smiles all around. Hugs. Masculinity. Strong arms carrying our things, amusing the toddler. Looking over at me with affection. Bliss.
One thing is for sure. If I do go, it won't be alone. Not if I want everything to be perfectly grand - smiles. hugs. masculinity. Doesn't get much better.
See you along the way!