Europe Day 13

It’s that time again: Time for more journals and pictures. We’re nearing the end. Today we took the car along the coast, on our way from Rome to Pisa. We stop off at a nice fairly secluded beach, chase down a Porsche, and I dance and Irish Jig in an Italian bar. I also quote Monty Python’s Life of Brian at some point. The first part of this journal was written in our hotel room in Rome, and the second part was written at the Hotel Costa Verde, in the small town of Castiglioncello.

Day 13

Okay, my hair is really red.

it’s nearing 10am, which is when we told Bill we’d be leaving. he said if he was coming with us, he’d be here by around quarter to 10 or so. I haven’t checked outside to see if he’s here, but Mindy and Maryrose aren’t here, so I’m assuming they’re out there. Still haven’t gotten word on if I have a ride from the airport or not, (though I think my reply-to address is fubar, so odds are she’s just been trying to reply, and it’s failed… I did give them all my address as well, so hopefully at some point they’ll try that instead. Mindy and I tried calling last night, but the phone we finally found was messed up (it only worked if you put your credit card in, and we had a calling card, which didn’t work on that phone.)

I believe the plan for today is to find a nice quiet beach somewhere kinda near Pisa, and spend the rest of the day there, then get a hotel then tomorrow hit Pisa, take our pictures, then head to Florence. We’ll drop off the car, then go to the train station, and I’ll get a train from Florence to Milan to Lyon to Paris [Hopefully]. then use the Metro to get to the airport, then take a shuttle bus to get to the right terminal, then walk to the right gate. that’s quite a few different means of transportation all for one stretch.[car, rapid-train, subway, bus, walking, then airplane] If we could somehow get a boat involved, I’d be all set.

everywhere around Rome, they have free-flowing water. They’re like water fountains, only they just flow the whole time, and I think they date back to the ancient Romans’ aqueducts project. If so, that is simply amazing.. and so very, very helpful. It’s cold, and it’s readily available, and it’s not 5 Euros each time.

[ “What did the Romans ever do for us?”
“…The aquaduct?”
“The aquaduct.”
“Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that’s true. yeah.”
“And the sanitation.”
“Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?”
“Yeah. All right, I’ll grant you the aquaduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.”
“and the roads.”
“Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don’t they? But apart from the sanitation, the aquaduct, and the roads..”
“Yeah, yeah. All right, fair enough.”
“And the wine.”
“Yeah, that’s something we’d really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.”
“Public Baths.”
“And it’s safe to walk the streets at night now, Reg.”
“Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let’s face it. They’re the only ones who could in a place like this?”
“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”]

My pack has been having a rough time lately. I’ve broken both small loops on the bottom, one of the axe holders snapped off when we were camping, and I think I got pretty scraped up the couple of times we crashed.

“1 a.m. in the morning?”

Bill didn’t’ end up showing up, so we took off around 10;15. Mindy got in the back seat, having decided she was no longer willing to be navigator, but casually neglecting to share that information with any one else until we were at the car. So I got in, and Maryrose and I studies the map real quick, and we got out of Rome, and onto a nice road that hugged the coastline fairly quickly. Good stuff. We followed that road for quite some time, going from minor city to minor city, until we were fairly certain we knew where the road would end p (it goes up by Pisa, which we’re planning on hitting tomorrow on our way back to Florence. While we were driving we were passed by this really odd looking SUV, that we [Maryrose and I] quickly determined to be a Porsche, and so we started chasing after it. It was speeding along at a pretty good clip, so catching it took quite a bit of work, but I give Maryrose quite a bit of credit, cause she did eventually not only catch up to it, but got it to go into the other lane so we could pass… Well the car was roaring by that point. so we then let the Porsche pass us, and I got a good shot or two of it. It’s the little things…. we listened to the radio while driving, and they play the same 4 songs over and over again, with perhaps one new song every hour. Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You, Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, whoever sings “trash my heart”, and this Spanish or Italian sounding song that we’ve all grown quite fond of (well, Maryrose and I anyway. We got Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb today which was excellent.. and She’s Got the Look.. which was just kinda comical. after a few hours of driving, we decided to try to find a nice secluded beach to hang out at for a while.. we were passing by this small island/peninsula [it was an island connected by 3 narrow land-bridges.. I’m not sure what those are called.] we drove around that for a little while, and found this really nice looking beach,so we stopped there. The sand was a dark gray black, and it was HOT so hot that you couldn’t even sprint from the parking lot to the water.. you made it a little ways, then had to either put on your shoes, or die. Anyway, we stayed there, ate some sandwiches and cherries, and laid out/swam for a few hours, which was quite nice. I got a chance to spit in the Mediterranean, which is a good thing, as I had neglected to do so at Nice. When I was young, I would spit into whatever major waterway we happened to visit, thinking that that I was now part of that major waterway, and vise verse, because part of it was made up of my spit. it became kinda a tradition, and I still do it now when I hit a new one. So I’ve got all the great lakes except Ontario, Niagara falls, Mississippi river, Atlantic and pacific oceans, and I’m fairly certain I got the gulf of Mexico on one of my Louisiana trips, but I’ll have to ask to confirm that. Becky and I took some sand from that beach when we left as well, cause it was pretty snazzy looking sand.

we left, got back on that shore-hugging road no problem, and drove for a while longer, then decided to find a place to stay… eventually making it here (after a number of failed attempts at other full, or too expensive hotels). We took showers, went out for a really cheap (but pretty good) meal, then returned and played cards all night. we just finished watching the end of Road Trip dubbed in Italian, and I believe everyone is going to sleep now.. and I should as well, as I don’t think I get to sleep again until either the plane, or Sunday night [It’s currently Thursday night.) Tomorrow is Pisa, then Florence, then the train to Milan, then the train to Lyon, then the train to Paris. then the Subway to Charles de Gaulle airport, then a flight to Newark, then a flight to Chicago, then driving to Michigan. Hopefully that all happens smoothly.

I danced an Irish Jig at the restaurant yesterday to get a 0.05 euro from Maryrose. I’ve been trying to collect all the euro coins, one for me, and one for my Dad. I had finally gotten it all, but then I had to spent a 0.05 at the Internet Cafe…. (then a Euro at the tollway.. Which I replaced with one I got from Mindy)

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