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Travel Journal: Italy, Day 3

I feel really out of whack. Because of not being able to sleep on the plane, I was up for about 36 hours straight. Then, we slept for about twelve. Now it's 2:30pm, but it feels like...I don't know, 10:00am to me.

Okay, so we caught our flight from Rome to Pisa without a problem. Except that the seating assignments got messed up and I didn't get a window seat...waah!

Once at Pisa, we got our rental car, which was somewhat hilarious as all the cars were parked haphazardly in the lot and waaay to close to each other. J had to get in the driver's seat from the passenger side. Once we got on the road, I was glad he had read the section in the travel book that advised, "Whatever you do, do it with conviction." Good advice on Italian roads. You need to just gogogogogo and not think twice.

Despite a wrong turn, and forgetting to take a ticket at the toll road (resulting in a €40 ticket), we made it to Doris & Doug's mulino, which is gorgeous. Doris gave us a tour and made some lunch - pasta, pecorino, bread, etc.

At that point, I was starting to get extremely tired. Jeremy and I walked to the back of their property to check out the waterfall; I thought the fresh air might help me stay awake. It kind of worked. But, every time I sat down for even a moment, I fell asleep.

After Doris finished setting up for that week's guests (who were arriving later in the day), we followed her back into Lucca to find our apartment. Owned by her distant cousin, Frederica, and her husband, Enrico, the apartment is a one-bedroom on La Citadella, a street in Lucca. We have a private terrace, a kitchen, and a small lounge with a TV. The only downside is the bathroom, only because the shower isn't enclosed (except by a curtain), and has the tendency to spray water everywhere. Also, I can't figure out how to shave my legs in there, which is important because the weather here is much warmer so far than I expected. Which means I think I'll be wearing skirts a lot. Hm. Dilemma.

We settled in to our apartment, and Doris promised to be back around 8:00pm to take us to dinner. We took naps and showers, then walked with Doris & Doug to a restaurant called Slim Joe's, which used to be owned by some Italian-Americans, and had a few remnant American menu items (Doris & Doug wanted cheeseburgers - how funny!).

I'm glad our first dining experience was with an Italian-speaker, though. We would have been lost otherwise. I had never heard of the Primi Piatti/Secondi Piatti system, which the waitress was really strict about. She wouldn't take secondi orders until all the primi orders were done - it was so confusing. But, now we know: it is the basic equivalent of first & second course. Primi is a pasta course, secondi is a meat. Since Doris & Doug only ordered burgers, but Jeremy and I ordered both primi and secondi, they didn't get their burgers until after we got our antipasti and primi. Italians get baffled by Americans who order one course or the other, but not both. Not a single travel book mentioned a thing about it, either.

After dinner, we walked to a bar across from the Cattedrale (Cathedral) for a drink, then followed Doris & Doug out of the city to park our car overnight (traffic and parking is very limited within the walls of Lucca, where we are staying). The car is going to be awesome to have on some days, and a pain in the ass on others.

We walked home after parking the car and proceeded to sleep for twelve solid hours. Ahhh...

Posted September 28, 2003 2:33 PM | On This Day: 2005 2002