Sunday, August 24, 2014

Milan and more

This year we traveled to a new part of Italy; Laggo Maggoria. Phil and I had been there before when my Dad worked in Milan but the kids had not. Since we all love Italy we visit as often as we can, try to see as much as we can and eat as much good food as we can…to last us through a long spell of brats and potatoes. And we thought it would be a shorter drive.
Sadly, the shorter drive did not materialize. Between our car’s navi- which for reasons we don’t understand always goes on the blink in Italy- and our own general confusion, plus a bit of holiday traffic, we ended up driving seven hours one way. Exactly the same as every other year when we drive down into central Italy. We only went as far as Northern Italy but it took forever. Germany to Austria. Austria to Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein to Switzerland. There we emerged on Laggo Maggoria and drove along the coast until we finally came to the Italian border about thirty minutes for the town we stayed in.
We stayed in a lovely villa with tons of character and lush overgrown gardens. We found turtles and roses and wild kiwis and an unknown flower we just called the four dimension flower. I had read Lord of the Flies to the kids earlier in the summer and while it seemed an odd choice at the time, it paid off in the end. The kids had plenty of time to build shelters with enormous palm fronds, collect blackberries and fend off the mosquitoes. They wanted to spend the night down there but we had torrential rain at night and palm shelters tied together with twine. A downside was the noise; church bells ringing every half hour throughout the day and night. I would like to say I adjusted to the local ambience but really we just bought earplugs for the night.
We drove to Milan for an excursion with the idea to see The Last Supper. We bought tickets online before the trip and got there just in time for our 1:30 showing. Alas, the lady there showed us that our tickets were for 1:30 the day before! Tickets are notoriously hard to get. The friend we were with had tried to see the painting before and was unable to get tickets. With kids in tears, said friend questioned the ticket lady a few more times and realized there were tickets available for 6:15 later that day. Done! We were ushered into a room filled with the painting and left with the painting for fifteen minutes. The time flew by but was enough for Adam to memorize the names/positions of the disciples for at least another fifteen minutes.
For a final burst of fun, coinciding with a burst of sunshine, we rented a motorboat. Adults soaked up some of the first summer sun and let the kids drive the boat. All kids drove in their own personal style. Royce was slow and cautious. Tori tried to go fast. And Adam turned the boat in circles, stopping only to consider racing the other boats going by us! I’ m not sure how to interpret adults not getting much if any time driving. At least we’re not overprotective.


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