We had a wonderful week eating too many carbs (can you say pizza, pasta, pizza, pasta), winding our way through too many tourists (it was August in Europe after all), and forgetting where we parked the car. Yes, in Siena we thought we had gotten a bead on where we were parked. Nuh unh. Took us at least 45 minutes, up and down hills, to find the car. Seinfeld flashback. Really, it was a great trip:)) We had already been to San Gimignano, Florence and Siena (did not at all mind revisiting such lovely cities) but had not been to Arezzo. Arezzo, like Siena, also has a medieval festival but instead of a horse race, they have a jousting tournament. It is held in September. Our hotel in Chianti, Villa Le Barone, is a beautiful property and is ideally situated for visits to the above mentioned cities. Over the years, they’ve added modern touches like AC and WiFi. The gardens and views are spectacular. Back to driving…
We fire up the old GPS unit, after I almost backed off of a cliff, in daylight, and head back to the A1. Sharp right turn followed by a sharp left turn. We’re now about an hour outside of Milan and go through a toll booth. The GPS says keep to the left and take the second right. I did and the red arrow turns yellow and her highness, the GPS says, “turn around as soon as you can”. Momma mia, che cazzo! Merda! I follow her directions and where does it lead me…back through the toll road. Merda! Now I’d like to tell you that I did the right thing this time but, sadly, no. Would you believe once more through the toll booth? This is really adding up. Finally, FINALLY we figure out what the hell her highness, Miss no it all, is saying. There were actually TWO LEFTS. She meant the left in the middle. For a minute there I thought I was experiencing the definition of crazy. In my defense, there was NO SIGN saying Milan. My hubby actually had more composure than I expected. I guess he felt my frustration, and we’ve married long enough that he knew better than to say anything. Good Lord that was frustrating. But we made it to the Hotel Osteria della Pista. We ended up using our car for just driving to the Villa and back to Milan, 8-9 hours of driving and it cost us…drum roll please…$700. Yowza. The cost of the car was 450EU or $600. You can start laughing. As we’re almost at the hotel I ask my hubby, “hubby, don’t you think we should fill the car up now rather than waiting for tomorrow morning?” “No”, he says. We’re passing all kinds of gas stations. The best laid plans of mice and men. The next day is…a national holiday and all of the gas stations ARE CLOSED except for self serve which only took cash or bank cards. The car took diesel. Even if we had cash, we could not tell which pump was diesel. Everything was numbered 1-5. And no one was stopping to fill up to give us an idea of what we were supposed to do. Thrifty had already told us that they would charge us a 30EU/$40 penalty for not filling up the car. After driving around for 30 minutes, we finally said “f*ck it”. Cost? You got it. $100 for the gas. One final thing. That little dent/scratch. Remember that scene in the movie Predator where Arnold lathers himself in mud so the monster can’t feel the heat from Arnold’s body? My hubby has an “AHAH!” moment. Put some mud on the front bumper and cover it up! He smeared it around so it would look natural. We had been driving down some pretty dusty roads and it had rained. Well, the second part of the Predator story is that Arnold ends up falling into a river and the mud gets washed off. The morning we’re leaving there’s a 50% chance of rain… The mud stayed on and no charge for the dent and scratch…yet.