I’ll just give you the brief highlights of today. It was a beautiful 25 degrees at least-and sunny-if a little foggy in the morning. We drive from home base into Chianti today. The wine making district. All the grapes are pretty much harvested by now-some red left-but the fields and the green vineyards are still breathtaking. The perfectly gridded rows make my math mind happy, the the smell of wine in the air makes me even happier.
We meander our way through the countryside-stopping for pictures when we see the most beautiful of the panoramic views. At one point Dad asks what all the “p-I-z-z-a signs mean”…….. um…… pizza? He says “well no…. it can’t be… I see them everywhere. It must also mean something else….there can’t possibly be that much pizza everywhere.” Yes Dad. There can. We’re in the most magical part of the world. He sighs. The sigh only a Drover sighs when they see this much pizza. The most contented of sighs.
While driving through Chianti, We visit verrazzano castle. This Italian navigator and explorer helped map much of Newfoundland and a large area of Nova Scotia-the Annapolis Valley included. Eventually he ended up killed and eaten (not necessarily in that order) by natives in Guadeloupe. Which I’m great full for-really I am-but mostly I’m interested in his wine. They have one of the best super Tuscans I’ve tasted in Italy. So we buy a bunch for ourselves, and pick up a few for my friend Greg (and my dads magical unicorn dentist). I’ve been force feeding Dr Power red wine lately-and he’s growing to have quite an appreciation of a good Malbec. This is why we’re friends. So I include a bottle that reminds me of one of our favorites and off we go. A quick flirt with the wine counter clerk and I eventually score a beautiful wooden box to go with my collection!!! Don’t know how I’m getting it home-but it’s happening.
After the Chianti tour we return home for an afternoon by the pool. We quickly go up to check on the beer situation in Nicole’s apartment and the wine situation in mine… will we have enough for the evening? As I walk ahead and Nicole starts into her apartment courtyard (the muppet lounge area) I hear a blood curdling scream. As I run back to see what’s wrong I see nicole, white as a ghost- dancing and screaming at the door to her courtyard. Sssssssssnake. Sssssssssssnake. SSSSNNNAAAKKKEEEEEE. Yeah. I see it as it MOUNTS THE WALL AND CLIMBS UP IT. This thing is about 5-6 ft long and about 2 inches thick. And it’s FREAKING CLIMBING THE WALL. It climbs up and slithers through the little flower garden at the top of her seating area and then into the trees. I’m not sure where my flash of bravery comes from-but I dash in there and take pictures of the dreaded thing. While Nicole screams and does full body shivers. I guess nicole is more of a spider hunter-which I found out recently when called upon to help her kill one and all I did was scream in the background like a small child while she beat the stove top stuffing out of him with a broom.
So, basically, the muppet lounge is shut down temporarily. On account of a BFS. Big freakin snake. Like, I don’t think Nicole is ever sleeping again. And now that I know snakes can climb walls-I don’t feel as safe in my 3rd floor apartment either. Totally sleepin with corks in all my body holes tonight.
The rest of the afternoon is spent eating and drinking (once we get nicole out of the corner in the fetal position). The great wines that were collected all week are drank and much discussion is had about how in the world we are going to fit everything we’ve bought into our suitcases. We are leaving tomorrow so tonight will be the marathon of packing to fit everything in.
We eat at “le vecchie mura”-which translates to “the old walls”. It’s inside San G and absolutely stunning with its outdoor eating courtyard overlooking all of Tuscany. And their lasagnas is not even right. Like, to DIE FOR. Everyone who comes to Tuscany should eat here. Then it’s up to the square for Granmarnier and caramel gelato. Back home for a very brief huddled visit at the entrance of the Muppet Lounge for the nightly rum and coke (on account of one of the muppets saw a snake earlier).
Tomorrow is a marathon and I’m not sure we’re all going to make it. We have to drive to Florence. Drop off the rental car and walk to the train station and catch The train to Venice. With all that luggage from the van. I need an Ativan just thinking about it.
If it goes wrong I will quickly point out that I didn’t want to do Venice-I felt it may be too much. If it goes smoothly I’ll say “see. Told you it would be amazing”. It’s the Drover way. And also, Gary has been mentoring me.