Friday, March 2, 2007

Italy Part 7: Musings

Writer's note: This is one of a series of posts about my fabulous trip to Italy. Please scroll down or click on Archives to the right to make sure you read them in order.

I realized that in telling about our trip day by day, I omitted some overall comments I have about our trip. They are, in no particular order, as follows:

The Food

Ohhh, the food. Perfecto. We ate SO much. Amazing pastas, fantastic pizzas, gelatos and pastries and Happy Hippos (don't ask). The food was GREAT. I will say, though, that I found two things that I had been told repeatedly by many different people to prove false, at least in my opinion. I found gelato to taste pretty much like regular ice cream despite dozens of people swearing it's entirely different, and other than the extremely thin crust, I found the pizzas to be pretty much the same, too. The one thing odd I did notice about their pizzas is that if you order more than one topping, they have the annoying habit of dividing the pizza into sections and putting a different topping on each section instead of mixing them all up. What's that about?

The Music

The entire time we were there, we never heard a single Italian song. Never. Backstreet Boys, yes. Shakira, you bet your hips. But an aria? Forget it. Our gondolier did not sing, but we passed one who did. To our shock, he was serenading his boat full of Asian tourists with--wait for it--Mandy. Barry Manilow? SERIOUSLY?

You Name It, We Rode It

Kristen pointed out that we used virtually all mainstream methods of transport during this trip: airplane, automobile, train, and boat. I don't know why exactly, but this makes me feel very worldy and chic.

Italians Are Very Nice--And Not Too Shabby Looking

Because Molly knows everyone in Asolo, we were greeted like family everywhere we went there. However, we quickly learned that most Italians are like that--so helpful and friendly. They helped us when we were confused, chatted more than they had to, and really seemed glad we were visiting their country.

Of course everyone knows that Italy is supposed to have more than its fair share of good looking men, and I am here to tell you it is no myth. They are everywhere! Old, young, tall, short, whatever--they were all so...Italian! An example for you--this is the gentleman that created the oil painting I bought and brought home:

I Can Have Good Luck On A Trip!

I am never the person that gets the upgraded hotel room by accident, or just happens to have an empty seat next to her on the plane. However, I was charmed or something on this trip. Every single flight went off without a hitch, we navigated the train station and vaporettos effortlessly, we never ONCE got lost. It was scary how easy things were.

My mom is OLD!

First let me say, I wasn't going to write about this, but my mom told me to. When I say my mom is Old, I am not referring to her age. You know how when people get Old, there are certain behaviors they start to display--they're universal. For example, Old ladies clutch their purses like they are going to be snatched from them at any moment. They fret. Well, my mom has become Old. At the train station, she wanted to go wait on the platform 12 minutes before the train arrived, even though we were already sitting in the waiting area only 20 feet from the platform. She was sure the train would zip in, slow almost to a stop to allow people to dive on, and then roar off again. She also kept freaking out about riding the vaporetto, sure that some hooligan was going to mug her. It got to the point that when she would display such behavior, I would just mutter "Old..." I think she thought it was funny.

And What Does She Have To Say About All This?

My mom has agreed to comment on this post to give her own insight to our trip, so read the comments if you want to see what she has to say.

I'd Like To Thank...

This seems a bit silly, but I have several people I need to say thank you to for the trip, and what better forum than my blog? So, Acadamy Awards style, here I go:

I'd like to thank...

Molly, for being such a gracious hostess, putting up with us and putting us up, finding us great deals and meals, and making our trip so fantastic. Thanks to you, we got to see an Italy that so many people miss out on.

Molly's husband and kids, for doing such a brilliant job of pretending not to be irritated that these three women came and invaded your house.

Kristen, for being the easiest person I have ever traveled with in my entire life, and for blow drying my hair straight when the straightening irons wouldn't work (do not EVEN get me started).

Dad, for thinking this was a great idea and having as much fun as I did planning it, even though you weren't going, and for loving mom this much.

Matt, for immediately supporting my scheme, and for not holding it against me that I went to Italy while he stayed home, and for taking such good care of our babies while I was gone.

Mom, for being so completely surprised, and for being worth all the work.

Well, I think that about wraps it up for the Italy trip. Remember, if you'd like to see all the photos (there are some GREAT ones that didn't make the blog) email me or post a comment. If you take anything away from reading about my trip, let it be this: If you want to visit Italy, or anywhere for that matter, DO IT. Don't be the person that always says, "Oh, I would love to go there." Be the person who goes!


Stephanie said...

I have been wistfully reading your posts...yearning as you are in my "home" country. I joke (but am mostly serious) that I was born in the wrong country. The jolly, friendly people (who love food and naps :)) The smells, the noise, the fresh pasta, herbs, wine...YUM! SO FUN! I am THRILLED you got to take this trip. I loved reading every detail. I love that you have a Mom you love enough to surprise and travel with, a heart friend that is walking beside you and a supportive husband. You are a charmed girl for sure. I am thanking the sweet Lord for you! Have a safe trip home! Oh and I MUST see the pictures!

Miss Brown said...

I completely agree with Stephanie. There's got to be some Italian blood in all of us! I do want to see your pictures too. By the way, did I mention how jealous I was?


Outnumbered said...

So, where are the comments from "Mom." Is she too OLD for this modern form of communication?

Just kidding, Holly...

Anonymous said...

Well here are my comments about my Surprise trip To Italy! First of all let me say that I do have the most amazing husband and daughter in the world. Their love for me is astounding. Some people go thru life without ever finding "their person". I've been lucky enough to have found mine many, many years ago. And "our person" together is Nance. She's our pride! We love her to distraction. What a wonderful gift she is to us!!

Now enough about them, let me tell you about my trip. It was everything Nance said it was and much, much more. You would never believe how suprised I was and still am. It's seems now, like it was all a dream. But I promise it wasn't. It took me the entire flight from XNA to Atlanta to calm down and figure out we were on our way to Italy. When that finally hit me I was pretty excited. Both Nance and Kristen slept the entire way over, but put yourself in my shoes and you'd know that I could't sleep at all. So they were rested when we got there and I wasn't....must be getting old....never too old to travel. Molly, Jimmy and their kids are great hosts. Especially Jimmy. I told him he was very brave to put up with 3 high maintenance women like us. He simply laughed and said it was no problme....what a man! And by high maintenance I mean all the hair straightening that had to take place before we ever left their house to go anywhere. It was a free for all everymorning and very interesting to see who had the best hair....nobody won we all had funky hair. But did'nt slow us down. (much) The town of Asolo is everything you might think of. Small, romantic, beatuiful, quaint, history filled and filled with great looking men. Molly and Jimmy were wonderful and told us some very interesting stories about Asolo. FYI Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived there and died and are buried there. They actually know the people who live in their house now. To me that's just amazing. So Aslol was wonderful, just wonderful. Venice was ....Venice. Just like the movies, pictures and everything in your mind. I do have to admit that we didn't see everything there was to see there, but at that point shopping was high on our list. Venice, what a place to shop. I know this is going to sound weird, but....Both Asolo and Venice were so clean...I've been all over Europe and never have I seen such clean cities. That must be one of those "old" things. Let's get to that shall we. I AM NOT OLD! When Nance was telling about the train....well let me say that I've been in London before when the train did leave us standing there, because we were'nt fast enough!! and we had to wait another hour for antoher train. So talk to me about being old! I'm simply being prepared. And I cluthed my purse the whole time because Molly and Jimmy got "hit" in Vinice a few years ago at the airport and had all their passports stolen and Italy is know for that. So I'm not Old, I'm just safe. AND when we got home, Jerry, my husband and Nance's father were young enough to play a little game we like to call Alexandro and the lost American tourist. Now that's not OLD!!!

Anyway, what a great trip. A trip of a lifetime. Nance pretty much summed up what we did the entire trip on this blog. But what she didn't tell you is all the wonderful memories I will always have with me. I can truly say that the only thing that would have made this trip any better was if Alexandro was with me!!!


Anonymous said...

That's awesome Holly! I love it!

Nancy, I'm thinking we should have gone to Italy instead of Vegas when we were single and still in college! woohoo! With my phermones, I could have picked up foreigners for all four of us!

Please send the shutterfly link :)


Anonymous said...

Nance, you write just the way you TELL a story!! Made laugh and can't wait till I do take a trip like this!!

Holly, you don't know how hard Nancy tried NOT to tell you about this!!!
She was so excited and said it was always so hard to keep a surprise from you!! This has been fun, reading about your trip, it was like taking it with you and Nancy!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Kori "o)

Mandy said...

Whoa - too much information - Yikes Alexandro!!