Arrival in Umbria

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday the bus didn't leave until noon, so I had time in the morning to go for a walk and, you wouldn't believe it, have my hair cut! Now for most of you that wouldn't seem like a big deal, for others who had to hear about the disaster done to my hair the last time I was in Rome you would be thinking, why in the hell would she do it again?? I am happy to say that despite the fact that the person who cut it this time did not speak a word of English (and the last guy did!) they did a wonderful job! So obviously being able to communicate in the same language has absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

Anyway, moving right along in my story...got on the bus, then a 3 hour ride to the hotel. I remember my first program in Spain driving out to Valdalavilla being amazed by the fields of poppies, this time it was the gorgeous fields of sunflowers everywhere you looked. Stunning. The area we stayed is just inside Umbria, only a few km's from Toscana (Tuscany) and looks very much like the typical photos of rolling Tuscan fields of olives, vineyards and of course sunflowers. The hotel is perched on top of a hill looking down over all these fields, an incredible view. A little too much for the bus though, that couldn't quite make it up the last steep narrow part of the road!

The hotel is mostly in one building, with the reception, bar, restaurant, and the majority of the rooms above. Then there is the pool, with an apartment beside it (where Pablo and Brian stayed), and at the other end of the hotel is the chapel, with another apartment (where Joanne and Bob were upstairs, and I had the downstairs. I guess it paid to be on a 4hr delayed flight with P & B after all!). I was extremely thankful for my room when we found out the air con wasn't working in the hotel, but yet my room remained cool all week. I tried not to mention that too loudly there though J

Our first dinner was quite a dining experience!! There was a wedding reception in the hotel at the same time, so the food just kept coming and coming. While delicious, there comes a point where you can't bear to look at another dish. I am sure that too much food was to blame for lack of some people's sleep that night, as much as the heat. Very tasty though! When the dancing started, at one point a conga line formed and wound it's way through our side of the dining area. The wedding guests started pulling people from our group in to the dance, which was lots of fun. Some people didn't find the festivities all that entertaining though, at about midnight a man came out of one of the privately owned apartments and went out to his car and laid on the horn for what seemed an eternity. Apparently in Italy "please can you turn your music down I am trying to sleep" is not the way to make a statement. The father of the bride came out and had a "chat" with the crazy honker, which involved a lot of hand gesturing, colourful language and yelling on both parts. Very Italian! I can't remember how many times the crazy honker laid on the horn, but eventually I think he packed up his dog and his wife and headed back to wherever he came from. But more on him later!
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