Day 6 - Anthony & Liza's European Vacation

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June 17th 2017
Published: June 21st 2017
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Up early and heading down to enjoy breakfast with dad and see him off. Today he travels back to Canada and Anthony and I begin our second leg of this epic trip (at least for us it's epic!) From Prague we will fly to Rome and pick up our rental car and then head to Siena, where we are looking forward to a rest and lovely dinner in time to enjoy a Tuscan Sunset. We have loved our time in Prague, definitely come back to this city and explore some more. Miroslav, our new friend and cab driver will be here at 9:30, excited to move on.

We have arrived in Rome!! Anthony is in his glory as he can finally understand everyone, his "peeps"! He starts his renewal of his Italian by flirting with the lovely ladies at Hertz who are thrilled to have a tourist speak to them in their own language, I am quickly forgotten 😊 We get to our car and of course cannot agree on how to put all the bags into the car, I give up and let him have at it, although I know we don't have to have bags in the back seat, sigh, it's a vacation. I set up my "Waze" and we begin to leave the car rental center, Anthony saying "tell me how to get out of here", I explain that the map is loading, why not pull aside and wait? He navigates the standard gear shift, avoids the other exiting cars, and now wants to know which way to go, we finally pull over and promptly stall the vehicle. I choose to speak softly and ask him to check my phone to look at the map - at the same time my darling husband is fumbling with his "google maps" and ultimately tosses his phone into the back seat. It's an early sign that navigation will become something of challenge, breathe in - breathe out. Jane - the Waze voice - begins to direct us through the traffic and we reach the highway, at which point I quietly ask Anthony if he realizes he's at 4500 RPM, "Oh, Yeah" as he shifts into 4th gear..... get the picture 😊

Once we are on the way it doesn't take long to leave the congestion behind and begin to see the country side emerge, we also note that motorcycles and scooters do not have to obey any rules of the road and will pass you on the center line or into oncoming traffic easily! For this part of the journey we do not get on any major highway, mostly two lane roads, and it's nerve racking to say the least, however little did I know what the next day would bring once we hit the Autostrada.

Along the way we are looking for a late lunch and choose Grossetta as our first stop. We find the city center (signs say "Centro" in every town/city with a black bulls-eye make it easy), and we park, man is it HOT! 5:00 pm and 29 degrees! we discover there are rules about eating in this country, dinner doesn't start until 7 - 7:30pm, even in this little town, but most pizzerias are open, and we find one. It's a lovely, tiny place with tables outside only, and a chef with one waitress, she's adorable. We share a pizza and some wine in what feels like 40 degree Celsius weather, it tastes soooo good.

We don't dally around because we still have a ways to go, so back in the car, enter the address of our final destination for the day in "waze" and hope that Anthony doesn't get too frustrated with "Jane". Things go smoothly and when we arrive at the resort we are awe struck, it is late afternoon, early evening, and the sun is beginning to set. It is a quintessential Tuscan view, and we are a bit sorry right away that we aren't staying longer. The resort is a former medieval town that has been converted into a golf and spa resort made up of a series of small and large original unique buildings. The staff couldn't be nicer and we are escorted to our room and shown how everything works and we freshen up for dinner. We walk up to the main building and take our table on the patio overlooking the valley, wow, so beautiful. To be honest the food was something else, the flavours are uniquely different, I didn't believe all the hype, but the truth is that when you take a bite into a tomato and it tastes like the earth, clear and honest flavour that leaves no doubt as to what you are experiencing. I had to chuckle and say to Anthony that I felt as though I had somehow been duped and fallen into the trap set by his family as they all told me that the food is so much better in Italy, I must have psychologically made the assumption that it did. But, alas, it really does!!!

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