We're going to George Clooney's mansion!!!! Day 5

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September 10th 2017
Published: September 10th 2017
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This is our last full day in Italy, this time has flown by but we have really enjoyed spending our anniversary here but time to take advantage of our last 24 hours in this amazing place, we're headed up to Lake Como. That's where the residents of Milan go when they want to get away from the fast paced life of the city and go somewhere to unwind. Milan to Lake Como is about 84 kms which is about 50 miles or about to distance to drive from Sugar Land to the Woodlands in Houston, ok that drive in Houston might not be that far but it's close. Lake Como has been a popular getaway for Italians for hundreds of years, now many people throughout Europe and all over the world come here to unwind, many very weathly people also have homes here. Like my taxi driver told us the first day we got here, George Clooney has a mansion out in the lake as well, but before I go into the details about that I know the suspense is killing you, I'll tell you about the trip up to the lake.

The night before was a late one for us, so we slept in this morning before heading up the lake, when we finally get up we make our way to the train station so we can get tickets. The train station in Lake Como that we're going to is called Varenna Esino, Varenna is a small village on the lake that has ferries that take you to other areas of the lake, our ultimate destination is to make it up Bellagio which is one of the more famous areas on the lake. So after a few minutes we found our destination then get two round trip tickets for our day journey, we get there about 30 minutes early so we hang out in the train station then our train comes and we find a seat in the back. While we're waiting on the train to depart, this guy comes on the train and ask us if this train goes to another stop, I didn't know and neither did the lady sitting close to us, but when he bent over to ask, he had a terrible odor so I was happy he left. Lucky us, he found the conductor and it was his train, so he comes and wouldn't you know sits right in front of us, oh joy this is going to be the longest hour of my life. it seem like every time he moved, odor came from a new part of his body and he had on this heavy Burberry trench coat but it was about 75 degrees outside, why did he have on his winter coat? I tried slow breathing, holding my breathe but nothing worked and each time the train stopped I hoped it was his stop but it was never his stop. I understand cultural differences but I think deodorant and showering should be universally accepted especially if you can afford to have two cell phones and a train ticket but I digress, I'm trying to enjoying the beautiful mountains but all I can think about is where is my stop. Finally the train conductor announces Varenna Esino is the next stop, I've never been so happy to depart. I was anxious to visit Lake Como but I was even more relieved to breathe fresh clean air.

We hope off the train and exhale, after we are able to breathe again we look for the signs for the ferry but my wife says I need to eat before we get on the ferry so we stop at this small cafe connected to the train stop. We have a seat then the waiter takes our drink orders, I get some Italian beer and she has water, then we order pizza and I have used a lot of superlatives to describe the food in Italy but this was the best pizza I've had in my life without a doubt. Then with the beer to wash it down and before we left, we grabbed some pastries for our short walk to the pier, once we get down there you can see crowds of people walking around. I walk to the ticket window to get our tickets for the ferry but this family is ahead of us and they seemed very confused, I can see the aggravation on the face of the guy behind the window. What time does the ferry leave? when does it return? how much? where does it go? The line behind us gets longer and patience is running shorter with us and the rest of the crowd, thankfully the confused couple buy tickets and go on with their day. I buy two round trip tickets to Bellagio, so we're ready to go. I walk up to one of the attendants working the pier and she tells the Bellagio ferry will be here in 30 minutes at this docking station, while we wait 4 or 5 ferries load and unload, people, cars and bikes from parts of the lake. Finally the Bellagio ferry pulls and we meet an American couple from Manhattan, the husband is in Italy on a business trip so the wife decided to tag along, who can blame her for that? We talk to them while the ferry unloads and we get on, their a nice couple so we chat for a while. They ask about Hurricane Harvey, we talk about life in NYC, the wife also mentions that George Clooney has mansion up here but she googled it and it's further up north on the lake so sorry we didn't go to his mansion, I know you were waiting to hear about our wild night drinking wine and hanging out with George Clooney but maybe next time. The ferry ride is short maybe 10 minutes at the most, so we see Bellagio to our left then we slowly pull up and get off the ferry, we say goodbye and head our separate ways. We decide to walk down the trail near the lake and just enjoy the serene beauty, we find a bench near the end of the trail and admire the beauty of Lake Como and I understand why people come up here. It's so peaceful, the lake is blue and still, just some boats going up and down but the sun is out and the weather is great.

We finally get up then head back towards the village to look at some of the shops, my wife spots a pair of shoes that catch her eye in the window of one of the shops so we go in and it's full of designer clothes, I saw some shoes i liked but of course they don't have my size. The lady says big man you need big shoe, thanks for your astute observation but you don't have my size but I found a nice bottle of Italian cologne that I like, my wife looks around some more before she gets her shoes and the lady tells us thank you and enjoy our day. We walk around some more and head up a hill, we see some nice silk scarves and ties in one shop so we walk in and look around, the owner introduces himself, his name is Pierangelo Masciadri he has made ties for Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. So we spend a good amount of time just talking to him, he has pictures and thank you letters from each president thanking him for their ties. He tells us that he has made by hand every item in his shop and only makes ten of each piece. My wife finally picks something out, then we say our goodbyes and head out, we walk around some more before we head back down to the pier, get a few souvenirs for some friends and wait on the ferry, our train back to Milan is scheduled to come at 637 so we leave ourselves about 45 minutes to get back to Varenna. The ferry comes and we're on our way back, it's still people waiting to go to Bellagio when we get there and many of them have suitcases probably making it a weekend trip. We make the short walk back up the hill to the train stop and we have to wait about 30 minutes for our train, an announcement comes over the loud speaker in Italian but everyone heads to the center of the tracks so we follow them cause we see someone who rode in with us this morning so we assume their going back to Milan too. We hop on the train and thankfully no one stinks, so we're able to relax, after the train departs the conductor walks through the cars checking tickets, I show him our ticket and go back to sleep. I wake up right before our stop and the train slowly eases into Centrale Station and we make the walk back to our hotel but we stop at one of the cafe by the hotel. We had dinner before going back to the room, it wasn't bad but doesn't compare to some of the amazing food we ate the past week. Italy was a great trip, only regrets were I didn't ride a scooter through the streets of Milan and I didn't get a man bag but someone who came with me on the trip didn't want me to get one but I won't say who she is.

Europe is an amazing place, I've enjoyed each visit but we're ready to see other places and take this blog to other parts of the world. South America sounds pretty good, so I think I need to brush up on my spanish before The Woods family takes their next adventure, until I blog again arrivederci.

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