This week should prove to all our adult children that we are still of sound mind and able to take care of ourselves! We survived the over 1,378 round abouts in Florence, Bologna and the AutoStrada! Actually i think the 1,378 turned into 2,756 by the time we turned in the rental car on Friday! Since our GPS was in the beautiful Italian language with street names that none of us could begin to pronounce much less see fast enough as we went around the “round abouts” we did our fair shares of playing ring around the Rosie, by car!
Just as we were starting to get the hang of following our sweet Italian speaking GPS lady we named “Lucia” we came to the toll booths! All I can say is that the man yelling at us from the speaker to “just go on” 15 times, needs to go to anger management class! We were doing our best to count out $8 worth of Euros from our purses! We had no idea it would cost that much. We thought we had plenty of change out before driving up to the arm that would not lift even though we had thrown in 8 Euros. Our 8 euros apparently didnt add up to $8 so the man in the window began shouting for us to go on so all the cars behind us would stop honking!
Bonnie and I were about to die laughing when, after a few more miles, excuse me Kilometers, down the road, we had to repeat the process! This time, Arnie drove past the machine that takes the ticket to see how much we owe and had to back up! Cars began honking once again as we began to dig for change as we quickly noticed we were in the credit card lane only!
We drove off finally realizing that we felt good about learning some new Italian words coming from the drivers behind us!
Exploring Italy for 3 days by car was not only an adventure but it proved once and for all that our minds are still working pretty well! As we drove up to our airbnb in Bologna for the night, we were a little irritable that the host was not there to meet us and let us in! When we began to text him, we let him know that we had been at the front door for 30 min and were tired and hungry and was ready to get out of the car we had been in all day! He quickly responded that he was standing outside the door to the apartment we had rented but we werent there! We were at the wrong address. Apparently there were two exact same address! one was in Bologna the other was in a little neighborhood 5 miles away. We put our bags back in the trunk and 35 min later, drove up to the correct place. By now we were starving. We were too tired to get back in the car and try to go find a place to eat so we asked our Airbnb host if there was a neighborhood restaurant that we could walk to. He graciously told us about a place about two blocks down! We sat down at the table to which we were led and opened our menus. Of course it was all in Italian and the waiter spoke no English. When Arnie ask about several menu items it became apparent that the restaurant specialized in fish! None of us actually received the food we thought we had ordered! But the laughter and the experience was certainly worth our first dinner with fish that was looking at us from our plates!
As we left Bologna the following morning, we smiled at the first “round about” which allowed us to drive yet around and around trying to find the exact exit that would once again take us to the AutoStrada! We had learned our lesson….we had the change ready and waiting in the cup holder! Plus, after having a whole fish, eyes and tail included, we had learned a few new Italian words ourselves!