Cellai, Italy. 15 degrees, clear blue skies and sunshine!
I cannot believe that we are finally in Italy !!!! My dream come true!
We are staying in the Chianti wine region in Tuscany in a rennovated 10th century castle called "il Castello". It's just 20 minutes south of Florence and it is so beautiful- we feel like we are living in a Tuscan coffee table book! Every window, even the one from the toilet looks out onto rolling hills or olive groves, rustic stone houses with terracotta rooves and pencil pines against a back drop of snow capped mountains. We are pinching ourselves!!
The trip from Costa Rica to here was always going to be tough as it involved 3 flights over 22 hours but unfortunately it was even longer than we expected. Our flight from New York to Zurich was delayed meaning we missed our connection to Italy. So then our only choice was to fly immediately onto Germany to see if we could make a connection to Florence from there. So we were all running through the airport with bags being dropped and children screaming to try and make the new flights. We must have looked ridiculous. But 4 flights and roughly 26 hours of travel later, we FINALLY arrived. Once the airport doors opened though and we were drowned in hugs and kisses (on both cheeks of course) by our teary, wonderful relatives, the hard trip was soon forgotten. The poor things had been waiting for us for the whole time as they only got the message that we'd missed our flight once they were already at the airport. Adam then had the unenviable task of driving (on the right hand side of the road) from Florence to Il Castello. We were supposed to arrive in the daylight but now of course it was dark and peak hour traffic. Thank goodness we had our relatives to help as I don't think we ever would have made it. We had to do 2 trips to get to the rental car place as we had so much luggage. We then tried to follow my cousin Andrea with my Uncle Beppe in our car just in case we got split up. This meant that I was wedged in the back seat. The little Peugot we'd hired was so small that I had to sit on an angle to fit between the carseats! I was trying to translate the directions for Adam but Zac by this time was crying hysterically as so overtired and I couldnt hear. So- we took the wrong turn off the autostrada and lost Andrea. By this point it had become so crazy that we all got the giggles. It was 10pm before we met up with our accomodation host's son who met us on a little motorbike (so Italian!) to escort us up the hill to the castle. It was an incredibly narrow, steep and winding road that finished in an almost 180 hairpin turn. Adam had done so well till this point but trying to change gears with the wrong hand in these conditions was just impossible on no sleep. Beppe took over for the last turn. By torchlight, we walked up the steep cobbled drive to our part of the castle and climbed the 20 or so stone steps with all our bags. At last we were here! We were greeted by a roaring fire in the stove and a roomy, rustic apatrment. Our home to be for the next 3 months!