So for those of you who have been waiting by your computer screens in suspense, the laundry was in my room waiting, all dry and ready to be packed! Baruch Hashem! It was a Swiss miracle!
I went on packing while the girls went bowling in the sport and spiel where Teta surprised us all with her secret identity as a professional bowler. Apparently she can bowl one strike after another with no problem while the rest of us are lucky if we knock a couple of pins down! When we finished each person rolled their especially light luggage to the parking lot, loaded it in the car, squeezed out of the tight parking lot without scratching the minivan this time ( like we did the first day) and were off to Italy! Oh wait- I forgot to tell you the funny story about why jido couldn't reach Teta this morning- jido has been staying up late every night till 1:00 am to check up on her every morning at 6:00 in the am for us before we start our day. This morning jido kept getting a busy signal and finally called our room. Emma has had the privilege of rooming with Teta so far- two peas in a pod, but apparently Emma took the phone off the hook without notifying her roommate because she got tired of being woken up so early by the ringing telephone!
Anyway we went on our way through the Swiss tunnels carved into the mountains that flashed lights at us before we enter and exit the tunnel (and we can't figure out why) enjoying the last few signs in Swiss German and of course the nauseating roundabouts that we got stuck in more than once!
It was a rainy drive and after about 2 hours we stopped for gas. Thank god we remembered to fill up with diesel and all seemed to be going smoothly until we couldn't figure out how to open the gas tank. We got an attendant to help and then tried to pay for the gas to get rid of our leftover Swiss francs which didn't work because we didn't have enough but the sight of us dumping a large bag of change on the counter and having the cashier help us count it was pretty funny. We had to pay for the gas with credit card but then used our spare francs to buy toothpaste band aids conditioner mouthwash and pringoooals ( Pringles for the soccer season) when we got to Italy the first thing we noticed was the small cars( except for ours of course!) we drove around looking for the silk museum which we found but looked unpromising and closed although the experience prompted Hannah to teach us all the history of silk making in Italy. No, I have no idea how she knows it but she did a pretty good job and told us some pretty interesting stories. Next we drove to the center of Como and parked in a lot. First Teta looked for a bank as usual to get us some Euro. We walked around the lake enjoying the beautiful now sun filled day and settled on a restaurant in a piazza nearby. Lunch was relaxing and uneventful except for Tetas story of how she couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet in the bathroom and told the lady outside the stall " I'm sorry I cant give you a turn yet because I can't figure out how to flush the toilet. The lady showed her the big button on the floor and she was successful!
We bought some souvenirs at the shop next door and walked around the gorgeous lake where the girls played on the pier in a park and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery where we recalled all the funny mess ups we had on this trip.
We started learning some Italian words but for Teta this is no big deal feeling like a native here in Italy. We drove another 2 hours in the rain on the quick Italian highways, the kids getting bored but keeping us entertained making fun of Teta's accent. Their favorite line of hers on this trip so far is " do I have wifi now?" We got to Verona and hesitantly following the car GPS found the hotel on a bery narrow street opened to the huge Roman arena and gorgeous piazza. Driving slowly Looking like confused tourists in a big American minivan down a European street we looked extremely misplaced. A very nice clerk peaked her head out a small unassuming doorway and hospitably said "Hassons? I've been waiting for you!" It was so charming, old and historical, new and modern all at the same time. The hotel is so beautiful- small , only 30 rooms and homey and inviting. The bell boy and manager said they were expecting us, helped with our bags and checked us in. The rooms were so inviting and luxurious. Ours has two floors with the staircase leading to the roof top deck, jacuzzi and breakfast area.
We walked around outside taking in the huge crowded piazza noticing the lines of hundreds of people lined up for tonight's concert in the huge roman arena. It was just like we saw in the movie gladiator! It was really something we've never seen before ( accept Teta of course). We decided on a restaurant right in the center so we could people watch and had another delicious pasta, pizza, fish, salad dinner ( no cheese of course- the question is still out on fresh buffalo mozzerella ) this time Olivia was happier with her plain pasta which at last restaurant at the piazza in Olivia thought was too salty but we all thought it was the most delicious thing we ever ate. Over dinner Hannah explained her Italian word scavenger hunt game. We worried if it would rain on us for tomorrow's performance of Aida in the arena and toyed with the idea of going to tonight's concert which was "Emma" an Italian singer that won x-factor in case the opera was rained out. Ronnie went to check how much were tickets were at the box office and Just as we began to consider it the rain began to fall and it poured for about 5 minutes. When it stopped Aida said she really wanted to go and although everyone was tired ( it was 9 pm at this point) we were too curious about the arena to pass up the opportunity so we spontaneously decided to buy tickets. We got a great deal 100$ for all of us and were blown away by the acoustics crowd and excitement as we walked in. We put on our trusty compact rain jackets which kept us extremely dry and Teta borrowed a huge umbrella from the hotel. We listened to the crowd, hundreds of people chanting Emma! Emma! Which was lots if fun for our Emma of course and enjoyed the cool performance. Olivia got tired and slept on Ronnie's lap and after about an hour and a half we decided it was time to leave. We walked out ( Ronnie had to make it up another steep but quick rocky hill somehow) and we walked about 5 steps to the hotel. Ronnie and I went up to the roof to enjoy the sounds of the people leaving the concert as everyone else slept. (Emma with Teta in her room of course and the others in one bed in the living room). What a night! Can't wait to see what surprises tomorrow will bring!