Thursday, June 12, 2008

Arriviamo in Italia!

Thursday, June 12th, Jason and I arrive in Milan at 6:30am! I'm always amazed at the lack of security when arriving in any Italian airport. I can't tell if it just seems lacksadaisical as a ruse of sorts, if there are really strategically placed cameras and S.W.A.T. teams ready to swoop in at the slightest sign of trouble, or if just about anyone can wander into the country whenever they feel like it.

Either way, we make it to the Hertz rental counter to get our sweet ride for the next two weeks, a Smart ForFour. I love this car! The Smart cars we see on the road in the states scare me. They are simply too small in comparison to the behemoth SUVs that litter the roads in even the most congested, urban neighborhoods. But the four dour, four seater Smart car, now that's a different story. I could get behind this car for sure.***

The Italian rental car situation is always also interesting. At home, when renting a car, I always feel like I may have accidentally just signed away the rights to my first born child and am always being coerced into additional coverage for every single potential calamity which could strike. The Italians on the other hand, kind of glance at your drivers license, have you sign a piece of paper and hand you a key and a space number and send you off with a vague point in the direction of where you will eventually find this space in the lot, which will hopefully hold the car you so desire.

But I digress. Off we go for our drive to Florence. We decided to fly in and out of Milan since we would be spending our honeymoon in the lakes region in the north of Italy, about 45 minutes from Milan. So the first leg of our journey involved a 4 hour car ride. Under normal circumstances no big deal, Jason and I usually love road trips, we're really good at them. However, after 14 hours of travelling with minimal sleep it becomes a big deal.

Luckily, there were an abundance of Autogrills on the way. And in the Autogrills there are two necessary ingredients to any long road trip in Italy. 1) a coffee counter with copious amount of delicious cappucino and espresso and 2) PAPRIKA PRINGLES. Only available in Europe, paprika flavored pringles are one of the greatest foods in the world. In a country whose cuisine is prized amongst all others, one of my favorite treats in Italy will always be the paprika pringles. I search in vain here in the US, hoping one day they will be distributed here. Hoping, and yet also fearing it. There is something special about knowing that I must travel to "The Continent" to indulge in this awesome treat. And seriously, I would probably weight 400 lbs if they were sold here. I literally can't stop eating them. I was considering posting a link to the Pringles website and imploring all of you to go and plead that they bring Paprika flavor to the US. But I think I am truly a better person without daily access.

So, with frequent coffee and Pringles stops we wound our way southward toward Florence, San Donato in Collina and Torre a Cona.

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