Well… I’m home!

Alright, not “home” “home”, but “home I don’t ever want to leave” home. Today we arrived at the Hotel Del Golfo in Elba, Italy. What a breath of fresh air. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Woke up – not a great sleep, not a terrible sleep, just a “meh” sleep. We DID wakeup though – 7am. Breakfast at the hotel in Rome, nice little continental breakfast, nothing special. Made the trek from the hotel to Termini no problem, found our train no problem, got ourselves situated.

The train was pleasant – we got a first class ticket, but it’s an inter city train so it’s nothing particularly special. That being said, I’m glad we got the first class – at least it was reasonably comfy. We napped on the way to Pisa – a four hour trip, looked out the window and saw some of beautiful Tuscany… just lovely.

DSCN3977Made it to Pisa in one piece, everyone reasonably happy. We decided that, being in Pisa, we had to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so made our way there. About a 20 minute walk, no problem. Got there, saw the tower – meh. Nothing too terribly special. It kind of leans. Yay. Anyway got the necessary pictures – was told I could climb the tower for 18 euro. Promptly rejected that idea.

Found a nice little place for lunch near the tower, great food – got a pizza, Dad and Mom split a pizza, very nice. Walked back to the train station to pickup the luggage we left there (4 euro each piece, not too cheap), and caught a taxi to the airport where we would be picking up the car, then my cousin Chere.

Taxi to the airport was great and quick, made it to the car – only took Dad a few minutes to sort out the parking break and remember how to drive a stick shift again :p always entertaining, no permanent damage. Chere was over in Arrivals which sadly was not a quick walk away from the rental place, so we drove over there – I think Dad was pretty anxious to get out of the city… driving around there, not fun.

Grabbed Chere, she arrived at the perfect time (didn’t even have to pay for parking!) and we set off for the ferry!

Took us about an hour to get there, Google Maps and I provided the navigation, which worked out pretty well actually – only a couple of minor issues. Once we got to the town where the port is it took us a few minutes to figure out how to find the actual place – got there with lots of time to spare though.

DSCN4034Once the ship pulled up we drove right on – first time that I can recall that I’ve been on a ferry with a car. Very cool. I have to say, being back on the water really made me miss cruising…. yikes.

Anyway, uneventful one hour ride to the island of Elba. Got some really nice pictures of the island as we approached. Easily made it off, and finally, set off for the Hotel Del Golfo! About a 15 – 20 minute drive from the port.

Pulled into the Hotel and were we impressed! It’s beautiful. Just. Beautiful. Everything about it looks truly wonderful, we hit up reception, they took care of getting us a lovely little junior suite, we met up with some family for drinks, checked out the pool, said hi to the bride and groom, and eventually made our way to dinner in the restaurant – a very filling, wonderful, obviously Italian 5 course meal. YUM! It was fan-tastic. Great food, fun to catch up with family.

IMG_20140606_230737After dinner there was some live music playing outside on the patio, sat out there for a while before I started wondering if the pool was still open…my cousin and I took a little walk down there, found out it was… so I decided to go for a 10:30pm dip!

SOOOOO NICE!!! I was the only one there, beautifully lit pool, just lied there looking up at the stars. It was wonderful, super relaxing, overall just… yeah. No words, just great 🙂

And that was my day! I’m quite happy to stay here for the rest of… well… forever, but regardless I’m here until Monday! Looking forward to tomorrow, maybe we’ll be able to do a little tour of Elba and see what’s up around here. For sure another swim will be involved, as well as some pretty good food I would think 🙂

Internet is sucky here, sadly, so I can’t post this tonight, but I will post it tomorrow and adjust the date. I’ll try to get some pictures up too – we’ll see how it goes. Ciao!!!!