Now, let me tell you about this autogrill. It was just a "truck stop" with a bathroom, coffee bar, and convenience store. One, my goodness, they had no selection on drinks. They had like 2 little cooler things, we have two walls full of drinks here in the US. But, that is not what this story is about. At the autogrill, we were having a bathroom stop, so I figured, I'd let everyone go to the bathroom, then about 10 minutes later, I would go. That was the last time I did that! Why? You ask?
Let me explain...as Sylvanna would say. I lined up to go to the bathroom, about 2 people in front of me. No problemo! Except that in the US, we teach our little ones in preschool how to stand in line. Apparently, the same care of line waiting and taking turns is NOT taught in Italy. (My next thought...what do these people do when they come to DisneyWorld!?!?) Another bus stopped at the autogrille, full of short (to me, that is seriously SHORT) elderly women...like older than my parents but not as old as my grandparents...who proceded to "herd" their way to the bathroom. Men, in the US, talk about women going to the bathroom in herds...they have NO clue. I wish I would have had my camera, this is one of my major memories in Italy!
Needless to say...I was swarmed, like as in bumblebees. All of a sudden I felt women's body parts all around me...on my back, my arms, my sides. It was all I could do not to scream! The problem is, you wanted to tell them there was a line, but how. I don't speak Italian, they don't speak English. How did I solve the problem? I left! I couldn't stand it. Apparently, I might have a personal space issue, clostraphobia, not sure. It wasn't pretty. I nearly had a full blown panic attack. I don't like waiting for the bathroom surrounded by little short women, feeling their body parts on my body. Nope, not me. Let someone else do that. Luckily, I still had about one minute before the bus left and I darted into the restroom to relieve myself. Wow, what an experience. What I would do for a picture.
Okay, back to the task at hand, tell about my day.
Pisa: Otherwise famous for "The Leaning Tower" I had no idea that it was made of marble. I'm not sure what I thought the building material was, but I didn't imagine white marble. Seriously, it is also amazing that it's still standing. I mean, it's not leaning just a little. I took a picture to show how much compared to the church next to it. Here are our pictures...Heath was in a little "sillier" mood that I was obviously!
After taking pictures we had a few minutes left, so we got some gelato and later a bottle of wine, which we split with Peter and Marion. This was the beginning of many bottles of wine (split with Peter and Marion.) and the nickname Dr. Vino for Heath!
Lucca: What a quaint little town! Narrow streets, fun stores, and doorways. I decided to start taking pictures of cool doors and make a collage on a wall at home. Very cool. (You'll see one above too!)
I'm not sure what it was about the bikes, but I love this picture!
Tuscany (in general) beautiful and GREEN. I didn't realize how much I missed green living in the desert! SO many farms and vineyards and even nurseries for trees/bushes that are exported all over Europe. I really enjoyed the drive today through Tuscany. We spent the night in Lucca...hurray for Internet! I emailed Robyn and H today. I miss Internet.