travelogue

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I've been on six planes in four weeks. I'm not complaining.
Some of my co-workers have been on many more.
I like to travel by myself and there's an interesting distinction between traveling alone for business and going on vacation. I make my own way and have my methods. I've streamlined the way I do things and I've made some mistakes.
(The solid black Vera Bradley carry-on bag is too big for me to carry comfortably.)

So, off to Italy I went.
I flew on BA as I couldn't face a layover in Paris, couldn't imagine not leaving the airport. Heathrow suited my purpose.
I got this nasty little cheese plate at Kennedy.


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It really could not have been worse.
I got on my plane and found my Premium Economy seat (oh, yes), marveled at the difference a couple of hundred dollars can make, and settled in.
I can't say what movies I watched but I watched a lot.
I didn't sleep, which was a problem.
And then I was in England with my friend who had arrived on a parallel flight.
We met at Heathrow and waited together for the Italian leg of the journey.

And then, Italy. Crazy, busy, loud, Italy.
I had coordinated meetings and cocktail parties and brain-storming sessions in a palazzo and dinners and more cocktail parties and, of course some time to visit the drug store to buy Italian lotion and soap (as one does).

I stayed, we stayed, in an old hotel in the center of Bologna.
It was a little bit grand.

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My room was across the alley from the yoga studio.

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I did some stretches with them in the morning.

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My other view looked out on houses and beautiful tiled roofs. There were church bells and arguments and the sounds of the neighborhood flooded my room.

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I was in 218, off in the corner, far away from everyone else, which seems to be my wont. My room is similarly situated in London. No noise from the neighbors, I am away on my own.


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In the evening, when we could, we'd have Aperol Spritzs and caper berries.
And, for five euros each we had this for lunch one day -

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Because, of course, there really isn't any bad food in Italy.
The palazzo was as one would expect - but that didn't mean it wasn't stunning.

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The meetings went well. The brainstorming session was a success.

We did some late-night dinners...

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I found myself walking our notable author back to the hotel after midnight and marveled at the sights.

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I shopped and walked and worked with one member of the group and really enjoyed my time with her.

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Her room had a beautiful balcony and she shared treats with me at all hours of the day and night.

I threw one last cocktail party.

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I made an arduous journey back to the hotel to travel outside the city to a very memorable dinner in a gorgeous old house.

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And then, so quickly it seemed, after only four days, it was done and I was a bit sad and somewhat exhausted.
I donned my little Automobili Lamborghini hat (which looks kind of dusty)

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grabbed a taxi and headed out.
It was a short hop back to Heathrow, where I had a massive layover.
I decided to get a cup of tea at Fortnum's.

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It was very satisfying. But then a funny thing happened. The waiter brought me some smoked salmon to taste and, though I don't care for salmon, I ate it.
I had never had anything like it. I pushed aside my tea and ordered a plate.
Creme fraiche, slivers of delicate fish, the teeniest hint of red onion, capers...

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it was one of the best things I've ever eaten.
I got on my big airplane. Settled into my seat and watched Lion.
I cried for every minute of it. I went to sleep. I got a taxi. I came home.

It was too little time. If I have a chance to go again I'll change that.
It was wonderful and crazy and busy - as Italy can be.

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I'd kill for an Aperol Spritz.


Comments

Was it perhaps cold-smoked salmon? Texture like butter, taste like heaven? A fishmarket in Minneapolis used to carry it from a vendor in Seattle. Expensive, but worth every penny.
Paola said…
I am pleased to hear next time you will stay longer. You know, that salmon dish is a regular for us here (minus the capers we don't like, replaced by a herb mustard), many evenings it's our dinner.
Spritz must be the national drink, nothing easier to do though: Aperol and Prosecco. There you go. Enjoy!
Kim said…
Well this is all glorious. Exhausting but glorious. I don't care for salmon either but yes, I would have eaten that until my head fell off.
Anonymous said…
I cried much of Lion. Not all out of sadness, though. Lovely trips.
TX Carol
Crazy Mom! said…
I am altogether jealous. I'm sure you're exhausted - but what a LOVELY time you've had!
Anonymous said…
How do you say "What a fascinating recap!" in Italian. If I knew, I would.

Welcome back! The trip sounds amazing.

jbhat
Luscious! All of it! What great photos you take and I enjoyed all the indulgences of your descriptions. Someday I'll get to Italy. Meanwhile, back to England first.