Sunny and hot
Today we drove to Lucca to have lunch with Mat (from www.knowital.com) and his wife Jane. I "know" Mat from the message board and via email, and I love his Knowital site, and have always wanted to meet him. We hopped on the autostrada and were exiting for Lucca after an hour. Another 30 minutes to find some parking and we were set. Argh. This is the first busy town we have been in on the trip. Heavy traffic around Lucca and bad signs for parking led to us driving around looking everywhere for the public parking. At one point we found a small lot just inside the walls, and someone was leaving their spot, so we waited, but then an old couple, in a little car, zipped down the parking lane the wrong direction and edged their way into the spot as the person was backing out. Eventually we found the big parking lots outside the city walls (note for the website - Lucca parking - drive around outside the city walls until you see the large parking lots).
We were to meet Mat and Jane at 12:45, so we only had 30 minutes to walk around and stop for a quick coffee. Then we met them and went in their car to a restaurant outside town in the country. We had a long lovely lunch - I think it was 4pm when they dropped us back in Lucca. We talked nonstop about web sites and web development and about Italy (but mostly web talk). We had a lovely meal and were sitting outside on a beautiful terrace. We did the full Tuscan lunch - shared mixed vegetarian antipasti, a pasta primi, and a secondo - Steve and Mat had fish (Baccala), I had polenta with mushroom and Jane wisely had just a small vegetable plate (contorni) . None of us could finish our secondo. I was starving after all the hiking the day before and thought I would easily make it through a whole meal, but didn't.
They dropped us back in Lucca and we walked around the town for an hour, then found the car and drove back home. We had eaten so much for lunch, that we skipped dinner.