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Report 1043: Luggage, Lattes and Lunacy

By Palma from California, Spring 2006

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Page 13 of 17: May 31: Back in La Casa di Cane

photo by Palma

Ravioli di Noci

I had a rough night sleeping as it was very cold in our room and my foot hurt. I was in a tiny sleigh bed that was not long enough for me. I am 5’9”. If I didn’t sleep sideways with my knees bent, my feet would press against the footboard, and my head would hit the headboard. I felt like I was in a crib. Someone was snoring peacefully and I got to sleep sometime after three.

In the morning, I threw on clothes and walked to my bar. I had a huge latte and bought a cornetto to bring back to the hotel’s breakfast room. The breakfast room opened at 7:30. I walked in at 7:30, and there were Ida and Gail finishing their breakfast at a table for TWO. Ida said they walked in early. I got a plate and place setting, opened my bakery bag, and they both left the table. I ate alone and brought my coffee back to the room.

We all packed our stuff, getting ready to check out. I didn’t even shower or put on make-up. After packing my overnight bag, I consolidated my shopping bags. I must have looked like hell, because Ida said, “What is wrong with you this morning?” I said, “I didn’t sleep well.” Both Ida and Gail started insisting I must have had too much coffee. They went on and on about my coffee consumption. Oh my God! I didn’t have ANY coffee, remember? Maybe an appropriate response would have been, “Oh, that’s too bad, sorry you had a bad night. Why did you have trouble sleeping?” There was the cup of cappuccino I didn’t drink on the table! When I defensively said, “It wasn’t about coffee,” Gail then told me I was argumentative again.

I walked out of the room, shaking and crying; went down the street and called Brad, waking him up, as we had said goodnight an hour ago, and it was after midnight in California. I was feeling crazy. I needed a reality check and a friendly voice. I was seriously debating renting a car, driving to Vico, picking up my stuff and spending my last four days in Italy ANYWHERE else. Brad helped me calm down. I bought a bottle of water, another piece of “stress jewelry,” and walked back up to the room. I carried my packed bags and shopping treasures down to the lobby in two trips. I didn’t say a word. Being patient and cooperative didn’t seem to be working. The “silent treatment” is too passive-aggressive for me. My silence was about fear of opening my mouth and being abused some more. I wondered if Gail the pharmacist had any samples of Xanax in her luggage… for either of us!

I parked myself in the lobby with my stuff and tried to read my book. They came down and asked me to watch the stuff while they walked to the garage to get the car. They were chattering away like nothing had happened. We loaded the car and left San Gimignano at 10:30. I read in the backseat until we stopped at a grocery store near home. I bought milk, cheese and a sfogliatella. We came home, unpacked and I ate lunch alone on the front porch while Ida spoke to someone about a water pressure problem. I went to my room and took a nap. An hour later, Ida woke me and said we were going to Bagni. I bought more cell phone time and sat in a caffé for an hour and a half before we went to dinner. I have no idea where they went.

For some reason, I have never been able to stay mad at Ida. She is lovable, despite her idiosyncrasies. I value our relationship and love her like a sister, which is why I didn’t leave. She doesn’t think before she speaks at times, has a quick temper, but in five minutes, she is “over it” and back to her chatty, friendly self. She is usually warm and generous, and we speak on the phone daily when not traveling. I know she felt “in the middle” of whatever was happening between Gail and me. Three is a tough number, as someone always feels left out or gets picked on. I have never experienced being a scapegoat, and I didn’t like it much, but I’m sure it was uncomfortable for Ida to not have all of us get along.

Amazingly, we had a nice dinner. I had ravioli with noci sauce, a fantastic saltimbocca, and panna cotta with two glasses of wine. We came home and I showered and began packing to come home. Everything fit in my luggage! I did my nails, and read until 12:30.

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