Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 788: What We Did on Our Summer Vacation (2 weeks, 2 people with 2 carry-ons)
By Zig and Georgia from Kentucky, Spring 2005
Trip Description: May 16-31,(2005) Our first European trip(according to Zig): Arriving in Rome, train to Florence, Venice, Siena, bus to Elba, and train to Rome with only our carry-ons.
Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Venice
Categories: Art Trip; Beach; Garden Visits; Opera; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People
Page 1 of 12: Travel from Kentucky, Usa, to Florence, Italy!
Georgia, being the careful worry-wart that she is, wanted to be sure that our first ever Italian trip began and ended well, like a good concert with a rousing first number and a spectacular final one, no matter how badly the middle sags the audience will go home with their ears tickled. Thus, we had our initial itinerary well thought-out and established:
We landed in Rome after an uneventful 9-hour flight starting in Cincinnati. The transatlantic plane out of Philly was packed; I didn’t see any empty seats and it was one of those 2-aisle Airbuses. Georgia had pre-booked us with window seats instead of that purgatorial 5-person middle section. Crying babies weren’t a problem and since the stewardess couldn’t be bothered with cashing our traveler’s check we also had ‘complimentary drinks’ (“My, you’re looking good today!” my Johnny Walker told me.) Our first taste of Italy was Leonardo da Vinci Aeroporto outside Rome. The airport itself was like any modern airport anywhere with tons of duty-free shops and machine-gun-toting policemen manning high catwalks and balconies. Terrorism has sure changed the tourist business.
Buying train tickets was pretty easy. The agent pretended to understand my attempt to tell him we wanted 1-way tickets all the way to Florence. He said something that gave me to understand we’d change trains at the Rome “Termini” about 11:30 after a 20-30 minute train ride. This introduction to European rail travel was a revelation. Where was that (ho-ho) romantic clickity clack, clickity clack of coaches swaying back and forth like drunken sailors? These were smooth (continuous rails—how DO they do that?) and banked curves. Except for quiet personal conversations and loud cell-phone conversations the only sound was commuters rustling morning newspapers.
How could anyone ever become bored with this view rushing by? How could anyone read a paper amidst such glorious scenery? The view was everything Italy should be. Who knew that red poppies could grow like dandelions? They were everywhere and lovely: they were the weeds that infested the train yards. They were the constant foreground as you tried to take in the broad sweep of soft green fields flanked by purple mountains. Occasional solitary hills sprouted from the plains like mushrooms. Some hills were topped with cell-phone towers; others were capped by neat little walled towns of yellow pastel buildings with red-tiled roofs flown in from a nearby Botticelli. Now I know why those guys so often painted these fantastic (as in hard-to-believe) little towns in the background of their paintings. That’s the way Tuscany and Umbria actually look! It’s not fantastic at all.
Rome has more than one train station, so anxiety set in as we hoped that “Termini” was a place and not simply the local patois for any train station in the Roman district. Sure enough: after passing through several Rome-whatevers, we arrived on the outskirts of a place called “Rome Termini.”
Getting down off the train we were excited at arriving but not all that impressed with the look of the place. It looked small, with one dirty staircase heading down God knows where and one snack-bar-sort of affair selling sandwiches and beer. After consulting this enormous paper train-schedule affixed to the wall and learning that the train to Firenze (Florence) was leaving from something called “Bin 3” in 40 minutes or so we suavely ordered up some sandwiches and beer: that is, we pointed at something through the glass and announced “Si, questa,” hoping we were in fact pointing at a feminine sandwich and not a masculine one in which case we should have said “Si, questo.” “Doo-ay Beera” easily secured a couple of beers and a nearby low wall supplied the means to sit, take in our surroundings, and wonder what a “bin” could possibly be. It surely must be something like a track platform (it was: “binari” is the plural for “track”) but then where could Bin 3 be? We could only see three tracks terminating where we were and one of those (the third, presumably) was blockaded with yellow plastic warning tape and barricades announcing that something like a work crew was eventually going to do something resembling work in this general vicinity. Hard to see how we were going to board a train through that mess.
A trip down the several flights of stairs wasn’t any more helpful. The caverns seemed to contain a convenience store that issued onto a road and mysterious tunnels stretched off somewhere into the murk. We certainly weren’t going through any tunnels! Back up the stairs carrying our bags—thank GOD we only brought one carry-on bag each and one book bag. Georgia wondered aloud where the “hundreds of shops” were that she’d read about in “Slow Traveler.” (The pitfall descriptions in this web site saved us more than once!)
Back upstairs we showed our ticket to some nearby conductors and said that magic Italian word “Dove” (dough-vay, “Where?”). The man said something quite rapidly while pointing around the corner. We were given to understand that we needed to go around the corner to the “central” location. A walk around the corner was dismaying. The sidewalk went on forever alongside another set of rails. Set of rails? Hah! There were more than a dozen sets of rails terminating hundreds of yards away in some dim expanse.
Time was running out. We only had about 20 minutes before our train was to leave so we set out at a quick march toward the horizon. Maybe we were supposed to wait for our train somewhere along this stretch? Who knows. No one seemed to be stopping so we pressed on. Eventually we arrived out of breath and puffing in what was obviously the main concourse with a dozen or more “Bins.” Bin 3 was, of course, way the heck over THERE on the opposite side of the station from where we were.
Wending our way through the crowd of hurrying passengers and loitering beggars (“Sir, Sir, my daughter!” a very grubby photograph of a little girl against some indeterminate forested backdrop was pressed upon me) we managed to make bin 3 with 8 minutes to spare. The electronic sign didn’t say anything about Florence on it but another hurried conversation with a conductor let us know that this was indeed bin 3 and our “carriage 10” was the 10th car in the train. Another long walk (10 train cars plus an engine take up a lot of space!) brought us (we thought) to our final resting place. Now to find our seat. There were no seats 95 and 96 so we just picked two empty seats and sat down exhausted. Along came a well-dressed man who gave me to understand that I was sitting in his seat. I showed him my ticket and showed him clearly that I was in the right carriage and couldn’t be held responsible for the fact that Italians seemed unable to number their seats properly. After much hemming and hawing and searching for the right word and consultation with others on the train he gave me to understand that I was most certainly at the right bin (3) and correct carriage (10) but I was nevertheless on the wrong train and that if I hoped to make the right train I should exit the current carriage without delay and find the correct train with dispatch.
Off the train we bolted, located another conductor, showed him our tickets and uttered the magic word “Dove?” More consultation with other passersby, more consultation with his own wristwatch and then: “Bin Say-ee.” He further seemed to suggest that I might not want to loiter on my excursion to this bin. No more quick-march. Now we were running for track six. As I ran I contemplated the wisdom of trusting pre-printed paper schedules affixed to walls with thumbtacks. According to my watch our train had left but I could still see a train parked where we were heading. Another conductor: “No, No, bin de-ay-chi,” he said as he looked anxiously at his watch. Georgia announced for all to hear (including the Japanese girl who had somehow appeared requesting we give her 50 cents) that she wasn’t running to track 10 pulling a wheeled suitcase even if the Pope himself was handing out golden ducats.
Another quick march then, with much puffing and sweating and little lights flashing somewhere behind my eyelids. Still a train, but no one else boarding. Eek! The sign said “Bologna” instead of Firenze, but we figured that was in the right general direction at least. We were getting on, no matter what. Just another 10 train cars to go and we’d be safe. We swung our bags aboard the train just as the conductor spoke something into a little hand-held radio. Wherever it was going, we were going. The train began to move even before we could find our seats and when we found them we found they already had occupants. A rather beefy Italian soldier of the officer persuasion was fumbling for his cell phone when I squeaked “Scusi” with as much aplomb as I could muster. “Prego” he replied, which with “Pronto” is Italian for everything you could possibly want to say to anyone who asks you a question or calls you on the phone or thanks you for something. I showed him our tickets and pointed to the seat numbers. With an eloquent shrug directed to the diminutive swarthy civilian sitting across from him he moved.
I should note that trains in Italy are, for the most part arranged differently than we would have found in the clickity-clack days of American railroading. Italian trains are bracketed by two electric engines, one pulls you from Rome to Florence, for instance, and the other pulls you from Florence to Rome. The passenger seats therefore are basically arranged in groups of four facing each other, so that half the passengers face in the direction of travel and half imitate Ginger Rogers in the arms of Fred Astaire. You can immediately tell what kind of trip it’s going to be by whether or not the person sitting across from you is a graceful dancer and knows where to put ones feet.
The potential uncomfortableness of staring at a stranger for hours has lead to the Italian practice of traveling companions generally sitting across from each other, even if that is not strictly called for by your assigned seats. Our Italian soldier’s shrug was mute testimony to the impossibly dense Americans who were incapable of understanding even the most basic norms of civilized behavior. How embarrassing the shrug said to find oneself allied with such Neanderthals. He overcame his chagrin however since he was sitting across from Georgia and she made an appealing dance partner. And then there was his cell-phone. As best I could tell with my limited Italian he either called someone or received a call from someone to chart his moving location each and every kilometer between Rome and Bologna where he disembarked. Judging by the bored tone and lack of animation he exhibited I knew he must be speaking to someone of the female persuasion he knew well as Italian men only seem animated when speaking with other men about women they would like to know well. Italian women, on the other hand, use their hands the way Zubin Mehta uses his baton (more about that later), sometimes caressing the air, sometimes puncturing it as one would puncture a balloon with a hatpin, and sometimes slashing with such force conversation becomes a blood sport. A conversation between two Italian women bears an uncanny resemblance to a duel with parry and thrust, riposte and touché. When a man and a woman are talking you can tell immediately if they are married. Not married and there is a lot of touché, if you know what I mean (wink wink); married conversation doesn’t resemble a duel so much as a bullfight. The man, naturally, is the hapless, somnambulant bull seemingly more interested in finding another cow than dealing with this willowy well-armed matador slashing and jabbing. Behind the elegant blood-red cape there is a sword, you know, and the bull knows it too.
And so the kilometers hissed by. Poppies everywhere, a constant treat waiting for us as we emerged from the many tunnels. As we were facing where we’d been each tunnel came as an unexpected nightfall to be shortly followed by a gloriously sudden sunrise. I tried to get some photos because I knew people back home would never believe how beautiful it all was but our rocket-like speed combined with the unexpected tunnels and trackside trees absolutely defeated all attempts. I finally just had to just pack in the camera, sit back, enjoy, and try to memorize these amazing vistas.
I didn’t know that there was a line of mountains and high hills running down the center of Italy like a spine and that our train would race alongside and through those mountains at something approaching 90 miles per hour. Tunnels and bridges are essential at that speed. Even with banked turns the idea of climbing grades and going around sharp corners at this speed is out of the question. Running parallel to the mountain ridges are exquisite valleys filled with soft gray-green olive orchards and low trellised clotheslines of grapes, their young leaves still tinged with the yellow green of new growth. I wish I could see them now, a month later, with their more viridian tint and the pendulous clusters beginning to peek out from under the leaves. I can only imagine the harvest to come; maybe someday we’ll get to walk up and down those dusty hillsides sampling the warm purple grapes in the fragrant autumn haze. It’s no wonder aerial perspective was developed by Italian painters; you can immediately tell how far away something is by its fading hue. A land of claustrophobic forests would never develop such a painting technique.
Speaking of claustrophobic: have you ever experienced a city of several hundred thousand automobiles, a million vespas, two million turistas, towering stone buildings, and streets approximately 12 feet wide (including the sidewalks and gutters)? We have. Glorious Firenze. Magnificent Florence. Oh my GOD! What a city. What an uproar. What magnificent trees and piazzas. Look at that cathedral! Did you see that fountain? Where the heck are we? The bus ride from the train station to our convent was a whirl, not only because of the glorious surroundings but also because we were reaching the midpoint of a “day” that had begun 16 hours earlier, and because I wouldn’t have thought it possible for a bus to make 90 degree turns at 40 kph in this maze. I wasn’t able to keep my feet and spent most of the trip hugging the floor trying to retrieve carry-on luggage with (can you believe it!) wheels and I thought wheels on little suitcases would make them easier to secure. They evidently wanted off the bus as badly as I did.
We had instructions from the convent on which bus to take from the train station and which stop to get off at but, zipping around in this rabbit warren, who could tell which of these stops was the next-to-the-right one? We were supposed to ring some bell or other to alert the driver that he needed to screech to a stop at the next stop. From my position sliding back and forth on the floor I knew this was never going to happen. The driver took pity on me and deigned to scan the crumpled directions I held in my sweating palm then dismissed me with a wave. After 10 or 12 minutes of Tilt-a-Whirl, he signaled we should stumble toward an exit.
Out on the stone street, smack up against a wall, six inches from traffic barreling past, we huddled together on the (ho ho) sidewalk to locate ourselves on a map we’d bought in the train station. Boy, the birds-eye map view of the city didn’t look much like the city we were scrabbling around in crab-like. There was no way to orient ourselves. Was this the wall of a church or a hotel? Who could tell? Was that ancient building this museum on the map or just an incredibly ancient apartment house? Who knows? We could tell there was a sun, somewhere, but with clouds threatening rain in the 12-foot patch of sky we could see, and a steady stream of testosterone-powered Italian mini-cars, I would have just curled up in a fetal position and set out a paper cup to collect alms if it hadn’t been for one thing: MY COMPASS! Ridiculed for bringing it, it now proved a lifesaver.
Oh the joy of being able to determine in which direction to walk without having to flag down a pedestrian with stammered “helpful phrases you will find invaluable as you travel around the lush and picturesque Italian countryside.” Countryside maybe, but in the cities you take your life in your hands stepping in front of a pedestrian just as certainly as if you leapt off the (ho ho) curb to arrest a hurtling vespa. But, who cares? Who needs them? We had a COMPASS. We were masters of our own fate and captains of our own schooner. What matters a lack of sun shadows? What matters insane deer paths running at crazy angles through a forest of stone? We have a COMPASS! I hadn’t been this pleased with myself since as a Boy Sprout I’d been able to find my way back to the midnight campfire after an urgent call of nature. We don’t need a rescue party. We don’t need to stop a pedestrian at full tilt. We don’t need to enquire at the ubiquitous Tobacconist or newspaper kiosks. We have a compass!
The Casa Santo Nome di Gesu, two blocks from the bus stop, is a Franciscan Missionary of Mary Convent one block south of the River Arno (which bisects the city flowing east to west). It is roughly midway between the Uffizi to the east and the opera house to the west on the north bank of the river, three blocks from the Pointe Vecchio leading to the former and two blocks from Pointe (Amerigo) Vespucci leading to the latter. The Pitti Palace is three blocks east on our side of the river, and ice-cream shops (gelateria) are everywhere in case you’d been more than 15 minutes without a cone and needed your batteries recharged (but more about that later).
In appearance the convent was rather like a severe rectangular three-story brick and stone hatbox. I’m at a loss to date the building though it has certainly been added onto and modified for more than 100 years. It was fronted by a large piazza called the Piazza (Santa Maria) del Carmine, and it truly was full of “heart” with the convent on one side and the crumbling ancient church (from which the piazza received its name) on a second side. It was also full of cars following some arcane rules concerning where it was ok to drive and where it was ok to walk and where it was ok to park. By far most of the cars were empty and not moving. A sign seemed to announce that once a week all unmoving cars would be forcibly removed so that street sweepers and garbage trucks could remove the debris and detritus of modern civilization but we were evidently not there on the right day because the huge piles of trash and old-Europe smells of inadequate sanitation much reminded me of New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
And oh the noise. I’m not sure because I never actually stuffed myself into one of the Italian imitations of a car but I think that instead of a brake pedal the cars are equipped with a foot-operated horn. You can tell that someone is in a situation where an American would probably apply brakes, not because the car actually slows down, but because the horn begins to blare. And I always thought soprano horns rather effeminate but now I know they lend just the right note of hysteria and bravado, and they carry much more easily over the Florentine din. Foghorn-like basso profundo horns so admired by Americans would never do. They would stand about as much chance in Florentine traffic as a bass trying to sing the Halleluiah Chorus with a few thousand steroid-stoked sopranos.
But then we swung open the huge wooden door of the Convent of the Blessed Name of Jesus and everything changed. RESPITE We had dodged vespas, pretend-cars, and mud puddles as we hopscotched across the no-man’s (parking)land in front of the convent. The rain was changing from a mist to a drizzle as we realized we’d neglected to bring an umbrella. Well, no matter. We were both pretty dead on our feet by this time and figured it would be lovely tomorrow so we’d just tough it out through the rest of the day letting a smile be our umbrella (“Let a smile be your umbrella,” said dad, “and you’ll get a mouthful of water!”) There was a doorbell and speakerphone beside the door. Door?! The word hardly fits the flattened trees that towered above us, somehow mounted on hinges, guarding the convent. I can’t imagine how much these slabs of walnut (I think) must have weighed. A normal-sized door, I guess, would look like a mouse hole on the front of this fortress. My stomach lurched as I prepared to ring the bell. This was the first time I was seriously going to have to have some sort of conversation in Italian. “Sono John Zeigler: prenotazione” I muttered over and over. I wanted to let them know they were dealing with real world-travelers who knew their own names and had reservations. Steeling myself for the onslaught I pushed the bell. Nothing. I reached out to push it again when “Clack-buzz” went the door suggesting that we were supposed to do something. I grasped the oversize handle with both hands and pulled. Nothing. Silence. I pushed the slabs. Nothing. I rang the bell again. “Clack-buzz” went the door. This time I pressed the latch as well as pushed. The door swung open easily. The world travelers had arrived.
As the door swung shut behind us and thudded closed all the outside noise ceased as if switched off. We were in a plastered vestibule with stone floors. The room was about 8’ square, and another glass door faced us. We could see a comfortable sitting room just beyond. “Buzz-click” went this smaller more human-sized door. We suavely pushed on the barred handle. It clicked and the door swung open. Besides the door we had just entered there were three other doors in this room, a sofa, and two easy chairs. It must have been about 12’ square but the ceiling must have been 14-16’ tall. (They had to make room for the bazillion stairs you’ll hear about in a minute.) We hadn’t a clue which way to go when this ancient white-haired cherub in a soft-gray habit with white headscarf appeared from the doorway to our right. She said something and looked hopefully at both of us in turn. I didn’t have a clue what she said, or even what language she spoke. I blurted out my set speech. She studied me the way a little girl would study an ill-trained parakeet. Then she uttered a series of short phrases, each one ending with a slight upturn in pitch as if she was asking questions. The last little burst of speech was “Do you speak English?” We both brightened considerably at that and Georgia instantly took charge of the situation, explaining that we had reservations, and hauling out paper confirmation of the same. I realized with gratitude that I’d dodged a bullet and my “prenotazione” was not going to be needed.
Thus I had a chance to peek around corners while Georgia handled details. The doorway situated straight ahead of the glass door lead into a hallway. To the left down the hall was the chapel and the cloisters. To the right the hallway seemed to lead outside to a garden. The door to the dining room also issued off this hallway. This broad opening to our left opened onto another parlor of sorts with a small telephone booth, a coffee table and chairs and a wide staircase full of shallow 4” slate steps, ascending an impossible distance. Looking up in dismay I saw that each floor required four flights of these steps. In retrospect I really think “bazillion” is not an unfair characterization of the total number.
But now the soft gray dove was saying something to me. “I’m sorry you will be on the second floor. We have no ascensore.” Assuming that was some sort of elevator I couldn’t see the problem. Four flights wasn’t a picnic, but it wasn’t like hiking to the moon fer cryin’ out loud. We Americans are a hardy race. I told her “Non importa,” and “Va bene,” and took the 5-lb key (try to pocket this sucker and it’ll pull your pants down!) and noticed that our room was #13. How lucky, I thought, as I took the handle of my rolling carry-on and tied the book bag on top of it.
I approached the stairs with confidence: bang, bang, bang, bang. I tried to roll the suitcase up the stairs. “You’re going to break the wheels!” suggested my sweetie not so sweetly. Bang bang bang bang, I was almost to the top of the first flight. Nothing was going to stop me now but already my arm was going to sleep. “You’re going to break the handle and then what’ll we do?” I hate it when she’s right.
Bang bang bang bang, I stood on the first landing surveying the expanse of steps on my left heading up to the second landing. Since I’d tied the book bag on top of the carry-on I had to reach under the book bag to grab the handle. Untying the book bag would have been some sort of admission of having made a mistake trying to roll the suitcase up the stairs in the first place. Anyway, there were only three more flights to the second floor: shuffle, thump, shuffle thump, shuffle thump. I stepped up each step then placed the overloaded carry-on beside me. This was going to take forever!
I shuffle-thumped to the second landing as quickly as I could, admitted defeat, and untied the book bag. Now I could make some real time on these stairs. Unfortunately the little lights flashing behind my eyelids made it hard to see and caroming off the wall slowed me down. Georgia, with her experience lifting weights didn’t seem to be even breathing hard as she switched on her turn signal, pulled out over the yellow line, and passed me like I was standing still. I was standing still. I think her carry-on must have weighed less than mine.
Third landing: ready for the final assault on the summit. Lingering for just a few minutes to build up some momentum I bolted for the final staircase, losing a little of my steam about half way up but coasting to a stop at the second floor. Georgia was already searching for lucky room 13.
Trying to catch my breath I set off in search of her. We took turns leading each other up and down meandering passageways. After a 10-minute search we managed to find rooms 1 through 12, but no 13. Then I found an evacuation plan for this maze pasted to the wall. There was no room 13 on the second floor. Surely our beatific dove knew the difference between “second” and “third,” and then I remembered from high school that in France the 1st floor of a building is called the “ground floor” and the next floor up (the second floor in my book!) is called the first floor. Oh my God! You don’t think these crazy Italians could have copied those crazy Frenchmen? That would mean we thought we were scaling Mt. Everest when in fact we were only approaching base camp!
We looked hopefully up and down the stairwell. Maybe the second floor was closer to us than the lobby. No such luck. But then, that meant there were only half-a-bazillion stairs ahead. Even Wonder-Woman looked dismayed. We steeled our resolve, lashed ourselves together in case one of the pitons gave way or a crevasse opened beneath our feet, and struck out for the summit. The lack of oxygen near the peak left us gasping and rubber-kneed but good old Yankee grit would not let us give in. Step, by step, by agonizing step, we slogged through waist-deep snow and a howling blizzard to that final assault. Suddenly, there were no more stairs. We stared stupidly at each other, shed our goggles and parkas, threw down our ski poles and ice axes, and hugged each other in the sheer ecstasy of having been tested to the limits of human endurance and lived to tell about it. I didn’t dare look down from the summit for fear of vertigo: many an intrepid climber, thinking success firmly in hand, has fallen through over-confidence. We just backed away from the precipice gratefully, and set off in search of Shangri-la.
Rounding one of many corners we saw our portal. I retrieved the key from my pocket (had to hitch up my pants first) and unlocked the door. It was dark. There was a little daylight coming from the window but the louvered green shutters were latched in such a way that they were only open about an inch or so. The windows were hinged on their outer edges and partially open. They were about four feet tall and three feet wide. The windowsill was about four feet from the floor and looked perfect for leaning on if we had a good view. There was no screen, of course. We never did see one in Italy.
Georgia went to check our private bathroom while I tried to find some way to open the shutters. There was some sort of bar running from top to bottom that swiveled ingeniously to latch on a pin embedded in the sill. The shutters were also hinged horizontally about halfway up so that you could open them somewhat without actually swinging them wide if you wanted to. I didn’t want to open them “somewhat.” I wanted those suckers open. I wanted “Room with a View.” I wanted “Enchanted April.” I wanted to Dorothy opening the door to Oz. I pushed and pulled as gently as an impatient man could until finally there was a slight “ping.” Georgia had returned to stand beside me and we held our breath. The shutters swung open.
It was just like Dorothy. It was “Enchanted April” all over again. It was most definitely a glorious “Room with a View” and all the pain of the stairwell without an ascensore was instantly forgotten. Light flooded the room. The gods were kind I think. If it hadn’t been a cloudy day I’m sure we would have been instantly blinded. I’ll never be able to capture in words the glories of that sight. Remember how beautiful the pastel buildings were at the tops of the Tuscan mushroom-mountains? Well this convent was on the top of a very slight mushroom: just enough of one that we were looking down the pastel yellow and stone buildings around us. We were just about on the same level as the dome of San Frediano one block away, and then there was an open space where the River Arno must laze past, then Florence spread out below. It was like being in a low-flying plane at sunset. There were more church domes than I could count punching through the ubiquitous red-tiled roofs like perfectly rounded cumulous clouds soaring up through sunlit status clouds. Glory stretched for miles in all directions. And there in the far distance, soft purple mountains enclosed the whole. We stood arm in arm speechless.
The view so captivated me, so enthralled me, so energized and inspired me that I did what any red-blooded man would have done in the same situation. I curled up on my little single bed and instantly fell asleep.
(to be continued)
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