And they didn’t get up until the next morning

Well, that was a long trip. When we last joined each other we were in Montreal. Since then we’ve been all over the place.

To make a long story short, we flew to Boston, took the water taxi to the Moakley Courthouse wharf, walked to the Boston Children’s Museum where we had three hours of maximum fun. Water taxi back to Logan Airport for an Alitalia flight to Milan overnight.

Our flight was near-empty, so we were able to stretch out and get some sleep (albeit with seatbelt buckles jabbed into our backs), and so when we landed in Milan at 6:50 a.m. the next morning (1:00 a.m. Charlottetown) we were marginally less catatonic. Although still pretty groggy. Alitalia, by the way, was great: efficient, friendly without pretense, and on-time (the 150 km/h tail wind helped).

In Milan we waited with about 500 people — seemingly all of them ahead of us with complicated visa issues — for passport control. And then we were in Italy. The local agent for our super-cheap easycar rental was Locauto and they opened their doors just as we arrived. Our “smallest possible car available” rental magically upgrade itself into a Lancia Musa, a very pleasant hatchback cum mini-mini-van. Formalities were quick, the agent friendly, and the booster seat I’d ordered for Oliver was waiting for us.

Catherine, four days into a wicked head cold, devoid of sleep, and prone to carsickness, was nonetheless able to navigate us out of Milan Malpensa airport, onto the Autostrada, and south to the Mediterranean. This took us first through the interior plains around Milan, and then through a series of tunnels through the hills around Genoa until we emerged into the sunshine near Crevari.

We headed west along the A10 to Savona where we stopped for lunch (a disappointing and expensive pasta lunch at an empty Egyptian restaurant) and then followed the SP1 — the coast road — along the shore to Finale Ligure (an amazing piece of roadwork that) where we re-joined the main highway.

Forty-five minutes later we were shopping for groceries in the Coop in Albenga, my old haunt from last year’s trip. Truth be told we had no idea what we were buying, true catatonia having set in — it appears that we bought a lot of chocolate, a lot of juice, and little else. And an hour later we were in the bar being greeting by Massimo and 5 minutes later we were installed in our apartment.

Soon we were asleep, and when Oliver came into our room to wake us up we thought it was 7 a.m. and it turned out to be almost noon. I guess we were tired.