A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Porto Cesareo
So, as promised last week (and also 2 years ago!)…
The Frug does all of our travel planning. It’s a “process” (say in British accent please) and he Must. Get. A. Good. Deal. So, it’s it’s not really my gig, kwim? I realize most Good Wives do the planning. We all know I am NOT a Good Wife, right? lol Well, there was one time I “helped“…
Two years ago, we went to Italy to celebrate the Frug’s <age deleted> birthday. Since it was supposed to be his present, he decided to let my lazy ass work on some of our arrangements. My task was to get us from Sorrento to Porto Cesareo (small amazing beach down in the “heel of the boot”.) Simplest would have been a quick hop via tiny plane. If you know me at all, you know that was an NFW. *shudders*
Another relatively “easy” plan would have been to rent a car and drive. Now, I realize people do this. Um, WHY? HOW? You are in another country. You do NOT speak the language. You cannot read the road signs. The freaking speed limit is in KILOMETERS and we Americans do not “do” metric! I frankly think it should NOT be allowed. We have no business on foreign roads. Period.
So, I went online to book us a high-speed train all the way across the country. I booked on “Tren Italia.” Even though they technically translate the Italian into English, it’s not exact. But, I had cute little icons to help me and it seemed pretty straight forward.
We had a lovely Italian man named Aldo drive us from our amazing hotel in Sorrento to the train station in Pompei. The Frug went, with folder of neatly organized printed info, to check us in.
The Frug: “Hola (yes, he said “hola” all over Italy…the kids and I were mortified), I need to pick up our tickets to Taranto.” (closet train station to our final destination)
Agent: “Si, the bus leaves from over there.”
Frug: “No, we reserved tickets on a high speed train.”
Agent: “No train. Bus.”
Frug: *shows him the printout* “High speed train.” *stabs finger at icon on paper*
Frug: *glares at adorable wife who is whistling innocently next to him*
Frug: *disgusted silence*
Frug: “First class bus?” *asks hopefully*
Frug: “So, how long does it take?”
Agent: “8 hours.”
Frug: “So, there must be bathrooms on board and food…”
*sighs* Yes, I had booked us on a regional bus that would’ve taken eight hours and there were no bathrooms on it. We all pee every 45 minutes so this Would. Not. Work.
So, that’s how we ended up renting a car *shrieks* (a STICK SHIFT! *shrieks*) and driving across the entire county. One of my ultimate nightmares. The Frug had to drive because I can only drive stick in my dreams (l ROCK that stick shift in my dreams!) so that was stressful before we even started. We spent 7 hours driving with me basically sweating stress sweat in my shorts. We rented the GPS — extra money (not FRUGAL!) but oh-so-necessary. The lovely dulcet tones of “Beatrice” helped navigate. Sarcasmo and I also “helped“…between the 4 of us (not counting Master P who slept the entire way — I think he caught all the stress vibes in the car and mentally checked out — smart kid), we eventually got there.
H-a-r-r-o-w-i-n-g journey. Reinforced all my reasons why people should NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE in foreign countries. We didn’t know how to read the street signs. We didn’t know how fast we were going. IT’S IN KILOMETERS! I don’t care what your system is, 120 seems too freaking fast! Oh, and the Frug hadn’t driven a stick shift in years, so we had some stalling on the on ramps. Help me, Jesus!! I prayed for a tiny stroke or heart attack or bolt-of-lightening or something. Anything so I wouldn’t be conscious for the trip. No such luck.
Anyway, we arrived over 7 hours later. Yes, it was supposed to take 5 hours. A few navigation screw-ups! Oopsie! (Side note: is there anything worse that hearing “recalculating” from your GPS??? And then watching the “time to destination” go up by ONE HOUR???!!!) Some wine and food and a long shower to wash away the scent of raw onions and terror I had all over me, and we all laughed about it. Well, I laughed whilst I held my wine in a shaking hand.
Long story actually pretty long? Well, I don’t have to help plan anything ever again. Well played, eh?