after settling into our beautiful flat, we discovered that our wifi was less than we had hoped. when we spoke with our rental lady, sonia, she said we had to speak with briana. we didn’t know who briana was, but apparently she held the key to not only our internet connection, but our television, cd and dvd player. we have a wide screen tv, about four hundred videos and an equal number of cds. we also have six remotes and a hand written guide on how to turn everything on. while the instructions are written in english, they might as well have been written in swahili. we have pushed every button one could push, but still nothing. so, we were basically stuck with no real communication abilities. then the head colds hit and soon after, the pouring rain. oward got sick first so it fell to the contessa to brave the storm and forage for supplies. fortunately, the little restaurant on our corner, noona clara, has a waitress christina, who has befriended us over the years. when i told her oward was sick, she sprang into action putting together a meal of pasta, salad and dessert, all packaged up to go. i was very grateful even more grateful that she gave us so much food, that it lasted for two days. kind of like the first menorah.
we slept on and off the rest of the next day and then, on the third day we ventured out. it was gray and overcast, but no rain, so we made our way to the market to stock up on supplies. as we were leaving, the heavens opened. we ducked into our favorite cafe. oward ordered a cappuccino and i a hot chocolate. it was the most amazing thing i have ever had. it was like a cup of hot pudding but not too sweet. the best. after we had killed as much time as possible in the tiny cafe, we left, stopping about ten steps later to buy yet another large umbrella. now we each had two arms full of groceries, plus each of us carrying an umbrella, walking home. we made it home, soaking wet and climbed the forty steps to our apartment. the building actually has an elevator, but it is a claustrophobic’s nightmare. it is the size of a small coffin and trust me you can walk the forty steps in far less time than the elevator can get you to the top. it was , however, handy, when we arrived to send our luggage up.
after we arrived home, there was a knock on the door and the mysterious briana , materialized. it turns out that she is the american daugher of the owner of our flat. adorable and very knowledgeable. in about twenty minutes she had us on line and was able to explaing the tv. we even have netflix. we may never leave home again. the only down side is that now that we have cnn, the awful trumpster is back in our lives. it was really pleasure to go almost a week without his orange presence.
yesterday, finally feeling better, with the sun shining, we ventured out and started to make the rounds of lucca, stopping in to say hi to so many of our friends. it never ceases to amaze me that, every year, year after year, as soon as we walk into our favorite restaurants, the dry cleaner or the barber shop or my manicurist, we are greeted by name and with much hugging and hand shaking.
last night we had dinner with our dear friend regula. she was one of the first people we met here, four years ago. regula has an incredible apartment in the wall, straight out of the pages of architectural digest. she is an interior designer with a great flair. two years ago, she insisted on giving us her apartment for four weeks. since that time, she has purchased a magnificent villa, just outside the walls of lucca and turned it into a beautiful five bedroom rental property, complete with gardens and a swimming pool. maid service and chefs available. it is a perfect getaway for a couple or for a group of friends. this month she is renting it to a man who is celebrating his fiftieth birthday. he has rented the villa for a month, and every week he has invited a different group of friends to join him. life is good.
today we went to scope out the venue for the rolling stones. it is unbelievable. they are expecting fifty-five thousand people. there are only about one thousand seats. the rest of the venue is standing room only. we paid a lot of money for a very special location only to discover, today, that while we are in a very special, and close to the stage, section, we will still be standing. i told oward i was too old to stand for a whole concert. he reminded me that mick jagger is older then i am and he is not going to be sitting down at all that evening. i reminded him that mick jagger was getting paid millions of dollars to do what he does and as far as i could tell, no one was paying me a red cent to stand, for hours, surrounded by screaming teen agers, but, the contessa, ever a good sport, is going to go along with this insane plan. at least it will make for a good story.