friday we rented a car. friday we also had our first fight since we arrived in lucca, but i am getting ahead of myself. we were off to explore the garfagnana which is considered the other tuscany. the garfagnana is comprised of many mountain villages seemingly carved into the sides of mountains. when looking at the mountains from afar what you assume are snow caps are really enormous veins of marble. reaching these villages requires driving miles and miles of tiny, winding roads. once you get there, they all pretty much look the same. and, i must admit, after many, many miles of winding roads, i was getting a bit car sick and a bit bored. but, being the good sport and saint that i am, i said nothing. finally we came upon something interesting. a fourteenth century bridge built, obviously,entirely by hand. it spanned a river that divides a town and from a distance looks remarkably like a dinosaur. we stopped, walked the bridge, took some photos, and, thank god, it was time to eat. of course, there was one special restaurant in the garfagnana that howard wanted to try and it just so happened to be in the town we were in – we just couldn’t find it. we drove back and forth and back and forth, until finally we stopped and asked. the first person howard asked didn’t speak english and was no help. then i got out of the car and with my best spanish and incredible acting skills was able to convey where we wanted to go. this very lovely woman indicated that we were to follow her and up another winding mountain road we went and she dropped us at the doorstep of the restaurant. without her, trust me we would still be looking.
we ate a lovely lunch and now it was time to go home. all was well, i was complete with the garfagnana. all we had to do was drive back to lucca, fill the car with gas and return it to avis. sounds simple, right? the trouble began at the gas station. all you have to do is put money in a slot, unscrew the gas cap and pump the gas. i won’t go into the gory details, but since this is my blog, let’s just say i was right. by the time we filled the tank we weren’t talking. the only problem with not talking was that we had to return the car to avis and neither one of us had bothered to note the address of avis when we took the car. we drove round and round and round trying to retrace our steps in order to return the damn car. the driving around was starting to make the garfagnana look good and i was beginning to wonder why i had ever married this man in the first place.
we finally found the rental agency, returned the car and then of course we had to walk home. there is nothing like a good mile and a half walk, during a fight to really cheer one up. along the way, we stopped for howard to get a hair cut. i tried to jolly him out of the fight by taking his picture in the barber’s chair but mr. cranky pants was having none of it. by the time we got home, we both took a well deserved nap, woke up, made up and had another amazing dinner. the one thing about lucca, all things seem to be solved with a good meal and a bottle of wine.