Woke up today to say farewell to Italia. We checked out of the villa in Civenna and hopped a shuttle into Milano. Once we got into Milano, we discovered that the auto shop that has our old rental van (and hence the missing things - including my ipad) was not in Milano as previously thought, but was actually back closer to where we had been staying. As it turns out, the shuttle almost drove right past the location. So, we visited the concierge desk at the hotel. The concierge told us that there was no train to the town where my stuff was, but that if we went up to a town close to there, the shop would send a driver with our stuff. So, C & I hopped a subway to the train station, a commuter train to Inverigo, where we met the driver, got the GPS power supply and my ipad back (but no GPS windshield mount), tipped him handsomely, and then hopped back the return train to Milano (total time in Inverigo was approximately 10 minutes), then back on the subway, and then to a bar for some campari & sodas. I'm glad to have the ipad back, even if it turned into a huge hassle.
Once back at the hotel, I got a few minutes to myself before it was time to gather for dinner. Time enough to load up the ipad with movies & tv shows for the flight, check/sort/filter email, make a to-do list for work for the flight, and catch my breath before dinner
Dinner was amazing - a terrific end to this trip. We went to a restaurant called Alba D'Oro and feasted on an exceptional selection of Tuscan foods: salumi, lardo, cheese, ravioli, tomato & bread soup (note for later: 1.5k tomato, 200g bread sans crust, garlic, salt, pepper, squeeze, no seeds, process), risotto with octopus, rabbit, steak, swordfish, breads… yum! I ordered the wine, and C loved it - turns out it was a 15E bottle of house red! We all ate supremely well, and the chef invited B & I into the kitchen for a look and a talk. Awesome.
And so ends our European trip. Tomorrow we catch a 7am shuttle to the airport, then to Frankfort, and then to LAX. S and I had a blast on this trip - thanks to our friends and family who traveled with us, including Eli, C & E, and A, B, C, & D. Thanks to all of the new friends we made, particularly in Romania! Thanks to the people who recommended things we did and the people who will patronize the places we recommend. Thanks for UCI & National Theatre of Romania for getting me to Yurp early, and to S's family for keeping us in Yurp late. S & I are looking forward to going home and sleeping in our bed, but we'll bring great memories with us.