26 June 2012

Week 2: Italy (pic heavy)

Let me start by saying that shopping for a car is truly exhausting.  Oy freakin' vey!  This, along with other things, is the reason I've been MIA for the past two weeks.  More on that later...  For now, I'll continue with the details of my international travels.

Flight from Abu Dhabi to Milan:
My flight to Milan left at the crack of stupid, better known as 2.25a in the morning.  I had never flown Etihad Airways and if I could, I would every single time.  O.M.G.  This plane was nice!  I have been on MANY planes and have flown first class once.  Delta's first class cabin pales in comparison to the coach cabin of Etihad.  The cabin was clean and comfortable.  Since we were flying at night, the cabin ceiling was illuminated with stars.  How freakin' cool is that??!  We were served classy meals with real silverware and given an all-cotton gift bag that contained a tooth brush, tooth paste, earplugs, eye mask, and a fifth item that I can't remember.  We also had real fleece blankets, a state-of-the-art entertainment system, and REAL Bose-like headphones - not ear buds.  Wow.

Milan to Torino to Cuneo:
My friend lives outside of Cuneo in the Piemonte region of Italy.  I flew into Milan because flights to Torino were ridiculously expensive.  This means I had to travel about four hours by train to Cuneo.  I won't get into the details of this trip, but I will give one word of advice.  If you have to take Trenitalia, make sure you validate your ticket!!  Apparently, purchasing a ticket from the authorized ticket counter is not sufficient.  You must have the ticket stamped by a machine near the platforms.  I almost had my passport confiscated by one of the conductors on the train because of this crazy rule.  If your ticket isn't properly validated, either you have to pay 50 euro on the train or 200 euro within 70 days.  Umm...yeah.  My offer of 43 euro and 20 dollars was unacceptable to the conductor.  After I refused to surrender my passport, he let me go with a 5 euro fine.  Of course on my train ride back to Milan, my properly-validated ticket was NEVER checked by anyone. *eyeroll*

On with a wee few of the over 500 pictures (o_O) I took.

Certosa di Pesio (oldest church) 

Grotto di Bossea (Bossea cave)

The cave was spectacular.  Although it was a bit cold (30 deg F), the air was pure with 100% humidity. 

Houses in Cuneo

 The Alps

An evening walk around the farm

Nelly and me

Quincy (brown) & Kika are dogs that have made the farm their home.

near my friend's house in the mountains (Chiappera)
walking along a trail in the mountains
Alpine pasque-flower

Chiappera (small town in this area of the Alps)

mountains hidden behind the clouds
former castle now houses the University of Gastronomic Sciences
keepin' it real
Serralunga castle
largest oval-dome church

storks at Racconigi castle
Stupinigi Castle

armrest on Delta flight from JFK to Detroit
Swing...and a miss...
I bought three pieces fabric, several notions, and the latest La Mia Boutique while at the Cuneo Market, but I neglected to take any pictures before packing it away. In all, I had a fantastic time visiting with my dear friend, Nelly.  She is a wonderful spirit and I am extremely grateful for her friendship.

On the sewing front:

I finally finished the red silk dress.  I need to snap some photos and write the review.  Yesterday, I finished a skirt with colour blocking and hope to include it in my summer 6 PAC - a plan that I recently threw together.

That's it for now.  Until next time, be well!


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