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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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At a dinner party with friends a serendipitous plan for a trip to Italy began to unfold. Let the tomfoolery begin!

First stop, Lugano, Switzerland and a wine festival. Wahoo! The original Happy Meal!  The next morning brought a few headaches, but we were able to board our train to Florence without too much difficulty. I know you are imagining the Orient Express complete with champagne and caviar, oh no, we were all crammed in a tiny compartment and served beers in cans and peanuts.

We arrived in Florence starved and tired. Our group was booked into two different rental flats. The first was at best a little concerning especially the old wire wrapped elevator and the temporary loss of one of our travel companions. The other rental was located across from a tiny mechanic shop which provided for great entertainment as all the neighbors stopped by to offer opinions on the relocation of a rather large oil container. Most of us the next day spent the day enjoying the sights and sounds of Florence, but two of our travel companions were no shows until dinner. Was it the time change or perhaps too many adult beverages?

Next stop a wine vineyard in a lovely valley just below San Gimignano. In route we saw a sign announcing wine tasting with lunch. We immediately applied the brakes and entered a tiny bistro. As we dined the proprietor gave us a tutorial in Italian and broken English and offered us a tour of his wine cellar. The cellar was filled with wine and cognac. Did I mention the tour also included the occasional hug of the women in our group?

Finally arriving at the vineyard where each day we watched old men pulling wooden carts harvesting the grapes. One morning a woman in our travel group decided to take a walk around
the vineyard where she encountered an elderly lady who presented her with a freshly killed chicken. She politely declined the overture.

The next morning in the parking lot of the vineyard we met a couple from Australia. They told us that they were getting married that day and we insisted on providing them a wedding reception.
We used sheets for table clothes, bought champagne and flowers, prepared a meal and, of course, a wedding cake.

Another train, this time to Venice. We arrived at the station, and everyone stored most of their luggage in the large lockers except for one travel companion who insisted on taking all of her multiple bags with her. We took a water taxi and thought we were getting off at the right stop, but unfortunately, we were on the opposite side of the Grand Canal so all of us had to pitch in to assist our travel companion with her luggage as we crossed the multiple bridges to our hotel. All the rooms of our hotel were extremely small, and you had to wait until the tide changed to exit
through the lobby. Venice is so incredibly beautiful, but the public restrooms became a challenge for our female travel companions who were convinced they had to be under construction since
most require you to squat over a hole in the floor.

“Lo Amo Italy”

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About the Contributor
Karen Phillips Smith, Contributing Writer
Karen Phillips Smith is a contributing writer for Cape Fear Voices. She resides in Wilmington, NC.

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