Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Say there is Wisdom in Wine...

If that is indeed true, I wish I had been suffused with the civilized liquid for wary sanity slipped out a cracked window and fled during a harrowing car ride from the Napoli airport to the hotel that left me in desperate need of a long, hot bath and acutely agitated.  A little background information: a work trip for the Hubs, so I wasn't prepared to go (don't judge me).  I have a Santa-long list of to-dos for my business, plus taxes, and a million and one other reasons to stay firmly on state soil.

"I'm telling you, that kid is NOT moving!" my voice was slightly raised.  I cracked the passenger window for a breath of fresh air but traffic noise hit me instead.  Think good thoughts:  fresh, milky mozzarella, famous Napoli pizza... "Did he just flip us the bird?" One wrong turn from the airport and somefrikkinhow we end up climbing higher and higher into the residential section of Naples.  The Hubs is driving (it's been years since he had a manual in his command) and thank all the wine gods he is because I wouldn't have wanted Mario Andretti himself driving our larger-than-99%-of-most-cars-on-the-road auto. The man is a machine:  he has this uncanny ability to drive a stick, not hit any of the million people, birds, dogs and cats on the road and still point out some of the more beautiful sites on our precarious route. The GPS is just too slow for city driving.  At one point we came to a screeching halt in what looked to be our turn but soon enough bells rang alongside my clench-jawed "shit!" and we found ourselves in a road/parking lot for churchgoers.  Talk about a hasty three-point turn!

Needless to say, that all was the easy part.  The GPS kept taking us higher and higher until abruptly the Hubs shouted "Mirrors!" and hastily (ok, it took me a split second) I grabbed the rearview mirror and pulled, moments before we nearly toppled a row full of motor bikes.  And as we kept climbing (we could actually see the hotel, damnit) the view was overpowering:  the buildings so tall and close, and some so old with laundry and plants off the balconies that for a dreamy moment I could swear that one ornately-carved stone apartment building was reaching over to the next across the alley as if to say Ciao, mi amore! A quick jolt on the brakes brought me back.  "We're here." he said.  Just like that. I don't recall pealing myself out of the car or riding the elevator.   I do remember the bath though, the salts smelling of basil.  Soon after we had a drink, several.  I know it was wine, I know it was red--a little spicy and it went down fast! Wisdom indeed.

End of Day 1.


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