Movin' on to Chianciano!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2011
Trip End Sep 12, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Friday, August 26, 2011

Got up at 6:30 am, which gave me time to figure out how to work the shower, hair dryer, etc. Everything works differently here, as expected. Had to climb over the toilet to get into the tiny shower! It was so small that I had to hold the shampoo between my legs because there was no ledge to put anything on. It was so small there was barely enough room to bend down if you drop anything, which I did, of course. Breakfast was good, but we had to hunt for everything; silverware, napkins, stuff to put in coffee, because they had it spread all over the room. They sure know how to make a great cup of Cafe Americano (not as strong as the Italian stuff). Lots of people woke up with leg cramps during the night, probably because they didn't drink enough water during the day, but I slept well.

Met at the bus at 0900 hrs. Going to Chianciano today (pronounced Ke-ahn-chee-AH-no, accent on the second-to-last syllable). We stopped at Orvieto for 1.5 hrs on the way. Orvieto is a typical hill town, and there I bought my first gelato (chocolate)! Can't say it was much better than at home. It was 96 degrees in Orvieto where I bought myself a fan and a postcard. Ate Margherita pizza (cold) with a luke-warm Coke zero at an Internet cafe and bought 30 minutes of web time to check email for news of Chelsea. Brittney sent me a photo of Chelsea smiling up into the camera wearing her green collar with the big scabs all over her face and said she's doing better, which makes me feel better. Then it was back to the bus.

Arrived in Chianciano Terme (terme=spa - the place is crawling with them due to the mineral springs) at 2:30 pm at the Grand Ambassadori Hotel. We have about 3 hours before we meet in the lobby for an Italian lesson and then we go to the old part of the town for dinner. This is a much nicer hotel than in Ostia.

Went to dinner at "The Assasin", a fancy local restaurant. The food was wonderful. Bruscetta, pasta (nothing like we are used to), chicken like I've never had before and an ice creme (or gelato) confection with toffee and almonds inside - all was superb. We drove around a bit before dinner to show the group where things were so we could find them on our own later and took some photos of the countryside that looked like the travel photos of Tuscany. Benicimo!

Julie, her mom, Pat, Pat's friend Jean, Susie and I got stuck in the elevator just before bed. We'd gone up to the roof to check out the pool, but the pool was closed for the day. We'd taken one of the two elevators up, noticing that it held 6 people, but failed to notice that the other one that picked us up at the 4th floor on the way down was only rated for only 4. When we got to the lobby (floor "0"), it wouldn't open. We hit the bell, then waited.

The cab was unbearably hot, no AC, and no phone, but the folks in the lobby heard us yelling. We heard tools rattling, but they weren't telling us much. They finally got a maintenance-type guy there (seemed like 30 minutes but was probably more like 10), and he got the door open about 12-inches, enough for all of us to squeeze out. Gratefully we took the stairs off to bed.
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