Sunday, June 18, 2023

End of the Trip

 After all the excitement of the past few days, Monday and Tuesday were totally laid back. We had a little rain which set the mood for reading, doing a little packing, cooking, napping, and generally being senior citizen tourists who were just about burned out. We took a few walks between rain showers, studied up on the show we were to see Tuesday night. Like I said, we were just acting our age. 

But Tuesday night, all that laid back attitude went out the window. Excitement was in the air. We dressed in our finest duds (not very fancy at all, actually, and yes! he wore the shoes), checked out tickets one last time, and left the flat early so as to stretch this adventure as far as we could.

We did a little reconnaissance  tour to be sure we knew exactly where the theater was, took some photos for posterity, and decided on a restaurant. I don't know how we managed it, but we did not choose well. The pasta was undercooked. The lobster was overcooked. The white wine was warm. The waiter was sloppy.  It's very difficult to find bad food in Italy, but there it was. Needless to say, we did not linger long over the meal. We went to sit in the park facing the theater so that we would know the moment the doors opened. 

What a wonderful experience.  The Teatro all Scala is everything I thought it would be. Yes, it was smaller than expected, but absolutely stunning. And the acoustics? Phenomenal! The opera we saw was Rusalka, the story of a water nymph who fell in love with a human and decided it would be a good idea to trade her voice for legs. It did not work out well for her. This is an opera with a very sad ending. It will never be my favorite, but the Teatro alla Scala will always be at the top of my favorite "once in a lifetime" experiences.

The next morning, reality set in.  Time to start back home. We finished packing and had lunch and a long visit with Kiki. He is one of the most interesting people I have met in a long time. An artist, an architect, an interior designer. He was in a celebratory mood that day for he was declaring a work of art finished. He had been working on this project for three years and at last it was finished. Only one more drop. We were there to witness that final drop. Alas, he was not quite satisfied with the way the drop landed. Lord only knows how many more drops will be "final" until the last one finally is?!?!?!?!?

Off we went for two nights at the Hotel Villa Malpensa. Remember that's where we landed the first day in Milan. This time the sky was clear and we could enjoy every inch of the place  

It was to be two nights of Italian country living with nothing to worry about except getting to the airport on time. Then we heard about the Canadian wildfires and immediately the focus turned to changing our US plans. We had booked train reservations from Newark to DC, along with four nights at a DC hotel. Our friend from Richmond had made plans to see us in DC and I had made plans for us to visit Monticello. Poof! We needed a new plan. We made new reservations to fly straight from Newark to NOLA. Stayed in an airport hotel and waited for a very good friend to drive from Hammond to pick us up and take us home. 

And now you know how we spent a few glorious days in Milan and got home safely.

I wish you all the very best "once in a lifetime" experiences! Try to make one as often as possible.