I’m heading to Italy in two weeks for my scouting mission. I’m hoping to find an apartment to rent for Cinder and me. I also want to get acclimated in the town I’ve chosen, put in my application for Italian Citizenship and, in my down time, drink lots of vino rosso. Sounds lovely, right? A week off in Tuscany. No dogs, no work. What could be better?
Well, I am a little stressed out about driving. On my last two trips, my travel companions have done the bulk of the driving. And by bulk, I mean all but maybe five minutes. I haven’t really driven since I moved to New York. Even on weekends away, I’ve managed not to drive. So how rusty do you get in eight years? I hope not too. Because first I have to get myself out of Rome successfully. My friend Will and I did not manage this well on our last trip, ending up driving in circles around the fringes of Rome. It was a stressful start to our trip. So I don’t even have the knowledge of having done that much right to visualize as I do deep breathing and give pep talks to myself. The next piece of stress happened last week when I went to rent the car. First, the stress of having to use my debit card instead of a credit card for the rental, which everyone online warns is a nightmare. And then realizing that I have to rent a stick shift because the price of an automatic is $500 more. Aiuta!!! (Help is actually one of the words I learned early on, so if I do run into trouble I hope I remember it.) My first and last cars were stick shifts so I’m just praying that it is like riding a bike and that it all comes back to me…preferably before I get out of the rental car garage as I don’t want to stall on the Autostrada.
Then today, flush with the sense of accomplishment that comes from ticking things off your checklist, I decided to peruse the long range forecast for my trip. In the town where I’m staying, they are calling for SNOW! Almost every day.
All of sudden getting lost in Rome seems much more manageable compared with sliding off a cliff in Tuscany.