Saturday, July 12th
Saturday morning, after eating breakfast outside on the veranda at Katia’s mother’s house, we stopped to see the progress on Katia & Guido’s new house. We weren’t able to peek inside because the guy that was going to show us around was called away on business at the last minute.
Our plan for the day after seeing their new place was to head to the town of Iseo on Lake Iseo. We go there every year when I visit. I love this visiting this lake. A special outdoor market of handmade goods was going on when we arrived. There were lots of little tables set up in the town. We walked through the town browsing through the market and then headed to the boat area.
We arrived just in time to catch the boat to Monte Isola. The boat made one stop in Sulzano to pick up more passengers and then headed to Peschiera on Monte Isola. We went to the bike rental place and rented 3 bikes. We did this ride together many years ago and had so much fun laughing and enjoying the views that we decided to do it again this year.
It took us about 90 minutes to ride around the island (mainly because I made lots of stops along the way to take photos). Both Katia and I got off our bikes at one point to walk when we reached the steep hill. The second half of the ride was down hill. Besides the steep hill, the biggest challenge was to keep to the side when the little motor bikes and cars went by. We rode up and down narrow paths, through little towns, and by the water. We saw grape vines and olive trees and two little islands along the way. After returning our bikes, we had lunch, and then waited to take the boat back to Iseo. Once back in Iseo, we had some gelato. Yum!!
The Picassa slideshow I made no longer works, so I made some square tiles of the boat ride to Monte Isola & our bike ride around the island. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version and to start a slideshow.
We headed back to Coccaglio. The ride back through the Franciacorta area was beautiful. I noticed a lot of corn fields this year. We stopped at a grocery store along the way so that I could pick up a few emergency food items in case the food was inedible on the plane. It was a good thing I did! This grocery store had these cool carts. They were the regular little hand carts we have but with wheels and a long handle to pull them. I meant to take a photo but never did.
When we returned to Katia’s parents house, it was hot and muggy. We watched some TV (American sitcoms in Italian) while I wrote some posts on Katia’s computer.
We decided on pizza for dinner. Katia’s dad got the menu out. It was a 3 page menu of various pizza combinations. We each ordered a pizza. I ordered the pizza choice that came with tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozarella cheese and grana padano cheese. I also added peppers to my pizza.
My last pizza of the trip
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, chatting and laughing, with Katia translating either English when I didn’t understand her parents or Italian when I couldn’t communicate on my own. For dessert, we ate some of the pastries and cookies I brought from Lagagna in Bologna.
After dinner, we sat outside enjoying the cooler air. The weather was changing and a thunder and lightening storm was heading our way. I let out a few little screams as the thunder got closer. Katia’s neighbors also stopped by for a visit. I have known them since my first visit to Coccaglio many years ago. We had a wonderful evening together. I said goodbye to Guido before heading to bed. He was driving to Recco on Sunday to participate in a mini tin man event.
Sunday, July 13th
After enjoying another breakfast Sunday morning out by Katia’s mother’s garden, I packed my bags . Katia’s grandmother and her older brother and his family were coming over for lunch. While Katia’s mother cooked in the kitchen, Katia and I played with her 2 nieces, Marta (age 4) and Emma (age 2). We looked at a big picture book naming and counting animals and dressed them up in princess jewelry, a present from Katia’s grandmother. I was touched when Marta requested that I sit next to her at lunch.
Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch (chicken cooked in a tomato sauce, polenta, a tomato and pepper dish, bread, french fries, and some sort of meat). For dessert, we had gelato. There was a choice of 4 fruit flavors including “big bubble”, which tasted like bubble gum, and 5 or 6 cream flavors. No one could decide, so we all had a little of each.
After lunch, we went to Katia’s work place so that I could post my last few posts on my blog that I wrote on her laptop over the weekend. Also I wanted to check in with Continental. In case anyone else tries to check in when flying out of Malpensa, don’t bother! I was able to go through all the steps until print. At that point, a page came up saying that the Malpensa airport does not allow you to check in early.
At this point, we realized that we had 10 minutes until the train arrived. We raced home to grab my bags and then Katia drove like a speed queen to the train station. We arrived with a few minutes to spare. I validated my ticket and then we waited for the train.
Saying goodbye is always the hardest part every year. Katia helped me on the train and we each waved as the train departed. Until next year (I hope!).