Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Its finally here!

This morning I got up three hours before La Lopez was due to pick me up. Yeah I admit it, I waited til the last minute to finish cleaning my apartment or pack. So I guess I blew my reputation as a planner out of the water. Normally I would be but it seems like the run up to this years trip came sliding in to a screeching stop rather the easy, careful journey I mostly have.
I arrived at LAX with no extra time to spare lingering among the coffee shops and duty free places I commonly check out. Why? Guess who was selected to "voluntarily" get swabbed for explosive residue and an extra check on her bags? This chick right here. Because last time I checked, haji totally masquerades as a super tall white girl in a long hot pink body skimming dress with a slit up one side. F you TSA. I almost missed boarding.
I'm not a huge fan of United but I guess I've flown worse in my years of traveling. So the in flight meal/cart comes around and they have boxed "tapas". Hmm.. looks interesting so I get it. I am then laughing to myself at the amusing offerings inside said box. Ever had marinated Greek olives in a bag? Hummus in a squeezable tube? No? Well I did today, and I'll actually say it wasn't half bad..lol. Luckily I had my trusty tablet before I was subjected to a forgettable Adam Sandler movie. An hour wait before I land in DC for my layover before going on to Munich.
Jamming thru DC to the train to get to my terminal felt like a cattle call. I had just enough time to call Sister with a Suitcase and my nonna before getting on the train. Got to my gate in time and onto my flight where I was pleasantly surprised to see USB ports on all the seatbacks! Hooray! No dead phone!
After arriving in Munich I waited around to find McC before we finally got to the last leg of our journey to Genoa. The flight was uneventful until I saw the Alps peeking above the clouds. As we flew closer they reached up close to the jet, revealing tiny towns nestled in their deep green canyons. Soon in was flat pasture land again. Finally after one more set of mountains, I saw the Tyrhennian Sea sparkling in the sun. There was Genoa off in the distance while we flew up the coast of Liguria, AKA the Italian Riveria. Blue green water lapped at the shores of all the coastal towns wedged up against the hills and cliffs, all facing the sea as if waiting for something. Which is most likely true since this area was raided my Saracen pirates in the middle ages.
After an hour long train where we were wowed with even more spectacular views, we finally arrived in Monterosso al Mare. There was the beach right at the train station, and we walked along the strain to the tunnel that led inland. After half a mile walk uphill we arrived at our location, which was a little pensione right in the middle of everything.
McC and I went to a place for dinner that was recommended by our pensione owner, Michela, called Via Venti. I came 5000 miles and I was determined to have pesto in Cinque Terre, which is where it was invented. We celebrated our vacation and me turning 40 while enjoying trofie al pesto and gnocchi with artichoke and shrimp. This shrimp was monstrous, but dang it was tasty.
We were super full so we walked down the shore again and I took some great pics of the moonlight on the water. Finally we called it a night so we could get up early for Vernazza tomorrow.

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