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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This One's For You Richard and Sue

We left Crans Montana on sunny Monday morning knowing that we were taking the long road back to Bergamo.  The drive turned out to be spectacularly beautiful and we were not regretful.  The Nufenen pass was a great ride.  Straight up for miles and miles, reach the apex, then twists and turns down!  By the time we reached the top, the weather had changed quite dramatically. It was a chilly 57F on top and the clouds and fogs had rolled in.  For the first several kilometers of our descent there was only about 5 meters visibility.  Not so much fun when the road turns every few feet.  I'm thinking we missed some amazing views along the way.  We finally got our heads out of the clouds and the day cleared once again.  In fact, by the time we reached the Ticino area of Switzerland (Italian speaking part), the temperature was on the rise and topped out at 91F in Lugano!  Quite a shift.
We have good friends who live in Lugano but as luck would have it, they are in Minnesota! 
We wanted to see their place but had forgotten to write down their address.  So I pulled out my computer and started doing random searches for an open network so I could look up Sue's email and get her address.  Finally, after many fits and starts, we pulled into a gas station that had access and found the address. We were within spitting distance so we took a look.  What a gorgeous place our friends are now occupying. 
Hey, Richard and Sue, what is this building?!
Hope we'll get the chance to stop by and stay awhile.  This area of Switzerland is so different from where we had just been.  It hardly seems fair that so much beauty is packed into one small European country! 
We finally reached the Italian border and took off towards Bergamo for a utility overnight stay before our morning flight.  Bergamo is a cute Italian town set on a hill.  Our hotel was close to the airport and fatigue, Doug's sore knee, and an inability to park kept us from exploring the area.  We found a restaurant, eventually located it with our handy GPS only to find it was closed.  We eventually found a place serving pizza and sated ourselves.
When we got settled into the hotel and turned on the TV, much to our delight a baseball game between the Minnesota Twins (Doug's favorite team) and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (My favorite team) were playing complete with Italian commentary!  It was great fun and a fitting end to a fun trip.  (Twins won.  I'm OK with that.  Angels are out of the running and the Twins are in first place so I'm happy to cheer them on from here on out!)
Today was simply fill the tank, return the car, catch the plane, get home.  That all happened and now I'm happily home with Tanner.  In Swedish there is a saying Borta är bra, men hemma är bäst:  Away is good, but home is best.  It's great to travel and have new experiences, but I am very thankful for the home I have to come back to.