We had no distinct plan for today, other than rest and take it easy. We slept in, played cards, played video games, and so forth until around one or so when we all left to go shopping.
Generally when I travel I like to do a electronic-detox strategy, since I spend so much time connected in the rest of my life (being a programmer). This is why I’m highly unresponsive to e-mail (or however it is people try to contact me). But I’m writing this on the Internet with a laptop, so I’m doing it a little less hardcore this trip. Hence the occasional video game.
Anyway, Dad and Kayla left to return the car this morning, which I hear was an adventure. Remember, the car we had picked up from Avis in Lyon broke down in Pisa and ended up at a local garage, so we got another car. When they showed up at the Avis drop off (which was not trivial – it was hidden, and the garage entrance was too short for the full-sized van), the Avis reps weren’t expecting a van. Apparently the key wasn’t even a Avis key. Eventually Dad and Kayla managed to convince them that it was their van, and they wrote us a receipt.
Hopefully that’s the last we hear of that, and Avis doesn’t come knocking in a few weeks asking “so… where’s that Renault we lent you?”
After they got back, they wanted to go shopping, and I didn’t want to sit around all day, so we all set off to the train station, which is apparently tourist central. We found a place to eat while Kayla went off shopping for things for her classroom (she teaches German at a college, so she’s been collecting tidbits for her classroom along the way. She’s also been our German translator – where in the other countries we communicated by grunting, here we can actually communicate with people).
On the way we came across a statue of Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet. Apparently there’s a tradition where you grab her right breast, whether for luck I don’t know. We know it’s a thing, because other people did it and while she is entirely green, from the rust, her breast has been polished by hundreds of years of groping.
It gets creepier once you realize that in the play, Juliet is thirteen years old.
Anyway, we had lunch at a film cafe, which is essentially a restaurant that’s movie-themed. They had a James Bond-themed salad menu, with such salads as the “Goldfinger” salad or the “Octopussy” salad (I don’t know why they thought salads were quintessentially Bond).
In keeping with the movie theme, I did my Princess Leia impression.
For dessert us three boys all had Emma Stone.
(Emma Stone is what they call three scoops of ice cream with whipped cream on top)
We were to meet Kayla by a fountain, so we spent a few minutes there. We saw a dog playing in the fountain, and then we had an idea…
First, we had to don some sunglasses, to exude coolness.
Then we emerged from the mist like action heroes.