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Back from Tuscany

Man, I seriously hate England right now! It is becoming a nagging refrain this summer, but sunny skies and hot but bearable temperatures see me off at our latest stop – this time, in Tuscany, – and overcast and cold weather is what greets me in the Blighty. Heavy rain started when I was literally 50 meters away from the house. It must be a not-so-subtle hint of something…

Actually, I am told that so far it has rained every day in August in England.

Tuscany, as I noted in the past, is a strong contender for the top spot among my most favorite places. And the villa near the not-very-remarkable town of Montespertoli appears to be the first “hired” lodging (business trips excluded) that we purposefully returned to in our travels. Everything there is just as we remembered from the last year. The view. The weather. The people. The food. The wine…

A proprietor of a nearby family restaurant greeted us with “Ritornato!” (“You’re back!”). I can’t imagine that this is how he greets everyone, so we took it at the face value that he truly recognized us from the couple of meals that we’d had there last year. All the more surprising – and delightful! – given that the restaurant fills up to the seams every night of the week.

The Tuscan sea shore is too far away from Montespertoli to make beach-going practical, but the villa has a large pool shared with just one other neighboring house. The French family which is renting that villa keeps mostly to itself, so we have virtually a private pool at our disposal. Lounging by the pool – with occasional breaks to watch some of the excellent Italian Olympics coverage – occupied most of our days so far; in the evenings, we have been making leisurely excursions to nearby towns, from the familiar favorite of San Gimignano to the not previously visited Greve-in-Chianti.

Good times are going to get even better, with the arrival of a family of friends from the States. The kids are good friends, which should allow the parents relative freedoms.

With that in mind, I am changing my plans again, just as I did on the Spanish leg. Instead of re-joining the family for just the latter half of the next week (which would basically mean vacationing for just two more days and then driving home for the next two), I am re-joining them this Saturday. When we planned the whole trip months ago, we neglected to account for the Summer Bank Holiday this coming Monday; the original plan, therefore, would have me in office for just two days next week after spending the long weekend by my sad lonesome. I’d rather use my remaining vacation days on Tuesday and Wednesday – which means not a single vacation day left this year as of end of August. Oh well, what it is that they say? Carpe Diem!