Up early, ready to take on a big travel day to the family house in Lugano. This house was purchased by Manolo’s grandfather and has been loved by the family as a special vacation destination ever since.
The train ride here was beautiful. Glimpses of the Alp’s, homes perched high up on mountain meadows for the likes of Heidi and her goat friends. We’re still getting used to the train schedule so the morning had a bit of a frantic air to it. Relieved to catch the train, having raced to get there, we plunked down into empty seats and were politely informed that they were reserved. (Everyone is polite here. Not sure why Canadians have the reputation, we’ve got nothing on the Swiss!) So we strolled the aisle in search of non-reserved seats, or “ein libro platz.” (I’m 8% fluent according to my ap now by the way!) This turned out to be super tricky as there were nearly no free seats and I hadn’t anticipated us having to stand for the 3 hour trip. D & Dad found two together and Helena and I continued to roam. We finally found one which we attempted to share.
Unfortunately this route was not good for our poor motion-sick-prone girl. And I didn’t pack gravol so she suffered, a pale shade of grey for over three hours. Poor thing. It was a long, long 3 hours. But when we finally arrived the fresh air and lime Italian ice treat did her wonders. And oh the scenery!
So, the truth is, Lugano is ridiculous. It’s a whole other level of civilization here. One could develop a real complex here. Between the extreme wealth, unattainable beauty and superior fashion, it’s just insanity.
It’s like an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous – Special Edition: As seen through the eyes of someone who can’t afford it and really has no business being here. Well here I am because I married this golden ticket and some might say that I’ve paid my dues! That said, while here I kind of don’t have a leg to stand on when faced with this view while his dirty socks lay in the middle of the floor. Yup, gonna let that one slide…
We attempted to walk from the train station to the house so that we could take in all the sights. This proved to be foolish in the 29 degree heat schlepping our suitcases and bags. We hailed a bus because the walking was killing us.
I think we can all agree that in a town where the streets invite you to spend hours strolling, sensible shoes are essential. To me, known as someone who could stand to “up her shoe game” according to my dear friend Rachel, the ability to walk miles without pain means a nice thick rubber sole, ideally with no heel, probably with a stubby, rounded toe. You know, ugly ones, the kind of shoe that does nothing to make your legs look longer & slimmer…
The startling thing here though is these women seem to know how to turn a ridiculous heel into a sensible shoe. And on cobble stone streets to boot. Hats off ladies, hats off.
Now that it’s hot again I can no longer disguise myself as a well dressed European through the use of a scarf. I’m seriously reconsidering my choice to not wear dresses all the time and may invest in one. Something long, flowy and white, you know, totally impractical. Something to wear with my new eveyday-walking heels.
With the combination of lugging suitcases through town and over heating there was no way to save face and not look every part the ugly-tourist. All pride now out the window I have taken to just brazenly gawking, open jawed, at the absurd beauty of the people we pass on the street. I’ve even had to stifle the odd “BRAVO! BRAVO!” once or twice.
I feel all us women hold to the universal truth that magazines are not a depiction of real life and that the women within their pages have been air-brushed to within a fraction of their original self. Today I learned that to be not true. Magazine women exist in real life and are walking and breathing in living colour right here in Lugano. I almost took a photo of one today in her bikini while she stood and watched her model-boyfriend cliff jump into the perfect Mediterranean-like waters. But I realized that would be creepy so I didn’t. But wow, wow.
The saving grace is that I seem to have good hair here. The frizz is gone. I’m not sure why. Aunt Les, I think it might be an un-clean thing. Day three of no shower; the grease might be our answer! I’m not sure it’s entirely bad here. Smelling bad seems to be a thing here. Is good hair worth the risk? Is this a “when in Rome moment?”
Hoping tomorrow we’ll be able to shake our tourist vibe and blend in. Maybe flash the big red passports every now and then. For now, the setting at Vila Sole is enough to soothe your soul for a lifetime.
Since arriving here I’ve had such a desire to be surrounded by classic Italiano style music. Rosemary Clooney, Louis Prima, anything with accordions in it. Can anyone recommend a good album for me to download for our back ground music?