DAY 40

Today is special.

It is my birthday.

Seventy seven years.

A long time. Who would have thought. I still remember my young years like yesterday.

My father recently passed on at 98. His father at 94. It appears the genes may be good. I hope.

The weather. I have not spoken of it in ages. Here in mid Italy, it is reported in the following fashion. There is a heat wave coming up from Africa. When the heat wave hits the Mediterranean, the humidity will increase. Rain is also expected coming down from the Alps.

I share the weather report so you can compare it with those in the U.S. Generally the same description wise. Only the names are different.

Yesterday, I finally made Portofino. It is as good as they say, if not better. Magnificent. Beautiful.

You can feel the wealth. Huge yachts. Smart people. High end clothing shops. Everything perfect. The buildings, boats and cafes neat and orderly.

Portofino appeared to me as if it were a finely mowed the lawn. Perfection!

The private homes on the hillside equally magnificent. Obviously equally expensive. Terrific shrubbery. All neatly manicured.

The negative with Portofino is that it is too expensive. Outrageous price wise. I had a gin and tonic. Seventeen euros. Roughly $20 American money.

An ordinary millionaire could not afford to live in Portofino. It is only for the very very rich.

I took a cab to Portofino. Decided to treat myself well. The thought of a train and bus really did not excite me.

The cab cost 40 euro. Not bad for a 15-20 minute drive from one town to another. We had to go up one side of Mount Portofino and down the other.

The return trip was not as easy.

I figured I would take a cab back to Camogli. I went to the cab stand. Four cabs. All beautiful. BMWs and Mercedes.

I asked the fare back to Camogli. One hundred euros. I explained I had only paid 40 euros to get there. They did not care. The cab drivers were polite, but adamant. One hundred euros or stay in Portofino.

I sat down on a bench beneath a nearby tree. What to do? I really would have been pissed off if I had to go 100 euros.

Then I saw a sign. Bus stop. At that instance, the bus came. I got on and made sure it would take me to the metro railway station in St. Margery. I probably spelled the name wrong.

I was assured it would. The cost: 1.5 euros. A deal!

I enjoyed the ride. A large comfortable air conditioned bus. Many lovelies in the their bikinis.

The bus dropped me off in front of the metro station. I went in to the counter. A ticket to Camogli, please. Three euro. I bought it. So far I had spent a measly 4.5 euros to return to Camogli.

The person behind the counter told me to hurry. The train was just arriving. I ran out and got on. One stop later I was in Camogli.

The train dropped me off at the internet store I have been using each morning to do the blog. The streets beyond are blocked off. Only pedestrian traffic permitted. A shot walk and I was at my apartment.

On rising this morning, I watched a little TV. No English speaking channels. I came upon the Wizard of Oz. In Italian. However, the songs/singing were in English with Italian sub titles. The movie was easy to follow. I must have seen it a 100 times already.

I have been enjoying breakfast at a little cafe on the sea. Tiny inside. Three small tables outside. Rosalie, sometimes Rosalia, has been taking care of me. A short thin woman in her mid 50s.

I told her today was my birthday. I was 77 years old. She started pulling on my left ear lobe. Seventy seven times. For good luck. She said that was the Italian way.

I explained how we spank in the U.S. She thought that was strange. I did not tell her that pulling on my ear lobe was strange to me.

How will I spend the rest of my birthday? Anything special? I do not know. I will take today like every day. As it comes.

An observation. Middle aged and older women dress well in this area. Nice dresses, suits and hats. Looking at them is like viewing a fashion show.

Enjoy your day!

7 comments on “DAY 40

  1. HAPPY 77th BIRTHDAY, LOU!! Hope you’ve made some Italian friends to help you celebrate. I’ve been following your blog every day and am very envious of your vagabond European trip. Sounds like a great time! Hope your ear lobe recovered. 77 tugs could really stress a lobe out!

  2. Happy Birthday, Key West Lou! I don’t remember how we found you online but Paul and I are sure enjoying your daily travel/adventure posts. I love that you spent so little $ to get back to Camogli from Portofino – it never would have occurred to me that it could cost more than twice as much to get out of Portofino as it did to get into it : / Sounds like you had more fun taking the bus and train than you would have taking the taxi – double bonus!

    Looking forward to hearing all about the rest of your special day,


  3. Hope you had a wonderful birthday. Your “letters from Italy” are enjoyable and you sound as if you are lovin’ every minute.

    Let me know when you are coming home! It is Keys HOT this week. Not much breeze either so am staying in the air-conditioning.

    I’m heading to NYS soon to spend six weeks with sisters,
    cousins and friends.I’m travelling with friend Carol and we will have our usual happy adventures as we go north.

    Have spent at least eight years searching family history and finally have gathered enough to put it in book form. Will do lots of consulting with sisters when I am up North and will begin writing when I get back to the Keys.


  4. Hi Key West Lou. I’m so happy to happen upon your blog–and on your birthday,no less. Congrats on your many years and good genes. 🙂 I can understand the motivation to stay unretired. I cannot imagine a life without purposeful work or action. Good for you.

    My husband and I fell in love with Key West about a decade ago. We don’t own there, but get away at least 1-2 times a years as a couple. (We live and work in NY.) I love travel and am a writer/blogger in addition to my day job.

    Look forward to getting to know you through your posts. Enjoy Italy!



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