Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vernazza - Hikes and Views

On one of the hikes we took up the mountainside in Vernazza, I could be repeatedly heard saying, "This doesn't look real!"  Without further ado, I present to you the unbelievable views of the Vernazza area.

The black tubes are city water pipes.

Prickly Pear!

We went for a hike up to a castle at dusk and caught these views, too.

It was mighty windy up there, so we had a little trouble getting a picture in which our hair was behaving.

Before we knew it, our time in this beautiful coastal town came to a close. We took the very short  walk to the train station to catch a train to the next stop on our adventure.  But, before I get to that, I must make mention of one thing that I have yet to share: My mom's luggage!

Before we left on this trip, my mom and I had repeated conversations about the importance of packing light.  She would tell me what she was planning to bring and I would tell her to bring half that much. It is not that my mom is a rookie traveler, she actually travels out of the country at least 2 times a year.  However, when she travels, she usually takes cruises where you move your luggage around a very minimal amount of times and often with assistance from porters.

When I travel, I typically stay in a handful of places and am used to transitioning my stuff.  Since I have to schlep it multiple times, I try to bring as little stuff as I can.  For health reasons, I had to pack heavier than usual for this trip.  Namely, I brought a set of sheets and a towel with me so I wouldn't react to the detergent other people used on the linens provided. Before the trip, I was hemming and hawing about the size and weight of my suitcase, wishing I could have packed lighter.  I thought I had set the scene well enough with my mom that I wasn't worried about her choices.

When my mom and I met at the airport and I saw her bag come out of the trunk, I thought "uh oh!" Apparently, I wasn't forceful enough about packing light, because she brought a full sized suitcase and a rolling carry on bag. I was not alone in my reaction because when we went to check in for our flight, the airline woman took one look at my mom's bag and says, "Oh honey! You are bringing too much stuff!"  It was a little late to do anything about it at that point.

Unfortunately, the scene was set for my mom to be repeatedly reminded of the importance of packing light.  She was reminded in the form of comments from the people we rented apartments from, looks from people on the street and most of all by the hassle of trying to heft her suitcase on and off of trains, boats and buses as well as up and down many sets of stairs.

By the time we got to Vernazza, we had expanded her suitcase in order to fit the other rolling one inside of it. This adjustment made it more possible to move our stuff efficiently.  When I told Paul about the suitcase saga, he asked for pictures to prove it, so thanks to him I have this one silly photo of my mom and our luggage while we waited for our train to depart Vernazza. I have a strong feeling that the next time my mom and I talk about packing light, we will be on the same page about it.

Next up: I drive a car! We stay at a farm!

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