As I sit here on a blue velvet chair in my five-star luxury hotel room at the Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, it occurs to me that 29 years ago today, I started this life of travel addiction. It was December 2, 1980 when my mother, myself and two steamer trunks* headed to Cleveland for what would turn out to be two and a half years of travel around the continental U.S., Hawaii, Canada and I think we went to Mexico for the day, too. It was for one of the national touring companies of Annie, and it’s one of the defining eras of my life.
I have a lot more to say on this subject, but I’d like to get to this moment on the Italian Riviera.
My five trains turned out to be only three, since the unnameable hag at the SNCF ticket counter decided not to mention that the first three trains were ALL ONE TRAIN RIDE, with little breaks. God, I hate the French.
I’ll admit it now – I cried when they announced Ventimiglia as the next stop. I cry every time, because that is the way I am. It’s time to get the hell out of France and back into this amazing, beautiful, friendly, sybaritic and, yes, to me at least, logical country – for GOOD.
I spent three hours in Ventimiglia, taking pictures of a bottle-green Med against a purple-black stormy sky way out at sea. I also snacked on a grilled panino of mozzarella, sun dried tomato and black olive tapenade. Divine.
Finally, after an entire day spent following the Med coast, napping and playing Sudoku (seriously, flying has nothing on trains – the view is front-row, and spectacular), I am whisked away in a taxi along more coastline to the Grand Hotel Miramare. I am escorted upstairs, followed by a small army of bellboys carrying my suitcase and laptop bag.
This is my favorite moment. When they open the balcony doors and you see your view. And, even though it’s night, it does not disappoint – the cove is dotted with lights and I can hear the waves crashing down below.
I discover there is room service both for dinner and for breakfast (yes please. Is there any better way to wake up in the morning? I ask you) and after calling downstairs, an Internet cable is brought to me by a man in full butler attire who speaks impeccable English.
I have to do some work now, and then I can spend the rest of the evening on my balcony, in my pajamas and the enormous, engulfing white robe they have provided for me, drinking Valpolicella and watching the lights twinkle and listening to the waves crash.
Best day ever. My name is Miss Expatria, and I am a travel addict.
*Please note that my parents were at the time and still are married, and happily so; my dad came out to visit a lot.
This is fabulous. You are fabulous. That picture of you as a child is fabulous. Have a great time darling!
you’re look. I’ve checked the weather in Liguria, and it’s good. or not?
You had a rough month in November, you totally deserve the luxury and pampering. It sounds fantastic!! What delicious Italian treats are you having for dinner?
P.S. Love the photo from the Annie days!
You are too fabulous for words. I’m so jealous of you that I would totally hate you if I didn’t love you so much…
I’m very happy you’re providing pleasent blogs about thetravelling you do.LUVYA
i don’t know why I wrote LOOK instead of LUCKY!
ok, my english sucks, but I know the difference between the 2 words!
From one travel addict to another, I just want you to know that Duffy was always my favorite.
That sounds soooo amazing, and as SFL said, you totally deserve it. Revel, wallow, indulge, enjoy!! I’m living vicariously through you.
Fab story and wonderful imagery. I’m living vicariously along with you also, grazie.
‘Addiction’ implies that there’s something unnatural about lingering and reveling in the Cinque Terre, and having been there, I know it’s simply a natural human response. 🙂 (On a side note, is it so easy to relax there because of the lack of cars and mopeds that make the rest of Italy seem a little insane?)
For a minute I’m imagining I’m you. There’s something to be said for armchair travel too!
I’ll happily join you in your addicition, your love of fancy hotels and views, and of Italy, if not your hatred of the French.
And of course, you know I say that in the most loving, I-would-rather-be-living-your-life-than-my-life-right-now-fashion!!
Seriously, enjoy your stay there. I will live vicariously through your trip.
Where the hell are the pcitures? You can’t tease with words and not follow it up with pictures. I want shots of the Med from that balcony by tomorrow, or else!
And as we discussed earlier, though I am not Italian or claim to be in any way shape or form (well my red wine addiction may be proof otherwise) I cry at every thought , song, picture, book or scene in a movie involving Italy.
I have this unexplainable desire to envelope myself in everything Italian. It somehow just feels *right* I cannot wait to return and to live there one day.
So cry all you want- it is always followed by peace, joy and happiness, cause then you realize- your in Italy babeeeeeeeyyyy!!!
Not only am I insanely jealous, I’m…
Annie? A touring company of Annie?
You never said anything about that! DETAILS!
I agree with the French being a pain in the b***, but Italy= a logical country, I beg to differ! I’ve been living here 8 years & I find everythhing so crazy (but ‘simpitici’)
Talk about refueling my love for Italy. I love those first moments of arrival!
Does Italy miss me yet? Has she mentioned me?
Tell her how much I miss her and I can’t wait to see her again.
Hey, hon! Are you still holed up in SML? Did you find my future house on the road to Portofino? Hope you’re having a fabulous time–stay til Christmas, at least!
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