It's been a freefall into life and people and adventures lately ...
A. Free. Fall.
Sometimes I've found myself wondering if I might hit the wall, other times it has been about 'when' I would hit that wall.
And people. It has been a festival of folk I adore, or folk I have come to adore. And family. And everyone else too.
But tonight ... tonight finds me, in Verona, Italy, listening to Zucchero, Pavarotti, and Bocelli singing Miserere. Introducing Julie to the music of Zucchero actually... because we need him in the car as we roadtrip tomorrow and because she confessed that, like me, she loves Pavarotti.
We ate dinner at Locandina Cappello tonight and matched a delicious pasta with a delightful red wine ... a Valpollicella Classico Superiore Ognisanti Bertani DOC. I wouldn't mind finding some more of that particular red wine.
You see we had wandered through the old city centre, in search of the perfect place to have our 'first night in Italy' dinner, and realised that we are really looking forward to wandering in tomorrow morning's first light. It seems like a pretty city ... and while Genova has my heart and soul, it seems my head could be slightly turned by Verona.
Although that turn of head might be because of the kindness of strangers here. You see, just before we arrived at our 'tricky to find anyway' destination, and after Julie had driven 201kms, our NEW GPS died. For some reason it wasn't receiving a charge from the car's cigarette lighter ...despite me pressing it in there when we got the low battery warning.
So there we were, in the ancient part of the city ...without directions.
I saw a man walking along the street, and stopped him to ask for directions. He turned on his phone, pulled up his GPS, frowned, sighed a little, and gave us a couple of options on locating this difficult to find street. He apologised for the complications we would encounter.
We set off and ended up taking the most difficult option while managing to follow his spoken directions then we saw two young men walking along the street and we stopped so I could ask them if they could help a little. They turned on their phones, turned on their GPS function ... our street didn't come up and they admitted that while they were studying in Verona, they weren't from Verona.
We 3 stopped a woman walking by ... as you do, gently and politely, and she had no English but the young men spoke with her. I saw some head-shaking and heard muttering. I asked if it was complicated and yes, I was told. Very. She apologised and left.
We drove on. I saw a guy walking along the street and stopped him to ask. We had parked the car by now. He was a local and said he was in no hurry to go home and that he would walk us there. And he did.
But, of course, we had no street number and so it was that another kind stranger, seeing us looking confused and staring at our papers while talking to our rescuer, came out and asked if he might help. But he wasn't sure either ... and then another neighbour came over, and she offered her advice, and then another neighbour.
And suddenly, just as we were wandering off to the viccolo with the same name, The Guy arrived and we were rescued. He took up up upstairs to this cute little student flat/summer Air B&B. And here we are, after a delicious dinner in this ancient city ... the location of a story I studied so long ago, back home in New Zealand, never imagining that one day I might wander by Juliet's balcony while searching out a place for dinner, one September evening in 2013.