That's Italian for "I am outta here." I don't know where that river is ... reckon that it bisects a couple of them thar hills of Rome. Must have one helluva current, though.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say, albeit poorly (as is my wont), is that RandoGirl and I are leaving Saturday for a vacation in Italy.
Now, please, don't panic. I know that reading my blog is the high point of your day. Since I haven't been writing much lately, due to working so hard to get ahead at work for this vacation -- not to mention supporting the 1000K/600K here in Nashville, my blog has probably been relegated to being merely the high point of your week. For that, I apologize. It's difficult not to become addicted to something as thrilling as reading my prose must be (I wouldn't know, since I never proof this crap ... when I try, I fall instantly asleep), and you've been getting an irregular fix (as opposed to an irregularity fix, which is a cocktail made of yogurt, bran, and Metamucil).
Scatological jokes aside, though, I must try to alleviate your fears of RandoBoy withdrawal by telling you that I plan to blog every day from Italy.
Of course, I plan a lot of things, which is a nice way of saying, "Take what you get, loyal reader."
It's not that I don't love you, or that I don't enjoy writing this blog. It's just that there's going to be a lot to do. So that you can understand why you may not get regular blogs, and (more importantly) so you can be insanely jealous of the absolute blast that we will be having in Rome and Sicily, here's our itinerary:
Fly. Nashville to Charlotte, NC to Munich, Germany to Rome, Italy.
OK, I guess the Munich to Rome part of the above is here. I'm kind of bummed because we only have an hour and a half in Munich, and I'd like to see more of it someday. I like any city where the "local" name -- Munchen -- sounds like a thing I like to do.
The rest of the day -- the part after we collect bags and go through customs and get a taxi and check in to our hotel -- will be spent ... well, I guess it would be Monday.
Find a piazza. Sit. Drink espresso. Sit. Drink espresso. Sit. Eat. Sit. Eat. Sit. Eat more.
Gosh, Monday was fun. Let's do it again. If we're bored, we'll go look at pretty stuff some dead guy did.
In the morning, do what we liked best about Tuesday. In the afternoon, fly to Palermo. Collect bags, get a taxi, go to the hotel. Eat. Sit. Eat.
All righty, then. Here's the part you've probably all been expecting. You knew it had to come: We bike.
We're doing the Cycling the Coast of Sicily Plus! tour with Experience Plus. RandoGirl and I did a tour in Tuscany with them five years ago, and we loved it. We even have one of the same guides with us, this year. A really nice Italian fellow named Igor.
Just kidding. Our Igor looks like this.
That's Igor on the left, and Yorgos on the right. RandoGirl was very, very happy that Igor was going to be with us on this trip. Hmmmm ...
So, Thursday we have a 41-mile ride to Castellammare del Golfo, where I guess we will play a round-o of golf-o. (If you can't tell, I've been learning Italian. Rosetta Stone rocks!)
Now, if you've been reading this blog long, you know that 41 miles is not going to do it for me. I'm hoping that they've got a "long cut" version, where I can get more like 81 miles. Or maybe they'll let me start early and do the route, then come back, and then ride it again with everyone else.
This is important because I am planning to eat in Italy. A lot. I mean, a really really lot. Like, enough to where one or two small, third-world countries will not get to have lunch that day. And I can't eat that much unless I first ride a bunch of miles, or I will feel guilty about it. Yes, I should feel guilty for stealing lunch from Ukesvestia and Lalapoolopiona, but they needed to drop a few pounds anyway.
See Thursday, but substitute Greek ruins and a temple. Don't ask me what the Greek ruins are doing in Italy. I think they have a ruin exchange program going. Vatican City is in Smyrna this week.
Yadda-yadda. Beach. Tuna factory (and all this time I thought that tuna was a real fish that grew in the sea ... go figure).
Erice by way of Trapani. Biking 19 miles. Wait a minute, here! Nineteen miles?! Unh-unh. I'm going off the schedule here. I'll let you know afterwards, but odds are pretty freakin' good that RandoGirl and I will ditch the rest of our group today and go somewhere. Igor may hate us, but a RandoBoy's gotta do what a RandoBoy's gotta do.
Man, I'm glad I got that out of my system. Today we can go back to the schedule, which calls for wheat fields, the Phoenician ruins of Motya, and a visit to the salt pans.
So, I'm spending a lot of money and flying across an ocean to watch sea water evaporate. Zowie.
In the afternoon we go to a winery where they make the famous, fortified Marsala wines. Well, well. Things are looking up.
Thanks to the bone-splitting hangover, I'll probably stick to the schedule again today. We've got vineyards (urp ... not with that fortified wine still churning in my gut), limestone quarries, and more ruins (apparently Italian, thank goodness ... I was getting sick of all these durn foreign ruins).
The schedule calls for 29 miles of ruins and beaches. Right. I'll be back before dark ... maybe.
A rest day?! Like we should be tired now?! Puh-leaze!
There's supposed to be lunch in "Caltabellotta, a hilltop village dominating the interior from its limestone mountain three thousand feet above Sciacca." Now that's what I'm talking about! I'm biking to Caltabellotta. Then, I'm descending from Caltabellotta. And then ... go ahead ... you guessed it ... I'm climbing right back up to Caltabellotta again. I may go through this half a dozen times. When the heart rate monitor shows that I've burned 5,000 calories, maybe then I'll be ready to rest.
If I manage to shred my legs Thursday, I may just stick with the tour and do the 44 miles to another pile of Greek ruins. I plan to make up a sign and picket these, by the way. "Greeks Go Home" or something. Maybe burn an effigy of Homer.
Or maybe, since it's our last day on the bikes, I'll go further. I guess it depends upon whether I feel comfortable about the roads by then, and whether I still like the bike that I'm using. It may depend on whether Igor has killed me by then.
The tour ends. We will hang out some in Palermo today. See the sights. Find a piazza. Sit. Drink espresso. Sit. Drink espresso. Sit. Eat. Sit. Eat. Sit. Eat more.
Hang out. Fly back to Rome. Piazza. Espresso. You know.
Rome - Munich - Washington, DC - Nashville.
I'll be ready for it by then.