Monday, July 4, 2011

Tuesday, Genoa, Italy

I am doing some skipping here... but I will do a short catch up. Sunday was a travel day and everything went without a hitch. We did find a fantastic local restaurant for dinner that has always been closed when I was here in the past.. turns out they are closed Mondays, but not Sundays. There was no menu and we ate for 2 1/2 hours.... and drank way to much. Monday Ned had to work... usually I take the car and do day excursions but to be honest I was tired... so I crashed. The weather was lovely so I took my iPad and sat outside to read. Dinner was low key. Tuesday morning and we have to drive to Genoa.... the reason for this whole trip. Ned's conference starts this evening and I am looking forward to hooking up with some of the other wives... some of whom I know and new ones I hope to meet. We were not staying at the host hotel (near the airport)... his company is cheap, but rather one closer to the old part of town. Luck had it that it was more convenient for me. There were shuttle buses for the guys as it turned out that the conference got a last minute boost and the host hotel could not accommodate everyone. We were a bit scattered around. Rather than check into our hotel first, we stopped at the convention spot as Ned's company had a booth and he wanted to make sure all the materials had arrived.

Next stop our hotel.... or so we thought.

If any of you have driven in old Italian cities you know that some of the streets are nothing more than narrow alleys. Genoa is a hillside city so think long, windy, narrow, and steep alleys. The "street" our hotel was situated on was one of these.... there was less than a foot clearance on either side of the car... it was not marked as one way. The hotel was down the middle of this alley.... We arrived to find out there had been a fire a few days before and there was no electricity. No one was notified! BUT, they did re book us somewhere else. Ned started to make phone calls to reroute the rest of the group.. and then we had to figure out how to get out of there.... the alley was a dead end! There was a small clearing at the bottom and a steep drive into a garage whose metal doors were closed.  15 minutes later and a lot of sweat, Ned managed to get the car turned around.... think a zillion baby K turns. I think I had my eyes closed for most of it. Now we had to head back up this alley and pray no one was coming down. We found the other hotel without too much trouble, and checked in without incidence. Now we head for the lift and I started to laugh. I haven't seen one of these in ages. It was the old fashion cage type.
At least we didn't have to schlep our luggage up the stairs.
Ned had to be back to the convention early... he HAD to work. I wandered into the bar and found my buddies and we sat and caught up till the reception started. There was suppose to be a program all three days for the spouses but 2 days were cancelled due to not enough interest. In truth what really happened is that they made it almost impossible for anyone to sign up. Instead of accepting credit cards or stating you could pay (in cash) when you arrived, the sign up insisted you do a money transfer in Euros. That did not go over so well. Ned had called and they told him to just pay when we arrived, but most didn't call. As a result, many of the women who would have signed up, didn't. To make things worse, the person who was in charge of this took off early and rather than be there in time for the reception when most arrive, never came back.  So those who might have paid that evening, never got the chance. There were going to be 8 of us on this tour the next day.

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