Thursday. Up early and off the ship by 8.30am to find the pre arranged taxi. First problem. Scores of taxis and drivers, all desperate for our business, but none of them our driver. Eventually found him outside the port. He didn’t have the right pass to get in!
Swift ride to Catania airport where we were rushed through to check in. Soon at the gate and the airport “assistance” people had Jane in her seat on the plane without any fuss. An hour later at Rome airport the whole operation worked like clockwork and we were soon seated in another plane for the flight to Pisa.
The next worry was the case. Would it have changed planes as quickly as we did? Success.
The car hire was the usual squabble over insurance, scratches already on the car and fuel. They took a massive deposit so there will be a major argument when we drop the car off on Monday in Venice.
It was an easy drive up to and round Lucca and then north to the Hotel Milano in Borge a Mozzano. We found the Fiddians, the Hooks and the Hoskins in the bar. They were about to eat so we joined them for supper. They had no choice! Next morning we drove to the Airbnb apartment that Louise and Red had taken for a week. Mike then arrived from Dubai via Bologna and Gretchen from Dubai via London (where she had been working for a few days) and Pisa.
With the grandchildren, Ethan and Charlie, the Smith family ate in the Restaurante Milano. It was a rare family gathering, but great fun.
The wedding was on Saturday – to be continued ………………..