Friday, July 20, 2012

Italian Riviera: Day 1

We woke up early last Friday to start our trek to Italy. 
It costs money to drive through Switzerland. 40 Euro a year. We had to buy a sticker, and can I just say, that I much prefer an annual sticker to paying tolls every few miles. I do. 
Shane has ancestors from Lucerne, and it was on the way, so we decided to stop and have a look around. I immediately fell in love.
 Who wouldn't? 
I took all of these pictures from the car. Next time we plan to stay for a long weekend.

 Later that day, we stopped for lunch. Shane parked next to a Ferrari. He had to get a picture next to our sweet Italian Nissan Quest.
 Coolest rest stop ever. Not because of the Ferrari, but mostly for the clean bathrooms and fresh food selection. We bought baguettes, fresh cheese and ham for lunch. There was even a produce scale and fresh the rest stop.

And, by the way, you have to pay for the restrooms too. It cost 1/2 Swiss Franc, but the machine prints a coupon for the same value to use for purchases. It works itself out. Clean public bathrooms are worth it.
 Driving through the Alps...
 A waterfall in the Swiss Alps.
 There are a lot of tunnels in Switzerland. Shane decided that this tunnel picture should be on the flag and not the Swiss cross. Every tunnel has a name, too.
 Here we are waiting to cross the Italian border.

And, then we were in Italy.

First impressions:
public restrooms not as nice as Switzerland, or anywhere north of Italy, minus France.
crazy speed limit laws. boo.
not at all what I envisioned. kind of Barstow, CA-ish.

We found Camp Darby, a very small Army installation, with affordable accommodations. Our room wasn't bad. The post itself was a no-man's land. American beach was about 1 mile away off post.

It only took us 12 hours to drive. Google told us 8.5 hours. I guess I forgot to enter 4 children when I looked up the mileage. Do they have a place for that? They should.
We found the beach. The sound was amazing, and the salty breeze, delicious. It was all I could do to keep the kids from getting wet. Then I gave up. Except Theo. He held on like a chimp.
I drew the kids away with promises of  pizza. We ate, then went back to the room and rearranged our plans a little. We opted for a lazy day at the beach on Saturday, instead of our original plan to tour Florence.
We needed lazy.


Liz said...

wow! just beautiful! although, from your description, next time just stay in switzerland! so breathtaking!

Jennifer R. said...

Yay for Italy day one post. Your first impressions of Italy reminds me of how I felt when we *arrived in LA after three days in the car. Now, I have such love for socal, if I ever come up missing, one should look no further than somewhere on the coast between Huntington and Leguna Beach. you ever get there with Italy? Oh, the suspense! Lol. Andrew wore socks and tennis shoes EVERY day we visited the beach bc the sand was 'dirty.'. :)