Day 8: Saronno

The girls and I hung around the hotel today. It rained, thunderstormed actually, and we had packing to do since we are leaving Saronno tomorrow. In the morning after breakfast, we spent time trying to change the train tickets to Bari. Back at home when we were planning the trip, I was very conservative with the amount of time we needed to get to Bari. I had selected an 8:20 Milano departure with a solution that arrived in Bari around 3:15. Well, DH decided that was too early to leave (we would miss breakfast) and too early to arrive in Bari (what would we do for all that time with our luggage?) So we changed to a 10:20 departure with a solution arriving in Bari at 5:30 instead. I hope we don’t regret this.

In the afternoon, the kids watched some Italian cartoons. They are in love with Rekkit Rabbit. They also saw an episode of Mr. Bean, which is actually in English. The cartoon version of Rowan Atkinson is almost as funny as the real actor. While they relaxed, I did some reading for our stint in Paris. I wish we had more time, but we’ll have to do our best to cram everything in to two days.

Speaking of Paris, DH is only going to be with us for part of the time. Yesterday, when he met with the suppliers, he learned that some people from the China office of his company will be in Italy next week. The boss wants DH to come back to Milan for a day to meet with them. Tonight he confirmed that DH should plan to do this, so now we will all fly from Montenegro to Paris on Tuesday and DH will fly alone from Paris back to Milano on Wednesday. That will leave the girls and I to explore the City of Lights on Weds by ourselves, until he rejoins us that night (or, more likely, Thursday morning).

In the evening, I got a call from Emilia. She and Andrea and Matteo wanted to stop by to say goodbye. I told her that DH was not yet home from work, and she laughed. Andrea had just arrived at home (it was almost 6:30) and told her that DH was still in the office. She said that DH would not be coming back soon because the person he was meeting with liked to work late and thought everyone else should, too. So they stopped by and the kids played with the tablet while we visited. We talked about Bari and Andrea called a restaurant owner here in Milan he knows who is originally from Bari. The restaurant owner took Andrea’s number and said he would call him later with the names of a few places in Bari we should try.

Meanwhile, after about an hour, it was apparent that DH was still at the office. Andrea called him and confirmed that he was not coming home anytime soon, and that they were planning to return the rental car at the airport before he returned to the hotel anyway. So the girls and I went for pizza with Andrea and Emilia at La Perla, the restaurant we went to the first night in Saronno. We got a table near the front window and the kids ordered pizza margherita. Andrea had a pizza also, and Emilia and I ordered calzone. This restaurant puts ricotta, mozzarella and ham in their calzoni- very tasty! We also enjoyed a limoncelle at the bar after dinner.

While we were at dinner, the restaurant owner called Andrea back with the names of two restaurants in Bari that we should consider. One was Al Sorso Preferito, which I had actually pinned on my Google planning map, and the other was Al 2 Ghiottini. Both specialize in Pugliese cuisine and were recommended by a local, so I feel well-armed with this little bit of information. 😉

We said our goodbyes to Andrea and Emilia. Today was Matteo’s first day of school, with tomorrow being the first full day, so they had to get him home and to bed. The girls and I went up to our room and got baths and put some of our things away so we were packed for tomorrow. DH finally came home around 11:30, tired, but after a good day. The boss took him to a “tennis club” (Italian country club) for dinner and they had a really good meeting. But finally the working part of his trip is over, other than next week’s quick day trip to Milano, so now he can relax.

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