Yesterday, my sisters and I walked to the train station in Lucca and purchased everyone tickets to the Cinque Terre for today. Our plan was to train to Monterosso, the farthest town, make our way southeast on foot or by boat and train back from Riomaggiore, the closest town. Our ticket for 2 adults and 2 children involved transfers in Pisa and La Spezzia. It would be almost a 14-hour day trip departing at 8:45 am and returning around 10 pm. For a chance to see the Cinque Terre it would be worth it! Or so I thought.
Yesterday evening Baby Bear came down with a fever and was complaining about a headache and general aches. After I convinced myself it wasn’t meningitis, we gave her half of an adult Tylenol and a lukewarm bath to cool her down. At that point I resigned myself to staying in Lucca with her while the rest of the gang made the trip. (Papa Bear had paid his dues in Milan while i was advancing socioeconomics.) There was a brief moment this morning when I believed that our 2nd class train tickets could be used on another day but the middle leg had assigned seats. I said goodbye to the travelers and settled in for a day of rest and local adventures.
BB and I were planning a little walk when Papa Bear calls and says he missed his train in Pisa. He had gotten off to try to get a refund for my and BB’s tickets and when he went back to the platform the train door wouldn’t open. He described an iconic, if somewhat Hollywood-conceived scene of waving to my mother through the window as the train pulled away. I tried to convince him to take the next train and catch up to them in Monterosso but I couldn’t reach my sisters. One wasn’t picking up (only using wifi plus Viber) and the other’s phone was audibly ringing in the next room when I tried to call her number. Convinced that he wouldn’t be able to catch up with them, he turned back to Lucca. He’s pretty sure that Sister Bear was on the train with the rest of the family but as I write its entirely possible she’s spent the day in a Pisan police office. Or worse.
We passed a relaxing day with a nice bike ride (there is no other kind here) atop the ramparts and, to mix it up a little, outside the city wall, followed by some screen time and a nap. I’ll know in two hours how the family fared and how much cash (and wine) they’re owed for minding our child all day. Or there will be some frantic calls to Pisa to claim our lost child. Stay tuned.