Having said all that, we feel like we’re pretty well traveled at this point in our lives and are fairly confident we can’t be easily surprised or confused when we go somewhere new. Did I say confident? If I’m completely honest, for myself, sometimes it might get closer to feeling fairly “cocky” but just barely. Of course, in my experience, when I start to feel a little, just a little, cocky about something, it doesn’t take long for a reminder to come my way telling me to “not so fast”. My latest reminder came as I was perusing pictures from previous trips to one of the most magical places we’ve been, Spoleto, Italy in the Umbria region.
My first time there was with Katy and a different group of women. Katy and I were going to be in different rooms and so upon our arrival we excitedly planned to wake up early the next morning, go for a walk and have some sister time. Before we went to sleep we decided on a time, 6:00 am. It would be tough but we were convinced it would help us recover from jet lag quicker and we were looking forward to it. Envisioning, the nice brisk air, the sister conversation, the morning light on the Ponte delle Torri (236 m long and 90 m high just btw) while we nibbled on cornetto con crema (croissant with crème) and sipped a doppio (double espresso). That’s a lie, Katy had the doppio, although I like saying it but I have to have milk in mine so just boring latte for me. Anyway, you get the picture. We were anticipating a wonderful maiden morning in Spoleto.
We woke with no problem, got dressed excitedly, wide awake and we left our rooms armed with our journals and our enthusiasm. We carefully shut our respective doors so as not to wake anyone else nearby. The hotel was as still and quiet as a church. Our footsteps echoed on the granite floors as we made our way, quietly, to the front door. I think it was Katy who reached for the door first and turned the handled excitedly ready for our morning adventure. And then? Locked! No, problem, right? Just turn the lock and open and go. No lock! There’s got to be a lock right? We’re on the inside. They wouldn’t lock us in like with a key would they? I mean really? Isn’t that a safety hazard? We look to the sides of the doors. No, I don’t know why. Maybe we remember those straps next to the windows which concealed the way to lift the blinds, I don’t know, it was odd. Then it hit us … we’re trapped! Yes, we’re literally trapped in this hotel. Then panic … but we want to go for a walk, we want coffee, croissant, the Ponte delle Torri is waiting for us. Our shoulders began to slump with acceptance of our defeat. It’s ok, the lobby looks comfortable enough to sit and write in journals. No sooner had our proverbial buttes hit the cushions when I recognized that familiar gleam in Katy’s eyes (I’m writing it and this is the way I remember it plus it sounds more like Katy than me anyway, right). As she look around, trying to admire the room and settle in she notice the extremely large (possibly 3meter) windows that went to just off the floor. Instantly I knew what she was thinking. Hurriedly we got up from our chairs, glanced all around us like burglars checking for police and sneaked to the window. Sure enough they were locked … but… the lock was not a key and it was easily opened from the inside. Another glance around, no one there, and we tentatively turned the lock. Bam! It opened! One leg over the windowsill, a last glance to make sure no one was around, and then the other leg – we were out! OMG! We were out! Free! On the run! On the Lamb you could say! The courtyard was beautiful and spacious. There was a wall looking over a ravine at the one side which had a great view of Montefalco but we weren’t going that way, we were headed out into the village. We turned to the left and across the courtyard to where the cars were parked the night before. The two difference between this morning and the night before were 1. the courtyard furniture was gone and moved inside somewhere and 2. a big ole frigg’n wood GATE – SHUT! UGH! Both of us “ NOOOOOOOOOOOO, it can’t be locked”. Say it isn’t so, puh-leaze be open and able to open from the inside. Slowly we walked to the gate and guess what? That’s right …. LOCKED! With a KEY! I decide right then and there someday I will become a locksmith in Spoleto and make a fortune.
Vanquished, we looked back at the window we just came out of but we couldn’t do it. NO WAY, we’re not going back inside. The view from the wall is nice, we can take some pics, lean against it and chat. I found I could lean out far enough and get a picture of the Pont delle Torri in what was left of the morning light. As I leaned back to admire the picture I just took a planter box sitting on this very wall caught my eye and expressed my exact feeling at this moment so I took the picture above as well.
I only wish I had a picture with Katy and I on either side making this same face.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Holiday Season so far.
PS Still two spots left for our Celebrate in Spoleto retreat March 11-21, see http://www.sistersonpurpose.com/celebrate-in-spoleto.html for more information if you’re interested.