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Trip Report Italy-first three days of our trip!

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Our travel day started off rainy and cold here in Los Angeles. Unusual, but since I love rain, I felt that the cool, damp morning was a good omen. We flew KLM to Amsterdam and I have to say that KLM is a wonderful airline. I was treated very well on our flight and the plane was roomy and comfortable. When we arrived in Amsterdam our connecting flight had already left. We had to wait five hours for the next flight which was absolutely awful. The jet lag was starting to take hold and I was not a pretty picture. When we finally arrived in Milan more bad luck awaited us, (so much for the rain being a good omen!) Our driver was nowhere to be found. My husband tried to find someone for us and fortunately an italian man took pity on him, lent him his phone and we were able to get our driver to come pick us up. By this time we had all been awake for over 28 hours and when we arrived at our hotel in Lake Cerrobio we just threw ourselves onto our beds and slept.
At three in the morning we all woke up to a thunderstorm that had planted itself right over our hotel. The rain was coming down in sheets. I opened the wooden shutters of our window to watch the show. The lightning lit up the lake and the foothills, the wind playing with the boats that were tied up on the docks below. The thunder echoing against the stone walls of all the old houses and buildings. It was a lovely moment. We all jumped onto one bed, left the window open and just enjoyed our first happy memory in Italy as a family.
We drifted off to sleep again and when we woke up the sun was high in the sky. I felt pretty good and so did everyone else so I made the suggestion of a trip to Milan to see the Duomo. Everyone was in agreement so after a very good breakfast, (we stayed at the Hotel Regina Olga,) we took a bus to Lake Como, a train to Milan and the underground to the Duomo. I had no idea it would be that involved, but oh was it worth it! When you leave the underground the Duomo just hits you in the face. It was a very moving moment and of course I started to cry. I quickly walked up to this duomo that I had ,up until now, only read about in art history classes and looked at longingly in travel books. I began careesing the surface of the walls like it was a long lost love. It is just beautiful! I went inside, and just took in all of its wonder. To me this Duomo represents the best that men through the ages could give to God. They used their talents as craftsmen to give back to God, it just represented years and years of love for their creator. Inside I was overwhelmed with how many prayers had been said, how many pleas for healing and other needs had the walls heard. How many grateful thank-yous to God had been uttered.
As I was leaving the Duomo the jet lag hit me and my daughter. We headed back to the underground to catch a train to our hotel but the trains were all full. So we camped out in a nearby sunny park underneath a tree until our train arrived. My husband took off and brought us back gelato to munch on. I spotted him walking towards us, a drippy gooey mess! The gelato was super soft and we had to inhale it and even then all of us had chocolate on our pants, arms and faces. We were laughing at the state we were in and thinking about how we were already going to have to wash up these clothes and we had just barely arrived! Let me just mention here that we only took backpacks, so our clothes were at a very minimum!
After a few hours our train arrived and we headed back to our hotel to clean up and sleep. We all slept for a solid 11 hours. We awoke the next morning to a beautiful but cool morning. This is the day that we were scheduled to head to Switerzland but with our energy still not completly up to speed I suggested a boat ride to Bellagio for the day instead. Everyone was in favor of a leisurely day spent on the lake so that is what we did.
Bellagio was beautiful! I loved the old buildings and the streets that just shoot upwards. Flower boxes spilled out of windows and everyone was just so welcoming. We enjoyed delicious homemade pizza and of course gelato. We did some shopping, my husband bought me and my daughter beautiful scarves made from the silk of Lake Como. And we just walked and enjoyed the sunshine and the beauty of this place.
We took the last boat back to our hotel and packed up our things to get ready for the next day which was our train ride to Venice.
Next up Venice!

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