Saturday, November 12, 2011

There's a bathroom on the right!

On our final day in Tuscany we planned to meet up with "Uncle" Joe and spend the day with him. It was a great family reunion for Laura and Joe (as well as Bill the Hobo). Joe was Laura's brother in law and they were very close, but haven't seen each other in about 10 years. We met up with Joe in a small Tuscan town called Greve where he was trying to hide from us in the main square. In typical Joe fashion, he snuck up on us when we were waiting outside of wine shop for Josh. Anytime there is a wine shop, we lose Josh. It's like a moth to a flame, he can't resist!

There was a little fair in Greve when we arrived, this guy was
selling his paintings in original frames (IE: door frame, boxes, etc)

This butcher shop is very famous- it was HUGE!
Maccelleria Falorni
the rooster is the symbol of Chianti country

Joe led the way to a restaurant called Locanda Borgo Antico where we had lunch. The weather was perfect that day and the leaves were starting to change, it was a beautiful drive through the winding hills and vineyards. Joe drove with Mike and Laura, and Josh and I followed in the Opel. They introduced me to Bill when we arrived at the restaurant, and I have to admit that I just don't understand the obsession! Bill is a doll smoking a cigar that was a prominent figure in the Stone family when Joe was a part of it. He now resides with Joe in Tuscany and has adjusted to life in Italy very nicely. They treat him like part of the family... what did I marry into!? :)

Bill the Hobo and his new friend Cinghiale

Laura was wearing her new jeans/boots

We enjoyed some great stories from Joe- we learned about how he designed some of Prince and Apollonia's shoes from Purple Rain, and other fun stories about his brushes with fame while working at Ferragamo. We also enjoyed Mike's story about how he was on top of a pyramid in (Mexico?). While he was filming the skyline his camera panned over Bono standing right by him. It was a double take and he ended up talking to Bono on top of a pyramid! Unfortunately Bill wasn't able to share any similar stories; he was left in the car. The only brush with fame I have is selling some shoes to Torii Hunter and his wife when I worked at Steve Madden. Not as exciting as Joe and Mike's stories!

Mike telling the story of Bono

After lunch we drove by the house that Joe and Laura's sister Barb used to live in, then it was time for some Gelato at a fantastic place!! This shop was packed with a line out the door, and there were about 50 flavors of Gelato. The name of the place is Badiani and we ended the day with the best Gelato in Florence. Joe was a little teary eyed when we had to say goodbye, it was a fantastic reunion for him and he really enjoyed the chance to catch up with Laura and meet Mike.

We started to head back to Milan after saying goodbye to Joe. The car ride was really fun! One song that came on was "Bad Moon Rising" by CCR. Laura mentioned that every time they heard this song in the past, they thought that the lyrics were "there's a bathroom on the right!" Now every time I hear it, I think of that!! It really does sound like they say "there's a bathroom on the right!" Here's a link in case you don't know what I'm talking about:

They have really good spicey olive oil- it's sooooo good!!

A wonderful trip is coming to a close! Laura and Mike flew back to the US the next morning after some late night pizza from Pizzeria Spontini and the Pizza Nazi. They had to have it one more time. It was so great to have them visit Italy and we can't wait to see them again at the holidays! I have to admit, seeing them made me a little homesick because I miss all my friends and family so much!! I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to MN for the holidays!!! A little more than three weeks and I'll get to see my family again! :)


  1. You have done a great job with the McKnight travelogue, Maren. I have looked forward to every single blog from Beautiful Italy!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo, Mike's Mom

  2. Thanks Jo! It was great to have them here and we can't wait to see them again!