Stocking up

This morning Sita and I got up very early so she could prepare for her one and only prep day and we could have breakfast with the rest of her team, having nothing but water in our refrigerator. We had an overpriced breakfast at Hotel du Lac, with tasteless fruit and sweetened American cereal. Only the cappuccino reminded us of Italy.

I then served as chauffeur for the team, which wasn’t entirely selfless. Chauffeuring allowed me to enter the Rockefeller estate, see the inside of this famous conference center that only a handful of lucky people ever get to see.

We got to see the rooms. Jan called them ‘rustic beyond rustic,’ of a beautifully simplicity.  The conference room itself is intimate, and also of a simple but well-designed simplicity, with all the amenities of modern life.

I did two runs to get everyone and their luggage from the Lac hotel to the conference center and then returned to the house to pick up Tessa and Axel who had also been staring at an empty refrigerator.

It was time for their breakfast and a big shopping trip to get the necessities and avoid having to take every meal in a pricey restaurant. We tried some local wine and decided the 2.25 Euro wine was great but the 3.70 wine smelled like diesel and did not pass the taste test.

Axel cooked us, what else, a pasta meal with Italian sausages – the American version on steroids. I don’t think we have to eat meat again for the entire week. We had real parmesan cheese, which was an entirely different sensation from the powdery stuff our Manchester supermarket sells.

Before Tessa and I took a road trip around the edges of the Bellagio peninsula, I took one, closer to home, with Faro – pushing the stroller up steep cobblestone hills and checking the brakes when we went down. It was quite a workout, exhausting the baby as well. He was sound asleep by the time we got home, in spite of the sound of roaring Vespas and trucks gearing up and down.

Tessa and I ended our road trip with gelato, and after Axel joined us, with a cocktail by the lake, watching the spectacular change of colors and the back and forth of ferries. We were pinching ourselves.

At the end of the day we picked Sita up, so Tessa and Axel also got to see the residence of the former Italian princess who gifted it to one of the Rockefellers.

We went straight home as Sita was starved for Faro, the first time since he was born that she had not seen him for 12 hours in a row. It was a jubilant reunion.

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