White European Holidays - 02 February 2010

From summer to minus 11 in 2 weeks: another european trip for Lindsey and I

Chapter 2. London and New Yearís Eve in Italy

Once again, the terrible snow storm that hit England stopped the day before, just in time to fly from Milan to Gatwick. The original plan was to stay with Guy, but unfortunately he sold his house after many months of trying.

So we had to quickly made another decision, and luckily Lindsey’s auntie and uncle (Pamela and John, we celebrated at their house our engagement the day after I proposed) were ready to give us a place to stay somewhere in the South of London, 30km on the train from Victoria.

Originally my plan was to work 3-4 days and spend the weekend with Lindsey, but instead I managed to work only 1 morning and spend the whole week with my wife.

Just like Italy, it was strange to come back to a place that I used to call home for 6 years. There were so many memories wherever we went, even if most of the people that used to share those memories don’t live in the country anymore.

The first day we went to Greenwich , to meet Sally, Lindsey’s cousin, at her house just by the Greenwich Park. I’ve never been there before. I don’t think I did much tourism in my London years, and Greenwich always seemed too far away.

The day was cold but a great lunch and some mulled wine helped a lot.

We didn’t do much shopping over that week (mostly because we were living far from Central London), but when we tried the shops were insanely busy because of the sales, so we rather spent time relaxing and visiting the few friends that still lived there.

We met with Garth and Bronwyn and the new born son (Alex), and spent a nice afternoon in some other random park that I never visited. Then we met Lindsey’s Australian friend, Danielle, and (guess what) her new born daughter. And finally it was time to see Sian, Lindsey’s best friend in London.

The only friend I met was Guy, for a quick morning of work followed by a nice lunch with Melissa. The rest of them were either desaparecido or didn’t make it. Bastards.

It was a very different visit from my usual trips to London. We spent most of the time relaxing at home with Pamela and Jonny, who gave us food and accommodation even when we came back at them after another try at staying at Guy’s. You can always count on family!

We left few days later, saying goodbye to a very cold London to go back to Italy just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

With my sister gone to Chamonix, the organisation was left in my dad’s hands. Luckily Olga left a long set of instructions and stocked up the bar so when we landed in Italy and went back home almost everything was ready to go. With only few hours left for preparation, Lindsey and I had enough time to get the drinks, the food and the tables ready.

Most of the guests invited came early, and they all brought something. Mera and Luciana brought salami and homemade breads, Giuseppe and Claudia lasagne, my cousin Renato some wine bottles, and Giamba took care of the entertainment with the full kit of Rock Band installed on the television.
Claudia and Marco brought more drinks and my dad took care of the barbecue.
I was soon behind the bar to mix drinks for everyone, and the party started soon. We waited for Max for quite a while, but apparently he got stuck at work or with a new girl. No one will ever know.

The evening was truly great. We had tons of fun showcasing our mic/guitar/drum skills at Rock Band, and in the meanwhile cocktails were served and drunk very quickly.

We assaulted the food made by my dad and soon we were all way too full or drunk to keep going at that rhythm. We waited for midnight, and then after the usual celebrations, we went back for more singing, drinking and eating.

It was great. Being surrounded by family, dog and friends on a celebration that usually ends up being lame worked very well for me. When everyone started to go back home, around 2 or 3, for Lindsey and I was once again time to relax before packing and going to yet another destination: the Alps.

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