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More Europe Diaries!  We’ve really had some weird and funny moments…

First of all, I am sink cursed.  It seems like I could hardly get any sinks to work in Italian bathrooms.  From a germaphobe perspective it’s been horrible, especially when you’ve already soaped your hands and the water won’t turn on.  The hand sensors just don’t like me, yet they turn on for everyone else… then there is the other kind of sink.  One night in a little restaurant I said to Brian “you go in there and get the sink to turn on, I give up”.  He comes out and says sweetie it has a foot pedal, those foot pedals have been tiny though!

I am obsessed with taking bicycle photos, why are bicycles in Europe so cute?  The baskets, the colors, and the little bells are just too much for me to resist.  I took so many bike photos in Milan, I will spare you all 100 of them, but this one was one of my favorites!  Even the way they park them is so cute, sometimes they’re lined up vertical on the street, other times they look perfectly angled and horizontally stacked like a domino effect.

I never did do a blog post on Milan and I doubt I will, not that I didn’t love it, I did.  I did the blog post on the Duomo Cathedral and felt like that naturally ended up being a huge focal point of our trip.  The rest of the time we were just walking, shopping, and eating.  Seeing me shop isn’t very interesting to you, but I may go back later and do an Italian food post of our favorites at some point.

I did love all the modern art around Milan though and this one outside the Milan train station was my favorite.  It’s The Big Apple of Milan by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

These lemons are wired on.  Kinda ruins the magic doesn’t it?  In Milan we kept seeing areas with gorgeous lemon trees growing in pots, and after admiring them for days I had an urge to pick one.  The idea of picking a fresh juicy looking natural lemon growing in Italy was just so irresistible to me. I know that’s probably frowned upon, well when I got up close I noticed they’re wired on!  I checked every tree too!  So pass on the grocery store lemon.

Major luggage regrets here. Yeah…. we’ve gotten looks, at this point I’m used to it.  Honestly we held it down too, but being here for so long we need stuff… lots and lots of stuff.  What broke us is packing such variety.  Formal clothes, casual clothes, beach attire, and packing for cooler climates.

However, lugging around 6 pieces of luggage and a purse has been a nightmare.  From getting on and off trains and going up and down flights of stairs with no escalator or elevator, it’s been an experience.  Occasionally we see people like us who have a lot of luggage and I feel like we share a special bond.  Our new luggage from Amazon had been seriously awesome though.  We’ve abused it a lot and it’s tough.

We found the train system to be a bit difficult in Italy, and while switching trains we nearly got separated from each other.  Because we had so many bags to unload I got off first to grab the bags, he walked back into the train when the doors shut and the train started to take off.  They only gave us about 60 seconds total at that stop, there was also no door open button like you see in England & other places.   Brian had to run up and pry the doors open and jump off with our last suitcase.

I’m not sure what we would have done, I had no idea where I was.  We made sure to come up with a plan if we got separated after that.  Luckily we were on our game after that and it didn’t happen again.

Graffiti seemed to be everywhere in Milan, even on some really nice fancy buildings, and I couldn’t stop thinking why don’t they remove it?  Sometimes it was pretty though, like the graffiti on this train.

We are now professionals at washing clothes in the sink.  It was actually kind fun, luckily I packed a travel bottle of Tide, so our hotel bathrooms always smelled like fresh laundry.  Just washing them out in the shower wouldn’t work, the clothes need to soak in detergent to get that stank out.  Remember bad AC or no AC = stank.  The trick to get them to dry quickly is wring them out, and then roll them in a dry towel and squeeze out that extra water. Using that method they dry overnight even being indoors.

How to not fry your hair in Europe.  Air drying and all natural is best, but due to my extreme hair poofiness that’s not an option.  I’ve had people tell me over and over that if you get dual voltage you’re ok.  I’m not so sure.  In both France and Ireland I’ve witnessed my expensive flat irons & hairdryers pop and hiss, smoke, and smell like melted plastic.  Not to mention serious hair frizz and damage.  Dual voltage or not I no longer trust American hair appliances in Europe.

Maybe I’ve just had bad luck, but why risk it?  Just get 220V hair appliances, it doesn’t matter what plug you get, you can get an adapter for any European country.  Mine are the UK plug and they worked great with an adapter in Italy.  You can buy these from Amazon or easily in local stores.  Larger cities will be easier, in England there are Boots stores everywhere.  My hairdryer I bought in London, and I use this flat iron from Amazon.  Some of the reviews say it doesn’t turn on – you must hold the button down a few seconds for it to turn on, and just about every country needs its own adapter.

Nobody in Italy trusts us with an iron.  All 3 of our Italian hotels didn’t have irons, when we called the front desk to have an iron sent up, they said we would need to visit the ironing room, and in 15 minutes we could get the key and go to the ironing room.  This is an ironing room.  I don’t get it.

My color blind husband told me very excitedly that he got a great photo of the Italian flag beautifully blowing over Lake Como.  Dude…that’s the French flag.  Color blind problems are real y’all.

If you’re ready to move on from Italy, I’m nearly done.  I just want to show Lake Como – probably on Friday, then that should be the last one.  We’re currently in England so we’re ready to move on too.  Caio!