December 14/15th 2014 - Travel Day - Days 119/120

On December 14th we departed South Africa headed for Italy where we will be spending Christmas.  The morning of the 14th was pretty normal other than packing our bags.  We have become really good at the packing up routine, so this was not a big deal.  Peter wanted to head down and surf one last time, so Stacie and I went along with him in hopes of getting a couple of last photos.  Unfortunately the swell was up, so it was a rough go for him.  This break is not particularly well suited for beginners so we both struggled, but Peter stuck with it and kept trying, even after breaking a board, which I thought was great.  

After surfing we packed up and left our wonderful house around noon for a 4:30 flight.  We still needed to return our wetsuit and stop by the Green Room to place our sticker.  We loved this place and thought it would be the perfect place for our sticker.  

After our errands we headed to the airport.  We took a few wrong turns, refilled our rental and still made it to the airport well in advance of when we needed to be there.  I resolved to always leave early on travel days in order to remove stress - it has been beautiful.  

Our itinerary was Cape Town, to Johannesburg (1 hour layover on the plane) to Istanbul  (3 hour layover) to Rome where we would pick up our car and drive 3 hours to Montalcino.  In total, if we did not have any delays the total travel time would be 28 hours or so.  Fortunately we did not have any delays - everything was perfect (except a couple wrong turns on the way to Montalcino) and we arrived safe and sound around 3:00.  

We traveled on Turkish Airlines and my Star Alliance Gold status provided us with access to the CIP Lounge in Istanbul Airport.  If you ever get the chance you should go to Istanbul just for this lounge - its crazy.  

We met our local host Mauro at his hardware store.  His name is pronounced MAR - O, but Peter and Lea did not like that name, so they decided to call him Mario while we were waiting for him.  When he showed up he was driving this tiny little motor cart (I will post a picture later).  I jumped out and introduced myself.  He was very kind and welcoming and then said follow me.  I jumped back in the car and when we were taking off, Peter said "hey it's Mario Cart!"  I am not sure if it was jet lag, or hunger, or the windy roads, but that comment got a big laugh out of all of us.

After checking in at the apartment, we hurried to the local grocery store for supplies and came home to an early dinner, fire and a movie.  We were beat, but overall one of our longest days of travel could not have gone better.   

December 13th 2014 - Kommetije, South Africa - Day 118

Pete Sr:

Today was a really good day, which was a good thing because it was our last full day in Africa.  I walked around at about 6:00 AM and took some photos, which was fun.  This was my favorite:

Then Stacie and I went on a hike, but my calf was still hurting, so we did not run at all.  After the walk we went and got coffee at the local shop because we ran out at home.  The coffee at this shop is so good and only $1.25 for an Americano.  

Then we came back and hung out for a while before Stacie, Lea and I went out to visit some local markets.  Stacie bought a nice little red dress and we picked up some wine for the evening and a nice little shop we did not even know was there.  

Then we came back and went out for lunch at the Green Room, which was our favorite haunt for our stay, great food, great people and CHEAP!  

When we came back we ran down to the beach for a game of capture the flag.  We have had fun playing kids against parents for the past few nights.  An adorable little girl started playing with Lea and our game was put on hold for about 10 mins, but in the end the the parents won out.  

A little pool time, some reading and then a movie capped off a wonderful last day in Africa. 


Fun day, especially the pool time. Lea displayed her superhuman strength, as usual. Can't believe the balance needed for this one.