It can be very tempting to think that when you fly somewhere far away on an overnight flight that the sheer excitement will keep you going. Jet lag? Ha! I spit in your face! Ptoo!
Tempting. Yes, tempting.
But my reality is something more along the lines of wobbling my woozy ass out of the airport, eyes red and burning, my teeth feeling like they are in constant need of brushing and when it comes down to it – functioning in a pretty impressive state of autopilot. $500 cab ride to a hotel 3 blocks away? Sure, sounds perfect. I’ll go ahead and start sleeping now, just take the cash out of my wallet and dump me on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.
Knowing we’d be feeling ragged, Kenny and I planned a day of leisure as our first 24 hours in Italy. We planned our ride from the rental bike pickup outside of Milan to be about an hour north on Lake Maggiore. We’d had such a nice time in Lake Como on our last trip, it seemed like a no brainer to do something similar.
But I must confess, there were a few times before we left New York that I wavered, thinking – well, we could probably go further that first day – but I’m glad that we stuck to our guns and stayed put. Kenny didn’t sleep a wink on the flight.
Smart thinker that I am, I’d made a reservation in advance at the Hotel Regina Palace in Stresa. In a funny way it reminded me of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Since I loved that move so much I thought t would be perfect.
We rode to Stresa on Lake Maggiore and the two of us – determined to stay awake – showered and set off on foot to stroll around the lakefront in the sunshine. It was so warm…and… bench… by the waterrrr…zzZzz….. I’M UP, I’M UP!
Our hotel was lovely and we probably didn’t need to venture beyond it’s doors for entertainment. But I like to walk around and take in the sights of a new place. Even if I do it zombie-style.
Poor Kenny was so tired. He’s usually an Energizer bunny, able to stay up much longer than I am.
We parked ourselves in a cafe and drank mojitos and ate pizza in the warm after.. noonzZzzZz…sunsh…
Those drinks pretty much sent us over the edge and we shuffled back to the hotel for a nap. By the time we awoke the sun was nearly set. But the little cobbled lanes were busy with the hustle and bustle of people dining outside. It was lovely to wander around taking it all in.
We finished up our evening with a dip in the hotel pool. It was like an underground grotto and just what the doctor ordered after a long journey.
Relaxed yet excited about the following day’s ride – I think I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.