italy (by the numbers)

there are too many words to describe the trip i just took with my parents and younger sister and too little time to tell them all, so i figured i’d go a different route. an unexplored route. an unexpected route (if you know my lack of mathematical abilities). i’m going to tell you all about italy BY THE NUMBERS.

days of vacation: 14

modes of transportation: 6 (plane, car, bus, metro, train, boat)

pictures taken: 803

pictures of the four of us: 1 (hint: we’re in the reflection.)

cars rented: 1

GPS’s rented: 2

bowman misguided tours (BMTs):  2.5 (this all started way back in hawaii during my mom’s parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. we had multiple minivans packed full of family and let’s just say the GPS wasn’t invented back then, so we took multiple wrong turns — all 3 vans. this italian trip was kind of one big BMT because we had no guide other than our rick steve’s book and my mom’s ability to read a map and my dad’s insanely accurate sense of direction, however, we attempted to trust the hertz “never lost” GPS and that’s what led us down streets almost narrower than our car and had us turning the wrong way on a one way street that only allows limited traffic to begin with. yes, we had some italian women shake their heads and fingers at us. fortunately, we understand that type of sign language. and fortunately, one of them took pity on us and told us that “in this moment, you are here but you want to be outside of here.”)

close encounters while in a car/bus: too many to count. (most of them occurred while on the bus tour of the almalfi coast. the road is one way (up) in the morning, but it becomes a two way street in the afternoon. it barely allows the traffic through in the AM, so you can imagine the traffic jams in the PM.) (this picture is of a bus going in the opposite direction. i did not use any zoom. we are THAT close.)

pasta dishes consumed: at least one a day

pizza pies snarfed up: 6

meat dishes eaten: 5 (including a meatball dish in honor of brother G.)

gelato devoured: again, at least once a day. my favorite was the chocolate from a small little place by our hotel in rome.

moments of great timing: 1

pairs of shoes worn: 5 (every single one i brought, though i did wear one pair just to say i’d worn every pair of shoes i’d packed.)

tips given unexpectedly: 3

times we were the first ones in the restaurant: 4

bottles of house red drunk: 13

stairs climbed: i stopped counting after 3,000

times with internet accessibility: 4

“celebrities” sighted: 3 plus we stayed at the hotel where the NEW MOON cast stayed while they filmed in italy! (and celebrities is in quotation marks because we saw members of the cast of the jersey shore…)

gorgeous views of the countryside: a gillion

flight delays: 6 hours

train strikes: 1

metro closings: 1

ruins visited: 4

museums visited: 7

churches visited: 6

times we were inappropriately dressed for the church: 0

grottos visited: 1

audioguides/tours purchased: 6

pairs of sunglasses broken: 2 (both mom and i broke ours)

pairs of sunglasses bought: 4 (2 for mom, 2 for me)

books read: 4 plus 1 on a kindle (how tech savvy am i??) and sister E read even more than i did. case in point:

pick pocketers spotted: 2 (don’t worry, we weren’t pick pocketed. i stared them down.)

early wake up calls: every day but 2.

real cappuccinos drunk: 1 (this is a travesty, i realize.)

crazy road signs: 5

rainstorms: 7 (and oddly enough, usually right around 4pm)

funny english translations on menus: too many to remember, except when they described gnocci pomodoro as “of the potato to the tomato.”

times we almost lost the guidebook: 3

marathons/road races/football matches watched: 2

street performers watched: 3.5

“bravos” given (to mom): 2

horn honks given (to sister E): 2

sunburns: 0 (a miracle)

postcards sent: 2

italian words learned: 15

times we spoke a language other than english or italian: every other day

pairs of earplugs used: 7

smiles worn: continuous

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16 Responses to “italy (by the numbers)”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    Perfect! So. Much. Fun. But what did you need all those earplugs for?

    • abby mumford Says:

      small european hotel rooms + my dad snores = ear plugs all around! (i shared them with sis and mom).

  2. adriana Says:

    Oh, this post is adorable! What’s up with the one cappuccino?! Shame on you! And that bizarre sign??

    “In this moment you are here but you want to be outside of here.” OMG. This is so brilliant!!!

    Glad to have you back!

    • abby mumford Says:

      i know! we had this horrible “coffee” at each hotel and when your mom, dad, and little sis don’t really drink coffee and you’re on the go 20 hours of the day, it doesn’t leave much time for a proper cappuccino.

      and yes, that woman who helped us — she apologized for her english, but it was perfect. charming and understandable and WAY better than our italian, which is limited to ciao! buongiorno! buonasera! and grazie!

      i have even more road sign pictures. i could have dedicated a post just to that. they cracked me up!

  3. Grandpa Says:

    Thanks for the great resume of your trip. Sounds like you all had a fun time.
    Love Grandpa

  4. Alexis Says:

    Oh, it looks like you had so much fun! And gelato festival? I can’t eat dairy and I’m STILL jealous.

    Welcome back!

    • abby Says:

      You can’t eat dairy and you don’t like chocolate? My word, child. I guess i’ll have to eat your share. :)

  5. Mommy Mac Says:

    I am even more jealous now that I have seen this! I look forward to seeing even more pictures and hearing more stories.

    PS – I think there were two pictures of the four of you…didn’t I take one of everyone at the airport ;)

    • abby Says:

      Oh yeah, but that was with mom’s camera. I only had the one on mine.

      And yes, more stories will trickle out over time, I’m sure. :)

  6. Cathy Mumford Says:

    Glad I was there with you! xoxo

  7. Emily Says:

    # of Airports been in 4
    # of times we we’re in the Naples train station 4
    # of times we saw that ridiculous commercial 15649814654165billion
    forever shininggggggggggggg

    • abby mumford Says:

      ooh, nice additions, except don’t remind me of that dang commercial! it’s going to get stuck in my head!

  8. dumpster pirate Says:

    BMT: “in this moment, you are here but you want to be outside of here.” BRILLIANT.
    TIMING: Good, yes. Great, yes.
    HOUSE WINE: I think I’m going to use a stoneware pitcher for my wine now.
    GROTTOS: You guys went down to CaprI?? DELIGHTFUL.

    • abby mumford Says:

      re: house wine from a pitcher. genius! it made me think they crafted the wine right there in the restaurant, that is until the final day when i saw the waiter pouring the bottle into a cool pitcher. illusion shattered! but still, you should adopt this practice.

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