The long awaited blog… Siena!

I have a lot to catch up on!! I don’t even think I have caught you all up on Siena… We took a bus from Roma to Siena, and then a taxi (about 10 euros) to our campsite. It was a really nice facility with a mini store, pool, restaurant and a bar. The campsite itself was really big and we seemed to be on the farthest end of it! We lugged our stuff down some stairs, across the site- up and down hills, up some more stairs finally arriving at our big tent that was already set up with two cots inside. It was comfortable enough, we could stand and there were two small windows. I think we just hung out there for a little while before getting some dinner at the restaurant. I don’t know if I’ve explained to you guys how an Italian menu works… There are appeitizers of course, all the same price as a course, then there are primi, first courses. These are priced anywhere between 8 and 12 euro, usually a pasta of some sort. Then, there are second courses which are a meat or fish and these are roughly between 12 and 15 euros. You’d think with those prices that getting either a first or second course will do, right? Wrong. The portions are tiny and leave you still hungry after. If you are lucky, there is pizza on the menu. We hated spending more that 7 or 7.50 on a pizza with toppings (margarita was usually 5 or 6), but of course there are places that price them at 10 or more. Eating out in Italy was just basically a pain for us, especially on a budget. And after 4 weeks of traveling BEFORE Italy, we were utterly unprepared for the expense of eating out. We usually stuck to getting a pizza each, because it was the only thing that would fill us up without having to get both a first and second course. Anyway, I digress. That evening I think we actually both had a first course, and lucked out that were was bread also served and we shared a liter of the house red wine. In the morning, we were woken unpleasantly from the building heat inside the tent, which was a dark grey, thick material, baking directing under the sunshine. We wanted to go to San Gimignano that day anyway, so we got up and got ready (only downfall of campsites is having to run to the toilet down the stairs and across the road area to pee in the morning, as soon as you get up if you’re me!). We took the bus to Siena’s city center and then bought separate bus tickets to the medieval town we were venturing to. The price of the tickets was kind of unexpected, and it took most of our daily budget, save a bit to grab a bite to eat while waiting. So I unhappily went to the ATM and got out more cash, for any souvenirs and the fare to get into the museums and the tower once there. At the café we grabbed sandwiches from, a woman came in with her massive dog, which was the same color as Kawelo, so we started missing her- not uncommon! The bus ride was a little over an hour and we knew we wanted to be on the bus going back in a couple hours, in order to get back to Siena in time to enjoy the pool (which closed at 6 or 7 I think, so early!) so we only had a little time in the really neat, walled-in town. We walked straight to the center and bought tickets which included entry to the tower and the archaeology and modern art museums- again more money than we would have liked to spend!! We picked the tower first because it was closest, and went up a ton of stairs to stand in line at the bottom of the small stair case that went all the way up. I really didn’t notice anything odd about Hoapili as we both waited patiently our turn to get up to the tippy top. It sure was worth the wait! It overlooked not only the whole town, but the rolling hills of Tuscany, as far as the eye could see, until you saw the mountains in the far distance. The top was round and separated by three bells in the middle, which were cadged in and you had to duck to get to and from each side. We looked at the pretty views of one side, took some photos, went to the other side, lingered a while enjoying the Tuscan views. There really wasn’t much else to see, and we had seen both sides, so I assumed we would head back down, but Hoapili went back to the other side, again. So I stood patiently as it looked like he was taking photos on the far right side of the ledge. He was not in fact taking photos. He was getting something out! When he turned around he dropped directly to his knee and asked me to marry him!! I jumped and squealed with excitement, and of course said yes! It was very exciting and I think he picked the perfect moment. We took some selfies, pictures of the ring on my hand, and asked a nice lady to take some pictures of us. Of course I couldn’t keep to myself that he just proposed hehehe.
We giggled and kissed the whole way to the archeology museum, which was mostly old Tuscany poetry… The art gallery (besides the really far out stuff-modern art is definitely not my favorite) was pretty nice too. I really liked the whole section on WW2 in Italy. From the gist of what we could understand, there seemed to have been quite a lot of resistance to the war, and a lot Italian civilians helped the American soldiers locate German camps.
By the time we left, we had just enough time to buy two bottles of wine (to celebrate!), a magnet and some postcards, to remember where we got engaged! We took the bus back and when we got to Siena’s center, we realized we didn’t have anything to open the wine with! So after a lot searching, I finally found a place that sold them, and it even has Siena, written on it! Nice souvenir 🙂 We took the bus back to the camp, called Stevens mom, and went to change into our suits and I FaceTimed my family by the pool. Before going to dinner, we poured wine into our hydros (we are so classy), and snuck it into the restaurant! We both had pizza this time, and got a tiramisu for dessert! Nonstop wedding talk and scheming was how the nights conversations went, much to my liking! I don’t know if that wine was really strong, or I was just drunk off love, but I told Hoapili I better not have anymore, so we saved the other bottle. In the morning, we went to the pool early, enjoyed some more sun before checking out and taking that same bus… But this time, we missed the stop at the train station (because it wasn’t AT the train station, it was under some parking structure, and us being the strangers we are, had no clue we were supposed to get off there)! So we ended up staying on the bus until the end of its route, where the driver took a 15 min break before going back the same way, and we eventually made it. It’s a good thing I didn’t book those train tickets in advanced, because we definitely missed the train we meant to take! Anyway, we made it on the next, and started on our adventure to Cinque Terre!!

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