So much has been written about the Tuscany area of Italy that we were a bit skeptical and wondered whether it would meet our expectations … WRONG! It is as wonderful as it has been described by our friends and family, in books and movies over many years. Certainly it is not for everyone. If you don’t like great food and wine, miles and miles (or kilometers here) of beautiful vistas, narrow, winding roads up to villages and towns that have been here for over a thousand years, clean, fresh air and friendly, jovial people, don’t come to Tuscany!
First, a little housekeeping. Several folks have let us know that they cannot see all the videos. Some of them don’t come up at all and some stop and go. We have switched all of them to come through VIMEO (something like YouTube), so there shouldn't be any more problems. If you still have trouble, let us know … we want you to have the full experience!
It was another day of rain on Saturday so it looked like no doubles and since we had to leave Sunday morning, it wasn’t looking good for a possible 4th win in the Mixed Doubles.
A short walk from our hotel in Barcelona to the subway which put us right inside the terminal at the airport, an hour and a half plane trip to Milan, then an hour and a half bus ride to Lugano and finally a short taxi ride to the Hotel Pestalozzi Lugano where we arrived in a semi-comatose state after partying until the wee hours and having to struggle out of bed at 6:30am. The hotel is small and basic but right in the city centre and only a 10 minute walk to the tennis courts.
Lugano is located in the southern part of Switzerland, bordering Italy, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.
Sue's Spanish certainly came in handy because almost everyone spoke Spanish here in Barcelona although the semi-official language is Catalán. We noticed that all the subway station names are in Catalán but much of the signage was in all three languages. During the week, we enjoyed the wide avenues in much of the city as well as the narrow streets in the older neighborhoods opening up to small plazas dotted with cafes where one could eat several dishes of tapas and drink a beer or two for around $15.
It's back to the warm weather here in Barcelona ... Yay!! We flew in mid-afternoon and were surprised how empty the airport was until we realized it was Sunday. Figuring out the subway system was a bit challenging but now, having used it every day, we think it is terrific. We have been traveling everywhere on a 5 day unlimited pass for the subway, buses and trams which only cost about $35. After checking into the tournament hotel, which is 10 minutes walk from the courts, we took the subway "downtown" to enjoyed our first Tapas dinner.
Until a couple of days ago, the weather has been typically English … cloudy with a bit of rain on and off. But no complaints … we sat with our friend and USTA president, Katrina Adams, in the International Box and watched Sam Querrey beat Novak Djokovic last Saturday, went to see Carol King in Hyde Park on Sunday and to the theatre Monday evening. More Wimbledon tennis on Monday and Tuesday with lunch in the Members Enclosure and to top it all off … watched Roger Federer come back from two sets down to beat Marin Cilic in a thrilling 5 set match on Centre Court on Wednesday. Life doesn’t get much better! We feel very fortunate.
We made it to London … attended the pre-Wimbledon IC Ball at the Dorchester Hotel (a very posh, black tie affair) last Saturday night, took our picture with the Davis Cup Trophy, which was on display at the ball and met up with many friends that we haven’t seen in several years. After much eating, drinking and dancing, we rolled home at about 1am. On Sunday, we attended the Garden Party at the Hurlingham Club, which is an annual pre-Wimbledon event. There we watched a doubles exhibition with Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (the #3 seeds at
Mas Kimball has been a pro at Farm Neck since 2006. He & his wife, Sue, have traveled throughout the United States and internationally ... mostly to play tennis.
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