It was a Sunday – mid-June. Usually on Sunday, Steve and I would take off, go to the Italian market for provolone cheese, ravioli, gnocchi, and thin-sliced salami, then browse the flower market for flowers, fruit, cheeses, olives, baguettes, and wind up at our favorite restaurant – Di Piu, Nice. After lunch, we might browse the shops, get a soft vanilla ice cream, or walk along the Sea. Come home, hang out, watch TV, and munch on baguette, thin-sliced salami, Dijon Mustard, and olives for supper – with a cookie for dessert. Add Cabernet and Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and you have the picture. It was always fun.
For some reason this Sunday, we were staying in. Steve was writing. I was surfing the Internet, looking for a place to go on holiday that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I came across a Get Away resort in Interval International – Club Elite Vacation at La Fenice Resort, outside of Olbia, Sardinia, Italy. “Steve, have you ever been to Sardinia?’ “No, why?” “Want to go?” “Sure, why not?’ “Can we be ready to go by July 8?” “Sure.” With that response, I clicked “confirm”. We were going on holiday to Olbia, Italy [Sardinia] from July 8 – July 15.
We flew to EasyJet to Olbia from Nice, and the Resort sent a shuttle to pick us up. Driving there, I began to question our choice because the road became narrow and mountainous. “Remote” is another word for it. Yet, when we arrived, it was beautiful. Serene. Picturesque. Cozy. Quaint. Surrounded by small mountains. Right away, we could see that it felt different – like we had gone to summer camp.
We even had an assigned leader, a lovely Italian woman who lives in Spain who comes to Olbia for 4 months in the summer while the resort is open for guests. Obviously, it is closed for the rest of the year!? Right away, our leader said food was expensive in Sardinia – duh – and did we want to buy the food package – seven breakfasts and seven 4-course dinners with wine for 400 euros? I said no; Steve said yes. Well, we didn’t have a car, so why not. And, where would we go? We hardly knew where we were. When we arrived at our assigned room, it was delightful. Not plush, but nice. With a patio, covered with bougainvillea. Lovely. Then, true to form, we immediately tried to get online. No way. So, Steve took his phone to the Lobby. Yes, WiFi – but he had to find a “hot spot”. The hot spot changed often during the day. One had to shift around the chairs to find where it was at the time you wanted to check messages.
On the other hand, the people were nice, the guests friendly, and the pool was just what the doctor ordered. The surrounding hillside was gorgeous. Al Fresco dining with candlelight. There was a TV in the room – in Italian, French, German. So…. No WiFi, no TV, no lunch, dinner almost past my bedtime – at 8 PM. And, no car. Hmmm. I brought a book, and Steve brought his computer.
During the days – other than the day when we went with our “co-campers” around the Island on a private yacht, we ate breakfast (when we pocketed something to eat for lunch), sat by the pool, read, swam, slept, laughed, joked, played solitaire on our Ipad(s), and hung out together.
Steve did a lot of writing on the patio while I lay on the bed and read. It was great. We met a couple from Bristol, England, and were delighted to have someone to talk to. EVERYONE was Italian except for the four of us. The chef was Italian and divine. Pasta courses every night. Dinners were out of this world. Each dinner was different with four courses, and wine. Steve, of course, had Sprite. I cannot tell you how much we loved being there and loved being with each other. Several times, we agreed that this was the honeymoon we never had. And, it was worth waiting for.
On the last night, we set our alarms early for a 6:30 a.m. shuttle ride to the airport. That was when I saw a message on my phone (wonder of wonders) from my niece, Deb Prince Kroll. She wanted to know if we were all right. Yes. Why wouldn’t we be? Had something happened? That is when we turned on the TV to discover – Terror Attack in Nice. Since we couldn’t get WiFi, Steve went to the lobby to find a hot spot. No go. We turned on the TV to look at pictures and were horrified. That is where we go every Sunday. It was Bastille Day. We would have been there but for this vacation. Would we be able to get home? Would they close the Nice airport? Were our friends all right? Those were families. Families go to see the fireworks at the beach on Bastille Day.
It all went well. Our flight was delayed three hours, but we got to Nice. No problem going through customs. Got a taxi. Got home. We found out our friends were fine – even though close calls. They were there, watching the fireworks. So were his parents. Found out the Nice airport had been closed right after we left. That Sunday, July 17, we went to the scene of the crime – the Promenade – where so many died. We agreed that life is fragile. Little did we know what would happen two weeks later.
I am posting pictures of the resort, the pool, our boat trip around the island, the patio, our friends from England, and a few others. The pictures aren’t great, but my heart was not in taking photographs. I was having too much fun. This was a week to remember. Forever. I love you, Steve. I miss you. Forever,