We changed, put on more coats and arrived much farther than a few hundred yards away at Columbus, pronounced koh-lumb-boos, by our receptionist. It was brightly lit with overly-decorated beach table cloths. We were addressed in the only language known –Italian? Serviso? (Reservation?) No, five, cinque personi. Ok, uno momento. They led us to a table at the end of the room. People may have been staring but they really did once we were served water and a nice white wine that we hadn’t ordered. It felt like we were in a fish bowl. We may have used the wrong glass for the wine, the one meant for water? Who knew why everyone was staring. We understood once a waiter put two and two together that we were receiving another table’s orders. They asked us how we liked their wine!? It was good. We’d just assumed every table in the place got a liter.
I began my first fault of appetizers here. My brother wanted the proscutto, olive and cheese appetizer and I’d said to our waiter that we’d be dividing it. He said something in Italian to which I said the word for what I thought was meant for sharing –yes, appetizer per tutti, for all. So, when the cart rolled out and all five large plates were filled with appetizers, my brother covered his mouth, stifling a laugh, took the blame and said it’d be on him. Ah. We just had to laugh even more. I wondered about this event later in our trip though when the servers knew exactly what I meant without me knowing any better Italian. So, we shared plates, ordered another liter of red wine and ate a lot of cheese. We were full before receiving our first course.
After dinner we walked out to the sounds of the sea. Along the coast-way street we entered a coffee shop with a name like Noccioline, nuts, for a night cap. We all stood along the thick marble countertop at the bar. My café Americano was an espresso served with fizzy water to cut it. My brother had pure espresso while Mom and Dad split a gelato. We were happy here, and this interior café made us feel welcome. People in here were well-dressed in thick heels and layers of coats. Men wore sweaters and scarves. We stood out as people who didn’t wear very much. We were relaxed and headed back to our hotel with the angled courtyard, the birds of paradise, and where the thick cheesewood shrubs smelled and looked lovely. This was the life. A view of the sea with mountains to our back. The crashing waves were a nice background to the light conversation. We headed in just before midnight to our sea-side bedrooms.