Thursday, February 18, 2010
The first rule of any dadventure is making sure that mommy is happy. Today, we loaded up into the car for the pilgrimage to Tuscany’s wine country. Long before we had children, Montepulciano meant nights out in New York City for my girl. Why would I drive over two hours through the Italian countryside all the way to Tuscany? Road rule #2: food trumps all. So we started the morning in our little neck of the ‘burbs with cream filled croissants, cafes for the ‘rents and a quick stop in the fruitteria. The strawberries and clementines with leaves intact are out of this world, and made it all of ten minutes into the drive.
This brings me to rule #3, have a great foodie destination in mind. Perhaps head for a quaint little country restaurant, famous for it’s wine and pork; (Fattoria Pulcino, thanks again Frommers). After they plow through fettucine con ragu number twelve of the week, let the kids chase cats while you refill wifey on the wine and eat yet another bite of perfect prosciutto. Which brings me to rule #4; don’t let her finish the bottle or what began as a set-up for a longer dadventure to Tuscany down the road becomes a conversation about why can’t wejust move here; ignoring such important topics as jobs, family, housing, etc.
Rule #5; critically important, make sure to time your naps for the car, not for the long hike up the side of a medieval street to the highest piazza in the region. Rule #6; keep plying your children with treats, this time a densely thick hot chocolate from the place that hosted the film crew of Twilight: New MoonAutogrill for their Italian shoot (yeah, I've read three of the books, I work with middle schoolers people). Rule #7: give them a break from eating at the playground, while you lounge on the bench overlooking hilltop farms and villages older than the freedom trail. The last and final rule, #8, make sure to stop for dinner in a Autogrill rest-stop, just to prove that American fast food is so poor in quality, that your wife is willing to go on another road trip in any foreign country of your choosing.