TRAVEL

Not So Smart

I think I am about to do something dumb.

I'm renting a Smart.

Sixti's cheap offer of 98 euro for three days (includes two drivers and anti-theft insurance) really pulled at my heart strings when my friend Lolly and I decided we wanted to spend a few days discount shopping in Italy (aka The Mall in Incisa).

3 days? This means not just Incisa but Milano (staying at a friend's house, for sure) and possibly Venezia for the Biennale (the last day is Sunday.) Ideally, we'd like to visit Carpi and Perugia where there is a Big Bertha store, but I don't think golf clubs will fit in the car. And if I could, I'd throw in the Palazzo del Te in Mantova, but beggars can't be choosers. Fuck it. I 'm already Smart, why should I be choosy?

I love everything Smart. The Smart Roadster, the Smart Cabriolet, the Smart store in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. Damn, I just like saying Smart Car. But I do have one fear-- maybe our Smart 2 Door is too tiny. Especially with two dogs, two high maintenance girls, overnight and shopping bags. All the websites say that it is safe on the autostrada, only hitting maximum 85 mph, probably less with all our stuff. I probably shouldn't care since my '71 VW Karmann Ghia did a fond 65 mph on good days. And, depending on the color, it is the ideal accessory.

I should just relax about the car. It's already rented. The only thing I have to worry about is where to stay. Fintan, my wonderful friend whose Milano apartment will be ours for the weekend, is heading to ROME on Friday evening, exactly when will be driving up to Milano to stay at his apartment. We've arranged to meet at a train station (either Bologna or Firenze) on Friday evening for a romantic interlude with the handing off of the keys to his apartment. Will we make it in time?

What about Venezia? We have absolutely no where to stay, and I stress the dog situation again. Though Italy is remarkably friendly concerning dogs, usually hotels are great with 1 dog and when the hotel is of 4 star caliber or more. 4 stars is not in our budget. Do we just go back to Milano for the evening?

A mini-trip in a mini-car with two mini-dogs. It's the stuff stories are made of-- like The Vanishing or The Hitcher. . .