Thursday, July 10, 2008


Justin Cognito's European Vacation

No, I'm not dead. That's the bad news.

On Tuesday, the Cognito Clan set out for two weeks on an European vacation -- three days in Italy's Cinque Terra region, six days in Tuscany as part of a family reunion, and four days in Amsterdam. There were plans that I would get regular Internet access at the villa in Tuscany, so I thought I would update there.

Yeah, right. We brought along Brother Cognito's laptop so he could use Skype to call his girlfriend. Yeah, well, the villa had DSL, and Brother Cognito's laptop had no ISP, so we were SOL. And nearly all attempts to get Internet access failed miserably (this Internet cafe was full, that Internet cafe was closed, the other Internet cafe had moved...).

So, how was the vacation? Not bad. We had a long slog to get to our town of Riomaggiori on the first days (no, first two days -- we took off 5:30 PM EST Tuesday and ended up in Riomaggiori 3 PM local time Wednesday), but there was some good stuff there. Tuscany... well, it's always nice to see Siena again, especially in the run-up to the Palio, but after a while, all the charming Italian hill towns start to blend together. Amsterdam was definitely cool, though. If I should, for some unseen reason, have to flee the country, Amsterdam would be a good destination. It's a place where you can see both sweet little ducklings on your average stroll and prostitute under glass. Yes, I walked about the Red Light District with my parents. That should be weird, but it really isn't.

And then we got back Tuesday night, and the reason I posted absolutely nothing about this was because, after being denied the Internet for most of my vacation, irony of ironies, my Internet got blocked off. The problem's fixed, though... for now.

So. Back to work.

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