Living above our station in life.

When in the Italian Riviera you are quickly & frequently told that Portofino is expensive. Best to fill your tummies before arriving to avoid the inflated prices there. That was our goal. And easy to accomplish too as prices in the adjacent towns were surprisingly reasonable. 3 cappuccinos for $4.50. Brioche for each of us for under $5. 

The essential start to our days.

And then, our good intentions went sideways. Blame it on the fact that the easy walk there, told to be 15 minutes or just 30 became well over an hour as the short-cut trail was closed and we had to follow the road. 

Those aren’t your average sail boats.
The road to paradise.
But really, that’s just an excuse. The real reason our good intention was thrown out the window was because upon first view of the patios of Portofino a tiny voice inside of you is screaming “take all my money just please let me in!”

At first view of a patio we knew we were in trouble.
The only challenge would be to choose which one.

And so we abandoned our resolve totally and completely, choosing to enjoy the prettiest nautical inspired patio, on the shore of the bay. Thank goodness for Grandma whose Visa has a higher limit than ours and whose love of seeing delight on the faces of her children and grandchildren is priceless. 

Our waiter was delightful, so good at his craft, keeping us giggling, blushing and ordering more for hours. It is perhaps a bit alarming how quickly we were swept up by the delightful consumption of it all. We Johnson women are weak when tempted by the finer things in life despite knowing full well that these are not our people. 

Of course we had an Aperol, what else?
Grandma & Helena, basking in the sun.
The scene of the crime.
Our waiter even bought us shots. I think we were his favourite.

Having anticipated a grey, rainy day, the hot sun was bliss and we threw all skin-care-caution aside and roasted in the sun. We wandered in and out of shops, doing our very best to impersonate a person who just might buy something. My kids, who can always be trusted to keep us humble, gave away our true identity by shouting across the shops “nothing’s very cheap Mom!”

“Nope, it sure isn’t.” Thankfully our slightly inebriated state hadn’t skewed my ability to recognize that fact. 

Kids may have heard a few “one day…” speeches. “One day I hope you’ll appreciate this!”
It wasn’t just us pretending…when you looked closely you realized the pretty facades of the buildings were painted on. So you see, beauty and riches aren’t always what they appear to be.
Pretty bikes were replaced by pretty boats.
Luckily the kids were entertained at the water’s edge while we ladies continued to pretend to be rich & famous.

We boarded the last boat leaving town, back to Santa Margherita for a bit more browsing in a space that didn’t cause heart palpitations. These shops were clear from the first sight of them what they were offering inside. 

At least there’s no mistaking…
G’ma found her shop!

Once finally filled with our taste of the good life, we boarded an east bound train, back to wee Zoagli. 

Our pretty little Zoagli to welcome us home.
The following day promised more adventure and amazing sights to be seen. La Cinque Terre was on the itinerary with an unfortunate gloomy forecast but we were prepared to make the most out of it. 


One Comment Add yours

  1. Leslie Bell says:

    Will the Italian Riviera ever be the same after the Johnson girls & their pint-sized companions, Diego & Helena, return to Switzerland?


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