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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:00 PM
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ED Trip Report--Northern Italy

Briefly about the car: 535xi wagon in space gray with natural brown and anthracite bamboo. We arrived at the ED center around 7:20 and someone was already waiting inside. We needed an early start since we were picking up people at the airport later that morning, so as soon as Kai showed us how to use the USB/iPod and other unfamiliar features, we were out.
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:08 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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more pics please. I clicked with high hopes of seeing some Italian scenery ... L(
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:33 PM
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Night at the opera

Our trip included a mix of outdoor activities and visits to old buildings and museums. We had overnight stays in Verona, Venice, Cortina, Sirmione, Cinque Terre, and Bellagio, and then back to Hohenschwangau.


Verona is the setting for Romeo and Juliet, but we actually came here for the last opera performance of the season. The opera is a popular attraction that runs from late June to August. We got tickets for Aida through www.arena.it. The opera is performed in the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater. The cheap seats are on the marble steps (gradinata) and were about 28€ and are unassigned first come first serve. There were slightly cheaper gradinata tickets on the side of the stage, but also much higher priced ones >150€ for the better floor seats.

1) We did not use flash , lots of bozos did despite it being discouraged in 4 languages at the start and every intermission.
2) Outside view of the Arena, guidebook calls it the best preserved Roman amphitheater in the world.
3) We were in the gradinata, center left of the stage. Gates open at 7PM, show starts at 9PM. Got there about 7:30, marked our seats, and I went back out to get food.
4) It started to hurt a little sitting on these. Cushions are available to rent for 3€. During intermissions, vendors go by with Pepsi, programs, just like a baseball game.
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
E61 535xi ED Aug 31 2007- ED Report--N. Italy
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2007, 05:45 PM
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Still in Verona

Most of what is to see in Verona in the old town and very walkable. A couple of churches are farther out, but if you get the Verona card bus is included.

1) View of of Piazza delle Erbe which links to the pedestrian streets.
2) Arco della Costa (Arch of the Rib). Legend says that the whale rib will fall on the first person passing beneath who has never told a lie. I steered well clear of the area, as you can see.
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2007, 06:25 PM
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Venice

Left the car in Tronchetto garage, regular non-VIP parking. We knew that on our first day in Venice was when the annual Regata Storica was held. My pics of the Regata Storica in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191976.

There were 4 of us travelling together so we rented an apartment. We liked the apartment so much we thought we could live here permanently. It was located in the Dorsoduro sistiere, a short walk from the Ca'Rezzonico vaporetto stop. Nearby was Campo San Barnaba with a couple of places to eat and the much photographed produce barge, and a few more minutes walking was Campo Santa Margherita which had many more dining options, a supermarket, and fish and produce stands.

1-3) Apartment has 2 BR 2 BA, on two levels, an outdoor deck, and wi-fi to post on the 'fest.
4) This barge in San Barnaba is pictured in several guidebooks.
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin

Last edited by Asteroid; 09-19-2007 at 06:53 PM. Reason: typo
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2007, 06:50 PM
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More Venice pics

People here on the 'fest have posted really nice pics of San Marco and Venice in general, so I'll just add some unusual sights.

1) They seemingly pick-up garbage every day. The apartment manager told us to leave the bagged garbage outside the front steps. Some hung it from the front door knob.
2) Handicapped parking Venice-style. We only saw this one, but then it would be extremely difficult to get around Venice if you can't walk.
3) Maybe he forgot to look at the tide charts this morning.
4) This goes in your meal when you order alla sepia, the black ink cuttlefish.
5) This one is for the_jev.

Here are my attempts at artsy shots
6) Campanile di San Marco
7) Fresco in the Basilica
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2007, 07:30 PM
BMWE9006 BMWE9006 is offline
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beautiful pix! Wish I was in Italy right now...
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2007, 08:11 PM
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In the mountains

We drove up to the Dolomites and stayed in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The weather was unusually cold for the season. The boiler in the hotel was shut down so there was no heat. We drove around Cortina and did a few short hikes in the national park. To my disappointment, the road leading to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (which carries a 20€ toll and which I was willing to pay despite the grumbling coming from my MIL in the back seat ), was closed due to ice.

We spent another night ~20 km from Cortina in a mountain hut (called rifugio in Italian). There are several rifugios scattered around the Dolomites most of them on mountain tops. We stayed in Rifugio Lagazuoi atop Mount Lagazuoi. The innkeeper is Guido, and his family built the rifugio years ago. I joked with Guido telling him his hair was different from when he was featured in Rudy Maxa’s Smart Travels episode. Guido speaks English (turns out he has family in the Bay Area) and he's always there when they're open(summer July-Sept, and winter X-mas-March).

Note to vegetarians: check to see if you can get an alternative meal because it's an alpine menu. Our dinner was pasta with meat sauce, pork chop with mushroom sauce, and a creme dessert. Drinks not included. Link to rifugio info: http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortin...uoi/index.html

1) Cortina d'Ampezzo has many recreational opportunities. We saw mtn bikers, rock climbers, hikers, and there is an alpine guide office in town if you want one. Winter is a ski resort and they hosted the winter olympics in 1956.
2) If you like places like Yosemite or Banff, you'll like it here.
3) The mountains are supposed to turn pink at sunset.
4) One of the trails up the mountain uses the tunnels (gallerias in Italin) made during the Great War (WWI) by the Italian or Austrian troops. Going the tunnel way requires a flashlight, hiking boots, and a helmet (I suspect because of low clearance in places) which you may be able to rent in Passo Falzarego, across the road from the gondola (Funivia).

5) Car is down there in the lot. For those who don’t want to hoof it up (we didn’t), you can ride the Funivia (8.80€ one way). We saw families with kids 7 to 10 yrs old hiking up to the rifugio. Another German family was hiking and taking turns carrying their Dachshund.
6) We got a private room for 53€/pp including dinner and breakfast. There are also non-private rooms with bunk beds (didn't ask how much)
7) Bathrooms were across the hall. You could be in the throne and have abeautiful view. Showers were 3.50€ so we went like the locals.
8) View of the rifugio coming back from a hike.

9) There are some holes and short tunnels dug into the rock where Austrian troops could observe Italian troops below as the Italians controlled the pass.
10) If you go, say hi to Tony a very friendly pooch.
11) Trails are well marked with good signage at intersections or forks.
12) It was really cold going out to the deck to take this picture.
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2007, 08:20 PM
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Great report and Fotos! Really enjoying your report.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2007, 08:26 PM
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Your last year report steal in memory and you already get even better.
Can you post more info/photo of your car .
Thank You
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2007, 08:52 PM
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What a great writeup and your pictures are outstanding....graci !
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2007, 09:18 PM
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Grande Strada delle Dolomiti

Hiked down from the rifugio using the walking trail not the tunnels. One last thing about the rifugio: they serve a very very good hot chocolate.

We drove west from Cortina and tried to follow the Great Dolomite Road (Grande Strada delle Dolomiti) westward to Bolzano, which runs along S48 and S241. Make a quick stop in Bolzano to check on Otzi. Then we moved on to Sirmione, which we chose as a stopover on the way down south.

1) The rifugio is actually not visible in this shot. The structure at the top is the end of the Funivia.
2) Lunch stop, we're still in Sudtirol/Alto Adige so German seems more prevalent here than Italian.
3) These roads are also popular with bikers. We ate here.
4) The some mountain passes have the curves numbered.

5-8) Along the road
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2007, 05:55 AM
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Excellent pics and story line. Thanks

Cheers
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpira View Post
Great report and Fotos! Really enjoying your report.
+1. We saw an opera in Verona when I was ~14, with my grandmother. I think it was Aida, although it may have been something else--I was too young and couldn't understand italian anyway (no surtitles, and no libretti in english). The stone seats were no worse than sitting in Harvard stadium watching football, though . . .

Loved the Dolomites as well--we drove the toll road, and while it wasn't icy, the wind was blowing about 20 knots or more. Same problem with no boilers--I suspect they are just cheap and tell that to all tourists. They're no better than ratty u.s. landlords.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:18 AM
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That was outstanding, thank you.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:43 AM
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Great report! How long do you think it will take to get your car to west coast?
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:31 AM
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Great Trip

Asteroid
Parts of you trip are very similar to ours in September

We were also at the last Aida show in Verona. Great performance really enjoyed it. We then stopped at Sirmione, drove north around Garda and traveled east on the Via Dolomiti from Bolzano. Also stayed at the Rifugio Lagazuoi (sept 4th). Another great experience but the weather was so-so as we had periods of snow, could not believe it was early September. Would you mind sending me via PM a higher resolution image of the room at the rifugio. I forgot to take one and yours looks exactly like ours, up stairs first room across from bathrooms. The people that run it are great. I grew up in San Rafael which is were his brother used to live, I think now he is in Mill Valley. Small world sometimes.

Great photos makes me want to go back even though we were just there.
Thanks
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:01 AM
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Super report! Many thanx.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:25 AM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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nice pics - thx. That looks like a nice apt; can you share more details about it (cost, website etc)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Left the car in Tronchetto garage, regular non-VIP parking. We knew that on our first day in Venice was when the annual Regata Storica was held. My pics of the Regata Storica in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191976.

There were 4 of us travelling together so we rented an apartment. We liked the apartment so much we thought we could live here permanently. It was located in the Dorsoduro sistiere, a short walk from the Ca'Rezzonico vaporetto stop. Nearby was Campo San Barnaba with a couple of places to eat and the much photographed produce barge, and a few more minutes walking was Campo Santa Margherita which had many more dining options, a supermarket, and fish and produce stands.

1-3) Apartment has 2 BR 2 BA, on two levels, an outdoor deck, and wi-fi to post on the 'fest.
4) This barge in San Barnaba is pictured in several guidebooks.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
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Can you post more info/photo of your car.
Thank You
I meant to take interior pics of the car in the ED center before it got dirty but forgot to do it, so sorry no interior pics.
I wish production for the 6MT had started sooner, but the steptronic seems fine so far. Options were premium and sport paks, navigation, USB/iPod, and heated front seats. I like that the lawyer screen disappers after ~10 seconds. The electronic shifter is also good although on a couple times while parking I wanted to shift to R from D, but somehow ended in neutral and when you do this there is a warning tone to alert you that you are in N.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingboot View Post
Great report! How long do you think it will take to get your car to west coast?
Last year it took 8 weeks, but recently people in the west coast have been posting about getting their cars in ~6 weeks. I'm thinking Thanksgiving; anything sooner would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by am_ver View Post
nice pics - thx. That looks like a nice apt; can you share more details about it (cost, website etc)?
The apt was 250€/night. Check it out here: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/Ita...rea/p63751.htm. It's a site in UK so it initially shows prices in pounds, but if you click through to rates it'll give you euro price. Good luck.
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E61 535xi ED Aug 31 2007- ED Report--N. Italy
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2007, 08:44 PM
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Asteroid Asteroid is offline
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Sirmione in Lago di Garda

People have been coming here for the lake and hot springs since the Roman times.
We had reservations for Hotel Eden but not the complete address to input in the nav. We knew that it was in the town center so we called as we approached. Turned out the hotel is inside the castle walls.

1) You must check-in with the police booth and verify that you have a reservation before they let you in the castle, which at first appears like a pedestrian zone.
2) The policeman at the booth gave us directions in Italian, but once inside it was a little confusing because we could see the entrance to the hotel parking, but not the hotel. A nice gentleman having dinner in one of the outdoor tables sensed our confusion so he came over and gave us final directions. The merchants and the restaurants give just enough space.
3) Driving is restricted inside the castle wall, altogether banned at certain hours, and you cannot idle at red lights (engine off).
4) Saw this car with Monaco plates a couple of times. Maybe came for the hot springs.
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
E61 535xi ED Aug 31 2007- ED Report--N. Italy
E90 330i ED June 26 2006- ED Trip Report

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2007, 09:41 PM
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Asteroid Asteroid is offline
Don't be a left lane hog
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The Cinque Terre

We stayed in a B&B in Monterosso al Mare. Here more than in Venice, we learned the importance of packing light, as we found that the B&B was 80 steps up from the street. The B&B opened last year and is located in a renovated farmhouse.

We did the hike to all five villages starting in Monterosso, which gets you the 2 longer/harder hikes first (1.5-2 hrs each). You must get a trail pass to do the hike as there are checkpoints as you enter/leave each village. We bought the 8€ combination day pass that included unlimited train rides, some museums, and somewhere there were guided mountain bike rides.

1) Stop and go. As reported by others, the RTTI works in Germany but not in Italy.
2) Made a lunch stop in Cremona. This is the Duomo in Piazza del Commune. No Stradivari sighting.
3) In Monterosso, we ate at Il Pirata at the innkeeper's recommendation. Very long wait unless you go early (meaning soon after they open at 7PM). Don't belive the "No cover" on the frame, they charged it here, but the food is good. Almost every restaurant had a cover charge, typically 2-3€ for water and/or bread (sometimes breadsticks in sealed packages i.e. not freshly made). Usually you'll get olive oil and sometimes with vinegar and if they're good you'll get aceto balsamico from Modena. One time my MIL requested butter (burro) and there was a 3€ charge in the bill for it.
4) I attached the map I got from the town information. It also has a list of hotels. The old part of Monterosso is the right side in the map. The train station is in the new side.
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File Type: pdf Monterosso lodging and map.pdf (264.5 KB, 172 views)
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F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
E61 535xi ED Aug 31 2007- ED Report--N. Italy
E90 330i ED June 26 2006- ED Trip Report

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2007, 07:05 AM
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Tanning machine Tanning machine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Don't belive the "No cover" on the frame, .

Go easy -- they just forgot the asterisk to the bottom of the menu.
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  #24  
Old 09-21-2007, 08:23 AM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanning machine View Post
Go easy -- they just forgot the asterisk to the bottom of the menu.
LOL
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  #25  
Old 09-21-2007, 10:51 AM
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Asteroid Asteroid is offline
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More Monterosso and Cinque Terre

1) Our room in Casa dei Limoni. At the top of the hill. After hiking the 5 villages, we took the train back but it was still a hike back to the B&B.
2) Parking structure at the beginning of town, just before the gate. It was 15€/day, it's cozy inside. I had to make 3-point turns to get in and to get around the inside.
3) Interesting wine labels in Corniglia. There was another row of bottles with A. Hitler's likeness. I won't post those here.
4) On the trail between Corniglia and Manarola, I stopped to drink some water and noticed a HUGE animal behind the fence. It was this dog, which appeared really friendly. Is this a Presa Canario?

5) One view of Riomaggiore. We also drove here, the road is narrow in some sections, but fun and with nice views.
6-8) Harvest time is hard work. There are some rigs that run on a raised track like a small monorail. For some reason, they weren't running this one to the end of the track and were hauling grapes from there and up the steps.

9) They seem to like cats there. Notice this is price-less.
10) We ate at his restaurant CIAK, to my ears it sounded like it was pronouced like Chakah His kitchen has a window into the main street in town. Ciak seemed to have a mini empire there. There is a CIAK wine bar, the store across the restaurant and some other business had his name. The restaurant was packed nightly. We liked his seafood risotto.
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__________________
F31 328xd ED Dec 2 2013- Compliance pix
E82 135i ED Sep 18 2008- Delivery pix
E61 535xi ED Aug 31 2007- ED Report--N. Italy
E90 330i ED June 26 2006- ED Trip Report

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"- George Carlin
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