Training to Florence

Trip Start May 23, 2005
Trip End Jun 11, 2005

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Saturday, June 4, 2005

Happy birthday Kelli! Went to class this morning. It was a criminal law lecture. Unfortunately it was the driest lecture yet. The professor was very good looking, but even good looks could not save the titanic from sinking.

Afterward, Justina, Bridget and I hopped a train to Bologna, where we switched trains only to discover the 2nd train was a eurostar which needs reservations. With 7 minutes to spare we raced to the ticket window, dealt with the ticket seller who laughed at us for pour lack of preparation and then we literally ran, dodging people to our track. I was sure we would have to swing up all last minute like in "A League of Their Own", but no. True Italian style, the train was late and we had 5 minutes to sit and catch our breath and act like we were not the crazy Americans (and one Canadian) who had pushed old ladies aside to race through the train station.

We arrived in Florence and raced (again) trying to find this tour group which would allow us to see Tuscany and have a Chianti wine tasting which we heard from the other girls would be a once in a lifetime incredible experience. But, it was almost sold out, and no one would sell us tickets, referring us to the next ticket booth. Finally, at the bus, we saw that it was almost sold out and then this British couple budged us! What is it with these rude Europeans? When we pointed it out, it was like a mini UN voting us down. All these people (well, ok, the British coupe and these 2 Australian girls) looked at us with there snotty accents and said that we were wrong. The Italian tour guide chooses the British couple and offered us two seats. We haughtily told her that there were 3 of us and we didn't need her stupid tour anyway. I mean, how fun could if have been with the vote against us, and everyone talking about us "those snotty Americans, did you see what they tried to do to those poor brits? I mean, it was like Bush shunning Tony Blair all over again!" Ok, I really don't know if I Bush ever shunned Blair but that's what it felt like.

So, instead we found our hotel (the Hotel Byron, 3 stars, but very nice, great location, I recommend) and then went to one of those of and on double Decker bus rides which Bridget and I have done in Paris and London. We saw the Duomo, which is gorgeous and also went into its Baptistery, Very Cool. Bridger and I had to buy wraps to be allowed in, but I was able to show off my secret talent of matching colors. If only I could make a living doing that while being paid more then the average girl at the gap made. Anyway. Then we went to St. Croche which is in a Jewish section of town and has a giant star of David between Mary and the cross on it. It was built by Jewish workers but is now gorgeous symbol of how the two religions should be able to work hand in hand with each other. They look like they belong together and it's a moving sight to see.

On our way, we got a bit turned around and stumbled down this road of tiny shops, mostly leather. Is there nothing better then the smell of buttery, soft, fresh, leather? Since St. Croche was closed we wandered around and of course I feel deeply in love. Soft, sweet and red, the coat of my dreams is to die for, and I got an amazing price! I finally used my pouty face to save money, rather then to justify my spending of money.

While waiting for our bus to come, the sun was setting and we thought we would take a bus tour around the city and then get dinner. We would up the hills overlooking Florence, seeing Galileo's home and observatory, and Michelangelo's studio where he painted the Mona Lisa. We got the very top and decide to have dinner there.

We sat on a patio overlooking the entire town. Our waiter thought he was much cuter then he really was, and often made us wait, thinking that a rub on our arm would cure all harms. I bet he was surprised when he got his tip. It did give us a lot of time to talk and to kill the GIANT spider that jumped at us out of the tree above us. Bridget said he wasn't poisonous what does a Canadian know? Just to fill you in, here is a few of the topics discussed at the table. Not for the weak hearted. Dad that might be you.
1. Should spiders be wiped off the face of the earth, and since we believe the answer is yes, would the environmental reactions to the disappearance of spiders really affect the world that we know and enjoy?

2. If you have to use the rest room in a restaurant and don't know where it is, do you ask your waiter, or do you hunt out the ugly staff person, so that your cute waiter doesn't envision you actually using the bathroom?

3. Why do some men assume if a group of women are laughing, it must be because he is super cute and the topic of conversation is about him?

4. If you have to got the bathroom and there are thin walls, do you go fast and hard, risking the sound, or do you go slow and soft, but take the longer amount of time?

5. Do boys listen to you go to the bathroom through thin walls?

6. Bald heads and Brazilians, do they match each other or does it feel weird? (Sorry, but it did come up.)

3 and hours later, we had missed our bus, we were tipsy and stranded on this hillside. But, we did determine that Bridget is as long as the tiny cars that they whip around in here. Finally we caught a cab, and I had the best sleep ever.

PS. Oh, for dinner, I had: asparagus in a light lemon cream sauce. Medium rare grill steak and a plate of Italian cheeses for dessert. We had this delicious Sicilian wine call Nero Alero, if I remember correctly. So so good.
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