A Birthday in Florence

Trip Start Jan 22, 2005
Trip End May 15, 2005

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

The annual celebration of my birth, it had finally come its 21st time. Tolstoy once wrote, "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time". What he neglected to mention was that patience, no matter how good a warrior, is really hard. Surely Leo must have felt the sting of being refused a glass of Merlot by a surly waitress, the pain of not being able to order a Budweiser at a Cub's game. None the less, my pain finally came to end on the 24th day of February in Florence.

To celebrate the occasion the family and I had decided to have a fine Florentine meal and then have an 'open bar' at a local club. The night before the roommates, Mom, Dad, Daniel, and I traveled around the Duomo and decided to see if the club Astor would be a good venue.
The owner, Roberto, was a very congenial Italian man with a savvy business mind. I asked if we could get a good deal on an open bar and the discussion twisted and turned until we had agreed on hefty supply of Chianti that would last the night for friends and family. Roberto sealed the deal by pouring complimentary glasses of the different vintages for us all so that we might decide what was our favorite for the next evening.

We decided that dinner should be at a place of notable culinary greatness. We dressed to the nines and found such an establishment in "La Giostra" tucked away by the Duomo off Via Oriolo.

The chef is an Austrian Prince who mixes Tuscan recipes with traditional style he picked up in Austria. His two twin sons serve as sommeliers. We had fantastic food that ranged from cream pasta with truffles to filet of beef with sugared apples and fois gras. Everything was simply fantastic.

After the restaurant we sauntered only a few feet down around the Duomo to Astor. There the wine flowed like, well, wine and everyone enjoyed the delicious Chianti. There turned out to be professional flamenco dancers and a TV crew the local station doing a special on night life in Firenze. Amidst the dancing, music, and wine everyone had a wonderful time. But when it comes down to it, the most important and influential people to thank for the great party happened to be the same amazing people responsbile for my last 21 years, my parents. Thanks mom and dad, I love you.

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