Florence- last day

Trip Start Aug 17, 2012
Trip End Sep 13, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Friday, September 14, 2012

It's here. Our last day backpacking in Europe has arrived.  It’s sad.  I would love to go other places, but at the same time, I would really like to sleep in my own bed for few nights.  I’d like to see my Maggie and Buddy, and I’m also sure my parents and brother in law would like a break from pet sitting, and a chance to sleep in their beds too!

We sure made a full day of our last few hours here.  We had so much more time to ourselves since we were not trying to unload a rental car from our possession.  Just walking around the streets here makes us laugh.  I’ll say, "now, we rode down this street, right?"  I’m pretty sure we drove down pedestrian only streets that day, while passing gawkers looking through their camera lenses.  I don’t think they saw us at all; they too were very clueless tourist. 

After we got settled into our room we left to get dinner.  Jonathan had rabbit, and in the back of my head I could hear Elmer Fudd singing, “Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit…”.  I had soup and some kind of pasta dish.  (Jonathan’s meal was better.)  While sitting there at dinner, we looked at the museum schedule and realized that we had time to see the Accademia where Michelangelo’s David is housed.  The line for this museum is usually very long, even extending down the block with hours of waiting.   But, thanks to Jonathan, he noticed that the gallery was open to 10pm this night.  So, we finished up dinner and headed that way.  Can you believe that we walked right in!  And yes, we were in the right place.  I got to see the 14’, or is it 17’ David with no lines, no waiting, and actually, practically no one in the gallery.  I know, I know, I thought I heard angels singing.  He was magnificent.  Jonathan and I sat around and were able to discuss the David.  He is manly, but yet still a boy.  His gaze is determined, yet, he is vulnerable.  He is such a balance of strength and beauty at the same time.  I could go on, but I will spare you my appreciation of art.

So, within 18 hours, we saw the Accedemia, climbed (and climbed, and climbed) the Duomo, ate more pasta, took a nap, went through the Uffizzi Gallery, where we pushed though more tour groups and listed to our audio guide. (Jonathan and I almost got in a fight with some guy pushing us.  We both started yelling at him.) By the end of those museums, we truly had tired feet-sies, so we grabbed some gelato and sat on the wall of the Ponte Vecchio bridge and enjoyed people watching.  This bridge is apparently very famous due to the Medicci family.  We then ate again at the end of the day, of course to top off our trip.  We enjoyed listening to jazz music from Spanish artist lit up by blue and red lights doing Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, and Blues Brothers.  They were amazingly very good, and a lot of fun to watch; we hated to leave.   

We packed into the night.  It was about 2am when we laid our heads down this morning, and our alarms went off at 4am.  We can sleep on the plane, I guess. 

As I think back to our trip, there are so many memories.  It’s been a long time since I heard the theme song to Rocky outside the clubs in Poland.  It's seemed like forever ago the lady in Germany thought we were asking her if it was safe to sleep in the park.  We have eaten and hiked scary cliff edges of the Alps.  We have literally taken thousands of pictures, and listed to lectures.  We have chased trains and tried to speak Italian and French.  We have hand washed our undies and line dried them in our rooms.  I do think we have heard about every style of church bell from Poland to Italy.  Jonathan is in need of a good haircut, and shave.  I on the other hand could use a good pedicure.  My face pleads for my moisturizer, (which I lost about 3 countries ago).  We have emptied our toiletry bags thin enough to be able to pack much tighter.  We only had to buy one small duffle bag to carry the extra treasures we couldn’t live without. 

Speaking of treasures, the strangest street vendors are in Florence.  There are teams of guys that lay out a sheet on the streets, with designer purses displayed.  As the multiple police cars patrol the streets, these guys wrap up their goods, hoist the loot over their shoulder and duck into the side streets and alleys.  They make for the best entertainment.  There can easily be 10 police cars patrol a street in a 20 minute time frame.  It’s a wonder these guys try to sell their goods at all.  I can’t see how they even have time to make a sale.  It’s honestly like trying to shoo a fly from your food.  After you shooed, the fly just comes right back! 

We have a long day of flying ahead of us.  And, for some reason, that cabin air makes a “static-y” mess of my hair.  It’s completely is irreconcilable.  By now, my clothes beg to be washed in TIDE. At last, I might have to just discard the white undies that have a bluish tint. 

We will now transition to walking on level streets, which I will be grateful to not catch my sandal on cobblestone to an almost head over heels landing.  I will be glad to not spend an extra 5 minutes in the bathroom baffled by how to flush the toilet. And, yes, I did have to use a hole in the ground at one of the train stations.  (I surprisingly didn't mind.  I felt it was natural, like how God intended it to be.)

Europe is so diverse and compact.  Cities are crammed full of people, requiring less need for personal space.  They are happy to ride their bikes and do without cars.  They live in apartments, with no need for a house.  They live more communicable, and just have more tolerance for each others' existence.  We didn't find that there were anti-sentiments with our being Americans at all. In fact, once they found we were from America, they would ask more questions.  They said they liked to hear me say words in my "Southern accent," saying that is was nice.  (after they chuckled). Some people had traveled to America, and those who had, enjoyed it.  Others wanted to go, and some never had, and didn't think they would ever visit.  Regardless, this world is BIG. There are so many people, so many other cultures, all deserving their own respect for their history and way of life.  It overwhelms me at times how I think that God knows us all.  He knows the hairs on our head and the thoughts we have.  He knows every language spoken and reads all our hearts.  He cares for each sparrow, but He cares for us even more. 

I loved visiting Europe, but I will love being back home again too.  It will be nice to listen and to know what is being said.  It will be comforting to look at words and know what I am reading.  It's the things that are familiar that make you feel you are home again.  I think what I feel, is that I am grateful for a place to call home.  I am grateful for what I have, and grateful to have a wonderful husband to travel with, and thankful for a family that made all this possible for us.   

Thank you all for your prayers and for commenting on our photos.  It was fun to know that we could share this with you. We love you all dearly! 

Kelley and Jonathan




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Mom, RR on

Thank ya'll so much for allowing me to travel with you via Wandering Feats! I sincerely enjoyed all the pictures, videos, and commentaries! I found the journey to be a unique gift of travel and observation!!! Love, Mom, RR

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