15 September 2007

Day Tre: Multo Firenze

First off, a few things. 1. the US$ to Euro conversion bites. Big time. You only get about 1 Euro for 1.40$. 2. The drivers here are crazy. 3. The people walking here are crazy. Middle of the street with 5 vespas coming at you? No problem. We'll just cross the street right in front of them anyway.

Due to the luggage situation, I decided to change our plans a little bit. Rather than go to Siena tomorrow, we're just going to stay in Florence an extra two days and then head to Cinque Terre. Mom, you'll be happy, I won't be driving a car here. So I spent the morning cancelling reservations and making new ones (the hotel we are currently in, the Florence Dream Domus, is absolutely lovely, but it is bank-breaking for 4 nights, so we are moving on tomorrow), and trying to find a good tour so we could still see the Tuscan countryside. Not ideal, but the one I found looks great. This way, too, there are more people around. Mixes things up a bit. While I did that, Pebbles went shopping to find some clothes and shoes, just in case her bag didn't show up.

We met up at the Accademia, where we had a tour planned for the gallery. While waiting (the way things run here makes me laugh...it is often just a big clusterf*ck of people- excuse the language but there's no better way to describe it - trying to find the person in charge, who couldn't care less that we are looking for them), we met a nice couple who would also be on the tour. We got to talking and it turns out they are from Danville. Upon talking further, we found out that Paulette, the woman, is originally from San Leandro, and knows several people I know (including the mom of a girl I played soccer with for years, and the old cheerleading coach who's now a teacher at O'Dowd). Small, small world! We finally found our guide, and off we went.

We were definitely spoiled yesterday with Elvio. Federica, our guide today, just couldn't cut it. I don't know if she was new, but her grasp on English was a little rough (which would be fine if the information she was presenting was interesting or accurate, which it wasn't so much), and she kept getting off track from her point. It was worth getting the tour to skip the line, which was crazy long, and almost worth it to check out The David...seeing the sculpture in person is absolutely amazing. That someone could carve such a thing, and that it could sit outside for a century or more and not be too weathered, is really mind-blowing. But, they charge you 13Euro to get into the museum, which holds little else of interest other than the David. If the tour had been better, my attitude towards it probably would be too.

I wandered off at the end of the tour. I needed to use the restroom and needed to run away from Federica. Several other members of our tour had the same idea, and I saw them out on the courtyard where I went to enjoy the sunshine. I went back in to get Pebbles, and Rich & Paulette had asked us to join them for dinner. So we'll be doing that tonight, which is great.

Pebbles & I had lunch overlooking the Duomo, and then went our separate ways - me to book the tour/shop, Pebbles to find her luggage/shop. I wet to the market by our hotel and got a few things; the most exciting was this beautiful purse. I bargained a little, and got the price I wanted. I assume it's a fake, but it is really lovely and the real one, in the store, costs 3 times as much. Score!

Now we're just hanging out, taking a break before dinner. I forgot how much walking you do when traveling...I was basically on my feet from about 9am to 5.15pm. Yikes.

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