Back to Florence

So, uh. Eventually I'll be done writing about this trip. I'm getting there.

We were up bright and early the next morning. This was the day were headed back to Florence. I was sad to leave Tuscany, but was excited to see more of Florence...and we had plans for a day trip to Pisa.

As I've said, I was pretty snuffly so I was looking forward to a nice hot, steamy shower. It was not to be. I let the water run and run, but it ever warmed up. This was disappointing, but...timely considering I'd been reading some of the travel tips ad philosophies in my guidebook and Rick Steves specifically mentioned hot showers ad the occasional lack thereof. So, I just sucked it up and we headed to the Cafe Poliziano for breakfast. Croissant and a cappuccino. I felt very Italian standing at the bar.

We had some time to kill before Giacomo came to pick us up, so we sort of wandered up and down the streets. David wanted to look in some wine shops so we did that, ventured back into the cellars/caves below the wine shops, picked up a few little items. It was sort of a drizzly day, chilly, and since it was early not much was open. It was nice to just wander without any agenda.

Mmmm...cheese. If only I could have just taken a whole hunk home with me.

More huge barrels of wine. See those little glass doo-hickeys on the top? Those will fill or empty as the wine in the barrel settles (evaporates?) or something...I can't remember. But, I do remember that if it is empty, that means they need to add more wine. The nice gentleman at the enoteca the day before told us about this. He  also casually mentioned that they were invented by in da such a way you'd think they were pals or something.

It's like a maze down there! Of course, you are just sort of wandering around down there...I wonder if anyone ever gets lost.

Yes, they are very big barrels of wine.

Eventually Giacomo showed up and we loaded our stuff into the van and headed for the train station in Chiusi...this is on the line to either Rome or Florence. It was raining and chilly and we had to stand on an outdoor platform waiting for the train.  David bought a copy of a British newspaper, so on the ride back I read all about the latest happenings in Britain...including the sad story of children being disappointed about not being able to see Sponge Bob Squarepants at a holiday event. Authorities would not let him on stage because he did not fit up the stairs, so he could only wander around the floor and the children in the back could not see him. This little article is still hanging on my fridge.

So, there's David on the train. It was quite cozy and we passed many cute little Tuscan towns. It was really raining by this point. 

When we got to Florence, it was just a torrential downpour. Thunder. Lightning. The works. Dudes every three feet selling umbrellas. Fortunately, our apartment was only about a 5-minute walk from the train station, but even then, we were completely soaked by the time we got there.

The owner was lovely and even said that she'd be able to call a cab for us for the morning we left (which was going to be VERY early) and check us out the night before. She showed me how to use the washing machine (which was located outdoors...bummer) and the other appliances. The David and I settled in and got around to drying everything out. 

I'd picked this apartment partly because it had a washing machine and I thought that would be nice to have a chance to do some laundry. I'd forgotten it didn't have a dryer, as most people in Italy don't have dryers (energy conservation and expense). The washing machine was located outside, in the little courtyard (which had also been a draw), so actually washing clothes was a challenge because I was trying to hold an umbrella at the same time. The rain was just crazy. It rained the entire time we were in Florence, so we never really got to enjoy the courtyard. The apartment was fantastic though so I can't complain.

This was one of those nights where I was really happy we had opted for apartments rather than a hotel. We were both feeling under the weather, there was a full-on thunderstorm outside, all our stuff was soaking wet. We just didn't feel much like getting dressed and finding a restaurant for dinner. So we didn't. We ventured over to a little cafe for a cappuccino, then we headed to the grocery store for some pasta and sauce. Then we just stayed in the rest of the night.

I was pretty happy with that plan.

The only real thing on the agenda for the next day was to visit the Uffizi. More to come!


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