Friday, July 24, 2009

Italian Honeymoon-Part "Florence"

I am back to blogging the honeymoon...I thought people may have been getting bored of reading about it but I guess I was wrong.

Lets start with the "Moment of Inspiration" for the day:

Take Time for the Little Things
Take time for the little things-
The common pleasures each day brings,
The glory of the springtime flowers,
The beauty of the morning hours,
The wealth of nature's bright array,
The quiet time that ends each day.
Yes, take time for the little things
And for the pleasure each one brings,
And in those little things you'll see
How wonderful each day can be.

Where to after our night with the little old lady we set off to move our car and find regular accommodations. Rick Steve's again led us int he right direction, we found an inexpensive upscale hostel type room and board. However, we didn't have to share a room and we had our own private bathroom. It was more like a hotel than a hostel but with a hostel look and feel, it was great. The building was owned by a company called "Christian Hotels International" which is run by the Protestant church. They are all over Italy in the major cities and allow people to stay in the city, on the coast or in the mountains for fairly decent rates. Our hotel was named Casa di Gould and was a 17th century Florentine palace in the middle of Florence. It was a very beautiful setting to stay in. Ok, so up to this point we have been lucky, right? Well minutes after checking in we had to move our car to a non-tow zone. (side note: Florence does not allow cars in their city limits unless you have a permit which is very hard for the residents to get and every time you enter random streets with cameras they take a picture and ticket you)

So off we go to move the car, looking carefully for these "traffico limitado" signs and cameras...we couldn't see any so we moved the car. All of a sudden we are in and out of tiny one way streets trying to find a way out of the maze, Jeremiah yelling to look for the signs so we don't get ticketed and them BAM!!! I passed through one!!! Miah yelling, me yelling back that there was no where else for me to go, I had to enter, it was a trick to ticket people and then BAM!!! I go through another!!! I must have passed through 4 or 5 "Traffico Limitado" cameras before I made it out of the city center :(. 50 euro per ticket sent to the rental car company who then charges your credit card with an additional 30 euro per ticket. Whoops, my bad :). Needless to say Miah was not happy and we still have not received that bill yet. However, I will say that Jeremiah did his best to not obsess over the tickets for the rest of the day. He slipped a few times and ranted but for the most part he tried to make the best of it and not make me feel to bad.

After the ticket and car issues, we started to explore Florence. We saw their Duomo, HUGE, the super fun San Lorenzo market where I bargained my a into 2 Italian leather purses for the price of 1. I was very excited, I would say a low price and the man would come back higher and I would say no and walk away to let him think. Then I would come back and he would say "ok, this is the price, that's the lowest I can go" then I would walk away until I finally got him to my price :). I got a deep red leather purse and a dark purple leather purse, gorgeous! Much better then the plastic piece from Rome! Also, while in the market we were offered tickets by a woman from Connecticut to go see The David. She was late getting back to her tour bus so she offered them to Jeremiah and I and we immediately ran over to the Academia to see the famous sculpture. He was HUGE!!! But again no pictures were allowed and of course I got yelled at trying :).

After seeing the David we went back to our room for the evening and planned on going to dinner but Miah fell asleep at 7pm and never woke back up till the next day (the time change was hard for him to get used to). The next day we explored more of Venice, sat in the squares, visited more markets, window shopped, ate gelato and waffles off the street and enjoyed leisurely strolls. Oh,
one of my favorite pictures from Florence is this one where Jeremiah is looking at metal figurines of army men and chess boards and there is a little boy standing next to him doing the same thing. They both have a look of fascination on their faces and the little boy doesn't even realize that his gelato is melting and running down his hand; I snapped the picture before they realized I was watching them. To funny :)

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