September 23 - 24
09.23.2010 - 09.24.2010
We had spent a frantic night packing to leave our farmhouse for Florence. We were having some difficulty in packing the bottles of oil and wine that had been purchased and meeting the 50 lb luggage limit required by the airline. In hindsight, we all agree that any future travels would include a visit to UPS to ship purchased items no matter what the costs. Anyhow, by morning we were packed and ready. Our morning plans were slightly diverted when Carlette awoke with a migraine and Lorie was forced to drive the last leg of our travels to Florence. This drive became more dreaded and confusing when we realized that our driving instructions to the car drop off had somehow been lost. We made it to the A1 towards Florence but were unsure of which exit to take we only knew that it would probably be near the airport. When we stopped for fuel (which by the way still have full service attendants, which is great!) we asked the attendant if could direct us to the address for the car drop off. He said that the address was in the city center and driving there is prohibited without a special permit and that we would not want to drive there even if we had permission, and we knew that if an italian driver was telling us this, then there was no way we were setting a tire anywhere near there. After leaving the station, getting off on the wrong exit, getting back on in the wrong direction, exiting again and circling that same gas station three times, we ended up calling the Eurocar place again and they said that it was ok to drop if off at the airport which was a good thing because Lorie and I had already decided that our car was going to be left somewhere with a note and a phone call for them to come and find it, we were done, finit. Anyway, after disposing of our cars and holding our breath during the inspection, I kissed the ground and starting dragging our heavy luggage to the taxi stand.
We arrived at our hotel, La Scallata, in Florence shortly after. If anyone is travelling to Florence, please keep this hotel in mind, they were so helpful and kind and were in a great location, just around the corner from the pont vecchia (bridge of gold). We had a great lunch at a restaurant recommended by the hotel and mama had a t-bone steak that she raved about for 2 days. We spent the afternoon taking in the sights of Florence including the famous "David" in all his glory. This work of art is truly amazing when you look at the detail in his arms and hands. You can practically see his muscles and veins as he prepares to hurl his stone at Goliath. It was also incredible to consider that two great artists and inventors, Michangleo and Leonardo DaVinci lived and walked along the same streets that we were. We had dinner at the hotel on the rooftop terrace which afforded us the best view in Florence, it was amazing. As this was Carlette's last night (she had booked her flight to return a day earlier than the rest of us), we said our farewells as she would be leaving early in the morning.
Our last day in Florence, began with a breakfast in a little cafe not far from the hotel. Susie finally was able to enjoy a full sized cup of coffee, so far her Italy coffee experience only consisted of expressos which were served in doll-sized cups and, according to her, tasted like the leftover coffee at the bottom of a pot that had been sitting all day, so she was enjoying her cappucino this morning. The better part of this day was spent shopping. Let me tell you, Florence is a shopping paradise for leathergoods and jewelry and we had a ball until time to consider our packing situation again which led us to buy yet another carryon bag with wheels to help us out.