Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A whirlwind week!...Part 1-Florence

The past week has been a whirlwind of an adventure...From flights to flights, to hotels, hostels and hiking, to trains and tourists, to pizza and gelato, to beaches and buses, and to finally making it to 27 Palace Court! Catherine and I realized that in just 6 days we traveled to 9 cities, went on a handful of train rides, hiked over 10 miles, flew on 2 very scary airplanes, and started and ended it all in what we now know to be our home--London. It was an unforgettable adventure and a perfect way to kick off the next 3.5 months of our lives. 
We arrived to London on August 28th, 2009 with over 200lbs of luggage in stow and Italy right around the corner. Our official first night was spent at a cozy little flat at New Gwyn House. It was lovely and used more than anything as a place to store much too much luggage for 2 girls. We got up at 2:45am the next morning and jumped on an early plane to Pisa, Italy. Our first experience with Ryanair turned out to be quite a positive one as we took off and landed without a hitch. In the Pisa airport we were a bit lost as to where to catch our train to Florence, but luckily an English couple was heading that same direction and helped us find our way. We hopped on the train and the next thing we knew we were standing in the middle of Florence in 100 degree heat. Our Best Western Hotel treated us well as we stayed there for two luxurious nights. 
Florence once again proved to be a hit. We shopped in the market, climbed the tower, saw The David, watched the sunset at the Piazza Michealangelo, dined on the river, ate infinite amounts of gelato, listened to some live music, rode on the merry-go-round, and purely enjoyed ourselves in every way. Some funny experiences happened too...we decided to take an afternoon nap when I heard our hotel room door open. I chose to ignore this while Catherine took care of the intruder. Apparently when Catherine saw him he looked a little startled and blurted out, "Mini Bar?" and Catherine responded with a resounding "NO!". I could not stop laughing because a) we were potentially about to be robbed, and b) because Catherine probably scared him off in her half asleep, crazy, angry response. It is still one of my favorite memories from the trip. On Sunday we bid farewell to Florence and began our journey to the Italian coast...

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