Weary with flight-connecting, we land in Florence.
Trip Start Jun 14, 2005
6Trip End Jun 28, 2005
Wednesday, June 15: Arrival in Florence.
We had a very tiring flight--or rather, flights, as it consisted of three separate leges: just over an hour from Indy to Atlanta, not too bad; then the nearly 8-hour transatlantic flight to Paris Charles de Gaule; then another nearly 2-hour flight to Florence. (Of course the transatlantic flight had the most cramped seats--and it didn't help that my bag fit neither under the seat nor in the overhead compartment on that plane! On the others it worked fine. On this one, due to the foot space under the seat in front of me taken up by equipment for the video screens in the seat backs and such, my bag ended up as a foot rest
At Paris-CDG we didn't get a chance to look for souvenirs before we had cleared the metal detectors into the boarding area, unfortunately, but I did pick up a couple of bilingual flight magazines. I hoped, on the return flight, to find something French to buy for a souvenir--but that didn't work out either.
Florence is lovely! It was so good to find myself back in Italy again after two years. I was pleased that our courier, Annemieke, remembered me from the last trip. She greeted me with a hug as we were loading our tour bus. Her husband and six-year-old daughter accompanied her to pick us up at the airport, so after hearing so much about them last time, we finally got to meet them. Her daughter, just learning to read and write, had written out the arrival poster for us--a document likely now to make its way into the state IJCL scrapbook for the year.
After settling into our hotel, we had some time to explore Florence's leather (etc.) market, which I did with Calpurnia (her classroom Latin name, for anonymity of some sort) and her mother. We found a few nice souvenirs. Calpurnia was looking for an "Italia" soccer shirt for her sister and found a good deal on one. We also found pretty silk scarves, sheer with ribbons of different colors running through them down to the tassels, and I bought several bookmarks, a Florence "Ciao Bella!" t-shirt, and a thimble for Grandma. (Two years ago, she got Rome and Capri thimbles. So this time I bought thimbles in the cities I hadn't been to last time.)
After the market, we toured the Medici Chapel--a whole private church built just for the Medici family
We then had some more free time--welcome on this jet-lagged first day of our arrival--in which my roommate, Judy, and I took naps to catch up on sleep lost in our hours of flight. At 7 we had dinner, literally a few doors' walk from our hotel at the Antica Osteria Mercato. We had a Swiss steak-like beef with peas in a tomato based sauce and parsley potatoes. Primi piatti was a nice pasta shells dish in a cheese and beef sauce, and dessert was a local cake with two layers of ice cream, vanilla and chocolate, between the cake layers. After that, Donna, Judy, and Bob went for gelato. I was, unfortunately, too full for the Ice Cream of the Gods, but tagged along for the walk. Soon, however, we returned to the hotel and got to bed early--about 9 pm--on account of the jet lag.