Italy: Day Six

This morning, we got up, showered, ate, and then cabbed it to the Roma Termini to catch a train to Florence! I was super excited, because Florence is the city on our trip that I am most excited about. On the train, we got the tiniest cups of coffee I have ever seen. So cute and delicious. The trip from Roma to Firenze was just about an hour and a half... And it was gorgeous. I snapped at least a hundred pictures out the window of our first class train car. The hills, the funny spindly pine trees, the orange tile rooftops... even the run down buildings in the middle of nowhere were incredible looking. I would live in Tuscany in a heartbeat.
On the ride, my sister told me about how, when we went to England when we were young, she only had one tape with her - U2. And so it was all she listened to while we were there. But now, every time she listens to U2, it reminds her of that trip. I loved that idea. So I queued up The Magpies on my iPod, and will now hope that that will become a soundtrack to these memories. :)
When we arrived in Florence, we cabbed to the Hotel Europa, our home for the next six nights. The woman who runs the place was sweet and adorable, but the hotel itself definitely lacks the swank of our Rome digs. Which is surprising to me, since both the Florence and Venice hotels looked WAY more awesome than the Rome one on their websites... Regardless, the room is still cute and we juuuuuust about have a view of the Campanille bell tower of the famous Duomo. (tomorrow when it is light again, I will try to take some photos with this to post of our view.)
After checking in, we went out in search of lunch at a restaurant our hostess recommended: Za-Za. Despite my negative sense of direction, I did eventually get us there (by way of the stink from the garbage behind their Mercato) and we were all happy to see that the Florentine menu choices are far broader than in Rome. I had what was quite possibly the best grilled chicken breast ever... And DEFINITELY the best rosemary potatoes ever. Holy crap. Delicious! Even the cheap local Chianti was spectacular. And then it was off to wander around. W wanted to just drift around and see what we could see, but i managed to get turned around somehow and led us directly toward the bus station... Oops! Not exactly a tourist attraction. After getting pointed back in the right direction, we found the Arno! So so lovely! Walked along the river a few blocks to see the historic shopping bridge, Ponte Vecchio. Very cute, but the only thing we saw that we wanted was a €5 tote bag. It was mostly gaudy jewelry shops. I will stick with the teeny leather box that my Grandma Mary bought there in the sixties. As we meandered along the absolutely beautiful and adorable streets, we passed all kinds of shops and restaurants and gelato joints, and suddenly ran smack into the Piazza Duomo. Definitely a dream of mine since childhood to see that - thanks to my grandmother and mother, I was obsessed at an early age with the movie "A Room With A View". As we continued weaving down the tiny streets, suddenly Wendy turns to me and says "I think we just passed our hotel." Sure enough, we had, so we just headed back inside for a rest and regroup (and bathroom break).
This is where I had my first breakdown of the trip. The point where I finally admitted, both out loud as well as to myself, that I am still fucking terrified. Two weeks from now, I will have completed my PET scn and will be waiting for the results. And despite knowing in my heart that no matter what, I am going to beat this stupid cancer, I still truly am frightened of what the outcome of the scan COULD be. I'm afraid of still being sick. Afraid of still having to go through more treatments or surgery. Even, on some strange level, afraid of dying. I have some stupid "need" to enjoy this trip to the absolute fullest extent... Just I case I have to look back on it from my death bed knowing it was my last big hurrah. And even though I am aware that this is COMPLETELY bonkers, I can't shake it entirely from my wackadoo brain. Anyhow, I dealt with my freak out by crying until I puked (which only took about 10 or 15 minutes), and then getting mum hugs and sister jokes to bring my smiles and giggles back.
And then, since the food here costs a bajillion dollars, we went to a grocery store around the corner and bought goodies to make dinners at the hotel: Italian bread, turkey and cheese and peanut butter and condiments, chips, nuts, cookies, and my favorite: sanpelligrino aranciata!!! Oh. And a bottle of Sangiovese Toscana, which the checkout girl at the store opened for us since we did not bring a wine key with us. (too cute!). The food plan now consists of free breakfast at the hotel, a nice lunch out, and picnic dinners in the room. I think that will keep us all from going crazy (not to mention BROKE) having to eat these very expensive meals out twice a day!
At this point, I was pooped. Wendy went for a spin around the hood and checked out the Duomo all lit up for night time, and mum and I stayed in the room and chattered and looked at stuff to do and ate chocolate cookies. And now here we all are, it's a quarter to ten, and I am exhausted. Tomorrow we have our tours of the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery. I am very excited about these two tours. Plus we have plenty of time before and between them to check out some other good stuff. Florence seems pretty small, so I machine it will be pretty easy for us to see all sorts of stuff.
Night night, all. Xxo, Phoebe

Comments

No more breakdowns! It's on your list! No worrying about what you can't control. So dry your tears...and get topless (also on your list).

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