Tuesday, June 1, 2010


What a couple of days. A missed train...a missed opportunity...lost duckets...and 3 sick travelers.
It is all too easy when you are traveling and a couple of things go sour, to start grouping all the crappiness together into one great big mess of negativity. We started down that path yesterday morning and had to take a serious moment to re-group, have a "caffe", and just breathe.
In the end, it turned out to be a really great day. And to top it off, the missing 90euro (my fault) ended up being only a missing 40 after Jim noticed the washing machine wasn't draining properly and discovered a 50 euro note had been clogging it up! Yay! The machine is still clogged, so I hope our hostess enjoys that extra 40 big ones.
Also the little D seems the picture of health and the 2 big D's are on their way up!

Could we be any luckier than to land ourselves in Florence,Italy during a gelato FESTIVAL!?!
L's first encounter with gelato (vanilla) was rather blasé. He didn't care for it much, and looked like we could have just as easily been serving him green beans.
The second encounter (melon & pink grapefruit) was a different story indeed!
Eyes wide, legs bouncing, hands shaking, little squeals, and a smile so big I'm sure even the people 486 steps (Jimbo's #) above in the Duomo could spot his two pearly whites.

In Italy, coffee is a whole other cup of ...well, coffee. There are no take-aways.
Here is a quick comparison:
A typical morning at a Tim Hortons-
Snarling, ass-kicking consumer, teeth barred, toonie in hand, awaiting their first of several extra large cups of coffee (think "Dawn of the Dead").

A typical morning in any Italian cafe-
Effortlessly well put together, smooth talking patron, casually leaning on bar (no matter the rush it seems), taking a few moments out of their day to sip a shot of espresso and chat with their classy bartender.

Anyway, typically I avoid caffeine, but I am thoroughly enjoying my daily indulgence while here and our current favourite are cappuccino's which immediately stamps us "Tourist" (cause nothing else does...hehe). A cappuccino here is reserved for mornings, and since we don't partake until well after noon it becomes an eyebrow raising order. A simple espresso would be far more respectable, and we have tried but it just isn't our cup of... you know.

There are very few grassy areas here which becomes all the more noticeable when you have a little one who is well on the move and ALL you need is a little spot for him to crawl around and get a taste of freedom after being carried or strollered about town. Considering the huge number of pigeons, so far in every place we have been, the wide open concrete spaces aren't all that crawler friendly either. Even most parks are cemented over. The grassy areas we have come across tend toward unruliness, and our presence on them has felt a little naughty sitting on the wrong side of a chain link rope next to the "do not walk on grass" sign. We can't even plead ignorance since the sign is in english as well as Italian!

They love, love, love babies here! Everyone goes out of their way to help out when you have a little one. The locals are all so sweet and maternal, you cannot even find it in you to object to their reaching out and cuddling your youngin'.

Waiting in a security line to enter the Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michaelangelo's statue of "David" (which, by the way, floored me far more than I expected it to), where bags and people are being checked and scanned. The guard notices our little guy, reaches out, taking him from me and starts hugging him and showing him to all his co-workers laughing and talking to L in breakneck speed Italian. He then waved us around the scanners and detectors with our daily mass of baggage, all the while staring at L, making baby noises, and saying "Ciao,Ciao! Ciao,Ciao!".
Anyway, it's really and truly going to his head. Now, when he tries to get someone's attention and they don't give it to him (which is rare, but does happen) he gets quite aggravated. Uh-oh, Italy is creating a monster! ;)

Only blurbs tonight, no photos. Just no time after that novel. It's been nearly 10 days since we left home and we have kept incredibly busy (in the relaxed wanderer sense). That was just my excuse for no contact. I must say though going off-grid is very refreshing once in a while. The computer can become sort of a ball and chain at home (in a way that I sort of like...), so to get away from it is definitely healthy.
When last night I was ready, nay, desperate for contact and I took the tram to the center all ready for a little email, blog, and browse only to learn about the Italian law that you must check-in with id to use the computer I was more than a little miffed.
..but, home I went to cuddle my little one to sleep, eat a very big chocolatey biscuit, and sip a glass (yes just one glass) of Tuscan white wine. And all was right in my world again.

So finally here I sit at 10pm while my poor hubby packs our things and puts bub to bed (what a tolerant dude) and I get all this out of my system, give you a glimpse into things so far, and wonder what we have thought nearly every day - Why can't we travel forever??
I think we are getting too greedy for this sweet life...

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