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We're off and running

...but hopefully not running late! I can't believe this day is finally here, even though Dave laughs at me and says how can you not believe it, you've been counting down now for months! I say counting down is one thing, reality another.

I've been up since 4:46am...didn't get much sleep, mainly because of the heat. My bedroom was 27C (and humid so feels hotter) when I went to bed, which is a degree or three higher than the past few nights. I haven't been opening the windows at night in an attempt to climatize myself to our A/C-less apartment in Florence...I think my plan has backfired though since ideally I would have begun our journey well rested instead of hot and tired from lack of sleep. Well on the bright side, I might be tired enough to sleep on the plane this time! This was the first night that the heat kept me from sleeping though, so I guess I'll be ok as long as we can keep our apartment at least 26C or cooler at night!!

--- short pause while I go fetch a second cup of coffee ---

Ok, I'm back...mmm...coffee...nectar of the gods...

Not much work was done by yours truly yesterday, I have to say. The only meaningful thing I did was provide advice to our departmental procurement technician (he'd posted an item in the wrong fiscal year and was trying to sort through the accounting impact.) But I did manage to talk everyone (or almost everyone) into going out for lunch together, so it was a productive day from a social point of view! My coworkers were talking about going for nachos on Friday (Economy Shoe Shop has the best in town) and I whined that I'd miss out so we should go before I leave (which if you think about it is pretty darned selfish since the reason for my missing out is that I'll be en route to Italy!) In the end, we didn't go to the Shoe Shop, we went to Niche because it's just so darned close to our office. I had the sun dried tomato & chicken personal pizza, plus ordered a tray of nachos to share. The pizza toppings were scrumptious, but the crust was way too thick for my taste.

I filled my day with chitchat, rechecking my flights, etc. Decided to spring for easyjet's speedy boarding option for our flight from Venice to London. I am hoping the girls and I will be able to get seats together, or at least manage two seats together for the girls and I'll sit alone. By all accounts, the speedy boarding only slightly increases the boarding odds though, so will see how it goes. It was only an extra 11.25 euro for the three of us.

Last evening, I booked our tickets on Trenitalia for the train from Pisa to Florence. I splurged on first class since those were only 2.60 euro more than second class. I'm not sure there's much difference, but since we'll be travelling with our luggage, I'm hoping there might be a bit more room in first class. I had booked second class for Florence-Venice though because the price differential was quite substantial. That ride is on the Eurostar though, which I think is roomier to begin with so hopefully second class will be fine. I am a tad concerned with the note on my booking document saying "We remind you that the ticket is strictly personal". Of course I booked tickets for all four of us, so I'm hoping Dave and the girls will have no problem using the documents with my name on them (??!?!?!)

While randomly surfing the net, I came across the Couchsurfing Wiki, and in particular a posting of Curiosities in Florence. As gullible as I am, even I doubt about the veracity of the information, at least from a factual perspective, but I love a good folk tale so enjoyed reading it. Might be fun to look for some of the things mentioned as we meander around the streets of Florence next week.

Dad called last night to wish us Bon Voyage, offer a good tip on ensuring we have contingency plans in the event we get separated (especially in the maze known as Venice!), and that he's looking forward to our arrival in England in just over two weeks. We will have so much fun during our visit!!

Our good neighbour, Stan, will keep an eye on our property while we're away. Alas, I don't think he provides landscaping services! The weeds in my flower beds are out of control because I just haven't time to deal with them (plus it's been cool and wet and who the heck wants to be out weeding in the rain?!)

This morning, I will drop Winston (the attitude-ish cat) and Prince Boo (the hamster, not in a coma these days) up to Mom's and she's going to look after them for us. I'd thought about leaving them home and asking TG's best friend from up the road to stop in each day and feed them (TG did the same for her pets last summer) but Winston would just be too lonely. He's only lovey on his own terms but boy when he wants attention, he's very vocal about it!! I am certain he'd go totally wrangy spending two weeks all by himself so am very glad he can stay with Mom.

Well...I think I'll go wake the rest of the crew. The Ginger is already up - imagine a teenager getting up at 7am of her own accord! It boggles the mind...haha. She said she's still on school time, plus I'd mentioned that it might be good for us to get up early this week in preparation for the time change. But Dave and Miss Ninja are still snoozin' hard so off I go to rouse 'em.

Ciao for now!

PS - Trish, I think the problem you have subscribing to the feed has to do with your computer because I just tried it at home and I do not get the page of goobly-gook that came up on your machine. What comes up on my computer is a very readable page of blog postings. I have no suggestions on how to get it to work, but just thought I'd mention that the problem doesn't seem to be with the feed FROM my blog, but rather with the reception on your computer.

Comments (6)

Kim:

Have a great trip!

leslie:

It's been great to hear about your planning, I'm looking forward to hearing about how you go on your trip.

Have a terrific time! :)

Tricia:

By now you will be Europe, and perhaps enjoying your first meal on the continent, while you wait for your connection to Pisa. Hope you all managed eventually to get a little sleep on the flight over. Happy travels...

T

Lynn:

I've been thinking about you all. We watched a jet fly overhead last evening at about 7:45 pm and wondered if it was you guys. By now you must be just about en-route to Pisa! Very exciting!!

I read the last entry of your blog and loved it. Keep 'em coming.

And now, once more for the road - let me close out by wishing you all a wonderful adventure!

Lynn:

Hey, it's me again. I've been reading some more of your blogs and wondering why I didn't look at them before. They're gold Jerry! Pure Gold! Anyway, as I chuckled my way back through the mists of time (as perceived by my sister, albeit in a forward rather than a backward direction), I realized that I hadn't felt the need to read them before you left because I could see you nearly anytime. Now that you are gone and I am already missing you (even though it has only been a day) I am feeling the need of some Anne time - and this is the ony way I'm going to get it for the next month. Lucky for me that you are such an entertaining writer! (No pressure.... no really, none at all.... ) Keep up the good work. (Mua-ha-ha)

Aunt Muriel:

Enjoyed hearing from you and glad you all are enjoying yourselves. I can imagine TG & especially MN were just awe struct with their 1st view of the Tower Of Pisa.
Will read your updates to your Mom over the phone.
Have a wonderful trip. Love & (((HUGS)))from Aunt Muriel. XOXO

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