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Buona Sera from the Oltrarno!

Finally managed to mix free time with an empty internet cafe so will bring you up to date since...when did I last post? Oh yes, Saturday.

Let me first say that our apartment is fantastic! It is very centrally located but on a narrow street with little traffic. Close by is a GREAT restaurant, corner store, gelato just across the bridge (forget the name but is the next one down from Ponte Vecchio after Santa Trinita). As I mentioned it now has A\C, which is much appreciated during the day although we've been turning it off at night and sleeping fine. Loads of room in the apartment and I've really enjoyed eating meals at "home"! I also love waking up, throwing open the window (kept closed for quiet) and enjoying the morning noises of our neighbourhood. Unexpected was the sound of birdsong, not sure what type of bird though but was lovely to listen to this morning.

I got up before the girls so climbed to the loft and peeked at them asleep. They are sharing the fold out couch (which is VERY comfy) and it was so cute to see them together. Miss N was sprawled in the middle, limbs akimbo, and The G was tucked up on one side nearly off the edge. When they woke up I could hear them giggling and TG giving MN a hard time (teasingly) about hogging the covers and the bed, and even sitting on her at one point during the night! They are getting along fabulously so far. Any crankiness has been directed at mom or dad, and has been very mild, mostly due to tiredness or just being too hot.

So far the weather has been wonderful...except for yesterday which was incredibly hot...meltingly, steamy hot...thank heavens we're used to humidity in NS or I don't know how we would have managed. As it was, we tried to stick to the shady side of the street, refilled our water bottles and soaked our kerchiefs in every fountain we came across. (Must remember to thank John for that tip - what a relief from the heat to wet down with a soaking hanky!)

We thought to go to the Uffizi on Sunday but just did't get up and out early enough, so by the time we got there the line up was horrid, even at the reservation entrance (I cannot imagine waiting in the ticket BUYERS lineup - that one looked to be several hours wait). We thought we would go to Boboli Gardens and find a respite from the heat...over the Arno we go. At the ticket office, we are told that our Friends of the Uffizi passes work like this: one ticket per one pass. Sounds reasonable, except that I had only gotten 2 passes, one in my name and one in Dave's. Mr Ticket dude wouldn't budge. Back over the Arno we trudge. At the Friends counter, I try to explain our problem. The woman doesn't speak English and I think she is trying to send us to the Uffizi. Growing frustrated I try to explain that we have non carte per bambino and that Boboli is una bilietto per una carte. Finally TG breaks in "mum, she said we have to go inside and speak to someone at the help desk." Oh, I say...sorry (blush...) Inside I explain that we need more cards for the girls, obtain same with no problem and are back on our way in no time.

Back over the Arno we drag ourselves in the heat...

Boboli was lovely but unfortunately nowhere near as cooling as I was hoping. The heavy dense humidity permeated even under the leafy canopies near the Forte Belvedere walls...but was still worth the visit. The girls enjoyed the Neptune fountain and I got a great photo of them, TG's arm around MN pointing out some fish. Dave got a photo of me in front of the fountain and said he framed it so I was getting speared in the head...what a guy!

Holy cow I am getting the three minute warning already and I haven't even mentioned Ghirlandaio's stunning Last Supper fresco at Ognissanti, climbing Giotto's tower, visiting the Mercato Centrale, eating more and more gelato (no weight loss goin' on here, I can tell ya!!) Or the Cezanne exhibit at the Palazzo Strozzi....goodness it takes longer to sort through my thoughts and get them out on an Italian keyboard than I thought...apparently I need to buy the hour card next time!!


Ciao again and will write more soon

Comments (2)

Tricia:

I've been checking every few hours for an update, knowing you had much more to do than update your blog, but still....

So good to hear all about your experiences. I'm taking notes!

We've had a wonderful weather for Canada Day weekend, not too humid, lots of sunshine and welcome breeze, with the odd heavy brief shower in some parts of metro.

Will check in again tomorrow,

T


Lynn:

Hello you lucky, lucky travellers! I am green, I tell you, GREEN!! Sounds like you are having a brilliant time so far.

Tell Moira that I got her e-mail this morning (Tuesday, July 3rd) and I'll show it to Erin this evening. Erin will be very excited to hear from her.

Mom says to tell you that Winston has settled in very nicely and is making himself right at home. He goes in and out now (he is enamoured of the open door policy) and she has no worries about him wondering away and getting lost. Reba was bent out of shape for a couple days, but is fine now.

I showed Mom some of your blogs on Saturday, so that she could read them for herself. She was eager to see them, especially since Muriel had excitedly told her that there was already some news from abroad. I'll give her this latest one today.

I sent Elaine your blog link because she was very interested to see it too. We're all travelling vicariously through your reports. Good thing they are so enjoyable!

I'm glad the trip is going so splendidly. Give my love to the girls and Dave (and yourself too!).

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