I hope you're snuggled up in a blanket, warm beverage in hand (or cold, if you're looking at this from Guam) and ready to make an indentation on the seat you're sitting on, because I have a gazillion and one photos to upload and lots of stories to share with you from our trip to Tuscany. Ready? Set? Vai! (that's 'Go' in Italian - watch out world, she's picking it up!).
We joined in on an ITT trip to Tuscany that left from base on Wednesday, the 26th. It was a fairly big group, I'd say about 30 or so people, and a couple couples, which was nice because we all hung out together. After we landed at the airport in Pisa, we took a bus to Florence, where we checked in to our hotel and hit the pavement, err..., cobblestone, running.
Our first stop was to a bar. (sidenote: bar in Italy is not the typical American bar, with alcohol - although some do have alcohol, too. Bars are like cafes, with coffee and sweet treats. Think Starbucks, but MUCH better, if that's possible.) I got a cappucino (which is a major faux pas here... only sissies drink cappucino after noon), and the lady drew me a cute little flower out of chocolate on top of the foam. Adorable.
After fueling up, we started out and decided to just pick a direction and let our feet be our guide. I did pull out the handy map once, and only with the group circling me so onlookers wouldn't roll their eyes and throw tomatoes, just to make sure we were going in somewhat of the "right" direction. (I say that in quotes because I don't think you could go anywhere wrong in Florence. It was gorgeous.) We eventually found a couple shops that were open and browsed for a bit. Amy, one half of one of the couples, asked one of the cashiers a good place to eat, so we moseyed down there, and Jenni, our somewhat, kinda, only Italian speaking American, called and made a reservation. Fantastic!
We walked some more, wasting time before our dinner. Now, let me set this scene. The road to the restaurant was really, really narrow. And there were city buses that drove down it. They barely fit. If you weren't paying attention, it could be 'off with your head' via bus side mirror. And, the buses were very quiet, so you wouldn't hear them until they blew past you. This led to many people yelling "BUS!" while we were walking to dinner to make sure we were all saw it. On top of this, the sidewalk was cobblestone. Cobblestone that many little feet had tread upon, therefore making little indentations in the stone. One more factor was that the sidewalk was never the same width. It would widen, and then narrow, and then widen, and the curb would be rounded and then sharp, and then rounded. Okay, scene is set.
So we're walking, I'm chatting with Jenni, who has to walk kinda behind me because the sidewalk was so narrow, we couldn't walk side-by-side. Next thing I know, I'm going down. I don't know how it happened, but I think I must have stepped off the curb because I didn't realize the sidewalk narrowed. I completely face-planted right in the middle of the road. I got up as soon as I could, because, well, I was embarrassed. I honestly thought I'd broken either my wrist or my elbow. I was hurt. Bad. Token was a few people behind me, but he ran right up and let me cry.
:- ( I'm okay now, just a little scab on my elbow and knee and a little less dignified (ha!), but I am SOOOOO incredibly lucky that there wasn't a bus coming. I'd have been roadkill. Scary thought.
We get to the restaurant, Token and I are debating going to the hospital, I decide I'm okay, so we settle in for what happens to be probably the BEST meal of the trip. My, oh, my, it was good. I had some wine, too, to numb the pain, although not too much because I didn't want a repeat show walking back to the hotel. I had some homemade pumpkin ravioli which was amazing. Yum.
And that, dear friends and family, was the first night in Florence. Get ready for some more action-packed (although no more falling) stories coming soon.