Tales from Italy - Day 5 - April 27th, 2005

Traveling to Florence

It started off as a wonderful day.. We get up leisurely and go for a morning stroll and then for breakfast at an outdoor cafe. While at the cafe, we decided that Wednesday's is the day when crazy people are let out of the asylum to air out. We had several people walk by that talk to themselves, one man that stopped in front of the cafe and cursed, ranted and raved for about 10 minutes in Italian (too bad we couldn't understand a word he yelled) and you assorted unusuals. It was one of the most entertaining mornings we have had.

We loaded up our luggage to the train station, where once we were dropped off, we were completely clueless. Out ticket is in Italian and the train board is in Italian. I got the trusty HP out with the translation software on it and proceed to slowly but surely, decipher our ticket and
what platform we needed to be on. 30 mins later, I figure it out and we hustle to catch our train. We get to the front of the train and now I can't figure out which car to get on. It is not marked Coach or First Class. Looking like a deer in headlights, this seemingly kind woman takes us under her arm and escorts us to the right car, helps load our luggage, gets us to our seats all for the bargain price of 5 euros each. It was worth it. I was on the verge of a melt down.

The train ride was very pleasant and scenic. We arrived in Florence, found a taxi and arrived at the "hotel". Okay, call me snob, diva, WHATEVER. This hotel is not the Westin- not even close. We get up to our room and we can barely get our bodies let alone the luggage inside the room which consists of two twin beds, a mini bar (thank God) a bathroom that you can't sneeze in or
you'll fall into the bidet and a desk. There is about a 2ft corridor separating the desk from the bed and the bed from the wall. OKAY. I'm trying to deal. No heavenly bed. OH MY GOD - what is a diva to do.


I hauled mom out of the hotel and we proceed to do a two mile march toward the Ponte Vecchio which is a bridge lined with jewelry and other shops. I was so distraught I had to buy myself this
beautiful red leather jacket. After a sob story about how we were suffering and giving a couple of kisses on the cheek, we knocked off 60 euro for a nice bargain. Mom says that if I had let him touch the girls, he might of knocked of another 100. He certainly was eyeing them.

We strolled the two miles back. (I really didn't know that I was dragging mom on a four mile trek). The dogs were talking. We had two beers in the lobby, when the tour buses arrived. This place just sucks. Even the cartoon channel is in Italian. The lobby is supposed to be wifi. NOT.
Intermittent at best and they wont let you buy a computer card for the computers sitting in the middle of the lobby for more than an hour at 5 euros each. Can you say not even Holiday Inn. OKAY so we only have to sleep here.

We went next door for dinner (pizza) which was pretty good by the way, but to ruin the moment in comes 2 more 'yucky Americans' who demanded that the Italian waiter explain the entire menu to them in English. I thought I was going to die. Mom held me back from throwing the translator at them and cursing them for not even trying-no wonder they talk about us. We finished and left.

We are now killing time on the computer in the lobby so we don't have to go to our room.
Tomorrow we will be up for an all day tour to Pisa-and yes I'm making mom climb the thing.

Till tomorrow for the continuing saga of the Diva's do Italy