I have been writing a lot about our trip in my journal, but I won’t bore you all with my many pages of writing.  So here are a few highlights from our trip so far….  Casey is down for his afternoon nap so I have a bit of time before we go to dinner.  He seems to require about 12 hours of sleep a day while here.  I guess he isn’t used to so much activity! 

Arriving in Florence – after a long night of traveling with almost no sleep for me we arrived in Florence.  The seats on American have got to be the most uncomfortable seats I have ever sat in!  Casey wasn’t phased and slept almost the whole trip.  When we arrived in Florence we picked up our bags and headed out to find a cab.  The cab ride to the hotel was by far the scariest cab ride ever!  I was just glad we didn’t have to drive in this crazy city.  The city was not built to accomodate cars so the roads are tiny and packed with tourists, bikes and other obstacles.  Even if a road is “two lanes” it is just drive wherever you want.  The mopeds go anywhere they want!  We arrived at the hotel and had to walk up the stairs since the elevator was broken.  The hotel was very nice!  I really wanted to turn the AC off and open the window, but it was so loud!  Everything echoed and there was a ton of street noise so we shut the window.  We wondered the streets some to keep ourselves awake and get used to our surroundings.  Florence is full of people – trendy Italians and tourist.  You can really spot a tourist!  The skinny jeans have really caught on here and all the Italian women had skinny jeans, scarfs, big sunglasses and cute shoes.  We saw three brides while in Florence all from areas other than Italy (heard them speaking English).  We climbed 414 steps to the top of the bell tower, took a day trip to Pisa, saw the David, saw more renaissance art than you can ever imagine, toured several churches, ate pizza for lunch every day, took a nap every afternoon, had gelato at least once a day, walked what had to be at least 7 miles a day and spent more money than I care to know….  just on food!  I didn’t purchase anything in Florence because it seemed so expensive. 

We tried several times to find recommended restaurants, but got lost every time and ended up in the tourist trap restaurants that were good, but not authentic.  Of course the menus were also in English.  We did manage to find one of the recommended restaurants, but the menu was in Italian so I got out my menu reader.  Talk about stressful!  So many things to look up!  I managed to find a pasta and chicken dish.  I read some of the meat options to Casey and then gave him the book to look up the rest.  He looked up Trippe and declared it was beef tips.  So he ordered that…...  when it arrived it was not beef.  He ate about half of it, but I could tell it wasn’t good.  So I looked it up in the menu reader.  Casey apparently didn’t read the definition….  he saw beef tips it says “Beef tripe cut into strips”.  He stopped reading here and thought it was beef tips….  Tripe is “the stomach lining of veal or beef”.  He had it alla Florentina which means “veal tripe and veal foot stewed in herbal tomato sauce”.  Perhaps next time he will actually read the definition!!  That stomach lining cost about $10!!

More stories to come….  🙂