Monday, August 11, 2008

6/17/08 Tuesday ~ Travel Journal

I am apologizing ahead of time for how RANDOM this journal entry was! Sorry!


Florence, Italy

We arrived in Florence around 4:30pm yesterday. We navigated the bus system and made it to our camping. It's right on the side of a hill and has beautiful views. Everyone at check in was really nice and the camping is really great. Once we got to the tent area we were standing around trying to figure out where to pitch our tent and this girl from up the hill yells out something like "Trying to pitch your tent?" Her name is Maggie and his name is Caleb.

We tried to set our tent up next to theirs but the spot wasn't big enough. We moved on down the hill. (this was the view from our spot!)

After setting up out tent we took our food and sat with them in their campsite. They are such a fun couple! Maggie is so cute. Caleb was quiet at first but warmed up after an hour or so. They're from Melbourne, Australia. They want to get married but have heard a lot of negative things from people. She was asking me all about our wedding and what my dress looked like and Caleb just sat there and laughed and smiled at her. You can tell he adores her. She is so outgoing and bubbly and he's more reserved and quiet. They were both great to talk to and we hung out with them from 6pm-12am. We walked up to the piazza above the campground and watched the sunset over the city.

I just love their accents. What he is saying in this clip is that he read that 65% of Americans believe that Willie the groundskeeper from "The Simpsons". Just thinking about that is hilarious to me. Pardon my loud laughing. Isn't Maggie so cute??

Click Here if you can't see this video!

Maggie bartered with a purse seller - he was selling a bag she liked for 15EU and she ended up getting it for 3EU! They don't have a lot of money but they have fun and just live life! They were heading out this morning and we chatted for a couple hours before they left. The black hole effect seemed to take over though and we couldn't stop talking! Finally we all hugged for the third time and we sent them on their way. They are headed to Sienna, Italy. They're from Australia but are working odd jobs in the UK. They're only 21 and 23 and they decided to quit their jobs and travel for a bit so they're staying in Italy for a month. We told them about flickr because the laptop they have is about to die and all the pictures they took are on it.

Maggie wants to get married on 10/10/10 - It would be an awesome thing to go to their wedding! We LOVED hanging with them and felt an instant connection.

Oh yeah...She has eczema! Hers is all over her hands right now. It's gotten worse from working in bars and restaurants and it was all over her palms. I've never met anyone with it like I used to have.

We're sitting in the post office waiting for our turn to send a package home. our packs already feel lighter! We only have 12 days left. I am excited to see Jodie and everyone when we get home. Today is Jodie's birthday - he's 21 years old.

Florence seems like a really nice town We love how the streets are lined with the big stones instead of the smaller cobblestones as in Rome. The smaller ones are harder to walk on. The view from the piazza Michelangelo above our camp is awesome and the people have been really nice so far!

Today we've just been walking around Florence. We're a little burned on seeing the sites. There is a lot to see here and we're going to see a movie instead. Actually we saw this movie two weeks before we left on this trip. We're going to see Iron Man at 5:30pm. After the post office earlier, we went to a little sandwich shop that Caleb and Maggie suggested. It was VERY good.

I got a goat cheese and dried tomato and Jere got a prosciutto and garlic cheese sauce. We both got a second sandwich because we didn't have breakfast. They were all great. Walking through town there are landmarks at every corner, it seems. Duomo, Santo Spirito, Santa Croce, Medici Chapel and on and on. We were told by a guy on the start of our trip that Florence is a nasty dirty city and it hasn't been like that at all!

We went to see the David statue and saw the replica in a square on our way there but there was a long line at the actual David statue and Jere had a headache.

He's been suffering with sinus, sniffle headache stuff on this whole trip...He saw that there was a cinema in town so we're sitting here waiting for it to open. On the way here, we stopped for some gelato and it was SO good! I got lemon with mixed berry and Jere got creme caramel. Oh yeah - we made reservations for the train to Venice tomorrow. Somehow it was more expensive than the night train we also made reservations for! 30EU (to Venice) and 10EU (for the night train to Budapest)

Later on...
We were sitting outside the theatre when a man with white hair and light blue eyes came over and asked a couple of women next to us if they would be in Italy when voting came around in the USA. they were going to be back in the US by November and he asked us too. He asked where we were from and when Jere said "Kansas" the man said "KANSAS?!" He is from Topeka! he went to Topeka high (53'), Washburn for undergrad and KU for law school. His name is Al Hicks and he is retired here in Florence. Now that is just crazy! It's nice to chat with someone who knows our home :) He knows a guy named Larry Waters from Topeka but apparently it's not my cousin-in-law's relative (her last name was Waters).

This is a video of the theater...It was a real gem. My cinematography is also a gem.
Click Here to see this video if it doesn't work...I really need to figure this out!

We are out of the movie and sitting down to dinner at Restaurant Michelangelo. We just climbed back up a hill side of stairs that we took earlier to go into town. it actually wasn't as bad as it would have been at the beginning of our trip. I was winded at the end but my legs don't hurt. While in the movie there was an intermission and we chatted with a mother and her two kids who are living in Florence for two months. Her husband is a computer programmer and works in Delphi (not sure what that language of some sort) He owns his own business. We would love to do that!