Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I realize it's been quite some time since I've blogged but in my defense I just spent the past 3 weeks directing a summer musical theatre conservatory with 24 kids with the end result being a performance of 2 shows, Aladdin and Beauty & the Beast. It was a LOT of work but also an incredibly great time!
So here we are... in Florence! The hotel was some what off the beaten path which was a bit of a downer... it's always nice to be right in the heart of the city however there was some kind of fashion show going on so not only were hotels pretty much booked but the prices for rooms in the city were insane! Our hotel room had MUCH to be desired... including space. We had no where to put our luggage. Granted we might as well have packed for 5 people but I digress... Luckily we were able to change rooms the next day to where we could at least have a bit more space.
There were some very amazing things about Florence... one is the shoes and did I luck out in getting the most amazing pair of heels! I simply love them!!! The next was food. Thanks to our good friend Rick Steves we went to a place that I imagine if it were nighttime would've been scary to walk to. Hidden in a narrow ally but a restaurant where all the locals hang out. We had the most amazing meal! A ministrone soup... cold... since it was hot outside. It was so good! Then the kicker and the meal that was the best thing I ate the entire trip was a gorgonzola chicken. Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I never finish a meal. Ever. I just don't eat all that much but when the food is this good... I don't stop eating. Not only did I finish mine but I had a few bites of mom's too since she got the same thing. I loved it so much that I asked the manager if the cook was single and if so could I propose to him? Well he wasn't single... but he was nice enough to come to our table and give us the recipe!!! I can't wait to try it once I get home in the next few weeks!!!
We managed to get into the Accademia Gallery where we met David... whose hands are abnormally large considering the size of... everything else. There was also time spent looking for leather wallets and things like that... but they were quite pushy and if there's one thing I hate... it's people who try and push me into buying their stuff. It's annoying. All in all... Florence was okay. The Duomo was beautiful of course... there's no question about that. But compared to Paris and Venice... I just wasn't into Florence. As we left we figured it was a pretty uneventful visit to Florence (minus my amazing shoe purchase) until...
Our cab driver must've already had a horrible day because when he picked us up at the hotel to take us to the train station he seemed pretty disgruntled. After putting our bags in the car and all of us in and ready to go he immediately raised the price on his meter. So naturally I looked at mom and said something along the lines of "I wonder why the price has already been raised". Well Grumpy not only gave us an explanation but he pulled over and yelled at us about it. Then continued to drive to the train station muttering to himself in Italian. I would like to point out that this man was not exactly what you would call attractive. Think of a slightly taller version of Danny Devito with a mix of Dick Cheney. ... yea... you understand now. So when this guy would intensely stare at women as he drove I would sit in the back seat and laugh. He definitely didn't hide it and it got to the point that while he was muttering under his breath I was muttering how he didn't have a chance in hell with these women.
We arrive at the train station and low and behold... the price for the cab ride went up... again. This goes on the list of things that I didn't like about Italy... they constantly took advantage of Americans... especially with cab rides. So we questioned him again and Grumpy decided to start yelling at us. He even called over one of his cab buddies to translate. Yelling is all fine and dandy but the second he stepped in my mothers face it was pretty much over. Now as we all know... there are universal signs and words that everyone understands. For instance the word "no" or waving to say hello or goodbye. I would venture to say that flipping the bird and using the f-bomb rank among them. So I'm using both of those lovely gestures towards Grumpy, he's yelling in Italian and doing all these crazy arm gestures and mom is telling him at in a very loud and authoritative voice to go commit a physical impossibility. It was an outstanding moment in mother/daughter history... tag teaming against this horrible excuse for a man because he over charged us. Not only that but all of the Florence train station was witness to this act. Turned heads were every where... and the big kicker... the part that makes this moment so monumental is that as we were walking away I looked back (just in case I had the opportunity to share with him my favorite birdy gesture again) and saw a nun. That's right folks. A nun had been witness to the entire event. Immediately I thought it might be a good idea to genuflect to her... but the moment past so I let it go. I like to think that the argument sounded a bit like this:
All in all, the food, the shoes and the mother/daughter tag team made Florence fun! Finally finally finally... we're off to the cruise!!!
PS-I saw this amazing saying in a bathroom stall at the Accademia... I just had to take a picture of it!