Florence and Impruneta

i cannot begin every post w OH MY GOSH but OH MY GOSH!  We left our hotel this morning at 10:30 for a supposed half hour ride into Florence.  Almost two hours later we were dropped off, walked to our meeting point and had 70 minutes to power shop and eat Florence style.  The secret when you are part of group travel is to go in small groups and go fast as soon as you are “let go”!  Neil and I took two girls and we were on a mission!!!!!!  We headed to a small store and bought sandwiches and used facilities and started the hunt!  Both girls and I bought dresses, leather items and gelato.  Neil bought an apple.  😀 Back to the square to meet our tour guides.  We split up into three groups which were much more manageable.  There are soo many of us.  We saw the beautiful doors of the Baptistry, the Duomo and bell tower, and then headed to the Academia to stand in line to see Michaelangelo’s David.  Stand in line, stand in line.  Believe it or not there was NO whining. Well, maybe by ME!  I don’t like weather or traffic issues!!!!!  It seems that cruise ship traffic has also invaded Florence.  Like Venice isn’t bad enough!  SCSS was in Florence ten years ago and I must say it has gotten so much more popular.  Don’t misunderstand, a beautiful city and everyone should see it but it really was crowded today.  Met back up in the square once again and this time had about 40 minutes.  A day without multiple gelatos is...

Montecatini

buon giorno!  I have no idea when you will receive this!  I have tried and tried to find Internet to share as much as possible.  To put things into perspective…..last nights hotel still uses rotary phones in several of our rooms.  Internet available but…… I wish you could hear what I’m hearing right now.  I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I heard this beautiful sound.  Our gentlemen singing Adoramus Te down below on the tree lined street.  Gorgeous!!!!  This hotel is so charming.  Again we are talking 3 star, but quaint, little box showers or tubs with handles, green shutters on the outside windows, windows that can actually open and want to be opened, all the food groups represented at breakfast, blood orange juice – delicious!   Getting ready to head to Florence, concert attire in hand.  Performance tonight at 9:15 pm at the monestery.  Today we will be taken on a walking tour that ends by seeing the David! OH MY GOSH!  I must confess the last time in Florence, I chose to stay and shop and have cappuccino than to see the David. How shallow of me!!!!!!  Must run. Buses here....

Pics

    Singing in Santa Margarita Ligure!  Such a treat. Check out those risers that were built in!  Perfect!  Such a beautiful day!...

Agip

do you know what agip is?  It’s supposed to be a fuel, rest stop.  When Scss stops there it is a shoppers haven. Magnum bars, toblerone, gummi whatever, fanta limone, selfie sticks (!), espresso, and more magnum bars!  We really do other things besides eat when we come over.   Heading into Florence from our bus ride day.  Imagine telling your kids that you have to go on a six and a half hour road trip.  Happy?  Maybe, maybe not?  This group always loves road trips.  Always someone to laugh with, always someone to talk with! adults and kids.   Tried to get wifi at the rest stop. No luck!!!!!  I’ll keep trying....

On the bus

Good Morning, Everyone, Bonjour! Buongiorno!  Heading to Italy!  So exciting.  Let’s go  back to yesterday.  We have such FILLED days I actually have to sit here and think about what we did!   Started the day with a wonderful breakfast.  If you ever come to Europe and want a relatively inexpensive accomodation and great breakfast check out the NOVOTEL chain.  Let’s see if I can list all that was available: chocolate bread, eggs, crepe like pancakes, four different cereals, chocolate bread, meats, cheeses, apricots, apples, bananas, prunes (!), breads, hard rolls, nutella, fruit preserves, chocolate bread, wonderful coffee, fruit juices, milk (it tastes better over here, too!) butter (the best!), and CHOCOLATE BREAD. I try to go around to all of our tables and make sure they try it here.  It really is unlike anything I have had in the States.  Everyone loves breakfast!   We then boarded the bus for a beautiful drive to EZE.  Google image EZE.  It looks just like the pictures.  A great HIKE up the hill and then dozens of little alley ways filled with beautiful flowers and of course souvenirs.  My mission was to find a “toilette” and in this very swank tourist destination you just didn’t see signs.  I came upon a Relais-Chateau hotel, went into the lobby and acted interested in the property and asked for a brochure and then asked to use their facilities.  I can tell you it was the nicest one ever!  :)  I heard the name Jack Nicholson a couple of times and assumed he was there.  It really was a BEAUTIFUL location.  Mission accomplished and then...