Saturday, January 3, 2009

Florence Wrap-up

During the last few days of our trip we let the kids play with their new toys in the plazas, held dance parties in the apartment and did some last minute shopping/exploring. We also made a trip to the Pitti Palace, but I think everyone was pretty much burnt out on the museum thing. On our last day, we ended up doing some interesting side trips. I woke up early and caught a bus to a small town called Fiesole, about 8 Km outside of town. Fiesole is set high in the hills above Florence, with fantastic views below and is studded with beautiful Italian villas throughout the countryside. It feels very different from the hustle and bustle of Florence, but is amazingly close. The town is built on a site of both Roman and Etruscan ruins which are quite fascinating. The town was extremely quiet when I arrived and I was the first person to enter the historical sites. It was a cold, blustery day, and it felt kind of eerie to walk through the ruins without anyone around. It was also strange to have 2 museum curators follow me through the museum the whole time I was there (seems my profile or perhaps my goatee made them nervous). Basically, I blasted through the the town, harkening my post-college days of whirlwind "Let's Go" backpacking trips through Europe, where visits to towns would often be measured in hours. Not exactly a way to soak up the culture, but Fiesole was well worthwhile. I hustled back to the apartment, and we made our way to the train station to catch our flight from Pisa. In a similar manner, Suzanne and her mom decided to take the kids to the Leaning Tower (hey, you can't stop in Pisa without a trip to the Leaning Tower), while I babysat our 10 bags at the airport and made sure we cleared the weight limits for our @#$%^ luggage, which was loaded up with Christmas presents, purses, scarves and museum books. The kids came back from the Leaning Tower a bit disappointed, as I think we may have led them to believe that it was really about to fall down - they told me it wasn't really leaning all that much. Kids can be hard to please! Finally, after a day of buses, cabs, trains, planes and automobiles (in that order), we finally made it back to Javea - tired, but satisfied from a very good trip. Viva la adventura!!!

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