October 07, 2015

Florence for Mother's Day

One place Ted and I really wanted to visit before leaving Italy was Florence (or Firenze, as it's called there). We had spent one day there in 2013 but left feeling there would be plenty of time for a return visit to do justice to the many sites in this beautiful city. Bwahahaha!! Two years later we had to scramble and make an effort to get there, but it was worth it!

I wish I could say we went as a family, with our children soaking up all the culture and being excited to see museums bringing to life the pages and pictures from art and history studies. But. Only one of our offspring was interested, even eager, to go to Florence! So we agreed that Charis would accompany Ted and me on an overnight trip!

Tobin and Arden (who I had really hoped would choose to accompany us) stayed with a friend. When they insisted they really didn't want to go, we decided we would take them at their word and not risk bringing along potential whiners and feet-draggers, lol. Our friends Anna and Alaina Z agreed to stay with our younger kiddos in our temporary living facilities and earn some extra spending money. (And I think they truly earned it, lol.) It was SO nice to leave early in the morning to catch the train and NOT be lugging little ones, strollers, diapers, pull-ups, extra snacks, and so on! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!!!

Ahem. Here are Charis and I on the fast train as it's pulling out of downtown Naples. You can tell it's early because we're both wearing our glasses, lol.

We arrived mid-morning and found our hotel fairly easily, dumping off our bags so we could be free to begin sightseeing. First stop: the Academia to see The David!! And other great sculptures and some early instruments...very cool for us.

Then a yummy lunch...followed by the baptistery, the palace, crossing the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) to another palace, capped off by an amazing dinner and a well-earned good night of sleep, and Day 1 = done!


Ponte Vecchio

We will miss mozzarella di buffalo!!


Day 2! Another full day trying to squeeze in as much as possible before we needed to catch the train back to Naples. We started with the bell tower at the Duomo before the crowds got too crazy. As we made our way there, we discovered it was a marathon day...good thing we started early! How fun would it be to run the streets of Florence?! At 7 months pregnant, I wasn't too eager to try it out! Hard to believe I had run a marathon 7 months prior...I huffed and puffed my way to the half-way point (approximately) of the tower, then rested while Ted and Charis climbed the rest of the 402 stairs to the top!

Then off to the museums...first the Uffizi...

...the Bargello...

Dante's house...

San Marco...

...and finally, the basilica of Santa Maria.

And then a dash to the train station (after some more gelato and shopping), and we were able to crash on the ride back to Naples! We packed in a LOT in those two days and made some wonderful memories. What a way to spend Mother's Day! I'm so grateful for the time and experiences I got to share with Ted and Charis.