Thursday, 3 May 2012

Florence and silver linings

We had a wonderful day in Florence yesterday. Rob abandoned all dignity and careered around Florence on a Segway. He loved it, the big loser.

Meanwhile, Flossie, Freddie and I went to the big cathedral and hung out on the steps for a bit. Freddie was determined to jump the big queue and kept crawling under the barrier, much to the amusement of waiting tourists. Flossie decided that we had to go and have a look inside, so we joined the queue and managed to get in quite quickly. It is a magnificent space - the volume is extraordinary - but Floss liked the candles the best.

Florence is a city of queues, so we paid to jump the line to see David at the Accademia. Flossie was actually quite mesmerised by it, as was I. We sat down next to a lovely family from Florida - the mum was an art professor and her son was sketching David very competently. The dad looked after Freddie for me, while I tried to explain the Piety to Florence. 

We met up with Rob and walked towards the Arno. Freddie fell asleep, which allowed the three of us to have a relatively civilised lunch.

My beautiful Florence in Florence
Gnudi for lunch, very appropriate after visiting David

I then took the child-free baton and went off to the Uffizi for a small guided tour. It was truly wonderful, despite a 45 minute wait to get in. My guide was knowledgeable and animated - I probably learned 95% more than I would have done if I had gone round by myself. 

Rob, Freddie and Floss hung out in the main piazza, eating gelato and watching a clown. Flossie had her picture done by the (con) artists outside the Uffizi - I'm not sure it is much of a likeness.

We stopped for another gelato on the way back. We have avoided buying Freddie his own ice-cream, based on the mess and only-nine-months-old factors. But the lady in the gelato shop over-road us and presented him with his own scoop. There is no going back...

It was an hour and 45 mins to get back to Coreglia, so it was pretty late by the time we got home. I checked my email as I had asked the Venice hotel to arrange babysitting for us on Saturday night, Rob's birthday. Imagine, then, my surprise when I found a message from the hotel saying they had no booking for Bishop for Friday. Sure enough, Rob had booked for April, not May. I can't be too cross as I did exactly the same with the Rome accommodation - and that was for five nights, not three.

Anyway, all things happen for a reason and it has caused us to change our plans a little. Instead of driving across the country to Venice and then back to get to France, we have arranged with the truly wonderful owner of Paridiso to stay on until Tuesday next week and then go straight to France. There is still so much to do and see around here and it cuts down on the travel for the kids. And we get to enjoy this fabulous place and unbelievable view a bit longer. If you want somewhere to stay in Tuscany, please stay here.

View from the balcony this morning

In other news: we sold our house. Not quite for what we wanted, but it will do and simplifies life quite considerably. A big stress has lifted.

After this morning's auction excitement, we have just chilled here all day and went for a swim in the pool this afternoon.

Floss and the amazing pool-with-a-view

We will make the most of the sunny weather for the next few days and head to the coast tomorrow. It is nice to change down a gear and know we don't have to rush off anywhere for a few more days.

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