Saturday, July 29, 2006

departure, arrival, first impressions

FINALLY, some pictures from Italy.

This first post just has a few silly pics from the trip over and the first afternoon there.

Sunset somewhere over the Atlantic, just off the US coast

Train from the Rome airport to the Rome train station

Our train from Rome to Florence.

At this point, we were tired, dirty, sweaty, a little cranky, and very ready to stop lugging around our bags (and we did pack lightly, but still...). Although we were all delighted to be in Rome, we just wanted to get to our hotel in Florence, so at this point we didn't go anywhere in Rome other than the train station. The ride from Rome to Florence, which was just under two hours, was gorgeous, however I may have been the only one to see it. Amy slept and my mom slept and read. And all the natives on the train apparently see that countryside enough that they aren't alll googly over it, like I was. And I was googly. It was beautiful...the hills, farms, winding roads, all of it.

Once we arrived in Florence, we checked into our hotel, which is just a couple blocks from the Santa Maria Novella train station (the central station in the city), and Amy and I soon after went back out in search of some legendary Italian espresso. We found some at this cafe one block from the hotel (and we could have also gotten it at any of the other 7 million espresso bars in Florence).

Here it is. Cappuccino and croissant. It was so good that I couldn't help but make noises while I drank. I think Amy pretended not to know me.

There is a little street between the hotel and this cafe, which--for reasons I cannot understand--my mom hated. It was a perfectly normal street and looked like most of the others around, but for some reason she said it gave her the creeps. We started calling it Mom's Alley:

Motorcycles and bikes everywhere:


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