So here I am, it's 6 am (thanks jet lag) and I have this burning need to start blogging about our wonderful trip/wedding/honeymoon to Italy. A country I've longed to run back to ever since we left in Fall 2004.
So yes, it was finally our time to go back, we were so beyond excited (or at least I was). The flights over were fine. I can't remember being more uncomfortable on an international flight though, just having the want to sleep but not being able to because of the "sitting position." We flew Air France and had our connecting flight to Florence in Paris. From now on we will try to avoid the Charles De Gaulle Airport like the plague. The place is just too huge and disorganized. You shouldn't have to sprint to your gate when you have an hour and fifteen minute layover. It was kind of ridiculous!
We spoke to the nicest Florentine on the way to Florence from Paris named Aldo. He was a professor who spoke five languages and was so flattered to hear that we were traveling all that way to get married in his hometown. We discussed all regions of Italy, the food of Florence, and much more. We exchanged information and he urged us to send us pictures of our wedding once we got back.
When we landed I had the biggest smile on my face...I just couldn't believe it. It was dusk in Florence and we grabbed our checked bag off of baggage claim (we can't believe it wasn't lost) and grabbed a cab to take us to the city center. Our apartment we had arranged for was on Via Chiara near Mercato Centrale. Once there, Catina, our landlord showed up soon after and showed us into her apartment that she rented out through homeaway.com (great site, go check it out)! The door to the place was beyond small.....and short (we called it our hobbit hole). Now the one room apartment (not including the bathroom) was very small but really it was all that we needed. And thanks to IKEA it was adorable and modern, just our style! We were both in love with the sink in the bathroom and vowed to have one like that in our first home :-) I'll post pics of the apartment later...
We washed our faces, changed clothes, and headed out into the city we had missed so much. It was weird for the first day and a half I have to admit. I didn't remember that the streets were so so narrow, and that cars came inches from people while passing by, and all of the graffiti, there just seemed to be more. Alex thinks we felt like this because when we were living there before with our study abroad program we held Florence in such a high regard and we had all this "fluff" in our lives.....hard to explain, I'm just throwing it out there.
My brother and his girlfriend had dinner with us that night at a great Trattoria on Via di Neri. We feasted on wine, Ribollita, Papa al Pomodoro, pizzas, fish, and of course unsalted Tuscan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (Alex's Italian version of chips and salsa). The meal was so great and we were glad we enjoyed such a feast on our very first night. Afterwards we walked to Vivoli (probably Florence's most famous gelateria) and enjoyed some authentic flavors. Soon after my parents arrived at their apartment and we set back to our apartment on via chiara for a noisy night's sleep! OY....living so close to the market for a week was tough, a lot of street noise.
For the upcoming posts, I'll try to summarize a little better. It's hard for me to do while describing something we're so passionate about :-)