jaina: (Default)
Well. Home at last. Getting to airport turned out to be not so bad, up at 3:30 am, caught waterbus a little after 4, at Piazzale Roma by 4:30. Bus ride to airport easy. Should have known all was going too well. When got to ticket counter, was informed by agent that flight coupon for Venice-Frankfurt flight was missing from ticket packet. Concluded that lousy Boston agent must have removed by mistake. In any event, had to buy new ticket from Venice to Frankfurt. 190 euro. Amy put it on her credit card, bless her heart. Will squeeze money out of Lufthansa now that am back in States.

Flights back quite uneventful. Amy bought a lot of books in Frankfurt airport. V. thankful to be home, if v. v. v. tired. At least lab got out way early so could relax. Mmmmm, sleeeeeeep...

And thus ends Amy and Caitlin's Excellent Italian Adventure.
jaina: (Default)
Well. Home at last. Getting to airport turned out to be not so bad, up at 3:30 am, caught waterbus a little after 4, at Piazzale Roma by 4:30. Bus ride to airport easy. Should have known all was going too well. When got to ticket counter, was informed by agent that flight coupon for Venice-Frankfurt flight was missing from ticket packet. Concluded that lousy Boston agent must have removed by mistake. In any event, had to buy new ticket from Venice to Frankfurt. 190 euro. Amy put it on her credit card, bless her heart. Will squeeze money out of Lufthansa now that am back in States.

Flights back quite uneventful. Amy bought a lot of books in Frankfurt airport. V. thankful to be home, if v. v. v. tired. At least lab got out way early so could relax. Mmmmm, sleeeeeeep...

And thus ends Amy and Caitlin's Excellent Italian Adventure.
jaina: (Default)
Awful awful awful night. Room has absolutely no soundproofing at all, could hear everything going on in street. People v. loud late into night, could not sleep. Lousy Easter vigil. Ended up crouched in hallway with blanket around shoulders where was discovered by nice but creepy B&B guy who put me in another room farther away from street. After had calmed down, returned to own room and was able to drift off, but was awakened several times during night by scary anxiety attacks of new Australian roommate.

Finally up at 8:30, but discovered was actually 9:30 as Italy sprung forward overnight. 10 am mass now out of the question. Alternately boiled and froze in shower (temperature control left something to be desired). Off to 11:30 mass at Santa Maria Formosa. Church full of tourists and old people, no music. Entertained self by seeing how much of service I could decipher.

After lunch, hit Internet cafe, then grabbed lunch. Hopped on waterbus to buy bus tix to airport for Mon. morning. Tix purchased successfully (go us!). Then got on #1 bus to Harvard Square, er, Lido, where got yummy gelato and walked on cold, foggy beach. V. nice, actually. Back to Venice on #1, picked up pizza & calzones. Then relaxed for a bit, followed by packing for trip home. Now, hopefully can get to sleep so will not be exhausted at start of tomorrow. Wish was not still light outside.

Can't wait to go home. Italy has been wonderful but I want my old bed back. Also eager to go someplace where understand language.
jaina: (Default)
Awful awful awful night. Room has absolutely no soundproofing at all, could hear everything going on in street. People v. loud late into night, could not sleep. Lousy Easter vigil. Ended up crouched in hallway with blanket around shoulders where was discovered by nice but creepy B&B guy who put me in another room farther away from street. After had calmed down, returned to own room and was able to drift off, but was awakened several times during night by scary anxiety attacks of new Australian roommate.

Finally up at 8:30, but discovered was actually 9:30 as Italy sprung forward overnight. 10 am mass now out of the question. Alternately boiled and froze in shower (temperature control left something to be desired). Off to 11:30 mass at Santa Maria Formosa. Church full of tourists and old people, no music. Entertained self by seeing how much of service I could decipher.

After lunch, hit Internet cafe, then grabbed lunch. Hopped on waterbus to buy bus tix to airport for Mon. morning. Tix purchased successfully (go us!). Then got on #1 bus to Harvard Square, er, Lido, where got yummy gelato and walked on cold, foggy beach. V. nice, actually. Back to Venice on #1, picked up pizza & calzones. Then relaxed for a bit, followed by packing for trip home. Now, hopefully can get to sleep so will not be exhausted at start of tomorrow. Wish was not still light outside.

Can't wait to go home. Italy has been wonderful but I want my old bed back. Also eager to go someplace where understand language.
jaina: (Default)
Happy, happy day! Filled with shopping, glass, and shopping for glass. Day did not start off so well, as was freezing cold during night and woke up several times. Clueless sorority girl roommates were up at 8 and showering/drying-moussing-spraying hair. Amy overheard them asking B&B guy how to get to Rialto. Um, it's a 2-minute walk away, and if you didn't know where it was, how did you find the B&B in the first place? Anyway.

Hopped on #82 waterbus and got off at Piazzle Roma to find out about transportation to airport. Unfortunately, 4 am public transit bus doesn't run on Monday, as is holiday, but a private company has bus that arrives at airport at 5:20 (leaves 5 am). This seemed OK, but we can't buy our tickets till Sunday (weirdness w/ timetable changes).

Then hopped #42 to take us to Murano, aka Glass Island. Trip long but lovely. Water so nice. Miss water. First visited glass museum (and got 1.50 euro off admission w/ ISIC cards! Finally, they're useful!) Glass v. pretty, some truly amazing stuff. Wandered island a bit poking around in various glass shops. Finally found some workshops where they were actually blowing glass. At first one, watched 2 guys make glass flowers (to be used in creation of some large piece). At second, saw vase and horse. Absolutely incredible to see horse born out of molten glass. Amy bought one to remind her of amazing creation process.

Returned to Venice proper by #5 waterbus (much faster). Off at San Zaccharias. Visited Piazza San Marco. Admired exterior or church, but line to see interior so long that decided not to bother. Looked for library as in Indiana Jones & Last Crusade but reality did not match fiction (v. disappointing). Also had inferior, overpriced gelato.

Now shopping time! (Hurray!) Walked up main shopping drag and in general direction of Rialto. Successfully purchased Venetian lace/linen for Amy and myself at 2 different stores (go us!). Found adorable glass Santa Claus ornament, promptly bought it. Spent tons of time trying on masks, Amy eventually bought 2. Also purchased (for self) mini Venetian mask, angel ornament, and small sculpted candle (watched candle guys make a couple of candles today!). Shopped, shopped, shopped. Happy. :) Also bought big chocolate Nestle egg w/ "sorprese" inside (turned out to be Monsters, Inc coin bag).

After resting at home a bit, went off to eat. Passed several places up as "too expensive" and finally stopped at Trattoria Bruno, where food was slightly less expensive. V. interesting experience, as one waiter was Harvard-stick-up-butt uptight and other was half-sketchy, half-funny older guy inordinately fascinated by my ponytail. Between him tugging on my hair and preparing fish for us at table (removing bones, head, etc), felt rather like six-year-old. Well, except for bottle of wine. (Nice, sparkling wine, left self rather giggly.) After paid for dinner, went home to B&B where crawled into toasty bed (not as cold tonight, in fact lovely weather today). Easter tomorrow!
jaina: (Default)
Happy, happy day! Filled with shopping, glass, and shopping for glass. Day did not start off so well, as was freezing cold during night and woke up several times. Clueless sorority girl roommates were up at 8 and showering/drying-moussing-spraying hair. Amy overheard them asking B&B guy how to get to Rialto. Um, it's a 2-minute walk away, and if you didn't know where it was, how did you find the B&B in the first place? Anyway.

Hopped on #82 waterbus and got off at Piazzle Roma to find out about transportation to airport. Unfortunately, 4 am public transit bus doesn't run on Monday, as is holiday, but a private company has bus that arrives at airport at 5:20 (leaves 5 am). This seemed OK, but we can't buy our tickets till Sunday (weirdness w/ timetable changes).

Then hopped #42 to take us to Murano, aka Glass Island. Trip long but lovely. Water so nice. Miss water. First visited glass museum (and got 1.50 euro off admission w/ ISIC cards! Finally, they're useful!) Glass v. pretty, some truly amazing stuff. Wandered island a bit poking around in various glass shops. Finally found some workshops where they were actually blowing glass. At first one, watched 2 guys make glass flowers (to be used in creation of some large piece). At second, saw vase and horse. Absolutely incredible to see horse born out of molten glass. Amy bought one to remind her of amazing creation process.

Returned to Venice proper by #5 waterbus (much faster). Off at San Zaccharias. Visited Piazza San Marco. Admired exterior or church, but line to see interior so long that decided not to bother. Looked for library as in Indiana Jones & Last Crusade but reality did not match fiction (v. disappointing). Also had inferior, overpriced gelato.

Now shopping time! (Hurray!) Walked up main shopping drag and in general direction of Rialto. Successfully purchased Venetian lace/linen for Amy and myself at 2 different stores (go us!). Found adorable glass Santa Claus ornament, promptly bought it. Spent tons of time trying on masks, Amy eventually bought 2. Also purchased (for self) mini Venetian mask, angel ornament, and small sculpted candle (watched candle guys make a couple of candles today!). Shopped, shopped, shopped. Happy. :) Also bought big chocolate Nestle egg w/ "sorprese" inside (turned out to be Monsters, Inc coin bag).

After resting at home a bit, went off to eat. Passed several places up as "too expensive" and finally stopped at Trattoria Bruno, where food was slightly less expensive. V. interesting experience, as one waiter was Harvard-stick-up-butt uptight and other was half-sketchy, half-funny older guy inordinately fascinated by my ponytail. Between him tugging on my hair and preparing fish for us at table (removing bones, head, etc), felt rather like six-year-old. Well, except for bottle of wine. (Nice, sparkling wine, left self rather giggly.) After paid for dinner, went home to B&B where crawled into toasty bed (not as cold tonight, in fact lovely weather today). Easter tomorrow!

kitty :)

Mar. 29th, 2002 10:51 am
jaina: (Default)
Bleah. Managed to get up at 8 to head to Amex by 9:15ish. Successfully changed $100 for Venice hotel (go me!). On way back, discovered Disney store by Duomo. They had Boo dolls!!!!! Apparently Monsters Inc has just come out in Italy. Waited 10 min for store to open, then rushed in and bought not one, but two pieces of Disney merchandise, both Boo. Amy bought a little Kitty. Then back to hotel to check out.

At train station by 11. Commandeered a table in self-serve area, bought overpriced food, waited and waited. Eurostar to Venice arrived right on time and we took off. Eurostar delightful, comfy, not all squished up. Trip was 3 hrs.

Bought 3-day waterbus (vaporetti) pass at train station. Arrived w/o incident at our B&B, run by hyper-nice Italian guys. Sharing our room with 2 other American girls who are studying abroad in Dublin. Typical sorority chicks, they're leaving tomorrow for Florence.

After dropping bags off at hotel, got on waterbus and rode around island. Nice ride if a bit chilly. Amy got splashed by a water taxi in the middle of a speech about how peaceful and relaxing the ride was.

Did a bit of window-shipping at Rialto on way back to hotel. Pressed arms to sides in glass shops to avoid shattering "things that cost more than your life." Bought pizza, then ran back to hotel as was getting v. cold. Planned tomorrow's itinerary and ate cookies and jam to finish dinne

kitty :)

Mar. 29th, 2002 10:51 am
jaina: (Default)
Bleah. Managed to get up at 8 to head to Amex by 9:15ish. Successfully changed $100 for Venice hotel (go me!). On way back, discovered Disney store by Duomo. They had Boo dolls!!!!! Apparently Monsters Inc has just come out in Italy. Waited 10 min for store to open, then rushed in and bought not one, but two pieces of Disney merchandise, both Boo. Amy bought a little Kitty. Then back to hotel to check out.

At train station by 11. Commandeered a table in self-serve area, bought overpriced food, waited and waited. Eurostar to Venice arrived right on time and we took off. Eurostar delightful, comfy, not all squished up. Trip was 3 hrs.

Bought 3-day waterbus (vaporetti) pass at train station. Arrived w/o incident at our B&B, run by hyper-nice Italian guys. Sharing our room with 2 other American girls who are studying abroad in Dublin. Typical sorority chicks, they're leaving tomorrow for Florence.

After dropping bags off at hotel, got on waterbus and rode around island. Nice ride if a bit chilly. Amy got splashed by a water taxi in the middle of a speech about how peaceful and relaxing the ride was.

Did a bit of window-shipping at Rialto on way back to hotel. Pressed arms to sides in glass shops to avoid shattering "things that cost more than your life." Bought pizza, then ran back to hotel as was getting v. cold. Planned tomorrow's itinerary and ate cookies and jam to finish dinne
jaina: (Default)
Pisa day! Awoke sorta earlyish, popped in at Internet cafe. Internet cafes in Europe beautiful things, as consist of rooms w/ only computers rather than Starbucks masquerading as place to phone home. Caught 11:35 train to Pisa w/ v. little trouble. A big wiggy when some girl dropped a bag on seat next to us, then left, but nothing came of it. Arrived in Pisa around 12:30.

Walked down to Tower & Duomo. Pisa nice, much quieter than Rome or Florence. Bought v. salty panini for lunch. Finally made it to Tower. Not so big as expected, but very leany, so did not feel too cheated. Tickets to climb all sold out, but as climb up St. Peter's quite enough for one vacation, no big disappointment.

Bought tix to Duomo & Baptistery. Duomo is church like...most other churches. They all blend together after awhile. Obviously will never be great church connoisseur. Baptistery v. cool, quite echo-y. Can sing harmony with self, though we did not try it. Amy clocked hangtime at 5 seconds, same as Lobby 7. Climbing up in Baptistery yielded nice view of Duomo and Tower. "From up here you all look like tiny ants..."

Took cheesy touristy "Look, I'm holding up the Tower of Pisa" pix, then dodged making-out couples and found nice piece of grass to sit on. Read for an hour in sun, but got chilly, so decided to head back. Not really much else to see in Pisa. Trained home w/ little incident. Italian countryside is pretty.

Stopped in at Internet cafe again. Message from Dad-- the State Department has issued a terrorist alert for Americans in Italy, especially Florence, Milan, Venice, and Verona. Reminds me of then visited Jeff in Nov. and airplane crashed the day I flew home. Clearly, should not go on vacation as only invites disaster. Also, purse strap broke while on bridge crossing Arno in Pisa. That's what I get for taking brand-new bag on trip.

Planned to eat at Trattoria la Burrasca again, but discovered was closed on Thursdays. So visited nice supermarket again and picked up sandwich ingredients. Had nice dinner at home, finished off Chianti. Dubbed self Apprentice Lush. Long way to go before becoming Master though.

Must wake up early tomorrow to cash traveler's checks, then train to Venice at 12:38
jaina: (Default)
Pisa day! Awoke sorta earlyish, popped in at Internet cafe. Internet cafes in Europe beautiful things, as consist of rooms w/ only computers rather than Starbucks masquerading as place to phone home. Caught 11:35 train to Pisa w/ v. little trouble. A big wiggy when some girl dropped a bag on seat next to us, then left, but nothing came of it. Arrived in Pisa around 12:30.

Walked down to Tower & Duomo. Pisa nice, much quieter than Rome or Florence. Bought v. salty panini for lunch. Finally made it to Tower. Not so big as expected, but very leany, so did not feel too cheated. Tickets to climb all sold out, but as climb up St. Peter's quite enough for one vacation, no big disappointment.

Bought tix to Duomo & Baptistery. Duomo is church like...most other churches. They all blend together after awhile. Obviously will never be great church connoisseur. Baptistery v. cool, quite echo-y. Can sing harmony with self, though we did not try it. Amy clocked hangtime at 5 seconds, same as Lobby 7. Climbing up in Baptistery yielded nice view of Duomo and Tower. "From up here you all look like tiny ants..."

Took cheesy touristy "Look, I'm holding up the Tower of Pisa" pix, then dodged making-out couples and found nice piece of grass to sit on. Read for an hour in sun, but got chilly, so decided to head back. Not really much else to see in Pisa. Trained home w/ little incident. Italian countryside is pretty.

Stopped in at Internet cafe again. Message from Dad-- the State Department has issued a terrorist alert for Americans in Italy, especially Florence, Milan, Venice, and Verona. Reminds me of then visited Jeff in Nov. and airplane crashed the day I flew home. Clearly, should not go on vacation as only invites disaster. Also, purse strap broke while on bridge crossing Arno in Pisa. That's what I get for taking brand-new bag on trip.

Planned to eat at Trattoria la Burrasca again, but discovered was closed on Thursdays. So visited nice supermarket again and picked up sandwich ingredients. Had nice dinner at home, finished off Chianti. Dubbed self Apprentice Lush. Long way to go before becoming Master though.

Must wake up early tomorrow to cash traveler's checks, then train to Venice at 12:38
jaina: (Default)
Managed to wake up at 8 in time to get to Accademia at 10. Stopped at INternet cafe on way. So lovely to walk past huge line and go right in . At Accademia, liked David (v. naked) and Gallery of Slaves best. Other medieval/Renaissance paintings nice, but v. repetitive. Annunciation, Madonna & child, Crucifixion, lather, rinse, repeat.

Afterwards, stopped at wine ship so Amy could buy wine to take home. Bought 2 bottles, dropped off at hotel. Set off to wander city till Uffizi reservations at 4:30. Wandered v. east, nothing interesting, then back to central Florence where bought panini/pizza for lunch, also yummy Italian cookies/pastries. Shopped semi-aimlessly for a few hours, Amy bought stationery. Went up to Amex, bought tix to Pisa for side trip tomorrow. Had to deal with obnoxious loud American woman determined to act superior to all tourists in building. Lectured us on being "rude Americans who don't respect the rules of their host country" (because we sat down in line!), then proceeded to (v. loudly) take 3 different cell phone calls.

Off to Uffize, train tix in hand. Bizarre living statue (Egyptian) in plaza. Uffizi nice, v. big. Art art art. Learned much about saints, like Peter always with keys, Sebastian shot full of arrows, John the Baptist in camel-skin with staff, even as toddler. Able to translate most Italian titles to English. Go us!

Found nice small restaurant near Uffizi for dinner. Ravioli v. excellent. Also chicken, chocolate torte. Growing v. fond of Italian food. Able to find Santo Stefano for Verdi's Requiem with little trouble. Concert v. v. nice, but lasted till 11, and now v. sleepy. Must sleep, as Pisa trip tomorrow!
jaina: (Default)
Managed to wake up at 8 in time to get to Accademia at 10. Stopped at INternet cafe on way. So lovely to walk past huge line and go right in . At Accademia, liked David (v. naked) and Gallery of Slaves best. Other medieval/Renaissance paintings nice, but v. repetitive. Annunciation, Madonna & child, Crucifixion, lather, rinse, repeat.

Afterwards, stopped at wine ship so Amy could buy wine to take home. Bought 2 bottles, dropped off at hotel. Set off to wander city till Uffizi reservations at 4:30. Wandered v. east, nothing interesting, then back to central Florence where bought panini/pizza for lunch, also yummy Italian cookies/pastries. Shopped semi-aimlessly for a few hours, Amy bought stationery. Went up to Amex, bought tix to Pisa for side trip tomorrow. Had to deal with obnoxious loud American woman determined to act superior to all tourists in building. Lectured us on being "rude Americans who don't respect the rules of their host country" (because we sat down in line!), then proceeded to (v. loudly) take 3 different cell phone calls.

Off to Uffize, train tix in hand. Bizarre living statue (Egyptian) in plaza. Uffizi nice, v. big. Art art art. Learned much about saints, like Peter always with keys, Sebastian shot full of arrows, John the Baptist in camel-skin with staff, even as toddler. Able to translate most Italian titles to English. Go us!

Found nice small restaurant near Uffizi for dinner. Ravioli v. excellent. Also chicken, chocolate torte. Growing v. fond of Italian food. Able to find Santo Stefano for Verdi's Requiem with little trouble. Concert v. v. nice, but lasted till 11, and now v. sleepy. Must sleep, as Pisa trip tomorrow!
jaina: (Default)
**The Divine Secrets of Italian Line-Waiting: If there is open space ahead of you, fill it, even if other people stand between you and the space. If you don't, someone else will.**

Hm. Got up early, and by early I mean 9 am (only set alarm back 1 hour, go us!). Off to see how bad line at Accademia was. Ugh, super-bad, over 1 hr. Decided to reserve tix for tomorrow by phone for Accademia and Uffizi.

Walked down to Duomo, passed another card shop. Shop inexplicably populated by 3 women, no men. Are all lights on in Green Building? But Star Trek and Star Wars boosters all in English, so moved on.

Line rather long at Duomo, but seemed to be moving quickly. Got in line, inside church in under 10 min. Church v. pretty, much less overwhelming w/ more stained-glass and less frescoes. Stairs led down to crypt. Costs 2. 58 euro, but looked interesting, so entered. Crypt turned out to be v. cool with layers and artifacts from different eras. Well worth 2.58 euro.

Outside, contemplated climbing Giotti's tower, but costs money and no elevator, so went to Baptistery instead. Baptistery nice, v. cool shiny pictures on dome interior. Has 4 tracks showing scenes from Bible stories. Deciphered Creation & Flood (first track) by singing Children of Eden, Joseph (second track) by singing Lloyd Webber. Jesus (third track) already has 2 shows, so decided John the Baptist (fourth track) needs own musical, to be named "Baptize Me, Johnny!" or "Oh Look, She's Dancing Again." Amy thinks lack of happy ending (ie beheading of main character) could be a deterrent. Reply that many musicals lack happy ending, eg Cabaret. Amy counters that Cabaret not Bible story. Conceded the point.

Decided to reserve museum tix. Managed to buy Italian phone card, operate same, and make reservations with v. little trouble. Go me! Then wandered across river, obtaining panini for Amy and gelato for both (heaps of gelato necessary when choosing gelateria). Got crema for 3rd time, tasted neither like cake batter nor eggnog, instead more like plain sweet cream. V. good. Finished gelato at plaza of Pitti Palace, decided to visit Boboli Gardens. Gardens v. gorgeous, many winding paths, fountains, arbors, naked statuary. Also some clothed. Gardens v. peaceful. Pretended to live in Much Ado about Nothing, Jane Austen novel, and similar. Next headed for Palatine Museum and Royal Apartments in Pitti Palace. First part of museum all many paintings in huge rooms. Finally got to Royal Apartments, v. beautiful. Rooms amazingly sumptuous. Want to be rich Medici.

On way back, began shopping in earnest for leather wallet for Rogue. On Ponte Vecchio, incredibly, ran into Ken and Matt from MIT, known to Amy from Course 16 and to me from Spanish. They are on exchange program in Spain for semester and touring Europe (Amsterdam and Italy) on Easter break. Nice conversation with them. Amazing. Such a small world.

After poking noses in many shops, finally found perfect wallet at Junior leather shop. Hip hip hooray! Now to find market, get dinner supplies, and go home. Success! Found rather large supermarket close to home, bought foccaccia, fresh mozz, meat, yogurt, chocolate, plates & knives. Had feast of Italian sandwiches at hotel. Fresh mozz. incredible. Could eat entire hunk in one go. Silly maid-girl had disposed of toothbrush glasses, so must drink wine straight from bottle. Oh well, must all make sacrifices. Now sated, must go to bed as have 10 am Accademia reservation
jaina: (Default)
**The Divine Secrets of Italian Line-Waiting: If there is open space ahead of you, fill it, even if other people stand between you and the space. If you don't, someone else will.**

Hm. Got up early, and by early I mean 9 am (only set alarm back 1 hour, go us!). Off to see how bad line at Accademia was. Ugh, super-bad, over 1 hr. Decided to reserve tix for tomorrow by phone for Accademia and Uffizi.

Walked down to Duomo, passed another card shop. Shop inexplicably populated by 3 women, no men. Are all lights on in Green Building? But Star Trek and Star Wars boosters all in English, so moved on.

Line rather long at Duomo, but seemed to be moving quickly. Got in line, inside church in under 10 min. Church v. pretty, much less overwhelming w/ more stained-glass and less frescoes. Stairs led down to crypt. Costs 2. 58 euro, but looked interesting, so entered. Crypt turned out to be v. cool with layers and artifacts from different eras. Well worth 2.58 euro.

Outside, contemplated climbing Giotti's tower, but costs money and no elevator, so went to Baptistery instead. Baptistery nice, v. cool shiny pictures on dome interior. Has 4 tracks showing scenes from Bible stories. Deciphered Creation & Flood (first track) by singing Children of Eden, Joseph (second track) by singing Lloyd Webber. Jesus (third track) already has 2 shows, so decided John the Baptist (fourth track) needs own musical, to be named "Baptize Me, Johnny!" or "Oh Look, She's Dancing Again." Amy thinks lack of happy ending (ie beheading of main character) could be a deterrent. Reply that many musicals lack happy ending, eg Cabaret. Amy counters that Cabaret not Bible story. Conceded the point.

Decided to reserve museum tix. Managed to buy Italian phone card, operate same, and make reservations with v. little trouble. Go me! Then wandered across river, obtaining panini for Amy and gelato for both (heaps of gelato necessary when choosing gelateria). Got crema for 3rd time, tasted neither like cake batter nor eggnog, instead more like plain sweet cream. V. good. Finished gelato at plaza of Pitti Palace, decided to visit Boboli Gardens. Gardens v. gorgeous, many winding paths, fountains, arbors, naked statuary. Also some clothed. Gardens v. peaceful. Pretended to live in Much Ado about Nothing, Jane Austen novel, and similar. Next headed for Palatine Museum and Royal Apartments in Pitti Palace. First part of museum all many paintings in huge rooms. Finally got to Royal Apartments, v. beautiful. Rooms amazingly sumptuous. Want to be rich Medici.

On way back, began shopping in earnest for leather wallet for Rogue. On Ponte Vecchio, incredibly, ran into Ken and Matt from MIT, known to Amy from Course 16 and to me from Spanish. They are on exchange program in Spain for semester and touring Europe (Amsterdam and Italy) on Easter break. Nice conversation with them. Amazing. Such a small world.

After poking noses in many shops, finally found perfect wallet at Junior leather shop. Hip hip hooray! Now to find market, get dinner supplies, and go home. Success! Found rather large supermarket close to home, bought foccaccia, fresh mozz, meat, yogurt, chocolate, plates & knives. Had feast of Italian sandwiches at hotel. Fresh mozz. incredible. Could eat entire hunk in one go. Silly maid-girl had disposed of toothbrush glasses, so must drink wine straight from bottle. Oh well, must all make sacrifices. Now sated, must go to bed as have 10 am Accademia reservation
jaina: (Default)
Soggiorno Pezzati Daniela
Florence, Italy

Oy. Finally woke up at 10 am after resetting alarm for 9 and then 10. Is OK, since on vacation, but cannot become habit. Think got something in eye as eye started to hurt v. badly before bed last night. Tried to flush it out but no luck. Eye feels better this morning but still some pain. If pain gets worse, will have to cover eye w/ gauze pad and tape in manner of pirate. Arrrrrrrr.

Set off, finally, after noon. Obtained museum hours at Tourist Info. Everything closed Mon. so decided to wander around Florence aimlessly for rest of day. Then hit AmEx office, changed $300 in t-checks (yay, money). Also bought tix to Venice at office (Eurostar this time. Also checked departure time, 12:38 pm). Then began wandering city.

Kicked off steps in Piazza Vecchio by police lady with clearly nothing better to do. Wandered some more and found selves on Ponte Vecchio! Goggled at gaudy jewelry. Crossed, bridge, sat down on Piazza de Pitti. Decided best plan for today was just to wander so wandered back, poking noses in many stores. Started comparison-shopping for wallets for Rogue. Amy splurged on leather-bound diary and sealing-wax stamp in stationery store. After walking along river (v. crowded, situational awareness is key!), ended up at Santa Croce, with tombs of many super-famous people like Galileo and Machiavelli, also Ninja Turtle Michaelangelo. Lit a candle for Nana and Granddad. Many many old rich guys buried in floor of church. Stepped all over their tombs.

Next wandered in direction of box office to buy tix for Verdi's Requiem on Tue or Wed at some church. On way found gaming shop! By looking pathetic & girly got card-shop boy to get me 2 boosters of Lord of the Rings in Italian for Rogue. Opened one pakc for me, nothing good, bleah. At box office got 2 tix for Wed. Decided to wander back to hotel and find grocery store for breakfast tomorrow.

Amy decides we need wine. But have no bottle opener. Like magic, kitchenware store appears. Now need wine. Poof, wine store right ahead. Amy buys decent Chianti. Also should mention, eye miraculously stopped hurting 10 min after left Santa Croce, while walking on Via Maurizio Bufalini. Miracle in manner of terra-cotta taking in milk. But unable to find grocery store. After much wailing and rending of garments, find tiny store where purchase bread, cookies, yogurt, & Marzolino cheese. Transaction conducted completely in Italian. Go Amy! Now home to snack and await opening of Italian restaurants (crazy late-eaters). Have cookies and glass of wine each in plastic toothpaste cups, v. good.

Off to Trattoria la Burrasca at 7 pm, recommended by Rick Steves' guidebook. American family met on way in says food excellent. Fresh mozzarella antipasti = unbelievably good. First course meat tortellini & something starting with 'r', tasting rather like stuffing also v. good. Second course 1/2 chicken = nice. Also had nice bottle of white wine, a bit tipsy by end of meal. Quite sure British couple next to us thought us ugly Americans. Paid bill, then went in search of gelato. Finally found, thank God, got crema & straciatella. Then home, where now writing and to bed soon, must get up early.
jaina: (Default)
Soggiorno Pezzati Daniela
Florence, Italy

Oy. Finally woke up at 10 am after resetting alarm for 9 and then 10. Is OK, since on vacation, but cannot become habit. Think got something in eye as eye started to hurt v. badly before bed last night. Tried to flush it out but no luck. Eye feels better this morning but still some pain. If pain gets worse, will have to cover eye w/ gauze pad and tape in manner of pirate. Arrrrrrrr.

Set off, finally, after noon. Obtained museum hours at Tourist Info. Everything closed Mon. so decided to wander around Florence aimlessly for rest of day. Then hit AmEx office, changed $300 in t-checks (yay, money). Also bought tix to Venice at office (Eurostar this time. Also checked departure time, 12:38 pm). Then began wandering city.

Kicked off steps in Piazza Vecchio by police lady with clearly nothing better to do. Wandered some more and found selves on Ponte Vecchio! Goggled at gaudy jewelry. Crossed, bridge, sat down on Piazza de Pitti. Decided best plan for today was just to wander so wandered back, poking noses in many stores. Started comparison-shopping for wallets for Rogue. Amy splurged on leather-bound diary and sealing-wax stamp in stationery store. After walking along river (v. crowded, situational awareness is key!), ended up at Santa Croce, with tombs of many super-famous people like Galileo and Machiavelli, also Ninja Turtle Michaelangelo. Lit a candle for Nana and Granddad. Many many old rich guys buried in floor of church. Stepped all over their tombs.

Next wandered in direction of box office to buy tix for Verdi's Requiem on Tue or Wed at some church. On way found gaming shop! By looking pathetic & girly got card-shop boy to get me 2 boosters of Lord of the Rings in Italian for Rogue. Opened one pakc for me, nothing good, bleah. At box office got 2 tix for Wed. Decided to wander back to hotel and find grocery store for breakfast tomorrow.

Amy decides we need wine. But have no bottle opener. Like magic, kitchenware store appears. Now need wine. Poof, wine store right ahead. Amy buys decent Chianti. Also should mention, eye miraculously stopped hurting 10 min after left Santa Croce, while walking on Via Maurizio Bufalini. Miracle in manner of terra-cotta taking in milk. But unable to find grocery store. After much wailing and rending of garments, find tiny store where purchase bread, cookies, yogurt, & Marzolino cheese. Transaction conducted completely in Italian. Go Amy! Now home to snack and await opening of Italian restaurants (crazy late-eaters). Have cookies and glass of wine each in plastic toothpaste cups, v. good.

Off to Trattoria la Burrasca at 7 pm, recommended by Rick Steves' guidebook. American family met on way in says food excellent. Fresh mozzarella antipasti = unbelievably good. First course meat tortellini & something starting with 'r', tasting rather like stuffing also v. good. Second course 1/2 chicken = nice. Also had nice bottle of white wine, a bit tipsy by end of meal. Quite sure British couple next to us thought us ugly Americans. Paid bill, then went in search of gelato. Finally found, thank God, got crema & straciatella. Then home, where now writing and to bed soon, must get up early.
jaina: (Default)
Ugh. Lousy hostels. Fell asleep at midnight, awoken at 6 am by alarm of moron sleeping above Amy. Moron did not even have decency to wake up with alarm. Awoken again at 6:30 by old moron in other bunk of room falling out of bed. Unable to get back to sleep. Grrrrrrrrr. Got out of bed at 8, finally. Amy woke up at 6, too. Ate breakfast yogurt (yum!), bunkmate Josie offered us toast, also good. Josie invited us to English-speaking mass at St. Susanna, American Catholic church. Nice service, received palms as was Palm Sunday. Gospel a bit scary as read in dialogue format, disciples read by 5 people in manner of Borg. Peter had Irish accent. Amy & I stuck out like sore Protestant thumbs as did not go up for communion. Donuts & pastries after service-- go American traditions!

After service did 'historical tour' of St. Susanna's. Many graphic paintings of martyrs w/ heads chopped off. Went wandering after church. Saw men w/ foil thermal blankets, realized Rome Marathon was today. Still v. windy and cold, lousy marathon weather. Ended up at other End of Forums that did not see on Fri. because too tired. Street by ruins was end of Marathon, many runners. Big plaza had festival going on, all kinds of dance. Europeans trying to square-dance is just wrong, even wronger than Twinkies trying to square-dance.

Went up on big chariot-topped monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, crazy windy. Awful weather but gorgeous view. Took pics, went right back down. Wandered back to Beehive to get bags, ate at Termini cafeteria (stupid overpriced food). Gigantic scare when realized at 4:05 that train left at 4:10, not 4:40. Ran like mad, caught train (barely). Long train ride, delayed 70 min by 2 mechanical problem stops. Called Daniela at Florence hotel w/ cellphone of nice American in next seat so she would know we were late. Found out weird Rome protest yesterday was big demonstration by many political parties against proposed labor reforms.

Arrived in Florence OK. New city v. sketchy after dark, sure it will not be like that in daytime. Daniela v. nice, has cute baby. Grabbed my glasses & unzipped purse (baby, not Daniela). Room is perfect, cute, has table, fridge, and bath with shower, eve if shower is over toilet (v. weird, not sure how that will work). Did not want to venture outside for food so ate Amy's granola bars (v. good). Going to bed soon, v. tired & whole new city tomorrow!
jaina: (Default)
Ugh. Lousy hostels. Fell asleep at midnight, awoken at 6 am by alarm of moron sleeping above Amy. Moron did not even have decency to wake up with alarm. Awoken again at 6:30 by old moron in other bunk of room falling out of bed. Unable to get back to sleep. Grrrrrrrrr. Got out of bed at 8, finally. Amy woke up at 6, too. Ate breakfast yogurt (yum!), bunkmate Josie offered us toast, also good. Josie invited us to English-speaking mass at St. Susanna, American Catholic church. Nice service, received palms as was Palm Sunday. Gospel a bit scary as read in dialogue format, disciples read by 5 people in manner of Borg. Peter had Irish accent. Amy & I stuck out like sore Protestant thumbs as did not go up for communion. Donuts & pastries after service-- go American traditions!

After service did 'historical tour' of St. Susanna's. Many graphic paintings of martyrs w/ heads chopped off. Went wandering after church. Saw men w/ foil thermal blankets, realized Rome Marathon was today. Still v. windy and cold, lousy marathon weather. Ended up at other End of Forums that did not see on Fri. because too tired. Street by ruins was end of Marathon, many runners. Big plaza had festival going on, all kinds of dance. Europeans trying to square-dance is just wrong, even wronger than Twinkies trying to square-dance.

Went up on big chariot-topped monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, crazy windy. Awful weather but gorgeous view. Took pics, went right back down. Wandered back to Beehive to get bags, ate at Termini cafeteria (stupid overpriced food). Gigantic scare when realized at 4:05 that train left at 4:10, not 4:40. Ran like mad, caught train (barely). Long train ride, delayed 70 min by 2 mechanical problem stops. Called Daniela at Florence hotel w/ cellphone of nice American in next seat so she would know we were late. Found out weird Rome protest yesterday was big demonstration by many political parties against proposed labor reforms.

Arrived in Florence OK. New city v. sketchy after dark, sure it will not be like that in daytime. Daniela v. nice, has cute baby. Grabbed my glasses & unzipped purse (baby, not Daniela). Room is perfect, cute, has table, fridge, and bath with shower, eve if shower is over toilet (v. weird, not sure how that will work). Did not want to venture outside for food so ate Amy's granola bars (v. good). Going to bed soon, v. tired & whole new city tomorrow!
jaina: (Default)
The Beehive
Rome, Italy

Actually ended up going to bed at 7 pm, but was OK since woke up at 9:30-- over 14 hours sleep. (!!!!!) Blissful shower & brush teeth. Head out to change $$ and buy Florence tix. Got yummy ham & cheese panini on way to Termini, also Kinder egg (YAY!). Bought tix after 20 min spent in wrong line; Eurostar all sold out so bought slower train instead, leaves 4:40 pm Sunday. Headed off to Vatican on Metro. Metro v. crowded, ticket machines v. confusing. Windy like crazy all day, glad I wore cardigan. Also some kind of protest/demonstration parading thru Rome with red flags. Many police present.

St. Peter's plaza/basilica v. beautiful. Amy & I wonder how many places you can bury dead Pope? Got in line for what we thought was Sistine Chapel (labeled 'cupola'), turned out to be line for going up through dome! Amazing though we didn't know what we were in for. Stairs got crazier and crazier, but view totally worth it. Bought postcards at souveneir show on top of church. Since Sistine closed at 12:30, decided to walk through Rome. Walked along river and across bridge, then to Piazza Navona (bought gelato, 'crema' flavor tastes like cake batter). Then to Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. Stopped in some lovely churches along way. Got on Metro at Spagna (crazy crowded, packed like sardines), then at Termini grocery store bought pasta, cheese, tomato sauce, spices, Kinder chocolate, and yogurt for breakfast, all for less than 7 euro. Go us! Made dinner at Beehive, oven issues (forgot to take stove cover off), nice conversation w/ retired Texas couple. They shared their wine. Pasta excellent and filling. All done, relaxed, bedtime!
jaina: (Default)
The Beehive
Rome, Italy

Actually ended up going to bed at 7 pm, but was OK since woke up at 9:30-- over 14 hours sleep. (!!!!!) Blissful shower & brush teeth. Head out to change $$ and buy Florence tix. Got yummy ham & cheese panini on way to Termini, also Kinder egg (YAY!). Bought tix after 20 min spent in wrong line; Eurostar all sold out so bought slower train instead, leaves 4:40 pm Sunday. Headed off to Vatican on Metro. Metro v. crowded, ticket machines v. confusing. Windy like crazy all day, glad I wore cardigan. Also some kind of protest/demonstration parading thru Rome with red flags. Many police present.

St. Peter's plaza/basilica v. beautiful. Amy & I wonder how many places you can bury dead Pope? Got in line for what we thought was Sistine Chapel (labeled 'cupola'), turned out to be line for going up through dome! Amazing though we didn't know what we were in for. Stairs got crazier and crazier, but view totally worth it. Bought postcards at souveneir show on top of church. Since Sistine closed at 12:30, decided to walk through Rome. Walked along river and across bridge, then to Piazza Navona (bought gelato, 'crema' flavor tastes like cake batter). Then to Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. Stopped in some lovely churches along way. Got on Metro at Spagna (crazy crowded, packed like sardines), then at Termini grocery store bought pasta, cheese, tomato sauce, spices, Kinder chocolate, and yogurt for breakfast, all for less than 7 euro. Go us! Made dinner at Beehive, oven issues (forgot to take stove cover off), nice conversation w/ retired Texas couple. They shared their wine. Pasta excellent and filling. All done, relaxed, bedtime!

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