Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Our last stop: Florence.  We were here a whole month, I had planned in day trips and a week trip to Rome at the end of our stay, though I sort of burnt out on some of those plans, more on that later.  In Florence we had a roommate, which was interesting.  She was actually Canadian, but had spent about ten years living in Florence.  She was nice, we sort of kept to ourselves.  Our apartment was in a fantastic spot, we were close to everything, within walking distance of the Duomo, restaurants, and the market.  The down side was that Florence was HOT while we were there, our room of course didn't have ac, but we didn't even have a fan.  Also, we had to keep our window closed at night, otherwise birds might fly in, which I was terrified of.  It doesn't cool down at night either.  Our apartment was so old fashioned, there were actual shutters on the window, and no screen, it was sort of perfect, it really added to the experience of living in Florence.

And that's what i love about Florence, how diverse it is, meaning no two buildings are the same, everything has a handmade feel to it.  The tiny sidewalks and streets have what look like hand made stones, and what looks like was hand placed.  Everything is so unique, so old.  We really didn't do all that much sightseeing, we saw the duomo, some cathedrals, the David (which was fantastic, even after the 40 minute wait) and the Uffizi gallery, which was all renaissance art (what else?  We were in the heart of the renaissance after all).  Other than that, we just lived, we walked the streets, got gelato, fresh fruits and veggies at the market.  We shopped, both at H&M and the huge Florence market which was full of good stuff.  We people watched, and most of all, we ate.  The best restaurants are in Italy, I'm sure of it.  How is the pasta so good?   It doesn't even make sense, it seems so effortless, but it is SO good.  Same goes with the pizza, it wasn't fancy, it was just simple, fresh ingredients.  I could go on, and let's just say it was hard to go back to american pasta and pizza after that.  However, in Seattle we found an AMAZING pizza place in Capital Hill that imitated Italian pizza to a perfection.  Now I miss that, this is how things work I suppose.  Still haven't had pasta anywhere as good as the pasta there.

I did start to get homesick, and I had a bout of anxiety while there, but looking back, it was a really great time.  Good food, long walks, and shopping.  Before I show you the photos, you should know that I had been there only a few days when my digital SLR camera broke.  What else broke?  My 35mm film camera only a couple days later.  I realized this on top of the Duomo, after climbing ALL those stairs, I had no way of recording the amazing view from the top.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper.  I realized that the roll kept advancing after way too many shots, I opened the back of the camera, only to find the film wasn't advancing that whole time.  Bummer.  So all I had left was a holga and a 35mm toy camera, not very reliable cameras.  We had no choice but to buy a cheap little digital camera.  The silver lining is that it had video, so we were able to get video of our trip, instead of just pictures.  Seth did most of the filming, and I put together a dinky little video of all the clips.

The few shots I was able to get on my SLR before it stopped working:
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The rest are from the little digital camera or one of my toy film cameras
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Sometimes when we wanted a snack, we would walk a block down from our apartment to a room full of vending machines.  For some reason, these chips were so good, they tasted kind of like lays, but way better.
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I can't remember where this was:
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Spent one day at the gardens of something something...forgetting a lot of things, sorry.
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Lovely details of Florence, hand painted signs, so cute.
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This is the meal that changed Seth's life forever. Gorgonzola cheese with honey and bread.  It was amazing, and Seth still talks about it.  I will say eating in Europe did change some of our eating habits, and honey with cheese?  That's become a staple with us.
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And lastly, a little video:

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