Sunday, September 18, 2011

All the lonely people looking-back-at-me-from-18th-century-gilded-frames-Florence (part 2)

[to be read by Michael Caine]
Chapter 2
The Second Day

The next morning we woke up leisurely, but in good time to actually make another whirlwind adventure of Firenze. (ok, you can stop with the Michael Caine voice any time now... that was just supposed to be for the title...)  This all happens after we had laughed ourselves to sleep the night before and now were (quoting Kate here) "Ready to rise and greet the day!" (Yeah, I know there was too much enthusiasm in that sentence for anyone before noon.) But we managed to get packed up and out walking toward breakfast by 10.

Some espresso, croissants (cornetti) (<-- look at me learning multiple languages), and orange juice, we walked around for a little bit taking pictures, attempting to find a working ATM, and to make the first leather purchase of the day (looking hott, Molly).  Then we waited in line for the Uffizi Gallery.  Not only did this take an extensive amount of time, but we played a lot of "he's the one, but" games. Once in the gallery, I basically stood there with my mouth wide open and fanny pack and audio headset equipped tourists bustled around my statuesque form.

I'm talking hole-y Shiitake mushrooms. There are billions if not trillions of dollars worth of art in this museum. I think that if you collected all of the money made from selling the entirety of the Uffizi collection, you could pay off the US national debt. I don't know if that's actually true, but I'd be impressed. Hell, I'm already impressed. No need for those kinds of joking terms. So I grabbed a map and began my tour de force of the Uffizi.  For me, this means something like my nearly 3 hour stay didn't even scratch the surface of what I wanted to look at. I spent a long time doing some journaling homework for my Italian High Renaissance class (Why has no one come up with fun nicknames for these classes? I'm tired of typing this out every single time!) and that involved spending about an hour in front of one painting sketching and writing.  But there were something like 17,000 other paintings that were completely neglected! I feel terrible. So many paintings that just deserve a good long look instead of the guided tour required 5 minute stop. Just a string of half-attentive tourists shuffling in and out without a reluctant, passionate look back. It just makes you want to cry.

Anywayzies. I know not all of you will be as enthralled by the overwhelming presence of art as I was, but they eventually dragged me kicking and screaming out of the museum so that we could figure out what leather purchases we each needed to make before leaving the leather capital of the world.  This involved a walk across the Ponte Vecchio (I promise that I'll post some pictures tomorrow, it's getting late and this is getting long for me to do it now) and around some of the side streets.

Leather leather leather everywhere. Kate and Erica both bought beautiful purses/bags/begs (depending on your accent of choice) and Molly and I are jacket buddies.  And I'm just going to say, Cadi K is going to pee her pants when she sees my new leather jacket. Sending my love from Italy. It started at over 700 euros, and after much talk and trying on several other jackets, we worked it all down to 270 euros. Deal? Yes. Deal. It's a beautiful red and hand stitched.  I'll post pictures of this acquisition as soon as I have a good reason to wear it... like it's cooler than 80 degrees. So hopefully soon!

With our leather purchases in hand, we picked up our bags at the hostel and made our exhausted way back to the train station. This began our adventure back home. Train (lots of laughs and delusional commentary), waiting at Termini for the train to Trastevere, missing the announcement that said that the train would be at a different platform, attempting to find a bus, giving up and taking a taxi.  The taxi ride always means someone in the backseat is terrified that we're eventually going to squish a moped or confused tourist. Luckily for us, we managed to not kill anyone on that Mariocart track back home.

Home at last. And realizing that we don't have much food except for a frozen french fry/hotdog pizza. Yum?
Maybe for the next adventure.

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