Friday, September 22, 2006

Firenze (Florence), Italy, Day 14

Today was a very long day. We had to get up early to be on the bus for the hour and a half drive into Firenze. Since our tour was forgotten about in the Princess Patter (which is delivered to us each night for the next day) we had no idea what time we were supposed to be down in the meeting spot. Well - in the morning, there was a letter in our mailbox, which had the time - which left us NO time for breakfast. This was fine for me, until we got into Firenze, because I had to take my antibiotics on an empty stomach, so I couldn’t eat for a bit anyhow. J & I got onto the bus, and the “tour” guide that was with us give us the history of Italy and the areas we were driving through, and pretty much didn’t shut up the entire drive there. This was okay for J, since he had his mp3 player with him, and had my dad’s earphones (that drown out outside noise) - he was set. I WANTED to read (Marley & Me) on the way there, but didn’t get a single word read - because our guide didn’t shut up a word.

Upon getting there, J & I had a “sampler” tour - which gave us the highlights of Firenze, and a bit of history, and then we had 3 hours on our own to do whatever we wanted, and then had to meet up with the bus to take us back to the pier.

During those 3 hours - J & I sat down and had a good italian lunch - I had some really delicious lasagna (over priced for the small portion that was served) and J had some spaghetti with meat sauce. The mixed salads were good too, as well as the bruschetta. J had a 1/4 of a liter of wine, which was the same price as a 1/4 of a glass of wine he had earlier while we were killing time. He couldn’t believe the rip off earlier on in the day - and my small glass of diet coke was the exact same price as his rediculously small glass of wine!

We finally made our way after lunch to this Yarn Shop that I had googled, the Beatrice Galli Yarn Shop. Unfortunately, she was closed between 1-2pm. It was 1:15pm when we arrived. So - I convinced my not so happy hubby (who got mad that I didn’t know that the yarn shop closed for lunch) to sit at the cafe right across the street and enjoy some Gelato (ice cream). We killed some time, and then there was like 10 minutes left, so we walked around the area for a little bit, and then got back to the yarn shop - and it was open! While I looked around for something that I wanted to buy (I came all this way - and got my hubby a tad annoyed - had to buy something - couldn’t walk out of there empty handed - not after all of that) and while I was looking, J made friends with the lady of the yarn shop. We learned that she’s been there since 1967, and she let J onto her balcony in the back, to take picutres of the scenery from her balcony (which you can see on her website, actually). She was such a nice lady, and J kept telling her good things about her shop - that people in North America talk about her yarn shop (to go visit it, etc…) and I think that totally made her day! I ended up buying some pretty variegated pink yarn, 100% wool - which I want to make a bag with. I haven’t decided if I will felt it or not - but I definitely have enough to make a bag, or maybe something else - we’ll see. I fell in love with the colours. I probably will get ripped off with the exchange rate - but I put it on my visa - so we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to think about it today - lol.

After that - we walked around a bit, sat down for a bit, people watched…. picked up the last few souvenirs that we needed for friends & family and J even got himself a belt! I really wanted to make sure that he brought something back home for himself. He’s bought himself almost NOTHING this trip - and I feel guilty - because I have picked up a few things for myself here and there… you know? I think all he’s gotten this entire trip is his new belt (which he’s really happy about - hasn’t gotten a new belt in… well, years….. - I’ve been with him 4 1/2 years and has not purchased a new belt in that time - that’s for sure) and a few items for keepsake - to put on display - from his travels (and that amounts to a total of 3 items)…. I guess men just aren’t into shopping - lol!

I even found this cutest train for baby S’s room - that I am in love with. I bought it off a street vendor - and he has all the alphabet so you tell him the name, and he puts it together for you. It’s a good thing that baby S’s name is short - not that the train was expensive, but a short name requires less space! I’ll have to photograph it - it’s just adorable!

The bus ride back wasn’t so bad at all - I got a little bit of reading done before passing out! Something about busses and falling asleep just make sense! We were back to the pier in no time at all.

This evening J and I had dinner with Jazzy & Dustin again, and that was really nice. We all get along great - it’s nice. I am glad that we made friends with another couple on the trip - it has made the trip just that much nicer. After dinner we all headed into the casino - for one last poker night. J said he’s going to miss the poker games - and that I believe! Tonight - poker was good to us. I had some pretty good hands, and I walked away from the table before J did - so that I could relax up in the room before our very early day tomorrow (18 hours of travelling just to get home - that’s going to be long!)

J eventually came back to the room - we went up for our last “late night” snack at the buffet - there wasn’t anything really I wanted so I came back and ordered room service (They have this delicious avocado vegetarian sandwich that comes with french fries - my latest craving (french fries!)) and J brought food down to the room. I ran back up to the bar (just as they were about to close) to get my final diet coke (wanted to take advantage of my coke card - coke was NOT free on the ship - 49.00$ + 15% gratuity for the two weeks for unlimited coke (FOR REAL!)).
J and I discovered that between the two of us - we made enough money to cover 3/4 of our room bill (which I just received - with all the purchases that we made to our room on board and to get on shore (Amsterdam was 75$US per person, Firenze today with the tour was 89$US per person, gratuity was added to each stateroom at 10$/person per day. That means, 140$ for 14 days x 2 = 280$ right there… that sort of thing - Gratuity goes to the wait staff in the dinning halls, and to the people who clean the rooms, I think that’s all).

I sat down with 40$ US to play poker (as the buy in was 30$) at the beginning of the trip, and tonight, when I cashed out - I walked out of the casino with 330$. I am VERY impressed with myself. J - I won’t even begin to tell you how much money he made - I am still in shock myself. Let’s just say - that our room bill was just over 1300$ US and we can cover pretty much 3/4 of it - if not more! (I have to work out the details with the exchange rate and what not - but yeah - it’s been a DAMN GOOD TRIP! And we’ve been lucky!

Well, I bid a farewell to the ship and the fun and the casino and the good memories we had on our honeymoon. It was worth it in the end, and I am glad J’s finally seen more than just Canada, the US and 2 cities in Mexico. He can now say he’s set foot in Europe as well as Africa! Check ya later - from Canada!

No comments: