Wednesday, June 11, 2014


We traveled by train from Venice to Florence. It didn’t occur to me that we would be traveling through tunnels on our way. Lots of tunnels. Lots of LONG tunnels. Yikes. I hadn’t prepared myself for tunnels. The trains there go fast - really fast. We reached speeds between 125mph - 155mph!

During a time through one of the longest tunnels the train began slowing down considerably and I was a bit freaked out. I glanced over at the kids and they seemed fine (I would find out later that Jess was seriously freaked out too), so I tried to focus on something other than the fact that we were who knows how far under the ground, and wondering why in the world we would be slowing down!

When we arrived in Florence we needed to find a restroom - for which we had to pay for. :)   (I hadn’t used the restroom on the train but my sister did and her only comment was, “You need a wide base to use that bathroom.) HA!!! 

Ironically we wore our Nebraska shirts that day and a lady approached us and said she was from Colorado. Small world isn’t it? She was there for her son’s wedding. She kindly offered us her map of Florence which was very helpful as we had no idea where our apartment was. 
I called the manager of the apartment, Felipo, and he said it was a 5-8 minute walk from the train station. (Everyone tells you directions according to minutes.) Naturally it took us much much longer than 8 minutes. Italians must be speed walkers because there is no way we would have gotten there in 8 minutes even IF we knew where we were going. Every few blocks we would stop to look at the map and convince ourselves we were on the right track. One time a man came out of his store and asked us if we were lost. Yes! We are! We told him the address of the apartment and he said, “Oh that’s easy” and drew the route on the map. Thank you kind sir.

But even with the map and specific directions from the store owner it took us a while and I had to call Felipo again to make sure we were headed in the right direction. He really wasn’t all that helpful. He told us to find a church with a big red top on it and go on the other side of it. Those were his directions. Hmmmm...
Our apartment is the very top windows above the wooden door.

So here we are looking for a church with a red top and we see it like a mile away and we are all hoping we are on the 'correct' side of it.  As we approached the end of the block there is a man standing on the corner – just standing there watching us. Jess is leading the pack and she is a little unsure of this strange guy. Thankfully it was Felipo. We found the apartment! 
As we walk through the huge wooden door we are met with 4 flights of stairs. Of course! There are stairs everywhere in Italy! Ha! Once we trudged up the steep steps with our luggage we were pleasantly surprised by the apartment. It was much nicer than our Venice apartment. And no mold on the bathroom ceiling! And we have toilet paper! And our favorite part?? We have our own clothesline outside the bedroom window! So fun! We washed all the musty damp laundry we had carried from Venice and hung it on the clothesline. Maybe our clothes would finally get dry! 
The view from our apartment window.

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