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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 02, 2017

Just a quick one...

If any one wonders if I died after Chris left, I didn't but I did take the day off like I said I was going to do and I'm glad I did.  I only went out twice - once for lunch and then in the evening walked down one block and got a tiny little sandwich with one piece of meat in it and a bag of chips.  Oh, and my lunch was at one of the several restaurants lining the Santo Spirito piazza.  I ordered a bowl of their minestrone soup and I truly think it is probably the best soup I've ever eaten.  It was alarmingly good and an alarmingly large bowl of it and I about made myself sick eating it until I forced myself to stop.  Boy, it was good!  And the bowl was deep - narrow at the bottom and quite wide at the top, so it stayed hot all the way down.  Mmmmm.....

I got all my packing done Friday night (except for jammies) and got myself out of the hotel at 10 a.m. like I was supposed to.  I had the hotel man (Chris - he was a new one and not as personable as the others but okay - kind of looked like a slob) call me a taxi and I swear that guy drove all over Florence getting me to the new hotel.  Since I'm kind of familiar with Florence, I think he went around the back of the railroad station and then came around to the front to add some time and distance to the meter.  And then he dropped me off in the wrong spot.  And I saw the meter was reading 18 euros and I had 16 so I said to him (and he pretty much either really couldn't speak or understand English or acted like it) to stay with my luggage if he wanted while I went for money.  He pointed to my hand and grunted something so I showed him my sixteen euros, he took it out of my hand, got in the car and drove off.  It only took me probably 5 or so minutes to find my hotel but it wasn't a nice experience.

But I got checked in with and unpacked for the most part and here are pictures of the two most important things in my "suite". :)
 The bed...
The shower.

Went out wandering around and realized that the hotel I'm in now is in the same building as a hotel I stayed in on one of my last visits.  That time I reserved a room at a hotel across the street and something was wrong with the room so they moved me over to this building because they also owned a floor in it.  These are all hotels on one floor of multi-floor buildings.

Had some lunch while I was out, and ended up coming back through a huge construction zone with traffic rerouted every which way and it was very cold and windy - so windy that I checked to see what my weather on the phone said and it was 13mph and with the cold temperature, that was cold.

Incidentally, Chris and I were debating where we had shared a bistecca Fiorentina when he was here with me before and where the porcini mushrooms in a basket were.  So here are two pictures for that.

 This is where the basket of mushrooms sat - on the end of the counter (I almost took a picture of the corner table where the people had them bring the basket to the table and great discussions went on about selecting one).
 And this is where we ate the bistecca Fiorentina.  It was delicious as were the roasted potatoes that came with it.  I bet Chris and I had roasted potatoes at least three times this visit and maybe four.  Italians not only have a way with pasta - they have a way with roast potatoes
 As I was freezing to death, I realized I was walking past a bit of Fort Belvedere which made me look around a little and see that it must be really huge because just what I could see from where I was standing, it stretched on for a long stretch on each side of this picture.
 This doesn't really need any explanation does it?  And I realized after I went in here and sat down that I'd eaten in here before - probably the same visit where I stayed in this building because unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) it's right across the street from the hotel.
I came back upstairs, deciding that I wouldn't attempt figuring out a place to "see" today.  What I did do though was spend a lot of time with an old guidebook I had brought along because it had a number of interesting sounding museums in it which I had never heard of so I've got all the info on them in my phone (including addresses) and have marked them all on my map, and will see what I can do with that.   My pace will probably be slower than it was when I was with Chris, but that's all right.  And...I signed up for a cooking class!!

And this turned out not to be so quick after all but now I'm done and going to bed.  Buona sera!


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