Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Florence how I love thee!  By far the best part of our trip.

Upon arrival, Jamison went to get the key. The kids and I waited for him and they picked McDonalds. Seriously? We are surrounded by great Italian food and they pick this? I held out for the Italian.  I will say the McDonalds in Italy are something else - coffee bars and fresh pastries are in them.

Batman movie is out - where is Pops when we need him?

Since we have 5 people, finding a hotel room is a bit on the tricky side. Mainly we stick to AirB&B. This one was quite the adventure. We were in the middle of all the action in town, in a building that was 600 years old.  With that being said, it didn't heat up very well that evening. The kids beds were all smack in the middle of the kitchen. Welcome to European space. Did I mention that our words for the year were flexible and adaptable? As I stared at the old painted beams that night I kept repeating our mantra. Really, we weren't in the room that much, but when we were there, we all had a lot of togetherness.

One side of the breakfast table.

The other side of the table.

The Ceiling

Headed out to explore.

Our apartment was in the middle of town.  The streets were charming.
Everywhere we looked there were interesting carvings. When we went to purchase tickets, we turned around to find a carving of John the Baptist's beheading.  Lots of opportunity to talk about the Bible and yes, this indeed happen.  Look carefully and you will see his head on a platter.

As with every city, we headed into the Duomo.

The inside and the view from the top:

250 steps up --- a little over half way

what goes up, must come down.

Not only did we climb 463 stairs at the Duomo, we went next store and climbed another 412 stairs of the bell tower. My kids love to climb.

What amazed us in every city was the military presence.  We weren't sure if we should be scared or feel secure.  At the Duomo, Jamison had a bottle of water. They made him take a sip of it. Interesting way to see if it really was water.

We had lunch at the Mercato Centrale. I can't believe I didn't take a picture. It was really neat. The bottom floor you could shop for fresh ingredients and on the second floor were small restaurants to eat at.  I seriously could eat my way through this country.  Just outside were the street vendors...ahh Italian Leather!  Although we did hear from a street front store that the leather on the streets was not made in Italy. Still we loved wandering through it and exploring.

Pesto Pasta

Street Market

The David....there are no words. It was magnificent!  The detail in it was astonishing. We all sat and stared for several minutes.  When looking at the pictures, take note of the details, the veins in the hands, the definition of the muscles, it truly is as if you are looking at a person.  Truly a masterpiece.  When we walked to another room full of sculptures from the same era, it was truly a let down. We learned that Michelangelo was 26 years old when he started carving the marble and it took him 3 years to complete it.

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My little Pinocchios and their growing noses:

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