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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Florence by day...


Florence by day...

We planned on getting up early, but we had a difficult time sleeping—I because someone didn't want the air conditioner on, so I slept a little, then woke up hot and couldn't get back to sleep and Matthew said he thinks it was the large dinner finishing late along with the very chocolate desserts. We did make it to breakfast at the hotel with about 10 min. to spare. I don't think they were too happy we were still sitting there after 10, but what the hell..
We checked out and left our bags there, then went to the nearby stone museum, Peitre Dure, recommended by Judith as a good one. We were able to walk right in, plus buy tickets for David for 3:30. We enjoyed the stone works from the Medici home and other places and loved the great samples of agate from around the world. 

agate slices....malachite fireplace....inlaid stones
Before leaving San Vincenzo, I looked up bead stores in Florence and emailed a shop called Beaded Lily to say we'd be there and I was interested in talking to them about some mesh wire ribbon they sell. We tried to get there after the museum,but missed them by a few minutes, so had to kill 2 hours … first, checked out the yarn shop I'd written down, which turned out to be gone. The owners have retired and the man whose business is across the street took over her space as well. So now I'm forced to walk back across the Ponte Da'Vecchio
and buy leather gloves which are more than double what I paid 9 years ago. Damn Euro. Oh..they're the orange ones. Of course.

Then, since we still had over an hour left till we could meet Lily, we strolled over to another of Judith's recommendations—Rivoire for their famous hot chocolate. Matthew opted for a cold cappuccino and we shared fries—for a total of 19.50. yikes!   (I forgot to take a picture until we were nearly through.  YUM!)


We did get back to Lily's shop and met her and her husband Tim who makes glass beads. They're from NY and then Seattle and have lived in Florence for almost 10 years. We spent about 1 ½ hours with them, and Tim explained to Matthew how he makes the lampwork beads—he's had orders from Chanel twice for hundreds of the same bead, which becomes more like a production than a creative thing, but says it's so good for the business he loves getting those orders. I bought a bunch of the mesh ribbon in many colors in both thin and thick widths(not surprised, are you?) and will figure out how it will work with what I do later.
We finished there a little late, and David at the Accademia was quite a ways away (Beaded Lily is on the other side of the Pont Da'Vechhio, for those who know their way around), so we had to sprint our way there. We were given a set time with a 15-min. grace period... My feet were hurting and I was so hot when we finally got there, I was not standing in line for one minute, so walked right up to the head of the line and sweetly showed my tickets to the guy there and said we have reservations for that time. He opened up and let us through. Yea me!
When we got in, I headed for the benches at the far side of the room in view of David...Matthew took off to find the WC. I needed time—like about 30 min.--to sit and cool off, take my shoe off to see my first blister of the trip, roll up my pants, and do anything else I could to make myself more comfortable. As I sat there, people walked in by the droves and I smiled at them as if it was my job as the bench monitor. An Asian woman sat down next to me saying she needed to rest a bit too. Then a young also Asian couple came over and she sat and he left to wander. She had an audio she was listening to about the museum. The first woman and I started chatting, and she said she was from California....I asked where and she said Torrance. I told her I'm from No. CA, and she said she used to live in San Mateo! The young woman then turns to us and asks if we just said San Mateo....which is where she and her husband just bought their first house! So by now Matthew's back and there are 4 of us sitting on this bench from the same area. Both women turned out to be nurses, and the older one used to work at Carlmont Nursing Facility, just down from Ralston...
Before leaving Florence,we stopped for gelato, but even though it was recommended in one of our books—NOT Rick Steves—it was only fair. We got our stuff from the hotel and our car out of hock, then headed back to San Vincenzo. We had dinner here at the resort, then tried to get to bed relatively early.....

1 comment:

  1. A bunch of people from San Mateo must look highly uncivilized walking around these environs. It all looks so classic... I remain jealous!

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