September 1, 2009

First night in Florence

Mom and are I are settling into my beautiful apartment here in Florence in the Santa Croce neighborhood. It feels so surreal actually being here, and knowing that I am not leaving - at least for awhile. Its a much different emotion than when you check into a hotel, and you know your time is limited. I am not eager to take photos of every single nook & cranny because I know I will be able to enjoy them daily.

Our flight on Delta was a pleasant one, and little Abby did great on the plane. Only a few squeeks came out of her. It was interesting, because they did not weigh her in Atlanta, and I walked straight through Immigrations & Customs in Rome without any problem. They didn't even stop me to look at papers. We think its sort of funny that my cat is actually here illegally :)

We rented a car from Rome to drive through Tuscany on the way to Florence. Mom is incredible, she stayed up the entire flight, drove 4 hours to Florence and then was ready to get my apartment set up. I dont know how she does it with no sleep! I am truly blessed to have her here helping me get properly acquainted. Tuscany was as always beautiful, it will be exciting to visit more small hill towns during my stay. We saw a few we had not heard of before, so that will be on the list of discovery !

In no time, we meet up with the adorable Lorenzo at the Biblioteca Nazionale - very close to my apartment on Via Malenchini. He showed us the ropes of how the apartment worked, we paid up and he was off like a light on his red motorcycle. Too much fun. "Ciao Ciao" Kiss Kiss (on each cheek). You have to love Italians.

We got all my things arranged in the apartment and plan on visiting the Sant'Ambrogio Mercato tomorrow, along with a local grocery store and department store. I enjoyed walking down to the Ponte Santa Trinita last night to watch the sunset on my first night in Florence. It was truly magical. You sit back, look at the changing colors of the sky & the buildings, watch the rush of traffic as locals are going home from work, lovers kissing on the bridge, tourists taking photos - and then realize - "I live here".

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