(We finally have internet!!!)
Throughout our time in Florence, Jamie and I couldn't find free Internet anywhere... Our Internet here in Rome is even worse. Jamie and I are currently in a Burger King near Vatican City, drooling over everyone else's fries, to connect (we're saving our appetite for Rick Steves' favourite Roman pizza. We did treat ourselves to Burger King beer though.. It's actually pretty good!) Anyway, I've been dying to post this blog since our second full day in Florence so here it finally is!! Hopefully we'll chat soon.. We miss you guys!
Everyone knows the movie Under the Tuscan Sun kinda sucked. Oh common, don't pretend you liked it. Anyone who said they liked it was obviously just paying attention to the scenery... Now that, I understand. Jamie and I were lucky enough to see it for ourselves!
Yesterday was our first full day in Florence, our first guided tour of the trip, and by far our most eventful day yet! Even though our Walkabout Tour through Tuscany was a bit pricey, I would do it again in a heart beat. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that Jamie and I caved and decided to reserve tickets for their Cinque Terre Walkabout Tour on Saturday too.
Yesterday started off bright n' early. I forced myself to get up at 5:30am by setting 12 alarms - each of them one minute apart. You might be thinking... isn't that a little excessive? You must not know my early morning self. I ended up pressing snooze until 6:00am. Pretty sure our neighbours hate me.
When we finally got to the tour's meeting spot, we were a good half hour early just in case we needed the extra few minutes.. you know, if tickets ended up being misplaced ... again. It gave us just enough time to pick up a little something for breakfast and make our way to the meeting point... Or so we thought. The only place even somewhat near us and open at the time was a McCafé... With a line up going out the door. According to our daily itinerary, the bus ride out to Siena, our tour's first stop, was a good hour or so and lunch wasn't until past Noon so we decided we'd take the chance and line up. Just before we were scheduled to depart, we found out we couldn't eat on the bus. Let's just say, I never saw Jamie wolf down a breakfast sandwich as fast as he did that morning. And his friends and family can tell you that, when time calls for it, that man can eat pretty damn fast.
Siena was really lovely. It was just as quaint as Florence but more quiet and relaxed. As we were walked through the city, from the city square to this beautiful Duomo, we listen to our tour guide through mini walkie-talkie type ear pieces.
It was definitely the kind of place I could see myself retiring to one day... Well it was, until we got to stop numero due, San Gimignano.
San Gimignano. My personal favourite stop of the entire tour. Not only because of the hour long wine tasting part, but also because of the view. Our guide brought us to a local farm where we enjoyed traditional and organic Tuscan pasta, procuito, salami and cheese made right there on the farm! Oh, and six glasses of wine. We could see stop number three, San Gimignano's main city, off in the distance from the farms terrace.
On the way to stop number three, we were all pretty chatty... Mostly because of all the wine. That's about the time we were convinced to do the Cinque Terre Walkabout Tour now that I think about it. Once in the city, still tipsy from all the wine, Jamie and I had dessert at one of the best gelato places and then tried to work off all those calories on a hike up to what was known as the best view in town. It was definitely the best view I'd seen.
The wine from lunch gave us a nice little buzz, but it also gave us really full bladders. Not so nice. Maybe it was our long bathroom break, or maybe we had just been admiring the San Gimignano view for far too long.. Because when we checked our watches, we had 4 minutes to meet back at the bus. Considering how much our tour guide stressed being on time, we decided to make a run for it. We got to where the bus dropped us off right on time... And no one was there. No bus. No tour guide. No tipsy crowd of tourists.
Suddenly I wasn't feeling that nice little buzz anymore.
Then in the back of my far more tipsy memory, I remembered our tour guide saying we would meet at the city's second entrance... at the other side of the city. We really made a run for it. On the way there, we bumped into the other tipsy couple on our bus. The ones who recommended the Cinque Terre tour. Thank god.
We finally made it to the bus and were only 6 mins late... That didn't stop the other tourists from boo-ing as we found our seats though. It was all in good fun.. I think.
The rest of the tour was great. We visited our final stop in Pisa, took many corny leaning tower pics and enjoyed the scenic route home. We had just enough time to pick up a pizza on the walk back to our hostel and watch a half episode of Game of Thrones before passing out considerably early.