262.April 14

Rome, Italy

I went to get breakfast (after my shower) down in the market area nearby. I bought chocolate croissants and a half loaf of pain. We left at 09:30 for the train. We ate breakfast on the train, which I prepared for them. We switched off these duties throughout the trip. When we reached Firenze, Becca inquired about a couchette train for the night, but it was too expensive. We checked on a pensione for her in Firenze, but also too expensive.

We stopped for cappuccino on the way to the cathedral. Becca and I climbed to the top (which means I have climbed the three largest cathedrals in the world: Rome, London, Florence). Then, after picking up some expensive gellato (Italian ice cream) cones, we went to the Uffizi (the Medici Offices) to wait in a half hour line. We saw large quantities of art and sculpture. It was really an exasperating time trying to see everything fully and quickly.

We met Lars and Frauke at 17:30, and went shopping for leathers. Becca bought a leather vest for 43£. We ate at the Aqua, a very nice restaurant where we had five sample pasta dishes. They were great, and conquered our pasta cravings. We went to the squares, passing the cathedral square, and then to the palace square, where "Room with a View" was filmed. We finished off on the river-bank, drinking two bottles of wine and singing for the ladies all the songs that we have sung over this trip.

We took Becca to the station, and the train she had planned on was only couchettes, which she didn't want to pay for because we had expensive ice cream cones for lunch (15,000 Lire for two) and had gone to the museum and the top of the cathedral. We had an excellent afternoon together, and it was hard to say good-bye. Lars and I missed our train. We got on the wrong one and sat on it for a while because of a platform mix-up. It was fun while it lasted. We took a cab to the station of Firenze and rode the train all night.


I rode to work with my father this morning, and we both left at noon for Caledonia together to sign our taxes. I didn't go back to work, after this, because it was nearly 14:00 when we returned home. I worked more on the hot tub, tried to hook up the new motor pump, and then decided to go back to the older one, because it worked and I don't want to mess up my system just now. Jill came over while I worked on printing save-the-date envelopes. We drank beer and when Rachel arrived, we had a salad with fresh strawberries that Jill picked up today. We stayed up way too late watching Mad Men.


As part of Rachel's "Passport to other Cultures" series at Giant's of the Earth, this month is Czechia month, and tonight was the kickoff. Pivo brewery was there, along with members of that family. Craig brought four excellent Czech inspired beers and a great talk about brewing. I fell in love with each of the beers, and feel like I'll have to go back to that brewery very soon. I brought our Mucha book and pillows to join with Svejek Soldier marionette and Rachel's Czech crystal necklace and earrings.