273.April 3

Firenze, Italy

I had the coldest, draftiest shower of all time and packed in our fully loaded dorm room, mostly with Americans, an Aussie, and a Brit. I ate Easter breakfast with some Americans, with wonderful coffee and little chocolate eggs.

At 09:36, Lars and I boarded the train to Genova. We had a short layover in Genova, which had many beautiful old cathedrals. We stopped in Pisa, saw the tower and the cathedral and had some pizza. The town was a tourist trap. The pizza was the only moderately cheap food here, we would have preferred a grocery store, but none were open. The area around the cathedral and the tower were jam-packed. We left Pisa at 16:46 and arrived in Firenze in fifty minutes.

I waited in line forever for a map of the city, and we stored our bags for the night and walked down to the cathedral square, and around everywhere. Here is what I wrote about it the next morning in a postcard to my sister Jill:

We arrived last night and found that the city's stone walls were foaming over with tourists and Italian Holiday makers. The sky was a dark brooding blue, spattered with shades from coal to creamy white. The river Arno reflected the arches on every bridge deep down along its bend, stretching from the snow capped mountain peaks of the Alps to the North through the blossoming hills of Tuscany. It was a breath full, too much for the eyes alone to ingest and savor. I held my breath over the bridges, for a childhood memory to take root in my mind and intertwine its branches with this night. Glory.

We took the night train into the North to the Austrian Alps, with a thirty minute layover, during which time we had no access to beverages of any kind, including clean water. We were terribly dry in the cold fresh air. We turned around and came back the same way to Firenze.


Wabasha, MN

We held auditions for "Kiss Me Kate" today, so the morning was spent gathering materials for that, though I did also watch a movie while I typed up my journal from March 2nd. We met Jacob at his house, and then went to Wabasha to the AmericInn. Then Rachel headed off to the church with her mother to practice for her solo on Easter morning at her mom's church. Jacob and I went to a liquor store and got some Bacardi and beer for later, then headed off to Ye Olde Triangle Pub for a black and tan, Finnegan's Ale, and then Irish Stew. Craig, Rachel and her mom showed up for dinner with us, and then the three of us went back to the AmericInn to swim in the pool for a few hours. We met a bartender with a few kids who told us that her tips were enough to justify not going back to school, in North Dakota, because they get gambling winnings. We played ball in the pool after they left, and are now off to bed after watching tv with all the 80's rock videos. Please, let it be over.