TRAVEL THERE: FLORENCE, THE HARD WAY
“Mommy, I’m not having any fun anymore!” That’s what I felt like saying, only my mommy wasn’t there. In fact, I lost her several years ago. I thought she’d be so pleased I was getting to visit Florence, but I’d gotten to the point where all really wanted to do was hang out at the pool.
Remember way back at the Boboli Gardens when everyone was hungry and little grumpy. Yeah, well, we’ve been stomping all over the place since then. We’re all drenched in sweat and lots more hungry than we were on the other side of Ponte Vecchio.
Guide lady kept trudging ahead of us, complaining about the heat and waving herself with her “12” sign. The shore excursion I’d been so excited about had turned into a march through Hades. We’re trudging around all these teeny tiny backstreets, sweating like pigs and trying to ignore the grumbling in our stomachs. I’m still mad I didn’t get to see the Boboli Gardens. If we’d gotten lost in this maze, I think we’d still be there. Things were not pretty.
Piazza Santa Croce
Then suddenly we were in familiar surroundings. We were near the spot where the bus had let us off. Sitting at my desk, looking at a map of Florence, I can track the places we went that day. What I can’t figure out is how the guide turned it into such a miserable hike. It’s only about 300 yards from the Piazza della Signoria to the Piazza di Santa Croce. Not much more between Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti. I’m telling you we walked a lot further than three football fields to get from Signoria to Santa Croce. It’s like when you’re in Vegas and you can see the sign for where you are going, so you decide to walk, only to find out it was miles away.
Guide lady cued us up in front of a trattoria. We filed inside and obediently sat where we were told. Finally, we had gotten a break. The food was good. Fresh pasta, a pork dish, potatoes and wine in a wine glass that kept getting filled. For dessert we got panna cotta. Some were disappointed, because tiramisu had been promised, but not being a fan of coffee, panna cotta suited me just fine.
With an attitude adjusted by copious glasses of wine, I was ready to make the most of the rest of my day in Florence. I probably should have visited Santa Croce, but we’d passed a Pinocchio store on our way to the restaurant and several wanted to visit.
According to guide lady, there was supposed to be some sort of demonstration at the galleria next to the trattoria before we boarded the bus. Like good little tourists we lined up for it. Again, I should have gone to Santa Croce, but when your hot and a little sleepy from wine, you don’t always make the best decisions. As you might have guessed, it was a thinly veiled shopping opportunity.
We were all ready to get back to the boat when we boarded the bus. We went back the same way we came and the view hadn’t gotten any better. If you go to Florence, I heartily recommend the Palazzo Pitti, but figure out another way to see it, besides taking the Renaissance Vacation.
Enjoying the Evening
Back on board, Bill and I cleaned up and went to the best entertainment we experienced on board the Edge, Hot Summer’s Night. It was a “Cirque de Soleil” style romp, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream. So very glad we caught it, but sad others missed it.
This was the evening some in our party were having dinner up on the Magic Carpet with the CEO, so it was just Bill, Deb and me, having dinner in the Cyprus Restaurant. Really a nice meal. The others enjoyed theirs, too, so it was a delicious meal for all of us.
After dinner, Bill and I headed down to the theater to see the Love and Marriage Game. Perhaps you remember that Bill and I were contestants in a similar game on the Vision of the Seas back in 2018. I was very glad to be on the other side of the stage this time. I still can’t believe we shared some of our secrets with an entire cruise ship. The Edge version was much the same. They must all go to the same school for this stuff.
Next it was time for bed, because Monaco was the next day.