first day in firenze

monday mornings rarely start well. because the car was having some trouble overheating ever since the autobahn incident, we got reuben to take a look at it. turned out to be something he couldn't really fix up himself without any tools, etc. so we decided to try to take it to a mechanic. we also decided to move campsites to something closer to town to a place that was recommended to scott and reuben. we finally found the whole in the wall shop and tried to explain what was wrong to the receptionist - the only person there who spoke any english. they said to come back later that day, so we checked into the campsite, set everything up and headed back. apparently the problem wasn't immediately obvious, so we left the car for them to work on overnight and the next day.

now it was on to the sites! we headed toward the cathedral of santa maria del fiore and as we were getting nearer we started to drive by some street markets. marie and i quickly jumped out of the car and let the boys park so we could oggle the streets and streets of goodies. there was leather everywhere!! and also piselli - mostly david's :)

after about as many ciao bellas as we could handle for the day, we made it to the duomo to meet scott and reuben. only reuben and i climbed the dome because marie is afraid of heights and scott had seen enough in rome. what seemed like 4000 steps later, we had a great view of the dome and then even farther up - the city. unfortunately, like pretty much every church in italy, it was packed with tourists, who really take the fun out of doing a lot of things with the pushy attitudes, loud voices and obligatory 'i was here' photos.

after such grueling exercise, i got my first real italian gelatto! despite it being outrageously expensive, mine was quite tasty, though certainly not the best i would have on the trip. as time was running out on our parking, we decided to head back to the campsite, grab some groceries and whip out the charcoal bbq for the first time.

marie and i wandered to the coop market and stocked up on cheese, veggies, sausages (successfully using the italian numbers we learned on he way down to order), bread and drinks. despite finding out later that bbq's weren't allowed at the campsite - we fired ours up.. slowly, but eventually we (and by we i mean marie because all i did was chop tomatoes) made an amazing sizzling meal... which we ate all by ourselves since the boys were busy drinking at the bar.

it was an interesting night trying to balance on a single air mattress with a drunk reuben next to me, but at least it was nice and warm!


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