Florence, and welcome home chili

October 18, 2011 § 13 Comments

We’re ensconced back in Boston now, back amidst the crowded three-home Victorian buildings, the fall leaves grown burnished golden and sparse, and a distinct lack of cappuccinos everywhere you turn.  All it took was a 30 hour day, the heavily-accented services of AirFrance (who, by the way, offer Champagne as an aperitif, for free, in coach.  I think I need to fly with them more often, though Charles DeGaule is a catastrophe of an airport), and a wonderful and generous friend to pick us up at the airport.  Air travel still amazes me.

We slept hard and woke up early yesterday morning with piles of work and places to be already tapping us persistently on the shoulders.  But, it’s nice to be home.

However, I feel as if I would be remiss in my duty of being that random person who overshares about her life, and what she eats, if I didn’t at least tell you a little bit about our visit to Florence.  Florence, is a wondrous and inspiring place to visit because it has the best gelato in all of Italy.  Oh, and a little thing called the Renaissance started there.

Like many of the great old cities, Florence has an energetic, and slightly incongruous feeling, way of weaving together ancient history with hustley bustley, cell phone pervaded modern living.  People don’t necessarily live differently there because there are still buildings that are from the middle ages or statues and paintings that were the first to, oh say, rediscover perspective (I’m in awe every time I think about that.  Have been since European history with Mr. Jensen in the 11th grade).

And yet, having some of the very deepest foundations of the way we live now visible to you on every street corner must make some difference.

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The Cinque Terre and lots of focaccia

October 9, 2011 § 8 Comments

This has turned into quite a hiking vacation!  Which makes me happy (Joel’s knee is somewhat less happy, but it’s being a trooper).  This is partly due to some of the main paths being closed forcing us to either take the train or the back routes  to get some places, and choosing the back routes.  And partly due to a desire to get away from the throngiest throngs of tourists (I can’t even imagine what this place is like during peak tourist season!).

We’ve been exploring the Cinque Terre area, and though each day we’ve been hiking only 7-10 or so kilometers, the nature of the trails still makes it pretty strenuous.  The builders of the paths seem not to have believed in horizontal traveling, only vertical.  So, going for a walk is like going on a Stairmaster, except with scenery that’s about 571 million times more spectacular.

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