It feels like it was just the other day we walked through the amazing Keukenhof Flower Gardens in the Netherlands. Since we have been back, I have found myself repeatedly flashing back to moments and awesome experiences that we had while touring around Europe, one such experience was when we were in Florence.
We had been in Florence for a couple of days already and where just walking around taking it all in, it was cool and raining ( rain, the main theme of our trip) when we came across a shop. This shop specialized in custom stationary, which Lindsay loves as she makes cards and other stationary items herself. We entered through the small door, the shop keeper was working on some cards at the counter and had only us in his shop, as we looked around at some of the amazing works they made there, we came across a table in the back of the shop which was filled with a clear thick liquid with paint brushes and paint spread and spattered around it. I asked what it was and a smile came to the man’s face as he made his way back to the table. He described what it was to us in the table and what it was used for; it was a type of glue in which one spatters different paint colors on top after which he then runs many different tools through each making an effect on the way the colored spots swirl and blend on the glue solution.
He then demonstrated this to us dipping his paint brush in different colors and spattering them over the glue, and then running his tools through the solution making different patterns and designs with the paint. After this he laid a sheet of special paper gently over top making sure that it just rested over the whole of the paint design. He looked up smiled and then lifted the paper up, scraped off the excess glue, and showed us his creation with a look of pride on his face. It was one of those moments while traveling that you feel a type of connection with that person and how glad they are to share what they do and what makes them happy with others.
Times and experiences such as this are the ones I find, which I remember more vividly than visiting an ancient church or a museum, it’s the personal connections I think that make travel so fun and the reason one can never do enough.
B & L
We have officially done Rome and what a whirlwind. We couldn’t have crammed anymore into the 2.5 days. We had an awesome host Marys and got to see some amazing sites.
Arriving in Florence yesterday afternoon and the weather was a mix of sun, cloud and windy. We did just a little bit of walking (only about 8 km;)) including a walk up a very steep hill that promptly turned and we went down just as slow as going up (thanks to the speeding tiny cars and scooters on the one lane roadway that forced us into the “ditch”. But what an amazing city – Duomo (they weren’t kidding about the workout! 463 steps up a mix of spiralling, straight and very narrow corridors to the Cupola), shops and amazing sunset at the Ponte bridge, hand decorated artisan papers of Il Papiro (Lindsay was in her glory!!), Piaza de Michelangelo overlooking the city, and amazing multiple layer Lasagna, Bruschetta and Risotto for dinner.
Took a day trip to Pisa today to see the slightly leaning Tower and saw many more amazing things there! Lunch on a sidewalk cafe, the best caprese salad EVER, and back to Florence on a slightly slower train (one hour felt like 2 or 3…)
and then Gelato. Just can’t seem to get enough…Today for Bowen was caffe, and Limone for Lindsay (her new favorite).
Bought a few goodies tonight for dinner, minestrone rice soup, eggplant lasagne, artichoke & brocolli salad, tomato, olive and mozzarella salad. with wine of course.
We can’t say enough how lovely Florence is… one of our favorites so far.
stay tuned….. Siena tomorrow….
It’s coming so fast, before we know it we will be abroad! I am so excited, and can’t wait to see many many things in such a short period of time in each place.
Packing for such a big journey is proving to be very daunting. What exactly does one pack, that won’t take too much room in our joint suitcase? And how to be fashionable and not look like a backpacker? Which hat to bring? Jeans or no jeans? I haven’t been a world traveler, and this trip will be much different than my experience in the Dominican or anywhere else for that matter. Guys have it so much easier, in my perspective.
All I know for sure is we will see many many wonderful, beautiful things, taste so many delicious foods, and walk the equivalent of a short marathon everyday. So bring on the gelato, gnocchi, wine, beer, pastries, and fresh seafood!
14 days left until we leave for Europe. It has been one year since we booked our flights, and started planning for our month long visit to Europe.
A quick over view of our trip has us starting off on Easter weekend in Rome and moving north through Florence and onto Venice. We will then be leaving Italy, where we fly for a quick visit to Ireland; starting and ending in Dublin we will hire a car and drive to the west coast and back. After this we fly to Paris before catching a train to Rotterdam, and staying over to visit Keukenhoff. Once we have had our fill of tulips we move north to Den overe and on to Germany and ending our trip in Denmark.
There’s a lot to see and do, even though a month seems like a long time this trip is going to be packed, for good or bad that is yet to be determined. I have been to Europe several times already and have put a lot of thought into sites and routes and timing. I know enough to not plan everyday to the hour or even to plan things for everyday, and to plan for the unexpected and to try and get lost once and a while. I have found that through the unexpected events that do occur they make for the best adventures and stories later on even though during that time it might not seem so awesome.
Counting down it has come so fast, I can’t wait to be back in Europe with my camera and this time with Lindsay. The food, culture, people, and the sites it’s just awesome. It should make for an excellent time and some great pictures, not just me doing the Gnome picture pose anymore.