Breath of Fresh Air

Today I was up early to meet the parents at their hotel, and head out to see more of the Florence sights. While we walked most of the city yesterday, there were still a few more sights to see and definitely a few more gelaterias to hit. The main event on the schedule today was a trip up to Piazza Michelangelo for the best view of the city. Touring Florence with my family these past few days brought me back to the many family vacations we have taken together over the years. Although I have been very fortunate to have visited over eight different countries and more than half the American states, I have never overly enjoyed family vacations. I was the child who pouted during museum tours, dragged my feet on the way to what seemed like hundreds of churches, and did not want to be there (wherever “there” was) the entire time. In my opinion vacations should be relaxing, and according to my recollection, family vacations packed with sight seeing and tours, were anything but relaxing. So with the family coming to Florence this weekend, I was fully prepared to revert back to “family vacation mode”, hitting sight after sight, walking until our feet were sore, and running on little sleep. Fortunately, this trip was much different. It being my parents third time in Florence and Laura’s second, we went easy on the sight seeing and made this weekend about enjoying being together on what is now my “home turf”. I must say, it was a breath of fresh air.

That being said, as opposed to rushing, we casually made our way to Piazza Michelangelo this morning to enjoy the view. Rather than a day walking miles around the city, and due to some rain, we enjoyed time hanging out in the hotel in the afternoon. And instead of making reservations at a popular restaurant, we went to a nearby bar when we got hungry for dinner – and stumbled upon the largest Italian cappuccinos I have seen! I must say it was a wonderful day with the family. I am so happy to have them here, seeing me at home in a foreign city.

And yet today included another incredible event! As we were enjoying lunch I got a text from my good friend Claire who is spending the semester in Rome – she was in Florence for the day! Claire and I have been friends since kindergarten. We went to school together, danced together, and were even in the same Indian Princess group when we were kids. After I received her text message this afternoon, we met her and her friends at the Uffizi Museum. After not being able to visit her in Rome after my school trip was cancelled due to snow, it was so good to see her in Florence!