Well, updating my blog while on this trip has turned out to be harder than I thought, and uploading pictures is just not gonna happen ): Unfortunately, internet connections in Italy are very unreliable…I had a lovely post about Rome all ready to go and I lost the connection. But, we’re now on the cruise and even though I’m on a big ship in the middle of the sea, I have a reliable internet connection…imagine that! Only bad thing though is that they won’t allow me to upload any pictures to this computer…so you’ll just have to wait till I get home to see them!
We’re about to get ready for our formal night, so I’ll make this brief…
We first visited Rome. It is a big city, the area where our hotel was reminded me of Manhattan. Lots of old buildings, traffic and tourists. We were able to do a lot of sight seeing including Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountains to name a few. It is amazing and truely humbling to see these things that were built hundreds and sometimes thousands of years ago when they didn’t even have machinery….and the structures are still standing today! We walked around Rome for most of our time there…I don’t think I’ve ever done so much walking in my life! But, it was definitely the best way to see the city. And believe me, we saw the entire city…on foot! We ate at some really good Italian restaurants, ate Gelato and drank Italian wine. Over all Rome was a very nice visit, just somewhat crowded and hot.
Our next stop was Florence/Tuscany. We arrived in Florence in the morning on Friday (my birthday!) and walked around the city for the first part of the day. Florence is so beautiful and Tuscany puts Napa Valley to shame. It is smaller than Rome, but much nicer. There are so many stores, it is a shoppers paradise. There are also a lot of ourdoor shops with rows and rows of genuine leather handbags….I was in heaven!!! I had to get one, of course, along with a leather belt. Apparantly Florence is th place to get leather. For the second half of the day, we rented a van and drove to the Chianti region of Tuscany. I have some really funny stories of our adventure driving it Italy (we actually got in a small accident…not our fault and everyone was okay) but I’ll post more about then later when I have more time. For now can I just say that Italian drivers are crazy!!! They make American drivers look like saints. We had an absolutely wonderful wine paring lunch at a winery. The wine was so delicious and we were able to buy some to take home. The winery also has acres of olive trees and produces their own olive oil. It was very good. After that we visited two other wineries and did more wine tasting before driving back to Florence and hitting up a fine dining restaurant to celebrate my birthday. The dinner was wonderful, but after living off of about 3 hours average of sleep per night since we arrived, my body finally called it quits. So, we headed back to the room and got our first full night of sleep.
Saturday morning we got up and hitched the high speed train to Venice where we went directly to board our cruise ship. Last night we had dinner and danced the night away at the disco. Anisa was having dance “wars” with some European guys…it was hilarious!! And then, of course, we had pizza around 3am before crashing.
Today was a day at sea and we spent the day working out, laying by the pool, playing bingo and doing a little gambling. It was a very nice relaxing day. Tonight is our formal night so everyone’s getting dressed up for our nice dinner. Not sure what all the night will entail, but I’m sure it will be fun whatever we end up doing!\
This trip has been so amazing and fun so far. Italy is so beautiful and the food is so good! I wish I could take it all home with me (: I’ve taken about 300 pictures already!
Tomorrow we stop at Athens, Greece which I am really looking forward to. For now, I’ve got to go start getting ready. Will post more later. Ciao!