Well, I'm back. I have seriously mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I missed my family like crazy, and am so very happy to have the arms of people I love wrapped around me again. On the other hand, I'm not in Italy. Enough said. :) I had an amazing time, and now have 35 gigs of pictures to sort through. Overwhelming to say the least. So, I'll take it one day at a time. Here is Day 1.
Florence: I only had one short evening in Florence. I wandered the streets alone, soaking it all in. Street vendors, endless gelato shops, and couples stopping in the middle of the street for a long, sensual kiss. Then I met the rest of the group I'd be spending 10 days with. I was the youngest by about 30 years, and they were all wonderful people. We had dinner together, then chased in a cab to try to catch the sunset on the top of St. Michaels Square (or something like that.) Totally worth the freezing wind to watch the progression of a vibrant sunset. Then we went back to the hotel, where I fell into an instant, exhausted sleep.