Spending a Day Touring Florence, Italy

I was up at 7:30 AM with plans to catch the complimentary hotel shuttle into town at 8:30. I made it down for the complimentary continental breakfast figuring I would gulp down some carbs & protein to power my morning sightseeing. I headed to the front lot to catch the shuttle (which was there when I went to breakfast) only to find it had disappeared. Crap!

As it turns out, one must get a ticket from the front desk 10 minutes before departure. The 8:30 shuttle had checked-in full so it departed early. The next shuttle was at 9:30. I used the time to review my itinerary and triple-check the rough vicinity of the laundromat I planned to visit to do a load of clothes. Microsoft’s Local Live map service is decent for getting a lay of the land here in Florence but its ability to pinpoint actual street addresses outside the U.S. leaves a lot to be desired. At 9:10 I went back to the lobby. At 9:20 I had my ticket. The shuttle left at exactly 9:30. I love punctuality.

The 9:30 shuttle wasn’t full but a group of Australian chatterboxes sure made if feel that way. There were 3 couples all late-50s/early-60s going on and on and on. They are all from Melbourne, they hate British Airways (apparently one couple lost a bag) and they love Qantas (surprise!). One guy needs a hip replacement and two of the couples openly despise the 3rd because the 3rd apparently is well off and can afford to fly business class. The 3rd couple didn’t seem to care as they kept making a point about how comfortable their seats were and how they love that most long distance business class flights have seats that lie flat. That got the wife-of-the-guy-with-bum-hip’s goat, eliciting the classic “must be nice” response. I would paraphrase the 3rd couple’s response as follows: “Feel free to hate on us. You aren’t the first and you surely won’t be the last. We will be ok. We hope to have at least two more couples hating on us by summer’s end.” That’s what I’m talking about.

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