Time with the Hahns

Continuing on from the last post, after our days in Rome, the Hahns had to decide where their one night getaway was going to be. The decision was for them to take the fast train to Florence, and Thane and I and Sylas would drive there the next day. Getting on the internet to secure train tickets and lodging takes time at McDonald’s! The only place with reliable wi-fi in the marina is at McDonald’s, and fortunately there is plenty of space to sprawl out and spend time. McDonald’s in Italy does not smell like the McDonald’s in the US. We did not try anything, but they did have bread sticks for Sylas! A couple from Britain that we met later were quite grateful for McDonald’s for the same reasons people in the US like the food chain–reliable that the same product is produced and for the drive through aspect. They claim McDonald’s has the best coffee!

Now, on to Florence! We booked a spot right on the Arno River through AirBnB. Great way to book lodging. Amanda and Austin were able to guide us through the city and the beautiful squares including David watching over the government building. We did not know until later that the “real” statue of David is in the museum in another part of the city. (And if you haven’t read The Agony and the Ecstacy, it is a must before traveling to Florence! I had just started it and wished I had read more before attempting to understand all that Florence has to offer!) We loved the streets and the artists working at the Ubizza and in the square next to the Duomo. Amanda purchased a great piece of art to take home and I looked for much smaller pieces that can live on a boat for awhile!

From Florence we drove to Pisa and had the best calzones for a late lunch, and, of course pictures of us trying to hold up the structure. It was a bit of a long drive back to Ostia and the boat, but just in time for gelato!

Next, we took the boat down to Nettuno for a few days on the water. Because we had been here last year, we were able to show the Hahns around a bit. They visited the US cemetery located in the city while we went to the store for provisions. Sylas did well with sailing. Austin tried his best to catch a fish on the way down to Nettuno and the way back, but not luck–this time!

One last night in Porto di Roma marina–packing for the Hahns and a wonderful last look at our week together with a slideshow put together by Amanda and Austin. Liquid love for all of the wonderful time together. A wonderful gift.

The week was full of some firsts–especially for Sylas:
1. First time to Italy for the Hahns
2. First time on the sand and in the sea for Sylas
3. First time sailing a boat for Sylas!
4. First time up the mast for Austin!
5. First encounter with “cream” cones and gelato for Sylas.
6. First carousel ride for Sylas in Florence.
7. First nighttime visit by the Guardia di Finanza outside Nettuno–and 12 hours later–and 12 hours after that~! (They were checking to make sure we were not smuggling in whiskey and cigarettes!)
8. First Konopizza for all of us!
9. First wonderful trip with now that Amanda and Austin have Sylas!

Ciao!
Brenda

Sylas and his breadstick!

Sylas's first time at the beach!

Gelato? Yes! Everyday!

Austin the fisherman!

Sylas' very own cream cone! He loved every bit!

The first carousel ride in Florence!

David, symbol of Florence!

Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence on the Arno River near our apartment.

Outside the apartment door in Florence! Ready to shop for some art!

Sylas in the care of his grandparents on a boat!

Konopizza! Just what it says! Pizza in a cone!

Two cuties on Asylum

So sweet! Sylas after his nap in the V-berth!

Sylas at the wheel! It won't be long :-)

They tried their best! In Pisa

Art purchase accomplished in Florence!

Austin's view from the top of the mast!

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