Monday, April 4, 2016

Day Eight: Florence

Started out the day by sleeping in a bit. 

We started out later in the morning, which felt SO good. A long walk later we ended up at the restaurant Steve picked thanks to a recommendation from Christan and Shannon Kassoff -- The Golden View Open Bar (an amazing restaurant). Beautiful view and amazing food:

We continued to walk after lunch -- we stopped by a wonderful, family owned paper store (why did this one, out of all of the ones we've walked by, catch my eye?) -- it was amazing. We talked with a member of the family, Stefan, who showed us the technique of how they make the paper (he later gave me the piece he made as a gift). It was hard not to buy paper goods out of this artisan store -- so of course I did -- two "big" gifts for others, small gifts for more friends, none for myself. I may have to go back. It is called Il Papiro -- and it was beautiful in every corner of the store:

I was smiling as I walked away from the store, and realized as we were walking up to the Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace that something was wrong -- it was too quiet there -- Whoops-- they were closed! Oh no! We needed a change of plans.

We decided to go for a coffee (no gelato today!) -- Macchiato Caldo thank you very much!

Okay, new plan -- Go to the Synagogue, which is supposed to be fantastic!
Which, of course, it was. Beautiful, inside and out. Security getting in of course was tight -- as in France, there was a member of the military standing guard outside, for which I was grateful. We had to pass individually through a medal detector to get inside, without the benefit of a purse or cell phone (we had to place our bags in lockers). Here's some views from the outside:
I was very comfortable with this, and headed inside. No cameras or cell phones so I couldn't take a picture, but it was beautiful and peace-filled -- just what I needed for my day. I felt very prayer-filled in the sanctuary, and was grateful for the opportunity to be there. We bought post cards with images of the sanctuary for a remembrance, and left, collecting our bags out of the lockers. Steve said, "the key doesn't work" -- Donna asked him for them number on the outside tag of the key -- turned out he was trying to open the locker with the key for the townhouse.... Whoops -- we all got a good laugh (including Steve!) out of that adventure.

Back on the road, we headed over to the Piazzella Michelangelo -- and the church which was closed when we tried to go up it last week. It was open (yeah!). Steve, Donna and I took a taxi and Deb and Mike walked up (about the equivalent of 30 flights of stairs) -- given traffic we made it at the same time to the top (yes, really). Here are some pictures from the sanctuary:

And a few from the outside:

I have had a fascination during my walks for doors, doorknobs and interesting Windows -- here is a bit from today's journeys:

Steps today: 17,008 -- 6.54 miles. Feeling good! Walking with my cane in these uneven streets, no knee problems, but getting discounts in places we visit because of my cane. Who knew? Don't abuse it please -- I know I need it when I walk on this kind of uneven ground -- if you don't need a cane, please don't use it to get into places at a discount? It ruins it for those (like me) who do need it. Thank you!

Feeling tonight so close to my sisters and my family, and grateful for all the many blessings God has given me.

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