Vacations are a bitter-sweet time. You are aware that time is never going to be like this ‘all the time’ because it’s just financially impossible and also quite logistically impossible as I think one would run out of places to visit. I also find it strange that when you are home, you always want to be on vacation, and when you are vacation, you always want to be home. It’s a Catch 22 I quite haven’t figured out how to solve other than to just take it how it comes and enjoy it while it lasts.
With that said I think our Italy trip could have been shaved by at least 2 days. Our 4th day (in Florence) and our 8th day (in Rome) were both extremely lazy. Neither of us was motivated to do much and there wasn’t much we wanted to do because we had managed to cram in the stuff we were interested in during the first few days we had in each city. This trip was also much different than our 2004 trip to Paris, as the museums in Italy take about 30-45 minutes (but cost the same), where as in Paris a museum visit would be an entire day (2-3 hours + 2-3 hours recovery in nearest bar). Italy was also very different than France but I’m not sure if I hold Paris at a higher pedestal because it was my ‘first’ European trip or if maybe I just enjoyed it better. More research is needed…yes…more research indeed.
I will miss a lot of things from Italy though. The entire sit/stand conundrum in cafés and bars is always fun to get used to. We are old hat by it now (Paris trained us) but sometimes you really just want to SIT (especially after standing/walking for 4 hours) but you don’t want to pay the extra 2 euros to drink the same coffee or eat your sandwich in a chair. It’s weird…it wasn’t as bad in Rome because there was more public benches/ledges, just plain things to sit on (like 2000 + year old ruin scraps). But in Florence some days we really just wanted to sit and chill but couldn’t find such a spot…so our feet ached instead.
The people were also extremely nice and fun to interact with. Waiters were impressed that we attempted the Italian language and were always willing and exuberant to teach us more. For example, Royce went around for a few days saying “I am a reservation” instead of “I have a reservation”. He also kept telling everyone “Buona notte” (I’m going to bed) instead of “Buona sera” (good night). But you gotta give him props for his fast learning and ability to try…I think it made our trip more fun.
Most notably, we will miss the food. Oh so amazing, so fresh, so bad for me (but I didn’t gain a pound!). The coffee, the meats, the cheeses, the dairy products (out-of-this-world what do they feed those cows?!), and not to mention the pizza and pasta were all wonderful. I’m also a sucker for European coffee… there is just something different about it that I can’t quite put my finger on, but needless to say I was a bit disappointed that Café Burns didn’t serve café latte this morning to me as I headed to work.