We planned a day on our own in Florence because we had the most incredible tour guide at our disposal. This gal:
The views along the way were incredible. Rolling green hills, beautiful brightly colored Tuscan houses, vineyards and orchards. I wish I'd taken more pictures just from the window of the train.
From the train station we headed straight to the Accademia museum to make sure we got in at our reservation time to see the David. Again, not sure how we would feel seeing this famous statue in person that we'd seen in pictures all our lives but Glenn and I were both really surprised at how impressed we were.
I didn't realize how tall it was. It's huge, and on a big pedestal as well. Every muscle and vein and curl of his hair is so detailed and life-like. I have no idea how someone could picture something so huge and detailed and then carve it out of marble without making any mistakes. It's flawless and so incredible.
Here's Auntie Mallo, telling the boys about how Michelangelo wanted to portray David in the moment when he knew he could win and capture the look of confidence and certainty on his face.
Finny, playing with his banana...in front of the David, while entertaining his sisters. Awesome.
After lunch we headed to the leather market and shopped for the afternoon.
Our crazy boys playing. In Florence.
The market was so fun. We all found some great treasures. My only regret was that I didn't find the perfect ornament. There were several that I passed but I wanted to see them all before deciding and then it got too late and we had to run back to the train without one. We did find several treasures though. Glenn got some amazing and really inexpensive ties, I found a purse and a cute green wallet, the boys got belts (to put their Gladiator scabbards on, of course!) and Mal got a great new bag. It was a very successful, if slightly longer than Glenn would have liked, shopping afternoon.
And it was so fun, as always, watching people love our kiddos. A couple of guys really adored Finn and ended up running around their booth having a sword fight. The shopkeeper grabbed a broom handle and they chased each other around, both totally entertained by each other and having a great time. It was hilarious and so cute.
Then absolutely everyone we passed had to say hi to the baby girls, who were their usual smiley selves eating up the attention.
We shopped until the very last minute. Stopping at a shoe store on our way out of town. Glenn got a couple of pair of Italian leather shoes for a song and we practically ran to the train station, buried in bags and shoe boxes, hauling two strollers and four kiddos. The train back was really full and we had more than a few Italians who were not pleased with our taking up so much room and having so much difficulty maneuvering our stroller when they needed to get around us but we tried our best. Sweet Finn had had it and was asleep most of the trip. Wearing his new belt, of course.
It was a beautiful and somewhat slower paced day in Florence. I'd go back there in a second. Everything was so beautiful and, except for the understandable grumpiness on the train, everyone was so kind and accommodating. One more successful day down!