“All those days chasing down a daydream
All those years living in a blur.”
“I See the Light” – Mandy Moore
Being in Italy for almost a week now has made me realize a few things. The first being that it’s a bad idea to commit to using song lyrics for blog post titles when I don’t really listen to the mainstream radio all that much. I do however listen to the Disney station on Pandora with Ellee, which is where I got tonight’s title (Thanks Rapunzel). Secondly, I’ve realized that even though we are very much on vacation, it’s somewhat impossible to completely forget about real life things that still need to get done. This is why after biking a good 3,000 feet uphill again, Jeremy spent some of the morning grading papers for the online class he teaches for Grace Bible College and I worked on planning out part of our Hangtime Children’s Christmas Celebration.
The final thing I learned is that when something is just so good, it’s not a bad thing to go back to it. Which is why we decided to send the rest of our day in Florence again. We had a few options to consider, but factoring in time and money (riding the train is a great way to get around, but depending on where you go, it can add up quickly) and desirability, we figured we couldn’t lose by spending another day in a city that we both loved.
Most of our day consisted of walking around and seeing a some memorable sites. Like this nice, big, pile of art. Granted, it looks kind of weird and I have no idea to this day what it is, but regardless, it’s a huge sculpture and quite artsy and when I pretend it’s a big pile of gelato, it’s a bit more appealing.
This time around, we revisited the beautiful church that we saw our first time around in Florence. While we wandered through the plaza we enjoyed the sounds of a violinist whose perfect notes made us feel as though we were walking around with the background music of some romantic Italian movie.
Afterwards, we wandered down the “Hall of Heroes” as Jeremy’s dubbed the outdoor hall of famous statues outside of the Uffizi museum.
And at the end of the night, we found ourselves back at the Mercato Centrale. We ate quite a few meals here and it became a quick favorite of ours. They had clean and free restrooms and a huge floor of pretty much any food we could imagine. We found our adventurous side this evening and first shared a plate of the most delicious gnocchi I’ve ever had. And yes, it was technically the only plate of gnocchi I’ve had, but I’m pretty sure it will go down in history as the absolute best.
Afterwards, we shared a bowl of this mussel and clam soup. The clams were tiny but oh so tender and the flavor was absolutely outstanding.
We topped off our mealtime fun with a cappuccino and chocolate croissant for Jeremy and a delicious little chocolate cake for me.
To be honest, we aren’t always the best at finding great food places in Italy. It’s hard to find which restaurants are good and affordable (for us) and then hard to know how they will charge you (sometimes there are different prices for eating in or taking away). Lots of times, we’ve just grabbed slices of pizza and called it a day. But I am proud to say that we truly loved our food adventures at Mercato Centrale and if you’re even in Florence, it’s an absolute must.
And that about sums up our day. Riding the train back to Montecatini, we both agreed that we were delighted to spend the day together again in Florence. I continue to be so thankful to be on this vacation with Jeremy. It was always our dream to be able to travel to Europe together, and I’m so thankful that we’ve been able to make it happen these past five years.