Day 1: The longest Italian Day

After nearly 30 hours without much sleep, or none if your name is Cindy, we are finally throwing in the towel at 7:30pm local time and heading to bed. That's right, the same bedtime as our 4 year old. In fact, Cindy is sawing logs as I write.

Yesterday at 3:45pm Tracy's mom picked us up for the airport. Who's Tracy and why is her mom picking us up you ask? Reasonable question. Tracy and Alex are good friends of ours who we met shortly after moving to Fort Mill/Baxter 13 years ago. They are our travel mates on this adventure, more like tour guides and Italy experts, who, like Cindy and I, are celebrating their 15 years of marriage and both celebrating milestone birthdays this year. In fact, Tracy celebrates hers on this trip! Cindy and Tracy were in cahoots to sneakily make reservations on a 5 night Backroads cycling trip. In the middle of our travels to Italy we will ride bikes from town to town with a full support van and crew. A dream vacation. Before taking this bike trip we will explore Florence and after we will spend time in Lake Como and Rome. Aside from the downside of being away from the kids for many days, it is the trip of a lifetime (so far)!

I will do my best each day to post some pics and write a few highlights and observations from the day.

Highlights and Observations:

  • Firenze (Florence) is cool. The Duomo, even cooler.


  • Old people on planes are a lot like children. Loud and fidgety.
  • Riding 1st class on the fast trains in Italy is swank (and FAST – like 150mph fast!)


  • Average Italian food in Italy is better than the best in the US
  • I don't know much Italian and as a result end up overusing “grazie”, “prego” and “ciao.”
  • The best thing the US has done in the last 10 years is outlaw smoking in restaurants.
  • The streets/buildings are very, very old (cool) and the whole place looks like the back drop for a movie.
  • You don't see many overweight Italians.

Click here for a slideshow of day 1.5.


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