Arrival in Florence

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Arrival in Florence

Our flight from LAX to Paris was delayed an hour. When we got on the plane, we realized that they didn’t seat Aviva and I in aisle seats across from each other. We were across the plane from each other, and worse, we were in the last row, which meant we had less legroom, less seatback recline, and were right by the lavatories; seatguru would label these seats in red.

I sat next to a young (almost 30) woman from South Africa who was returning from spending two weeks with her boyfriend. They’ve known each other for five years, broke up once but couldn’t get to a clean break, so now they’re planning a life together in LA! I gave her one of my cards with my Twitter id, I hope she tries Twitter and follows me, I’d like to find out how things turn out for her; I’m certainly rooting for her! Having someone ot talk with on a 10 hour flight is a really good thing, although I also slept for a while, although very uncomfortably.

We had a snack in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris; I know I’m in Europe when I have a sandwich where the bread is at least as important as the content.

We boarded our flight to Florence (we had a three seat section to ourselves) and arrived without incident. Between the two flights I managed to read all of the latest issue of Wired (which had a great article on netbooks as a disruptive change in the low end of the laptop market, and a couple interesting pieces on the current financial crisis) and a lot of Seth Godin’s Tribes.

It took a long time for our bags to show up (this is Italy after all) and took a taxi to our hotel, the Hotel Calzaiuoli (so many vowels so few consonents). We’ve stayed here before and really like it (they remember us). We’ve stayed here before in 2007 and 2005. While we unpacked I tried to access the hotel wifi and failed; it turns out the hotel is full for this night and they put us in one of their four rooms without access (and its their smallest room) because we wanted to be at the back of the hotel where its quiet. So we’re changing rooms tomorrow.

The hotel facade

The hotel facade

We got cleaned up and headed out to walk around a bit. We stopped at an ATM and talked with a precocious little girl that liked shoes – my sandals left her briefly speechless.

We picked Coquinarius, a wine bar and eating establishment by the hotel. It was really good – I had raviolini filled with pear, which was just a perfect final meal for a day spent travelling. We finished up with some gelato and hit the sack.

Detail from the placemat at Coquinarius

Detail from the placemat at Coquinarius

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