It has been brought to my attention that I've only posted about the first few days of our trip, and I've flaked on posting other stuff because... I'm behind on the trip posts. I'll start catching up soon. SRSLY.

Vacation Report: BMW Welt

WARNING: The following posts may contain any or all of the following: conspicuous consumption, wanton use of fossil fuels, gluttony, consumption of our fine animal friends, hating on Florence, Communist kitsch, dead white males, excessive speed, wicked-looking birds of prey, battlefields, childish fixations and more cobblestones than you can shake a stick at. If any or all of this troubles you, go read about someone else's vacation.

WARNING: Unless you're my friend on Flickr, you won't see any pictures of people, particularly the one with the shit-eating grin creepyanonymous was sporting when he first saw his new baby. E-mail me if you want to friend up. [ACK! Not true, apparently. Photos of people are now links, because Flickr can't/won't enforce permissions when you link directly to a photo download.]

Cut-itized for your protection.Collapse )

We're Home



We just got home last night -- I'll upload pictures today and start blogging the trip shortly.

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Death Meander

Florence is not a cafe town. Cafes are places where you can sit and rest a bit and linger over a beverage. Florence "cafes" serve "food" and want you to move your tourist ass as soon as possible so they can inflict more "food" on the next victim.

This is why I'm at an Internet Train for the second time today -- it's air-conditioned and I can rest my poor, strolling-abused feet until the Mephisto store opens.

Hrm, how about some nice things to say, instead of all the whining? (Most of my nice things to say will be accompanied by pretty pictures, which are still on my camera.) Um. The not-Florence parts of Tuscany are pretty awesome. Florence is nice before 9 AM, when it starts to heat up and the tourist hordes, having finished up their free continental breakfasts, are turned loose on the city. The Uffizi? Would be amazing even if they didn't put any art in it. creepyanonymous is at Moto GP right now and hopefully having fun (motorcyclists, come to Tuscany, because there are some damn amazing roads here). But 9 days have unfortunately been about 2 days too long.


On his last trip to Italy, creepyanonymous accidentally drove on the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, then vowed never to drive in an Italian city again.

Right now he's really, really wishing he'd kept that promise.

We've decamped from the villa outside of Florence where we've been staying with family for the past week. We're now in a hotel in the middle of town for a couple of nights because creepyanonymous is going to Moto GP tomorrow and I wanted to stay somewhere with things to do within walking distance.

We wouldn't have been driving anywhere near the center of town in the first place if creepyanonymous hadn't sworn up and down that the hotel had a parking garage. I'd had a route mapped out, but creepyanonymous, who freely admits he's gotten lost in every Italian city he's ever set wheel in, goes and second-guesses the navigator.

So we end up here. Oops.

creepyanonymous is dying of embarrassment. I'm alternately comforting him and wishing out loud that it weren't 6 AM at home so I could SMS everyone we know. And the best part? Greater Florence couldn't have given less of a shit that we were driving through the pedestrian area to top all pedestrian areas. Locals were thinking, "Stupid tourists." Tourists were shrugging it off as normal Italian driving wackiness. And the carabinieri and two polizei we drove past didn't bat an eye.

OK, that's not the best part. The best part is that if creepyanonymous ever tries to question my navigating again, he is thoroughly pre-PWNED.