Monday, May 9th 2011
Our wake up call was at 6:00AM this time *yawn*. We really had not been participating in any activities on the ship or going to any shows because we knew we had several days of back-to-back travel/ports/tours and we did our best to stay rested. We got ready and ate at the Windjammer again (that’s our preferred breakfast spot on any Royal Caribbean cruise ship). On our way there I decided to take a photo of the Solarium and realized our camera battery had not charged?!!!
ACCCCKK!!! WE WERE IN TUSCANY AND OUR CAMERA BATTERY DID NOT CHARGE!!!!! We tried a new charger and it obviously had not worked. We thought we charged it, the light was on and everything but … no. charge. Ugh. There was a little juice left, but not enough to get us through even the beginning of the tour. Hubby ran back to the room to charge it on my netbook for 20 minutes then ran back to Windjammer and inhaled a quick breakfast. After heading to the theater to wait for our tour, we were assigned our number (5), given stickers (which we never wear lol) and escorted to the gangway. After an amazing drive through the Tuscan countryside (complete with olive trees and wine vineyards ) we arrived Florence (Firenze) BEFORE all the other tour groups, even the ones that had left prior to we did. It seems our bus driver was from Florence and had decided to take different route than the others. Seeing that it was Monday morning, that was a GREAT idea, and we got to start our tour in a relatively empty plaza in Florence *yay*.
After a chilly walking tour of Florence, we had free time to explore on our own. Thank God it warmed up by noon. We bought shoes (Italian lamb leather for 50% off) and walked around taking pictures.
Oh, did I say “taking pictures”? Why yes I did. But didn’t I say our camera had died? Well … turns out I saw Mike & Cheryl (our dinner tablemates) in the leather shop and, after explaining our camera predicament, they let us use their extra camera. We switched memory cards and were good to go for the rest of the day. Look at Jesus!
Once back on the bus, we went to Hotel Lorenzo for lunch (included in our tour). The hotel was absolutely beautiful. The table settings were all white, clean and very classy. They served cream of mushroom lasagna followed by thin sliced steak & veggies, then cake with caramel sauce to die for. I was not expecting such a fancy location/menu for lunch at all but I was so pleased (and full). All this with free flowing water and wine. Needless to say, when I got back on the bus “mildly inebriated” LOL. Thank goodness after lunch we had an hour drive to The Field of Miracles so I took a good siesta. Once we arrived at The Field of Miracles, which included The Duomo, baptistry and most famously, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we walked around and (of course) took the “traditional I’m holding up the leaning tower” picture (that EVERYONE else was taking so it was very hard not to get others in our shots).
After Pisa, we left and had a long drive (sleep) back to our ship through the Tuscan countryside. We were exhausted! *faint*. The best part of that drive was when I woke up and realized our tour guide, Kamal, had been playing opera on the bus and Nessun Dorma was playing. *swoon*. Ironically the reason it woke me up is because for months it has been the alarm on my phone every morning.
Once we were back in our room we rested (passed out), then got dressed up for din din and enjoyed a nice dinner with the 1 couple that showed up at our 8-seater table. At this point, only 2 couples were consistently showing up for dinner at our table: us and Teresa and Torrin from Georgia. Mike & Cheryl (who let us use their camera) from CA were doing the “suite” thing in their room (we thought) and the other couple ditched our table. Honestly, it was not a big deal because they weren’t even talking the first night. I would like to point out the irony though since on our last cruise we ditched our first dinner table. LOL!
Don’t take it personally if someone switches tables at dinner on a cruise. There are MANY reasons why…they may not like coming to the dining room, they may just want to go to bed, they may be eating at the specialty restaurants, or … well … they may not like you but who cares. … but Jesus likes you so keep it pushing.
After dinner, we went to the room, prepped for the next day (loooong) in Rome, and went to b.e.d.