Hello from Florence. Jay and I arrived late last night after a mad dash to make our connection in Vienna (thank you Austrian Airlines for arriving 30 minutes late and screwing up your own connection). Unfortunately our luggage remained back in Vienna and will not arrive in Florence until late tonight, meaning that we won't get our bags until sometime TOMORROW. Fortunately there was a pharmacy open late just down the road from our (cute and perfectly situated) hotel so we were able to buy toothbrushes, shampoo and even a replacement package of the birth control pills that I had very stupidly packed in my suitcase! (Apparently that normally requires a prescription here too, but I knew exactly what I needed and the pharmacist thankfully took pity on me.)
As soon as we ate breakfast this morning we went off to do some much needed shopping - clean socks and underwear (hurray!), a long-sleeved shirt, etc. and even a few of life's non-essentials - new leather wallets for each of us and a gorgeous new leather bag for me. After that we were finally ready for some sightseeing - a quick spin around the Duomo where I yet again gaped open-mouthed at the most incredibly vivid blues and greens used in the stained glass windows (I have a real thing for Chartres blue, turquoise, teal and that whole family of colors - they transform even the most ordinary stained glass windows into something magical, and these were far from ordinary.)
After a few more hours just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere (and a few stray raindrops, but just a few - luckily, since of course my umbrella and all our warm clothes, heck, all of our clothes, are still AWOL in Vienna) we went for an amazing lunch at a traditional trattoria (Mario's for anyone who knows Florence, and yes, it's reputation is absolutely justified). I enjoyed the ribolleta and chick pea soups so much that I went straight from the restaurant to a bookstore for a new Tuscan cookbook to add to my collection (recipes to follow in a few weeks).
We're now back at the hotel to relax for a while. Later we'll head out to a nearby wine bar for drinks and a light dinner (since we're not exactly dressed for fine dining, not to mention because we just had lunch at 3:30).
Hopefully my suitcase will show up tomorrow with my cord for the camera (not to mention all of my clothes!) and then I'll be able to share some pictures.
Ciao for now.
Update: Jay's suitcase just showed up. Mine is nowhere to be found and all the lost and found has is a recording saying "one delivered, one not delivered". Not fair. *pout*