Friday, January 20, 2012

The Florentine Fiasco Part I

The Duomo
I have been meaning to post this all week.  But it has been crazy.  Abigail is preparing for her next big developmental leap so she is a bit whacko---"like all babies are at these times" says my aunt.  Unfortunately, for the house, my back, my blog, my sanity, my husband, her choice of whacko behavior this time round is needing to be attached to my boob at all times.  Lovely.   I thought it was bad last time when she just wanted to be in the sling.

I digress.  Florentine Fiasco.  (Actually, the fiasco didn't actually begin til we got back to Naples.  Surprised? Anyone?)

It all began when Jack found tickets to London for around $196 for the two of us.  Pause.  Jack came in wanting to get into the desk drawer--which I am sitting in front of, while nursing Abigail, while typing. Maybe I should just stand on my head to make things really interesting.

Tickets to London for cheap.  Apparently he can't type fast enough because between the time he started putting the credit card info in, and when he got it in, Expedia popped up a window saying that the tickets had gone up...300 buckaroos. I think it is a scam.

We didn't go to London, but the feet were already itching.  Soooo... "Florence," he suggested.

I found us an apartment on vrbo [Vacation Rentals By Owner] right in the Piazza del la Signoria: READ the perfect place to stay-- for 100 euros a night.  Done and done.

I, then, nervously, booked tickets for a train leaving Naples Centrale Station at 7:45 AM.  Ambitious for two first time parents of a five month old.  I guess I was feeling cocky after our successful transatlantic flight.  We were going to travel on non-transferable Sabato Italiano tickets.  You can travel two for one on Saturdays, but you have to book at least a day ahead. Check. Saved us about a hundred bucks.

We were going to take advantage of the little local train that runs outside of our door and supposedly goes into Naples.  I say supposedly because I looked for an hour or so online to try to figure out exactly HOW the train connected to the main terminal.  Unsuccessful.  I figured we'd leave early and wing it.

On Friday afternoon we piled into the car with Tobi to drop him off at Krista, the German lady's kennel. "Eeet ees a kennel zee dogs like, not zee people." Her words. Upon seeing her again, this is where he stayed while we were at home, Tobi leapt into her, like the 70 lbs of crazy black fur that he is, and followed her tail-a-wagging, without a backward glance at us.  Hmmpppf.

Saturday we got up too early. We gathered things: stroller, diaper backpack and one, ONE!! small suitcase and went on the adventure to get to the station.  Getting on the little train to Naples was fine.   Jack shlepped the stroller up the stairs to the platform (accessibility has not yet reached Naples).  We waited maybe ten minutes until the graffiti-covered train rattled up to us and then Jack tossed us, stroller and suitcase up the three feet of stairs between the train and platform.  We didn't buy tickets because the ticket window was closed.  Ahhhh.  say it with me, "Naples."

On the train we asked a nice old man where to get off to get the metro to Naples Centrale.  This sparked a debate amongst the handful of half asleep people traveling at Zero Dark Hundred on a Saturday morning.

PAUSE:  Abigail is screaming.  Jack is trying to soothe her.  She wants the Boob.  Unfortunately, I am attached to it.

The folks finally decided on how we should change trains to get off the metro.  The man told me what we had to do, but I was half asleep and totally confused so I didn't really understand what he said.  He must have read the blank look in my eyes because before our stop he asked another lady to show us where to go.

We followed her off the train.  Jack tossing us all down the stairs again.  She past a sketchy looking guy lurking at the corner of the passage to the platform and up the escalator.  I nervously flipped the diamond on my ring to the palm of my hand and tried to control my breathing.  I DO NOT like sketchy looking men lurking anywhere.  We left the station like little ducklings and she shooed us down this empty park looking thing to another building which looked like a train station.  How kind.  She left us with congratulations and compliments about our beautiful baby. Now, smiling, we say, "Ahhh.  Naples."

We walking over the park that was graffitied and littered with trash, but had the potential of being pretty, to another building.  Which we found to be the Campo Flegri Station.  From there, after hearing the appropriate gushing and congratulations about my beautiful daughter, we were guided to the right metro.  By then it was 7:35.  Uh oh.  Jack and I we getting worried and being to snap at each other about what we would do if we missed the train.  Correction:  Jack was speculating and I was snapping at him to be positive and not screw our chances by spewing negativity over us.  I know.  I know.  It was early and I was VERY anxious about being out in Naples.

We got on the Metro.  Uneventful, and SLOW trip to Napoli Centrale.  We got to the station at 8:00.  We missed it.  A short debate and two NEW purchased tickets (another 114 euros).  We were on the high speed train to Florence.

I leave you with some eye candy courtesy of Jack and will return tomorrow with Part DUE.
Finally on the train

Rape of the Sabines, Piazza del la Signoria

Ponte Vecchio

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