Day 25- Awkward laughter… lots…


All I have to say is…
“Uhhhh…” (quickly glance to Lori for backup)

And that is how Day 25 was spent.

Not only did we wake up in Florence, and have a good old scavenger hunt to check out; but we hit up Pisa on our way to La Spezia.

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We saw lots of this:

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And heard lots of:
“Closer, Closer, now back, lean forward… stop! Now left hand down a little.. perfect! Cheese!”

We started out with the simple poses.

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And eventually mastered the art and challenged our skills.

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I had lots of “Am I seriously here right now?” moments, where you couldn’t even understand how a building could possibly end up like that.

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However, I did learn that it was built in 1173. Did you know that in 5 centuries 4 architects tried to complete it? I didn’t. But in 1990 they finally figured out a solution, and think they have reversed the clock back to what the tower would have looked like to the time of Galileo. NEAT.

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The Tower of Pisa: Leaning with a purpose since 1173.

From there we got on train #2 for the day and chatted it up with a lovely British couple on Holiday who were very concerned about the bears in America.

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Beautiful train ride! Tuscany= amazing! We then found ourselves a bit out of tourist land and immersed into the true Italian life.

Lori’s family has an exchange sister, Catherina from La Spezia, staying with them in Vegas.

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(So I creeped a little.) Lori is going to stay here for the next few weeks with them and arranged it for Katelyn and I to stay for a few days as well. SO LEGIT. We quickly found out, however, that the language barrier is a bigger issue that we had expected. The mother (Sonya) and the Grandmother (Maria) were awaiting our arrival, with coke and ice (so not European) ready for us!

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From there we tried to awkwardly communicate with each other with lots of pauses and nervous giggles. The grandmother just rambles like she is the president of a debate team and thinks we understand every word she says. They are the most adorable family though!

Soon the sister Martina got home from work.

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(So maybe I creeped a lot. Still working on a family photo though)
You could say she’s the most gorgeous Police Officer you’ve ever seen. She knows a good amount of English and we soaked it up as if it was the first time we’d seen water after being lost in the Sahara. She showed us the grocery store (that deserves an entire blogpost) and the town of La Spezia. Once we got back we met the rest of the family, Augustina the father, and Lorenzo the son, and had dinner.

Dinner- what an experience. Here in Italy they typically have a Primo (first course) of pasta, and a Secondo (second course) of an entree. We had this incredible pasta with oysters. You heard right- I ate oysters last night. All of it. I think I might have even liked it too. For an entree we had this pork with a paste of spinach and something orange (the debate is still out on what it was) on it with delicious rosemary roasted potatoes. Either way it was one of the best meals of my life! Finished off with frozen lemon ice too. Even with the language barrier you can tell how hilarious this family is. Their sense of humor is so quirky, and it is easy to tell how much they value each other.

Throughout dinner we had several awkward pauses of trying to translate and explain words. My favorite one? Lori trying to explain ‘bull shit’ to them after accidentally saying it when trying to learn a new word. After minutes of crying because we were laughing so hard at their blank faces while trying to explain ‘swear word’, we looked to the handy dandy ipad translator app. We haven’t had any issues at all with the wifi here, but it chose that minute to freeze up. The whole family was waiting on us to hear this translation and we just could not get it to work. I loved it.

This is the real deal folks- this is the true Italia.

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