I started dreaming of a trip to Italy in 2001 - I was working on the Salt Lake Olympics - the job was hard and all consuming, and I promised myself an epic trip to Italy after the Games. After all, I'd be out of a job then. I bought travel book after travel book and dreamed of a long stretch of time in Italy exploring everything. Things didn't go quite as planned, I (luckily) found a new job before the Games were over and ended up not having a single day off - truth be told, the two jobs overlapped by a day...so my Italian trip got pushed back.
For years, I kept putting off the trip. I was always looking for a year when I had enough vacation time to spend 10-14 days there and had enough money saved to make the trip happen. I was waiting for everything to fall perfectly in place (not that I stopped traveling mind you - I do plenty of that - I just kept putting off this one trip I'd been dreaming of because I wanted it to be perfect.)
This past January I had an epiphany. The project I've been working in Istanbul would have a major deliverable at the end of March, which meant I could easily take some days off the following week or two. I'd already be in Europe so the trip would be cheaper than ever - and thanks to living like a monk for 6 months during a heavy work period I had some savings built up (The easiest way for me to save money is to be too busy to shop!) It was time to make this trip a reality.
I ended up with 10 days in Italy - 4 in Florence, 1 in Siena and 5 in Rome. I found fantastic places to stay and had all the time I needed to explore the cities. After spending months in an office, and rarely seeing daylight, I decided I would focus less on the museums on this trip - and instead spent a lot of time outside. The weather didn't always cooperate with this plan, but I stuck with it regardless, as all that extra vitamin d was good for my soul.
These photos are mostly from was my neighborhood in Florence, right on the River and very near the Ponte Vecchio. If you count the arches in the above building with the arches, along the river starting to the left, my apartment door was across from the 7th arch, you can't ask for a more perfect location to explore Florence. I am still digging through all the photos I took while I was there, but even if I don't yet have photographic proof - I can say this was one of the most beautiful vacations I've ever taken.
"I've been up, I've been down, I've been everywhere around for you."
Wolfrider - For You