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Rolling with the Punches... Again

By A: Today we had to get up at 5:15! I'm starting to think that once we get back home, since we've been waking up at 5:15 every day, I won't be able to sleep until everyone wakes up at 6:00 because I'm so use to waking up early. After we got ready for the day, we had to go down to the lobby to catch a taxi to get to the train station. Once we got off the train, we had to walk to the place where we were to meet our tour guide. Our mom had to ask her if K and I could sit in the front because, as you probably remember from one of the other entries, "Drive Everywhere", I thew up because I was in the back seat and the roads were really curvy. Our first stop was Sienna where we met the tour guide, Adele, that spoke English. After everyone introduced themselves, we started walking down the streets to get to the oldest banking business in Italy from the 13th century that is still in business. Next, we went to the Piazza Salimbien palace from the 15th century that is decorated with busts of famous men like Leonardo da Vinci, Michaleangelo, etc. Then, we had to walk a little bit but eventually we made to the community church. Downstairs, they have the "Museum of Victories" where they display all the trophies, tapestries, armor, weapons, and more that they get from horse races and other things. After that, we went to the cathedral. It's so big because they kept on expanding. The Baptistry was located on a slope of one of the city's main hills. However, when cathedral was expanded, they covered over the Baptistry so that it is part of the cathedral. In 1348, the Black Death spread through Europe killing almost 2/3 of population. That's when the Cathedral expansion stopped. Next, our tour guide told us that a long time ago, Sienna had more than 100 towers built by rich families to show their wealth, but now there is only one left. When we were walking to the square where we were supposed to meet the other groups to get onto the bus to go eat lunch, Adele told us that in Sienna there are 17 districts and in each one they all have to take care of local roads, elderly, churches, etc. Each person gets put into a group. Sons of "mixed" marriage adhere to their father's district while daughters follow their mother. Once our tour with Adele was over, we had an hour and a half to get lunch and shop for souvenirs. After that, we had to load the bus and we headed off for San Gimignano. Once we arrived at San Gimignano, we had another hour and a half to walk around the village and enjoy the scenes. Then it stated to pour down rain on us so we had our umbrellas up the whole time. It gets worse though. Mommy and Daddy were talking with the guide and found out the tour ended at 7:00 instead of 5:30. The problem was that we had already bought tickets to ride first class on a train back to Rome at 7:04. So, we tried calling the train station, but couldn't get through. We eventually decided that if we didn't make it on time we would just have to buy tickets for the next train to Rome. We had to get back on the bus to go back to Florence. On the way there, we had to stop by a shop to do some wine tasting, but my family stayed in the car with a couple of others, too. They were taking forever to get back, but eventually they did and we were on our way to the train station. I was so happy when we made it there with 15 minutes to spare, so we bought some pizza for dinner. Once we got onto the train, we got settled in our seats. I have to say, the bathrooms were pretty nice for a train and thay were very spacious, too. When our train arrived in Rome, I was a little sad because that was the last train we were going to take for a long time. Then we took a taxi back to our hotel. Tomorrow is our last full day here in Europe. Still, I'm ready to get back home!

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Posted by KandA2TT 11:07 Archived in Italy

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What a fabulous blog! I remember being in some of the very same spots (Siena, Eiffel Tower, Paris). Ah, thank you for the memories, and so happy you're having a great time making memories of your own. You girls are very photogenic!
Favorite food? Favorite part of trip (hard to choose I'm sure)? How fun you spent time with Blair in Paris!!!
Hugs to your mom and dad and sleep in late when you get home!!!

Mrs. Meadows

by Liz Meadows

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