Edit Blog Post
Published: July 12th 2013
Couldn't use the picture with myself in it
Woke and went to take a shower before breakfast and ran out into the rain. Stopped at that point and got my umbrella which I had almost left at home. When I got back to cabins a few of the ladies were heading to shower without umbrellas and I loaned mine to one of them. Didn't see the umbrella again until Belgium.
Breakfast was early that morning because we were leaving early for Pisa/Florence. I woke up Ken and MJ to make sure they didn't miss breakfast, one of the reasons why we have roommates throughout the tour. After eating we packed the coach and left Switzerland behind. Emma had surgery the night before and was resting in the hospital and Jemma was on her way to be with her. Kate had rejoined us at that point and gave us an update. We were learned the extent of the injuries and the fact the instructor was very badly hurt. We also learned that Emma's insurance did not cover skydiving which was not a surprise. I asked if they would allow us to make a donation to Emma. Kate was touched and said Topdeck could not get involved but we could
Plus Florence dinner
do it ourselves. I decided I would do some organizing after the first stop.
So a few hours later after the first stop I asked Kate if I could address the bus. First off I hate public speaking and I already had to do it once when I had to talk about myself. It was important thought so I didn't mind. I was going to suggest we donate to her care but we had some good news there because the Skydiving company was covering her medical costs. We decided to donate towards a gift, cards and some Topdeck shirts for Emma. I collected the money and we ended with almost 400 Euros for Emma's gifts. I felt better after doing this as well not so helpless. Later on in Venice Sherri and Nardine who were roommates of Jemma and Emma went around and got Jewelry, and a leather drawing book for them. We also chose Emma's design for the tour T-Shirts so Kate arranged for a few of shirts to be sent to her. All in all it was a good deed we all did.
Now on with the trip. We had been lucky so far because no one had gotten bus sick yet. Unfortunately we took a lot of winding roads to get out of Switzerland and it made a lot of people sick so we had a lot of people coming to front for bus sickness bags. I wasn't feeling too well but hadn't drank much that night so that helped.
Our first stop in Italy was Pisa and the leaning tower. Kate gave us a headsup there were a lot of aggressive North African sellers of sunglasses, bags and other trinkets. She wasn't kidding because it looked like some of them wanted to get on the tour buses. She also instituted the ice cream rule while we were in Italy which meant we all had to have at least one ice cream/gelato a day. We all took the obligatory pictures with the Tower and of course a few people used the tower as their Penis (LOL).
We only had a short time in the city and I had my first experience paying to use the bathroom. The Mac urs (Macdonalds) had a lock code bathroom and to get the code you had to buy something. We left Pisa after about 1.5 hours and started the last leg of the day to Florence. Shortly before dinner we pulled up to the Plus Florence in Florence. Ken and I were going to room with Sherri and Nardine since they had lost their roommates but Kate rearranged the roommates list so we got Gillon (Australia) as our roommate. Now Gillon was perfect for this kind of tour. He loved to drink and was a great guy to hang out with as well. Dinner was served by the Plus Florence and I was hoping for pasta but we had chicken, cheese, and salads. After dinner Kate was good enough to get the people left at the table 2 free shots of some kind of liquor. Either the alcohol wasn't that strong or I was building a resistance because I felt steady enough to wander around Florence at night. Florence is a very interesting city and it had a lot of tourists from all over the world wandering around. I was actually looking for a store to get a Bristol board for Emma's card but I couldn't find anything that was open. Eventually I gave up and went back to the hostel. I ran into some people from the tour who were really intoxicated so I guess everyone found the bar in the basement.
I did some reading in my room and actually messaged with Jemma a bit that night to let her know she and Emma were in our prayers and that we were sending flowers/cards and gifts along. Went to sleep shortly after that because it had been a tiring day. Tomorrow was Florence, walking tour and leather demonstrations.
Tot: 0.175s; Tpl: 0.076s; cc: 8; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0328s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb