Well we are back in Firenze which most of you will know as Florence.  We are at the Westin now.  A beautiful hotel on the Arno River.  Great shopping today.  We said goodbye to the gang … sort of… We are all leaving at different times from different places so today was interesting.  We somehow found our way into town and back to the car rental agency.  One couple headed for the airport for a flight to Frankfurt.  One for the train station for a train to Naples and another had breakfast with us at our hotel before catching the train to Pisa.  We are staying in Firenze for two more days.

I must apologize for not posting on Thursday and Friday.  They were busy days.  Thursday was a drive to Montepulciano and Cortonoa where the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed.  Both are beautiful mountain top towns.  Narrow streets and panoramic views abound.  Wonderful little shops too. Friday was a different direction and altogether different landscapes, even more beautiful if that is possible.  We headed in to Brunello country, to Montalcino, another mountain top town with a fort and a church that were again spectacular.  It rained.  We stopped for lunch and as we were leaving someone walked up to me and said “Nancy?  I thought that was you.”  It was Jennifer Polluck, our federal candidate for Calgary West and a good friend.  It was wonderufl and surprising to see here.  The world is soooo small.

Later as the rain continued, we all walked up a road we thought would get us closer to the car.  Purely by accident we happened upon a nice BMW parked int he rain and someone recognized the car as belonging to the young German couple we met from Hamburg and sure enough they were inside the car waiting for the rain to subside!!!

What is interesting to me is that each of the 8 people on this trip would describe to you the details fo the trip in a completely different way with a different emphasis.  We each saw what we were looking for. I was looking for learning and self reflection.  Others were not.  They were experiencing things in a completely different way, seeing opportunities to retire and change lifestyles.  Others saw history “in the flesh”. 

What I did notice about everyone was the difficulty we all had with “Saying what we were Thinking”. It was difficult.  Here we were, 8 friends, none wanting to push themselves on the others, each  to please or to go along with the others.  It reminded me the of the story of going to Lukinba. Five people get in a car and head toward a small town in Texas, only to find out when they get there that each thought the other wanted to go there and that none of them really wanted to go.

It is never easy spending two weeks with 8 other people.  This was easier than most.  We had lots in common and we shared a respect for each other that made any concessions possible and even easy.  It was a great two weeks.  We had more discussions about Enneagrams and the political personalities we all know.  We had a wonderful farewell dinner last night at the restaurant at the top of the neighbouring hill so we could look back at the Rocca in the mist and smile.

So why did I call Firenze a Town with our Pity???  I avoided the shopping when we were here a couple of weeks ago but today I didn’t.  It was great. Jim and I had fun.  Tonight we are staying at a wonderful hotel with heat and a hairdryer and a wonderful view of Florence.  We had none of that at the Rocca.  It was a medieval experience whereas today we are in the lap of luxury.  We had a wonderful meal with a wonderful character who basically asked us and told us what we wanted for each course.  Firenze captures you.  It is captivating.  Tomorrow we go back to the Piazza Michelangelo for our last view of the city before flying back on Monday through Munich and Montreal to home.

Question:  If you use the word “tolerant” to describe yourself does that make you a 1???