So sad, but it had to be done — we packed the bikes into their suitcases today (Wednesday). We have a morning flight out of Florence on Friday, the pre-wedding cocktail party was tonight, the wedding is tomorrow at 12:30pm and the reception and dinner afterwards…so, not a lot of time to deal with packing and stuff.
Here they are pre-disassembly with their accompanying suitcases:
This was only the second time we'd put them into the suitcases (the first time was at home in Portland…they've been in full bike mode ever since we got to Venice) and we rocked it. Smooth, fast, and the lid closed on the first try. Woohoo!
All ready to go!
We took a big bag of clothes and stuff over to the Mailboxes, Etc. in Florence (yep, they have one) and mailed it home. About $100, but an overweight bag (if we could fit everything in it) would be about the same price (with some added stress and hassle), and an additional bag would be more than double that (about $260, plus you'd have to buy an extra bag), so we happily took the ship-it-home route.
We lugged our bag of stuff across the river, only to show up at the front door of the shipping shop during the hours they were closed. (Typical for the area and maybe the whole country, many shops are closed for a few hours in the middle of the day.) They would reopen at 3:30pm (it was 2:30) so we went and had some lunch and coffee down the road a bit to burn an hour. At 3:30 the shop promptly reopened and we were in and out in about 4 minutes.
Once back at the apartment getting ready for the 5pm cocktail party (just a block away), I got an email from the guy at the shop that I'd left my passport there (when he was photocopying it). Oops. We didn't have time to go get it today before the party (plus I didn't want to hightail it across town in 4-inch heels and an ostrich feather skirt!), so we'll pop over there in the morning when they open at 9am to retrieve it (wearing tennies and jeans).
The wedding guests meet tomorrow at 12:30pm in front of Neptune's Fountain outside the Palazzo Vecchio and I'm certain it will be an incredible day. The cocktail party tonight was lovely — great people, incredible location (the Palazzo Ricasoli, I mentioned yesterday where we started our walking tour). After the party, we stopped to see if we could get into one of the restaurants that was full last night and got right in (15 minutes earlier makes a huge difference)– a place just down our street called Olio e Convivium, and it was very nice — good food, cool interior, and fabulous service! So many great places to eat and drink in this neighborhood!
Hey, look at this!!