Another Sunday, another Bloody Mary

We have been downright lazy the last couple of days. That’s one of the great lessons we have learned about long-term travel. When you actually live in a place for more than a week, you no longer feel compelled to pack activities and experiences into every single moment. Sometimes it’s just fine to kick back and enjoy life in your adopted short-term home.

When we lived in the Caribbean some 21 years ago now, we learned the one thing-one day lesson. Just get one thing done in a day and enjoy the rest of the time.

Besides, it’s been rainy, cloudy, chilly and gloomy in Florence for the last few days, so we have not felt the imperative to move about that much.

Saturday we visited the church of San Marcos, filled with Fra Angelico paintings. The museum was closed, but the church is always open to worshipers and reverent visitors. Then we went to the Carrefours right down the street to do some grocery shopping. It rained, hard by Florence standards, so we were pretty soggy by the time we unlocked the big iron gate to our apartment in Piazza della Independenzia.

That was enough. We napped, read, e-mailed, watched Tennis24 on TV and generally lazed about the rainy afternoon. Lynn prepared the pork loin we had bought the day before at Central Market. The pork turned out a bit overdone, largely due to our miscalculation of timing.

But Sunday dawns, and the quest for a Bloody Mary begins. The weather forecast was no better, so we set out at the early hour of 10 a.m. to the Duomo and the Irish Pub, where we surmised we might find someone who understands the concept. We were correct.

The friendly Italian bartender knew exactly how to make a proper Bloody Mary, and with my urging added more Tabasco and emptied his bottle of Worcestershire sauce, which was not quite enough. ‘Twas not great, but any port in a storm, and rain threatened again.

Not a bad Bloody Mary in the shadow of Santa Maria del Fiori.
Not a bad Bloody Mary in the shadow of Santa Maria del Fiori.

Discretion being the better part of valor, we decided to head for the Central Market for a safe pizza lunch rather than venture beyond safe passage home in case of rain. On Sundays, the food court in Mercato Centrale is nothing short of a mob, but a few days ago we discovered the mezzanine dining room to the pizza parlor where there are always tables far from the madding crowds below.

Surprisingly, this Sunday the mezzanine was only about half full, although one table of about eight American coeds led by a large jolly girl festooned with a Florida State sweatshirt and baseball cap created enough noise to fill the room. They also filled the entrance at the top of the stairway for about 10 minutes while they paid their bill, to the consternation of the management.

We split a pizza while watching most everyone else down one each. How do people eat that much?

On the way out, we walked through the vendor stalls, and I purchased three Florentine silk ties that I have yearned for since the first time we visited Florence a few years ago. Of course, I don’t wear ties anymore, but when I do, I will have some beautiful fleur de lis silk ties that everyone will think represent the symbol of New Orleans. In fact, the fleur de lis has been the symbol of Florence for more than 1,000 years. Fiori(tine) is Italian for flower.

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