by Melinda Gallo

Still not feeling up to leaving the house, Dave went to the local alimentari (grocery store) to get us some more water without me. We seem to go through 6 liters in a little more than a day! It was after 7:30PM when he left, so I decided not to go with him because I figured the farmacia (pharmacy) would be closed.

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Only a few days have I seen the sun shine for most of the day without raining. And, of course, it would be a day when I'm stuck inside sick. I sit at my computer because I've got no real excuse not to work and look out at the sun shining outside. I look at the plants on our terrace and the other rooftops while I work.

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Dave has been sick all last week and I have been sick all weekend and we're both still struggling. I should've gone to la posta (post office) last week when I was well to pay our bollette (bills), but I kept thinking that maybe one more would arrive and I could pay them all at the same time. I wasn't happy to go outside because it was sprinkling, but I figured I had to since our Internet/phone bill was due today.

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Living in Florence :: Che vento oggi!

After lunch, I went for a walk to see my friend Simone at his restaurant. He told me that he'd be there early because he was changing the menu again. Since I didn't go to the gym this morning due to working late and getting up late, I decided to walk to Simone's restaurant.

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Living in Florence :: Festa dell'Immacolata

Today was the Festa dell'Immacolata (Immaculate Conception's day) in Italy, which translated to large quantities of people walking the streets of Florence doing their Christmas shopping. The banks, post offices, and some of the grocery stores and other shops were closed, but many of the shops in the main shopping area, like in via Calzaiuoli, were open.

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As I walked to the gym this morning, I was wondering why even though there is a small marciapiede (sidewalk) on our street (and many streets downtown), people generally walk in the street. Even women pushing babies in strollers do the same. It sounds dangerous, but it really isn't as long as you know how to do it safely.

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Dave found out on the Odeon cinema's Web site today that on Tuesdays there is an aperitivo (aperitif) for 5 Euros each from 8PM until the beginning of the film. We decided to go since normally we go to the earlier showing. And luckily, we didn't go any earlier because we had thunder and lightning since this afternoon.

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Well, I'm not home sick right now, but I can easily be tempted to buy a few American items, like Doritos, peanut butter, root beer, and few other things eventually. In via Ghibellina a new shop has just opened called, Sam's Market. They sell lots of American and imported items to all of us expats who have our cravings.

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Today, I woke up and didn't feel great. I had a bit of a fever and so I decided to stay home (and mostly in bed) to relax. To me, relaxing means staying in my pajamas all day and lying in bed with a few good books. I was planning on going to an open market at Santa Maria Novella with a few friends, but I just didn't feel up to it.

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My friend Yoshie's son, Lorenzo, was born at the beginning of September this year. I didn't get a chance to see him before we left for the US because she was very busy taking care of her newborn and her other son, Davide. I was so happy when Yoshie called me to tell me that I could come to her place to see Lorenzo. I had been waiting for awhile to meet him.

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When I went to the McRae bookstore last week to pick up a book on Munich before going, I received a flyer, indicating that Magdalen Nabb was going to be there. I hadn't heard of her before, but I was eager to meet a British murder mystery writer who lives in Florence. I know that there are many writers who live here even though there aren't any writing groups that I've heard about.

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It's been raining since we got back to Florence. The day starts out a little gray, but then begins to rain from lunch until the evening without interruption. I don't think I've bought an umbrella in years. I usually don't use one when walking around downtown and generally wear a hat to keep somewhat dry.

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We signed back up at the gym today. We really have no excuse to not go since it is only a few blocks away. The gym itself is only about three times the size of our apartment, but it's clean, not crowded, and very close. Of course, we go at 10AM when not many people are there.

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I planned for us to take the train back to Florence so that we could see the countryside between Munich and Florence. We went through Austria and stopped in Innsbruck and then later in Verona (Italy). The scenery was quite diverse, mostly mountainous, little to a lot of snow, and a few small villages/towns.

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Living in Florence :: No shopping on Sundays

We were supposed to meet Marco at an Asian restaurant (that said they had Chinese, Thai, Japanese, etc. food), but I didn't feel good enough to go probably after all that alcohol in my warm drinks yesterday! So, this morning when we got up, we decided to go for brunch and meet him there.

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