When I arrived in Florence today there was almost a snafu with my luggage but I managed to get through it and make it to the shuttle stop with minimal fuss.
At the pickup spot I met three Americans who were super cool and had just rounded up a trip in Paris prior to arriving in Florence.
When the shuttle arrived, I was looking through my belongings for leftover Euros I had brought with me from my last trip to France but I was having trouble finding them and the American friends kindly offered me the difference.
As people were loading onto the bus I looked once more in my bag and found the coins. I returned the money back to the friends, thanked them. The bus ride was peaceful and Florence is a beautiful city.
After checking into my room I showered, changed, took a quick nap and then I was off to Oltrarno for a walking tour. I had some trouble finding the meeting spot but I was able to sort that out and we were on our way. My guide was great. The churches we visited were Santa Felicita and the Santo Spirito where I had to cover up my arms and legs upon entry. One thing I particularly enjoyed on the walking tour was the survey of street art.
At the end of the tour I thanked my guide and then started making my way to my hotel.
I got sidetracked at the Santa Maria Novella Piazza and chose to sit on the raised bars in the center of the square facing the church for twenty minutes and just unwind.
When I was ready to move again I made a stop for dinner and as I was trying to find my way around ordering in Italian the lady attending me was super eager to help me which I greatly appreciated. She pulled in a coworker who spoke English and they both gave me recommendations from the menu.
I was so grateful and touched by the experience with them and their willingness to help me. This lifted my spirit because earlier, as I was scrambling to find the tour’s meeting spot, I was feeling a little down about traveling alone and I was musing on how much easier and open I feel I can be when I do travel with others.
This small situation made me see that there are always people around who will be kind and more than willing to see you and to help you with joy, grace, pleasure, and heart.