Wednesday, 6 January 2010

An Italian Christmas and Birthday

When my husband was looking through some accounts for his accountant to work out his tax bill he found some money in an e-account left over from having the attic converted!! Hey ho not bad hey? This was last July and we wondered what to do with it. We were planning a building project and I thought we could use it for that but no, my hubby said why not use it for your birthday?
Last Christmas we had a party for hubby's 40th so this Christmas for my 40th I suggested that we all go to Italy instead. Seeing as my birthday is on 23rd December we went to the travel agent and discovered that we had enough for a week away! So we booked it and waited with excitment. We did discuss it with Sophie and she did ask if Santa could find her and we said he could. She then said well Christmas will still be here when we get back won't it? We were shocked that a 7 year old could put things into perspective like that and she never mentioned presents etc all week.
So we left for Bristol Airport on 19th December and as we drove over Bodmin Moor the snow and sleet came in quite badly and we thought that we would have to turn back. Got to Exeter and it was all clear. The plane was over an hour late to Bristol because it was snowed in at Geneva and could not take off. Eventually we were on our way and landed at Pisa airport. It was MINUS 12!!!
We then had a transfer bus to Florence but they kept us waiting in the car park for over half an hour until it turned up then kept us another hour on the bus because they would not leave until it was full. Over an hour drive to Florence then nearly an hours wait for a taxi in MINUS 14 degree temp Sophie was very tearful. Not a good start.

It was not until we got home again that we found out that ours was one of the last planes allowed to leave Bristol airport before it was closed.

The Plaza Hotel Lucchesi was piping hot and we eventually arrived four hours late at gone midnight. Our room was more like a small apartment and we were stunned by it. We are much more used to Travel Lodges etc. This is the main bedroom and I am standing at the top of a sweeping staircase to take the picture.

Our bedroom.

This is looking down the staircase.

There were plenty of cupboards for hanging up clothes so we actually unpacked which I do not really do when I go on holiday. The little corridor down by the cupboards lead to the bath/shower room and on the right was a door into another little bedroom.

This was Sophie's little room complete with a lovely little desk which she did use during the week. Down the stairs was more cupboards, a TV, chair and sofa and another toilet and sink. For the space there was they had packed a lot in but it was very spacious. All of the rooms at the front of the hotel were like this as we looked at the room plan on the back of the room door. Lovely decor and our window overlooked the River Arno.

View to the left out of the window.

View to the right from our window.

Due to our arrival the hotel had no food for us but luckily there was a pizza take-away around the corner which the hotel told us about. so off we went and despite the sub-zero temps there was a huge teenage gathering outside of this little pizza take-away and I have to say that unlike in the UK they were not shouting, being rude or in anyway intimidating just talking etc. Quite a difference as we would probably be very worried and someone would call the police1.

We only had a bite to eat then due to it being 1am we went back to the hotel and fell into bed.

I do not wish to bore you too much so I shall be back tomorrow with more pictures of Italy at Christmas.

Due to it being another snow day I have several piles of work to do ready to take back in to work tomorrow.

Take care, keep warm.



Bluebell said...

I Hope you loved your holiday Italy is really special. I took my husband Tony to Rome for his 60th birthday and we had a wonderful week, the history is breathtaking the people lovely, we hope to go again.Please put lots of photo's on your blog I would love to see them.
Love Jillxx

Mary said...

Wow! What a great way to spend a birthday. I wish there were money to be found around here! It's like one of those dreams that I have where I open a closet door and there is another section of house that I didn't know we had! I hate waking up from those dreams. I can't wait to see more photos of your trip. I love Italy. Sadly, it's been 13 years since the last time I was there.

Gina said...

How wonderful to be in Florence for Christmas and what a fab room. I'm amazed it was so cold. We were in Rome in December a few years ago and we were in shirt sleeves it was so warm.

wonderwoman said...

what a fantastic idea - such a lovely room too!!! look forward to seeing more!!


Julie said...

What a wonderful hotel to make up for the trauma of the journey. We are going to Italy (briefly) in May so I'll look forward to seeing your photos. We have to choose between florence and Pisa so I'd be interested to know what you thought of each.

Molly said...

Would you please come to my home and dig around and see if you can come up with any extra money? lol It looks like you had a beautiful place to stay and fantastic things to see, I'm glad you had a great time. Now rest up and enjoy being home. Take care my friend.

Chocolate Cat said...

What a fantastic way to spend your Birthday. Gosh you were lucky that your flight left, obviously meant to be. Your rooms look gorgeous, can't wait to here more about your trip!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos, and what an amazing hotel! If I ever go to Italy, I want to stay there. Can't wait to see more...

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