Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Clutching on to cool memories with sweaty hands

At some point in our plans to be in Florence this year, I got really excited by the idea of not being in Tucson this summer and getting to see a 'real' Fall. Mainly, I was under the false impression that I would be in a cooler place this summer rather than the blasting oven heat of my beloved desert. I had images of Ila and I prancing through parks, lined with trees and cool breezes. Well, we're not going to be here for Fall and if 96 degrees and 45-65% humidity is cooler...

The main thing is that air conditioning is not prolific here. You aren't jumping out of your air conditioned vehicle to be blasted for a few minutes while you make a dive for your air-conditioned office or home. Oh no, more like you step out of your barely-air conditioned home (if you're lucky)into a dripping semi tropical (without the green) environment to enter various business establishments that have no air conditioning at all, okay maybe a fan. This might be the reason why the locals escape for the month of August. Yes, that's right, the whole month of August! They're not stupid. They take off for the beach or the mountains and the city apparently slows to the speed of a snail. Hot, bothered tourists fly in for a day to do the usual and fly out. Shops close, cafes close, I'm assured there will be some supermarkets open.

I went into my favorite yarn store yesterday, and asked when they closed, Friday the woman said barely containing her excitement. She practically jumped up and down as she said it, a woman in her mid forties, typically reserved, jumping with glee! When do you open? I asked. September! Can you imagine what it would be like to take a whole month off? How relaxed you would be? How rejuvenated you would feel? Funny thing is, it isn't just Italy. The Germans do this, the French, the Scandinavians. While I'm a little concerned about what August is going to be like for us, I can't help think what a good idea this is. They think we're nuts for the lack of vacation time. The lack of balance. I think they're right. So, I'll be without the local English speaking newspaper, The Florentine, the neighbourhood American Bagel store, the sweet, but expensive, Danish kids clothing store along with a host of other now familiars for our last month. It'll be interesting.

Given the heat I think I'm going to ask D to print out a few rough copies of our Austria/Bavaria photos so that I can just imagine a cooler place. Thought I'd share them with you too. The top picture is from just by where we stayed on the Austrian/German border. I must admit I think this countryside some of the prettiest I've ever seen. We hoped to stay at a farm. D had done this on his visit here 15 years before with his sister and Aunt, but we didn't find any ones with room. So we settled for this Gastehause, which was none too shabby.
Ila's Heidi impression
Simple, clean, good food, welcoming family. A stream near by, cow bells, a forest to walk into, time to make daisy chains...
Ila and Mummy go for a walk
Daisy Girl
and even a little bit of snow
Yes we got snow driving home, in July.


  1. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!


  2. A little slow in catching up on your blog (do you have an rss feed?) but these photos are fantastic. Love the portrait of Ila with the daisies!