Waiting for Christmas…views of Florence…

First of all, I’d like to apologize to those of you who have written to me and are still waiting for aIMG_5459n answer. This last period has been hectic for me, and it’s just going to get “worse” next week…I mean, more hectic. Mostly, in a good sense, though! 🙂IMG_5466

For example, I finally met the woman who founded the Italian MGUS support group on Facebook (we celebrated the group’s sixth year “birthday” just last week). I “met” her on Facebook when I joined the group, about five years ago. At a certain point she asked me if I would help her co-administer (is that even a verb? Hmmm) the group, which back then counted about 200 members (it now has 419 members!…and more co-administrators, too). IMG_5473Anyway, throughout the years, she and I have stayed in touch in many ways–phone messages, emails, phone calls–but we’d never actually met “in the flesh” until two days ago, which is when she, her husband and adult son made a stop in Florence on their way back home from Rome to Trieste, where they live. And so we met. Finally.

And what a wonderful meeting it was. Indeed! It didn’t feel as though we were meeting for the first time. No, it was like two old friends getting together after not having seen each other for quite a long time.
We chatted and chatted…and…chatted…for HOURS. Her husband and son were incredibly patient, I must say! 🙂IMG_5481

In the late afternoon I drove them to the Piazzale Michelangelo, a large square offering the most stunning panoramic views of Florence, especially at sunset, as you can see from my not-so-splendid photos below…

IMG_5484A couple of cute things happened while we were at the Piazzale. Number 1) While we were admiring the views, we suddenly heard a small group of friends whooping and clapping right next to us. Soon the entire Piazzale was clapping, jumping, and screeching with joy. Everyone stopped doing what they were doing–taking selfies, mostly. What had happened, you ask? Well, a young man had just proposed to his girlfriend. And this happened right next to us. Such a happy moment. IMG_5482

Number 2) About a half hour later, a very cheerful group of friends wearing Santa hats came up to me and asked if I would take a photo of them. I said yes, of course, but ONLY if I could take a photo of them afterwards. I added, “you guys are too cute!” They said, sure, go right ahead. So I am posting that photo, too (my next-to-last photo). Such a cute bunch, they were! 🙂 IMG_5593IMG_5580

Anyway, from there we went to nearby San Miniato al Monte, one of the loveliest (in my opinion) churches in Florence. And then we drove back to my house to meet Stefano and go out for pizza.

Such a lovely meeting, such a lovely time. 🙂

Apart from that, I’ve been working a lot, baking Xmas cookies for my friends and neighbors, wrapping presents, AND getting ready to leave for the U.S.A. Yes, Stefano and I will be spending Xmas and New Year’s with my parents on Cape Cod. Busy busy and…BUSY!

So…again…I apologize for not having answered any messages in this period. Please be patient. Or, if you really want to hear from me, write to me again, and I’ll do my best! IMG_5577

I thought you might enjoy these photos I took of Florence on two separate occasions. I took most of them (the “day” photos) when I joined a close friend for a walk in the center of the city last week. The three “evening” shots, that is, the last three photos, were instead taken at the Piazzale Michelangelo a couple of days ago…

By the way, if you hover over the photos for a second, you will be able to read a brief description of where each photo was taken…

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