September 2007


The Mall Directory

After tooling around in Florence we found out that there was an outlet mall just outside of it. Although we were in Italy for the culture and the history, we also couldn’t turn down a good bargain. Here is the directory of the place called “The Mall”. I was most excited about the Marni outlet store. I ended getting some great deals. I was determined to find 2 things while shopping in Europe, a pair of new sunglasses, and a pair of shoes. I found my sunglasses at “The Mall”. Ironically, I didn’t end up getting the shoes in Italy, but in France instead.

“The Mall” was a surreal experience. Here we were in Italy, but in the middle of a small Tuscan town with high end fashion at bargain prices. The place was utterly spotless, it wasn’t crowded, and the stores were also not picked over. Aside from the Cabazon outlets near Palm Springs, this was definitely the best outlet mall. Apparently there is also a Prada outlet, but we didn’t go to it.

Supercar outside of Louis Vuiton

Saw this outside the ritzy part of Florence. I think it is the new Audi R8. It looks like we will be seeing these on the road in the states soon.

View from outside our apartment in Florence

After our mishap in London, we finally made it to Florence via Pisa. Pisa airport was great with the train right by the station. It was cheap to go from Pisa to Florence on the Regional train. We also had heard horror stories about gypsies in Florence, though the whole time there we didn’t encounter any problems. It may be due to an effort to clean up the city, but who knows. We ended up finding a great deal for an apartment in Florence 2 blocks from the duomo. As you can see, you can literally see it from outside the apartment window. The apartment was super spacious and could easily fit 5 people. It was situated above a great shoe store and Giuseppi, the shoe store and apartment owner, was great and helped us out when needed.

on NPR here

I’ve met Ruth and she mentioned a taco truck in Oakland that has the best Al Pastor and I wonder if the one they are talking about in this report is the same one. I might need to do some further investigation.

Of course my favorite is the Stephen J. Cannell logo.

I was hoping that they would have the old KOFY TV 20 dog bumpers but good ol’ youtube came through.

After planning the honeymoon, I wish I had something like this to use. There is a new website that creates and compiles your travel itinerary all in one place, called TripIt. I’ve fooled around with it a little, and so far it’s handy though still is missing some functionality. I do like how you can forward all your confirmation email and it will create an itinerary, though it didn’t put in all the connecting flight details, which I ended up doing manually. I also haven’t tried planning a trip through the site, just used the site to put all the details together. Check it out.

Fish and Chips in London

When you have just one day in London what do you do? We ended up going to Oxford Circle to do a little shopping, since both Courtney and I had already been to London before and didn’t need to do the tourist sights. But our real objective for the day was to have great fish and chips and a pint of Guinness. The fish was from Costas Fish Restaurant. One of the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Great crispy but not greasy batter while still retaining the fish flavor and not the cooking oil residue. The chips I thought were pretty good but not my favorite. The one downside to this is the downside to all of London, the price. With the current dollar to pounds where is it at now, 2 fish and chips, a side of pickles, and 2 beers were about $30-35 a person.

What do you drink in London?

What better way to drink away the currency conversion than to have a pint of Guinness. We stumbled upon this great pub, knocked back a few, and awaited our journey to Italy the next day.

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