Sep 132013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
– Joanna flies to Paris

Thursday, September 12, 2013
– Joanna arrives in Paris
– Mark flies from Skikda to Annaba, then from Annaba to Marseille, then from Marseille to Paris
– Joanna and Mark meet in Paris
– Both fly to Florence
– Drive to Greve in Chianti

Side note:  I am interuptting my Iceland blog to bring you the blog from our travels through the Tuscan region of Italy.  I promise to get back to the Iceland blog at some point.  =)

So, we’ve got our normal travel days at the start of our trip and everything went pretty much according to plan.  I had an almost 8-hour layover in Paris when my flight from Houston arrived 30 minutes early.  I slept fitfully in chairs at the Paris airport.  Exciting, I know!  Mark had some tight connections to make but he made it with plenty of time to get on our flight to Florence.  With the tight connections, his empty suitcase did not make it, but it arrived at our hotel the next day with no problems.

We arrived in Florence somewhere around 6pm or 6:30pm and made it out of town in our rental car without to much of a hassle.  Driving in Italy is always an exciting adventure, but it’s easier if you stay out of the major cities.  The area between Florence and Siena is called the Chianti area and is very famous for their wines.  The whole area is actually pretty small, so it was only 30 minutes to our hotel near Greve in Chianti.  Our hotel is actually located on a vineyard and when it gets light out, we are going to love our views of the landscape, but for now we are hungry and it’s time to go find dinner.  Greve is actually about 4km away and has the places to eat, so we just dropped our bags in our rather large room and then drove to Greve for dinner.

The main piazza had plenty of places to choose from and we were happy with our choice of Osteria Nerbone di Greve.  The chocolate cake of course was the best part of the dinner and was more like a giant truffle than a cake.  But we were happy with my risotto and salad and Mark’s taglierini pasta with white beans.  We ended up having a real Italian dinner where we were there for probably at least 2 hours putting us leaving around 10pm or so.  I’m was very amazed that I was still awake.


We are definitely excited to start our Tuscan vacation.  We’ll be in the Tuscany area of Italy for the whole 2.5 weeks, so we will really be getting a feel for the area.


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