Saturday, February 6, 2010

She Said Yes

No better way to start the day than with a gigantic morning sugar rush.  We hired a taxi to drop us off at Santa Croce Piazza, and luckily, happened to stumble upon a chocolate market in full swing.  I felt like I was at costco, except everything was made of chocolate.  Free samples, yum.  Kristin ordered a cookie with little chocolate candies on top, but what appeared to be a cookie was actually solid white chocolate.  Very rich.  

 An assortment of truffles 

 I 'll have that one and that one and that one...

 Check out the chocolate camera at the right and some machmalo, what what 

 Colorful candies

 This was a serious chocolate market, seriously like 4 rows

No shortage of offerings, we did not see anything twice 

 yum yum yum yum yum yum

 Are those Tapirs?

 crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch

 More More More!

 Fondente Mandorla!  We had some of this, some coffee truffles, and about 10 samples of other varieties

 Ribbet, this market made us forget about the cold 

 Gelati Al Limone

 Looks like a cookie, but SOLID white chocolate 

After nearly contracting diabetes during our morning chocolate free for all, we turned the corner for the more serious and entered the Basilica de Santa Croce, which is a gigantic church and tomb. It houses the bodies of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.  Very famous dudes.  It is also a tomb for other wealthy and famous Florentines.  The walls are very old and sort of whisper the past in very cold hushed tones.  A definite sense of spirituality exists within the basilica, and every now and then you pass through eerie cold spots.  You can just sense that it is an extremely important place and sort of bigger than the here and now.  

 Outside the Basilica 

 A noble lion guarding the premises of Santa Croce

 The Courtyard of the Basilica Santa Croce
 Oh us?  We just chilling.

 I do not know the stories behind these, but they are interesting

 An entrance

 Underground tombs

A corner of the church

 An empty courtyard 

 A door to the holy

 The tomb of Galileo at left

 A tomb

 The tomb of Michelangelo 

 Facing the front the altar in Santa Croce

 The tomb of Machiavelli

 To call these walls ornate would be an insult

 Satined Glass Windows

 These churches have interesting side temples that are so interesting 

 A chapel off to the side

 This room was really cold

 The exterior of Santa Croce Basilica

A very cool stationary shop that makes every thing by hand 

We took a leisurely walk towards the Arno river while mulling over our options.  Thankfully the rain had ceased, but for how long?  We had been subjected to our fair share of downpours and extreme weather conditions, and quite frankly, were tired of this nonsense.  We tried to plan a day that would involve as little exposure as possible, but before we knew it, we were walking the trails of Boboli Gardens, far from cover.  Lucky for us, the rains did not come.  We enjoyed taking in these gardens, which is essentially the backyard of the Medici.  These gardens span a gigantic area of fountains, trees, and mazes directly behind Pitti Palace,  the home of the Medici.  It does not take along to realize the excessive wealth of the Medici, as this place is beyond elaborate in every way.  Just check out the pictures.
 Feeding the animals 

 Waiting to enter Boboli

 A statue in the courtyard

 The courtyard of Pitti Palace - home of the Medici 

 Inside that dark area...

 Is this cool little room with baby statues (cherubs) swimming, why not?

 The rear of Pitti Palace

 A boo

 The beginning of Boboli Gardens

 A hazy day in Florence 


 A house on the hill

 Some flora

 A statue

 Great Picture

 A small slice of the Tuscan countryside 

 Very cool statue, there was this little old man tending to the gardens here humming to himself

 A rare pic of both of us

 More countryside 

 Never tire of this view, we stood here for like 30 minutes

 Another of the fountain

 Some flowers

 A shattered head

 A very line lane lined with cypress trees

 A delicate curve

 The back of a wing of Pitti Palace

 Kristin being consumed by shrubs

 A fountain

 An obelisk and a tub?

 This cat took a swipe at Kristin just moments after this picture 

 The Medici Grotto 
 Great Walls

A real chubster

 The facade of Pitti Palace

 The most delicious chocolate ever 

 A street corner

 Dinner 1 in a smallish shop

 A carousel at night

One more thing, we got engaged tonight.  


Posing with the new goods

Right under this archway on a cold winter night in Florence


  1. OMG!! MeMeMe.. Of course I bypassed the days events and went straight 4 a pic of the Bling!! I hav to approve......NICE congrats X O

  2. Wow!! You did it in grand style! Congratulations! Kristin and the ring match perfectly. What a way to end a splendid day in Florence, Italy!! Outstanding pictures.

  3. Wow Justin! You set the bar with the proposal. I have confidence in the rest to come, son.


    Kristin...You are still my little girl! Congrats, I love you! Dad

  4. Congrats to the both of you! Kristen, I am so happy and excited for you! Great pics. Justin, Kristen has always bragged about you being the "master planner" but I would have to say this tops the lists! Congratulations!!!!


  5. Kristin, I just realized you've been my best friend for ten years now. With that, I would say I know you pretty well by now. I couldn't picture a more perfect guy for you. I am so incredibly happy for you and Justin.


  6. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your pictures are beautiful and Kristin...your ring is spectacular!!! We are so happy for you both. Your grandma gave me the website...we are enjoying it so need to write a book on your would make a wonderful travel guide for others going to these cities and countrys. Carol&Pete.

  7. Congrats, Kristin. I'm so very happy for you both!


  8. Jared and I are so happy for you. Your ring is stunning, Kristen-so are you!
    Justin, you are such a class act-Jared and I LOVE your blog. Jared wants to know when the wedding is. Much love and happiness to you always, we love you....

    Julie, Joe and Jared
    Lucy and Charlie

  9. GO BOO GO! Congrats goobers!! What a marvelous way to begin a spendid adventure....can't wait till the WEDDING...Love you both dearly!
    Cuz kJo

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