Well, after a long trip I safely made it to Florence. I had a little hiccup at Rome station which I think was partly related to the fact that my brain wasn't functioning after 28 hours of travelling and not much sleep. But I'm finding that being mum to 5 has proven to make me a much better and braver traveller than I was in a pre child life. I was most certainly not an intrepid traveller so for me to do this trip on my own is quite a feat.
However, I just don't feel so worried about looking silly (been there done that with many a tantruming toddler at the shops) and keener to just get on with things. Even had a man at the station ask me for help in very fast Italian! Made me laugh.
Staying with my friends who have 4 kids pretty similar ages to my own kids is fun and they are thrilled to have an available adult for chats, games and just attention in general. And it's nice to have the time to do that. Helped out with some babysitting last night when parent teacher interviews were on at two schools at the same time. Got to take some of the kids to school yesterday (met some of the school mums at pick up time), visit their local pizzeria at dinner time, go to the supermarket. All the stuff of life that I find fascinating about a new place.
Today I went for a walk on my own and it was gloriously sunny afternoon. Had frost on the windscreen this morning and a -3 degree start to the day so it was warmer than I'd expected. I just wandered off and thought I'd see what I could find. Found myself looking at the Duomo in the distance and followed the streets until I got there. Even made my way home safely. Not many tourists around this time of the year so quite pleasant.
Looking forward to meeting some of the Italian students tomorrow night (not that I will have a clue what they are talking about, but smiling a lot is my main strategy at the moment!).