When you travel for nearly 30 hours between getting ready, getting to the airport, flying, and then arriving and checking in…..you are in somewhat of a dream state. I guess they call that jet lag!
14 travelers from all different parts of the country, on five different flights and we all made it! Not one lost piece of luggage. Amazing. Well we checked in and all got settled one by one at the beautiful Hotel Brunellschi located in the heart of Firenze http://www.hotelbrunelleschi.it We have been staying here since 2004 and it is one of my favorites. The staff if outstanding and very friendly and have been the same crew throughout the years. It makes it feel like you are staying with good friends or family and they treat you accordingly.
We all got settled, some of us arrived around noon and some as late as 5:30pm so some of us had time to do a little exploring and/or get a quick power nap in, while the late arrivals barely had time to drop off their suitcase, take a quick shower and meet us in the hotel lounge for cocktails before we made our way to the spectacular Villa San Michele in the hills above Firenze for our welcome dinner. http://www.belmond.com/villa-san-michele-florence/ This 5 star hotel, originally designed by none other than Michealangelo is truly off the charts spectacular. I cannot imagine it getting any better than this and it is the perfect place to start our 14 day journey.
Of course everyone is in this jet lag state of being and all of a sudden you are enjoying a Bellini on the terrace overlooking Firenze with the sun setting in the distance and the music of the pianist in the background…..well like I said dreamlike for sure.
We start with cocktails each year, and with the rain showers we had cocktails in the conservatory which was absolutely lovely. From there we were escorted to the Loggia where we were greeted by my waiter and good friend, Antonello, has been my waiter for nearly 15 years. We set the menu ahead along with the wine pairings so my jet lagged travelers did not have to make a single decision this evening – just relax and soak in the experience. The stories and friendships were beginning……
Fabulous evening and a wonderful start to our journey!