Well after 18 hours of flights, layovers, crying children, cramped spaces I'm in Bella Florence, Italian. It is worth all that effort and much more.
The weather is perfect, mid-70's with a light breeze. Arrived around 12noon and had no problem locating my hotel. It had no lift but thankfully it was only up 1.5 flights. Manageable with my 2 bags. I was able to have lunch at one of the most reasonably priced with delicious food that I swear Nonna (grandma) is in the kitchen cooking ~Da Giorgio's on via Palazzuolo. I enjoyed gnocchi with a Gorgonzola and noci (walnut) sauce -very yummy; sliced steak on a bed of arugula with shaved Parmesan cheese on top and some spinach. All for a grand total of €12 and included a bottle of water and a 1/4 liter of wine (rosso for me).
Stopped at the TIM store to put money on my phone and I was ready for a walk. Walked to Piazza Della Repubblica and watched the kids on the merry go round in a daze, jet lag is starting to hit. Walk over towards the Duomo where I went to see about getting a sweatshirt like the one I purchased on my first trip in 2004, worn it so much it's starting to gets holes. They don't have this style any longer but will keep checking. Picked up a map at the TI store as I gave mine a couple at lunch. After a few phone calls I went back to my room and made some hotel reservations, did a few emails, and then decided not to fight the jet lag any longer. Got a good 3 hours of sleep.
At 9pm (only in Italy do I eat this late) I went to Il Latiini's (via dei Palchetti, 6r). This is truly a red meat eaters place. They have a great Ragu and their Bisteca alla fIorentina is massive and comes carmelized on the outside and bloody on the inside and is usually 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick. What I like to call a caveman cut. I enjoyed crostini with chicken liver pate, a barley salad, prosuitto, penne with ragu, and a glass of vin santo wine (complimentary) and a cappacino to end the meal (total €20). Dined across from a lovely young man, Nicolas, who has opened up a clothing store in Piazza della Signoria, enjoyed the conversation over dinner. Sat next to two couples from Philadelphia and gave them some suggestions on places to eat and visit.
Left the restaurant almost 12am and it's now almost 2am, I'm hoping I won't wake up too early. Have a zanzare (mosquito) in my room must get rid of it before falling asleep. Reminds me to pick up some of those outlet plug-in repellants, tomorrow.
Blogging on my iPad is going well so far, need to figure out how to post pictures.