again this saturday we did not set an alarm and it was wonderful. we woke up to a beautiful day and decided to go to pisa on our day off, because ryan had never been there and it is very close to florence. so we trotted on down to the train station, bought 2 tickets and headed to pisa. it was only 5 euro per person and it only took 1 hour to get there, including about 10 stops on the way.
the train station in pisa is on the opposite side of the city from the obvious attraction, the leaning bell tower, so we had a wonderful stroll through the city. we zig zagged back and forth through so many little side streets observing dog fights, food markets, military gatherings, beautiful churches and other buildings, people arguing, and people just enjoying the day like us.
we finally ended up in the piazza where the infamous "leaning tower" stands, and as touristy over photographed as that building may be, it is still amazing to behold. ryan was not disappointed and of course we joined in with the ridiculous picture taking.
notice the woman to ryan's left doing the same thing
we spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around pisa, in and out of shops, and into a gelato shop that had lion bar gelato (something i had actually been searching for, thanks to mandy). we caught a 5:30 train back to florence and went back to the bible school.
david and debbie prepared a mexican feast for us in their apartment and it was so wonderful. after dinner we sat around their apartment and told stories (mostly debbie told embarrassing stories about david), but we had so much fun. we laughed so hard and i really feel like it was a special time, because no one was rushed, no one had to be anywhere, and we were just able to relax and hang out together.
sunday, we were all participated in the corri la vita (run for life) in downtown florence. we joined the HUF group but were soon separated because of the 15,000 other participants. some of us stuck together and walked the course. for this walk, the city opens palaces, gardens, churches, and other old buildings that are either usually not open to the public or if they are, they aren't free. after our marvelous stroll we stopped to eat at a little restaurant in the piazza of santo spirito church.
sunday afternoon, we came back to the bible school, prepared our english lessons, studied italian, took naps... then we rode up to the HUF villa for church and dinner. it was so pleasant...the singing is always beautiful at the villa and it's refreshing every once in a while to get to sing church songs in english. david shared the lesson and his words are always so heartfelt and encouraging. for dinner we had homemade beef stew and cornbread prepared by mona, debbie, and emily.
after a few rounds of knock out on the basketball court, we returned to the bible school to finish our studies and get some rest for the week ahead.
ps ryan put a lot of pictures from this weekend on facebook, so if you want to see more just ask him to be your friend and look.