OK-so I was going to Florence, Italy–alone.  I would be spending my 50th birthday there–alone.  It should be a day to spend with friends and loved ones, however I was going to be–alone.

But I was going to FLORENCE, ITALY!!!  ALONE!!!  I was going to have the freedom to explore. to wander, to dream, to soak in my beloved Renaissance Art and never having to worry about how long I lingered.  Oh-and of course there was going to be the food and the wine.  I wasn’t going to have to worry about choosing a restaurant that someone did not like or worrying about anyone being bored with a museum or church with it’s many chapels.  I was going to be able to wander the streets and stop wherever I wished and stay as long as I desired.

I was digging the idea more and more. So-now where to stay?  After 20 years of being stuck in hotels for most of my corporate life, I had found that hotels did not make me feel as though I was “on vacation”.  Some small boutique hotels in Europe had overcome my hotel phobia, but those stays had been when I was adventuring with fellow traveling buddies.  Staying alone in a hotel for this trip was simply not an option.

A few of my dearest friends and I had discovered, early on in our traveling years, that renting apartments was a wonderful alternative to hotels.  It was a bit risky (in a fun way), since the usual  arrangement was to meet a foreign stranger on the street to exchange money for keys.

An apartment in Florence was my next “no going back” decision.

I have always said that I feel blessed that the travel gods seem to smile upon me, and I had no reason not to have faith in them once again.