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Morning in Florence

I ‘m the furthest thing from a morning person, but I was awake before the sun rose. It’s our first morning in Florence, unfolding with the only real calm since I got to Italy. The 5,000 or so miles from Tucson doesn’t exactly go by in a rush, but that long travel day is certainly a hurdle. The stats of that Feb. 4-5 mega-day: 36 hours awake, on a mere three hours sleep. Then a restful 11 hours that I thought set me straight. Yesterday was a lot of preparation and then the drive to Florence – two cars of five adults and three kids. We dined in a very American style – take-out pizza – before settling in with some beer and wine and a guitar, singing old folk tunes and then settling into the usual sort of debates about who’s better: Randy Newman or Warren Zevon; Wilco or Radiohead; Michael Jackson or Kanye West.

And yet, this morning came sooner and far smoother than I expected. Barely five hours sleep and yet this (as previously stated) non-morning person is rested, enjoying this reflective and still morning before the crew gets ready to strike out for the heart of this beautiful city. It’s just 40 outside now – supposed to peak at 43. But the rain that dogged my first day and a half in Rome and followed us part of the way here has receded entirely.

So, for now it’s a bit of guide-book study time and a quick breakfast and coffee, for sure. Then like a sponge out into this beautiful city.

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Eric Swedlund is a writer, photographer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. His music writing has appeared regularly in the Tucson Weekly, Phoenix New Times, East Bay Express, The Rumpus and Souciant Magazine.

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