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Gary’s Blog: My Florence Adventure

I’ve been thinking for the last 30 minutes on how to start this, and I’m kind of drawing a blank. There are a few ways to go with this. I’m gonna go with something that I hope ends up being positive, but your guess is as good as mine.

In eight days or so, depending on when you read this, a pro sport will start their season. I hope I didn’t jinx that now, but Major League Baseball will/should be back next Thursday. We’ve had false hopes get crushed a lot this year, so I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m thankful that golf is back, and that the UFC has given us some live action. I’m not too excited about NASCAR. Basically, I want team sports, and I want them now. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get three pro sports leagues to have actual games, even though it’ll without actual fans. This is something positive. It’s been too long since I’ve thought about what games I have to look forward to, I think we all miss that as well. I don’t have full confidence they’ll all finish, but it looks for now as though they’ll all start. I’ll take whatever we can get. And the NBA and NHL are scheduled to start the following week. Let’s hope the bubbles work as planned. That’s a sentence I ..never thought I’d ever say, or that would mean so much.

Now football is another story. And since last week, we’ve seen a lot of college football games cancelled. The University of Hawaii lost four games, and yesterday gained one back. I’m not surprised at all. It was wishful thinking that all these games would be played. It’s also probable that more games will be cancelled. I hate saying that, but it seems pretty obvious. Without repeating a lot of what I’ve written recently, all we can do is hope for the best. And one way to have that happen is, WEAR A MASK.

Like a lot of us, I see my Facebook memories every day. Most are really from good times. For me, a year ago I was spending the week in Rome, Italy. It was a major bucket list accomplishment for me. I’ve only traveled out of the country once before, to Montreal for a hockey game a long time ago. So going to Rome was great. Well, mostly great. It happened to be really hot, mid 90s every day, and very humid. But that wasn’t too bad. I found out early in the trip that in Italy and Europe, they don’t believe in putting much ice in their drinks. I, on the other hand, always get an extra glass of ice with my iced tea wherever I go, so this was a problem. You wouldn’t believe the looks I got at restaurants when making what to them was a very strange request.

The one night I spent in Florence was very unusual. I was with my friend, and around 3 AM, went to the bathroom and, well, the lock broke and I couldn’t open it from the inside, and she couldn’t open it from the outside. Now, first of all, I didn’t think I closed the door all the way, and I definitely didn’t lock it. It was technically a hotel, but in Italy, a lot of hotels were small and like apartments. There was a front desk, but they closed early. There was no one at this hotel to contact at 3 AM. After 30-40 minutes, I was convinced I was spending the night on a bathroom floor. I thought about calling 911, but how do you do that in Italy? So I asked my friend to go outside at 3:45 and maybe find a cop. This area of town was completely deserted and every business closed at 1 AM when we returned to our hotel, but what were my options?

Ten to 15 minutes after I sent her on her way, I heard a loud bang and the door burst open. It was an Italian police officer. I felt like hugging him. My friend found him on the street and brought him up. What a relief. Now I know you’re laughing as you read this, and a year later, it is funny. But last July in Florence, it was not funny. I now have a fear of hotel bathrooms. Oh yeah, when we checked out the next morning, I told the hotel manager about the lock being broken. He said to make it up to me, he wouldn’t charge me the room tax, which was $9. Wow, that almost made it worth it. And that’s my memory from a year ago today.

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