we finally took off for Pisa.  Flying to Pisa were Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and their children.  The delay was caused by the thunderstorms that were rolling through New York all day.  Our plane had to divert to Philadelphia and when it finally took off from Philadelphia, I had already read half of  The Man From Beijing.  While we were boarding the captain informed us we were waiting for a group of fifteen passengers who had just landed from Atlanta.  “Why are we waiting for these people?”  asked an Italian woman.  “They never waited for me when my plane was delayed,”  she complained to a flight attendant.  I couldn’t believe she was complaining about waiting for a few more minutes after a three-hour delay.  “Our flight time will be 7 hours and 45 minutes from takeoff to landing,” we’ve been told.  The complaining Italian woman can’t figure out what time it will be when we land in Pisa so she asks the same flight attendant who also can’t add the flight time to the local time to figure out our arrival time.

After reaching the coastline of Tuscany we start a holding pattern to wait for the airfield to be available for our plane.  There’s only one runway and right now it has traffic waiting to takeoff.

We clear Passport Control and Customs in a few minutes and we’re on our way to the NH Cavalieri by taxi.  Ten euros later and only a kilometer from the airport we’re by the train station that’s in front of the hotel.

During the 5 minute ride the driver tells us how bad the economy is in Italy,  he also tells us to visit Lucca, a town about 16 kilometers away by train.  Hungry because we haven’t eaten  on the flight over we head out looking for Osteria i Santi, a restaurant we liked when we were here last year.  I have a general idea of where it is located and we find it with no trouble, but unfortunately it’s closed and won’t open till 7 pm.  We walk a few steps and sit outside to eat anything.  The euros are bleeding away.  We didn’t order anything too special and 28 euros are gone.  We continue a few blocks to the Piazza dei Miracoli to begin our site seeing.

The Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistry  are surrounded by tourists.  On Sunday we spend the day in Lucca.  There are hundreds of antique vendors near the Duomo di San Martino.