Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shopping in Italy

It’s interesting to see how being devoid of non-food shopping has affected us.  When we do go to Jeddah, it’s usually for many items; on our last trip, we got printer ink, a duffle bag for Steve, a mini Leatherman, and a root canal.  (Ok, that last one was free, but it was the reason we were in Jeddah)  As a whole though, we don’t buy very much.  I didn’t consider how appealing shopping would be in Italy after being deprived of genuine shopping for the last few months.

Our first purchase was a new pair of shoes for me, because my old shoes were absolutely uncomfortable when standing or walking for extended periods of time, which is the opposite of what you want when traveling.  We started looking for cheap shoes, but after visiting three or four stores, we realized that nothing worth wearing for eight or more hours a day was going to be cheap.  So on Steve’s recommendation we wandered into Merrell, which was shockingly expensive.  I ended up trying on the Men’s WaterPro Manistee shoes, and they felt amazing on my feet.  They are, at 90 euro, the most expensive piece of clothing or accessory that I have ever owned.  However, after wearing them all week in Italy, they are by far the best shoes I’ve ever owned.

My favorite part is that they are super lightweight, coming in at only 1.4 pounds!  It really does feel like I’m not wearing shoes at all.  It’s generally a pretty dumb idea to start a trip off with a new pair of shoes, but thankfully, I didn’t have any problems with blisters or foot pain from these dreamy shoes.

We also did a lot of window shopping while searching for shoes, and oh the envy!  Clothes were definitely more expensive, but Milan is hands down the most fashionable and beautiful place ever.  Had I realized how nice the clothes were going to be, I might have packed fewer clothes and more money!  While I didn’t end up buying any clothes, I did get a few cute accessories before we left Milan for Florence.

Shopping in Florence was less planned and more a result of wants not needs.  We ended up buying a new SD card our first day because I had left my 8GB card in the laptop back in the hotel.  Steve also decided to get a new wallet in Florence, since his, which I got him two years ago, is falling apart.

In Athens, we got two beautiful pieces of art, and we decided that we might get another if we found something we both liked.  Instead of traditional art, we found a beautiful series of postcards.  If I can find the right kind of frame, I’ll frame and hang them here, otherwise I’ll have to wait and frame them when we get back home.

Our finale to our buying extravaganza was a trip to a yarn shop in Florence.  I ended up getting three different kinds of yarn, two for me and one to make something for Steve as well as two pairs of needles.  The pink yarn was originally one large hank, but Steve helped me ball it into more manageable sizes while we were sitting in the Cairo airport, flight delayed.  All of the knitting needles we found in Italy were crazy long.  I'm not sure how Italians manage to knit with such long needles; they seem clumsy and awkward to me.

We certainly did more shopping than expected in Italy, but it was so much fun, and we found some things we most likely wouldn’t have found in Jeddah.

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Or check out our Italy tag!

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