Sunday, 26 October 2008

Fun in Firenze

So Mylena and I are back, back from our trip to Firenze that has left us with some absolutely unforgettable memories. We arrived in Italy on Sunday evening after spending two days in a lovely hotel in the Vercors region in France. There we had a lovely 10 course "menu de degustation" accompanied by a wine tasting on Friday evening. Saturday we spent an afternoon picking mushrooms under the watchful eye of a local guide and mushroom expert. We ate what we picked that evening and it sure was yummy. We had a good giggle with one of the other hotel guests who looked like she was an avatar that somehow escaped SL. All through dinner she wore a white woollen hat, fingerless gloves, a leather jacket with metal studs and big ass boots that looked like they were made from an awful lot of prims.

She even had prim lashes !!

Arriving in Firenze was a bit of a shock. We made a little tour around the old center on Sunday evening and found it to be absolutely overrun by tourists and all in all really dirty. It must have been a Sunday thing however because when we walked the old narrow streets from piazza to piazza on Monday things had been thoroughly cleaned up. Being very curious we also walked past the Museum of Natural History where the exhibit would take place joking it would be too funny if it all turned out to be an elaborate hoax. But sure enough the big Rinascimento Virtuale poster adorned the facade of the building.

Not a hoax after all.

Tuesday we spent on touristy stuff. Walking around, visiting the sites but all the while at least my thoughts were with what would happen that evening. A little after six we were at the museum. At first I heard nothing but Italian around me in the crowd that had gathered in the courtyard of the building for the opening speech. I was disappointed not to see any familiar faces. I was starting to fear no one would show up. Then all of a sudden I heard this guy being interviewed by some reporter spell out his SL name An-dro-me-ga Vo-la-re ... Yay, found one ! While saying hi to Andro I heard "Hey Loki !!". Turned out to be Track Hax who was talking to no one other than Nyla Rossini and her husband. We went on to have a look at the exhibit and there they were; Silver, Keiko, Luther, Pilgrim, Raul, Khamudy and Angie. It was really like meeting up with old friends and meeting a few new ones.

ltr Kham, Raul, Nyla's hubby Matthew, Nyla & Andro

I'll be short on the exhibit itself. Let's say it was a nice try but there was not that much SL-Art on display and clearly set up not too interfere too much with the normal collection of the museum resulting in pics being on the floor leaning against display cabinets or pics being almost two meters up on top of cabinets. A setup made of a number of those picture display frames was a nice idea but most of them stayed dark or displayed the setup menu. In the end everyone gathered around one big size monitor displaying an endless stream of pics while once in a while someone would go "hey that's yours!" or "Yay, one of mine". There were a few viewing booths set up to show some machinima. All in all a bit of a disappointment but the company largely made up for it. I'll probably write about the exhibit itself in a later blog.

One of Ariel's dreamy pictures on top of a display cabinet

After we'd seen what was there we decided to go for drinks but first went to pick up Hio at his hotel. Contrary to popular belief he is not actually green in RL but apart from that Hio is Hio. We ended up at an Irish pub on piazza della Signoria chatting, laughing, teasing, gossiping and generally having a great time. If someone listened in on the conversation they must have thought we were completely nuts with all the "woot" "lol" and "Yay" going on. We ended a really great evening having a late dinner at a nice restaurant barely big enough to seat all thirteen of us. You should have seen the waiter's face when Keiko wanted ketchup to put on her fettuccini bolognese ... priceless !

Strike a pose! Or was it hop on a poseball ?

Wednesday was a day of more sightseeing and touristy stuff which I won't bother you with. On Thursday we met up with Silver, Keiko, Luther, Pil & Kham again and strolled through Firenze, had a very good late lunch on one of the countless terraces and did some shopping. Sometimes RL can be so like SL only the food and wine are better in RL, in Italy anyway. More great food that evening when Luther prepared us some delicious pasta dishes at the apartment where they were staying. I picked up a few bottles of wine and a bottle of limoncello and we spent the evening chatting about everything and anything sitting outside on the apartment's little roof terrace around a couple of candles. A wonderful ending to an exciting few days.

ltr Luther, Keiko, Nyla & Pilgrim

It was really funny to see how we all got along so well and without any awkwardness about actually meeting for the first time in RL. I guess you can role play as much as you want but in the end the real person behind the av always shows through so in a way you really know the people even if you have never met them. It really makes me want to meet so many others I met in my time in SL because how ever much fun SL can be, nothing beats sharing a meal with real people.

I thank my lucky stars I got to meet all these lovely people.

Track, it was good to see you there. You should have tagged along on Tuesday.
Andro, it was really nice meeting you and it's a pity you couldn't stay longer.
Nyla, I still hear your wonderful laughter. It was great to meet you and your husband.
Angie, I love the pictures you took with my camera. I'm sure we'll see more of each other in world after this week.
Pil, Don't think we've seen each other in world all that much so far. So great to get to know you a bit better. Hope things went well in Portugal.
Raul, I can see why Gany loves you to bits. It was my privilege to meet a great guy like you.
Kham, what can I say apart from "I love your mind" héhé. Great meeting you too.
Luther, man that pasta was great! Hope to see more of you in world.
Hio, pity we didn't get to talk a bit more, still, it was really great to meet you!
Keiko, you sweet thing, it may sound a bit odd but I love you to bits.
Silver, meeting in person after all this time was wonderful. I sure hope it was a first and not a last. See you in world soon!
Mylena, thanks from the bottom of my heart for a wonderful trip.

Now let's all think long and hard for the next excuse to all meet again ;-)


Phoenix Ellsberg said...

I have so enjoyed looking at your photos and reading this account Loki! I am more than a little envious of you all, I must admit. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Thank you for sharing :-)

Kimo P said...

This blog has just made my Sunday. I only hope once in my RL I may share in an experience like this. Sorry to hear that the exhibit wasn't the best, but obviously it was all about the meet and such a wonderful meet it sounds like. YAY!

Loki Popinjay said...

Well Phoenix, Kimo, when I wrote "It really makes me want to meet so many others I met in my time in SL" you two are certainly part of the "many others". Who knows... one day ...

Lano Ling said...

Sorry, I missed this. I was been one day after you all there. :(

Joonie Jatho said...

I agree...this made my smile soooo big! How wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with us, Loki. :) Someday....

Shoshana Epsilon said...

I'm so jealous that you got to meet all those people! Too bad the pictures weren't well displayed, but ... *shrugs*

Anonymous said...

Was really a pleasure to meet you, Loki, and to have a time all together with that wonderful bunch of people.
Even the "bad things" of the exhibit just meeting that SL friends in FL made all worthy.