So I have finally cooled down enough to write about Firenze. I thought I would share my thoughts on the event that changed the way I look at humanity and some of perspective on what I learned.
First a recap of the events. We could not for the life of us find our way to Firenze. We left Rome at 2pm and had a route that would take 2 and a half hours. Plugged our address into Jorgina, our GPS, and got underway. After driving for an hour and half on a major interstate Jorgina piped up and suggested getting off. Being a diligent driver I followed the big red arrow on the screen. She of course knows best. Well nearly four hours later after driving back and forth across tuscany, over two mountain passes and past several horse farms we were still 80 km away from Firenze when we decided to call it a night. We found a fantastic little bed and breakfast, Hotel & Ristorante Chenno, Via Don Lorenzo Boschi, Subbiano, Arezzo. Saturday night the place started dinner at 8pm. The restaurant was full and booked but Chenno made a table for five and we had a delicious home cooked meal. Fresh pasta with pork and sauce, a flank steak sliced thin, a salad, and finished the meal with dessert and lemonchello, fantastic. Next day we got up early and were on the road by 8am. We had tickets for the secret passages of the Palazzo Vecchio. We parked in a metered lot about 2km from the centro. It being Sunday there were a few parking spaces available. After a totally entertaining tour through the vaults and secret rooms of the palace we returned to the car.}}
The scene of the crime. We aproached the car talking about all the riches that were stored in the secret vaults of the Palazzo Vecchio. The car was parked the second row back of a crowded parking lot on Vaile Michelangilio. It appeared to be a sleepy little part of the city with trees lining the road and shops just behind the parking lot. It sat 50 meters down from the Hotel David and few meters from a Intereior Design Studio. As we approached the car I saw that the drivers side window was broken. At first I thought someone had hit the car and broke the window. I hope they left a note. As I came closer I did not see a dent in the door. Then I started to put it together. Little white and blue pellets of safety glass crunched under my feet as I opened the unlocked door. Sharp square pieces of glass fell ontop of my feet from the drivers seat as the door swung open. Sadie ran to the rear passenger side seat. Through open the door and said, “its gone!” Then like goldilocks and the three bears. “mines gone too.” from Sam. I walked to the back of the car and popped open the hatch back. My stomach sank when I realized my computer bag was missing. Sadie turned to Jen and climbed into her embrace. Sam was throughing hats shoes and wrappers around in the back seat. Sophie slipped next to me at the trunk rummaged around for her soccer bag. She started saying “oh my god I got mine. Thank god I got my ipad.” We all glared at her jealously as she did a little victory dance with the ipad above her head. After a quick look around we realized all the electronics were gone. But the thing that hurt the most was when I realized the computer bag was gone. In it were two identical hard drives full of all the photos and videos that were taken over the past 5 months. Thousands of images and hours of raw videos gone………………
So that brings me to what I learned.
1) Always park your car with foreign plates in a secured garage. The cost does not matter that much. It is all about the security guard watching the cameras.
2) Be certain when you arrive at the parking lot that all of your electronics are not just put away but are at the bottom of all of your other luggage. That way if someone does break into the car they have to practically unpack the entire vehicle to find anything of value.
3) Remove all things that could look tempting from in and around the front and rear seats, even the change for the toll booths.
4) Seperate the two hard drives from each other. I have been trained to back up data because of my profession. One hard drive is not enough! If it fails you have nothing. So two hard drives is always better. But here is what everyone leaves out. If someone steals your bag with both HD you still have nothing. When I say seperate I mean put one in a weird place like a secret cubby, an old starbucks coffee bag or with your dirty laundry.
5) If you do not have to have it do not bring it, We managed to travel for 5 months through most of eastern europe and have a problem, but we traveled with way to many electronics. Each one of the kids had their own ipad and ipod. I had a computer and Jen had a Kindle. After thinking about while here in Costa Rica we had way to many valuable things. So many that they were almost hard to keep track of. Do not bring it if you do not have too!