A City of Art

Hello everyone,

I know I haven’t posted a blog in a while, but now that CR is over, and I’m on the plane, I finally found some time to write. I have some thoughts from the past week to share. Here’re some from Florence.

Florence is a beautifully hectic city. With people and cars everywhere and priceless art seemingly around every corner, the city feels like it was designed by an artist who prefers beauty over practicality. As someone who usually prefers practicality, I initially preferred Berlin and Munich because of how drivers actually follow the rules of the road and because of the beloved S-bahn and U-bahn train systems.

My time in Florence was marked by a number of moments that I will look back on as great memories to share with all who ask about my CR experience. The city of art lends itself to facilitating these moments.

One was the moment I first saw the expanse of Florence from the top of the city. There is a ledge in the Boboli Gardens of the Pitti Palace where our small group (shoutout to team Michelangelo) took a few moments to admire the city and chat. It was this day when I was able to deepen relationships with multiple people in my group.

Perhaps the most memorable moment in Florence was our gondola ride. We had Febrezzio the gondola captain masterfully cruising us down the river. His gondola was one of the original ones in Florence, and it has been passed down in his family for many generations. Many props to Dr. P for setting up that unique experience. Despite the incredible scene of the river at dusk on one of the oldest gondolas in Italy, what transformed the moment into a lifetime memory was one of the people on CR with us: Madelyn Hicks. If you’re reading this and don’t know Madelyn, just know that she is among the top singers I’ve ever heard perform live, and I’ve heard Adam Levine in concert. While meandering down the river, Madelyn began singing some songs, captivating everyone on the boat, including Febrezzio who doesn’t understand the words since he only speaks Italian, as well as some people on the bridges we were passing. At times, Griffin joined in too, and their duet was incredible. In that moment, I felt the beauty of the city of Florence as well as the beauty of those around me.

There are many who talk about the magic and mythos of CR and how close people became afterwards. In Florence I realized that it is not the locations that create lasting relationships. The amazing places we visit simply act as the conduit for relationships to form. This can happen anytime or at any place, all it takes is intentionality.

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