Saturday, May 16, 2009


I can't believe it's my last day in Florence; I really can't. It flew by, but went so slow at the same time. Me, Lauren and Emily are the only ones left, as Stella, Paige and Amanda already took off. Our apartment is so empty and quiet. It's weird sitting here in this chair surrounded by memories. It didn't hit me until this morning when I woke up and I've had a pit in my stomach all day. Walking by Santa Croche for one of the last times was the weirdest feeling in the world. I'm sad to go but I'm ready to start/continue my life at home.

So I haven't written in a while. Last thursday, Jesse, Lauren Stella and I went to Dantes across the river. It was quite eventful. We were seated at our table by the waiter, and instead of the waiter bringing us our water, menus and bread, some random guy did, and thought that maybe we wouldn't notice? Didn't say a word, jus smiled and gave us what we needed and went back to his table. Five minutes later our waitress comes over with a note written on the back of a bill and four names and phone numbers. We laughed and put the note aside. Then they come over with an open bottle of wine and start pouring it in our glasses and proceed to talk to us for about 15 minutes. They were actually really funny and respecful and not like other creepy Italian men.

The next day, Stella and I got up early to get on a train and spend the day at the beach in ViaReggio. It was a gorgeous day and perfect for sun bathing, but I've never been bothered by so many vendors in my life. Like if my eyes are closed, and I'm comfortable and sleeping on the beach, dont wake me up to offer me some useless piece of junk that you know I'm not going to buy anyway. I won't miss that.

Saturday Stella, Jesse and I took off for our last academic field trip to the Thermal baths. It was unlike anything I expected. It was in the country side, very secluded and quiet and in the middle of nowhere. We stayed in like this little community type thing with pathways and thermal baths. Instead of staying in hotel rooms, we stayed in villas! There were about 4 of us in each one and it had a living room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and 2 bedrooms. I wish the trip had been more than one night. It was so relaxing-- we lounged out by the pool for hours at a time and even got a complimentary massage. It was my first massage and I definitely loved it. Funny that the first thing Dad AND Nick asked was, "was it a lady or a man that gave it to you?" haha. It was a lady.

This week I took all my finals. I think they went relatively well, and I think I managed to pull it off and do well this semester, despite what some people may have though (ahem mom) about me slacking off on my work and just soaking in the fact that I was in Italy. I have to say though, my Italian is no better than when I came here. But i DO have 2 "short films" to show people.

Thursday night was our last night all together. We decided to go to this hip place that only opens up in the spring because it is an outdoor club. We heard great things about it so we were like oh sweet lets go. Me, Nick and Lauren, being the cheap ones that we are walked (even though it was all the way across Florence) while Stella, Emily and Paige got a cab. We called each other for the entire night being like "where are you! I'm at the bar...I'm at the you're not..i don't see you". Come to find out we were at two different clubs, both outdoors and both in the park. It was still a great time..unlike anything I've ever seen in my life. It was amazing. There were like 5 different bars and different sections to dance with different types of music. It was so classy and everyone was dressed up. All the workers were in suits, there was flaming champaigne everywhere, and hired dancers to dance on stage.

Yesterday, four of us went to Ganzo for lunch. As soon as I walked in, one of the waiters was kind of staring at me funny as if he recognized me and was like "You are the the picture" haha it felt so awesome. Then he said something about somebody buying it?? but I didn't understand. After that Lauren and I went to go drop stuff off at FUA to donate for earthquake victims and we went to a little shop to find her dad a wallet. The guy that worked there was seriously the cutest old man I had ever seen in my entire life. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about him. So slowly and delicately packing up the wallet in tissue paper and a box, realizing that his old old cash register wouldn't open to give Lauren change, and then his eyes lit up when she had exact change and was sooo thankful. Cutest thing ever.
I'm also realllly really going to miss seeing the dog that lives on the corner every day.

Last night, Paige, Emily, Lauren and I all pulled our mattresses into the living room and had a big slumber party. We made sure that we stayed up until 2 though because that's when the secret bakery opens. It's in this hidden ally way and doesn't look like a place at all, but when you walk inside you walk straight into where they bake it and they have fresh and warm baked goods all ready for you to take, all for a euro. It was the best donut I have ever had in my life.

When we got back we laughed for about 45 minutes because Lauren was recording video tapes in her detective voice, talking about our adventure.

I have so many more pictures that I'm waiting to have people check back for a picture blog.

Goodbye Florence.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sicily Video

If anyone has 20 minutes, my teacher made a video about our trip to Sicily. I'm in it a few times. Check it out:
(just copy and paste)

I will update about thermal baths as soon as I get pictures. My camera batteries died so I have to depend on other people uploading them.

Monday, May 4, 2009


So at the last minute, the train schedule changed and we had to take a bus from Florence to Rome and catch the overnight train there. I wish that that wasn’t the case, because on the 4 hour bus ride to Rome, two seats in front of me, this kid randomly threw up on the floor. It was there for almost three hours, and we were all suffocating ourselves in our blankets. We got off at a rest stop to go to the bathroom and get food, and me being the squeamish and stubborn one that I am, refused to get back on the bus until it was cleaned off the floor. So I marched right up to the bus driver and told him so. He cleaned it, and only then did I get back on the bus. The overnight train was a good time. It was my first time on one and I felt like I was in Harry Potter. I was expecting the cart lady to come rolling down the aisles offering us pumpkin pastries at any second.

Lauren and I started this thing, where we talk like detectives and record everything we do by times. For example (and the reason behind us giggling for about 20 minutes in the dark while we were trying to fall asleep on the train) “11:24, we lay down for a snooze.” It’s not funny unless you do it in the detective voice from those old black and white movies. Anyways, we did this the entire trip, and needless to say, everyone was annoyed with it by the end of the trip.

The next morning we were awoken by Francesco and when we opened our cabin door all we saw was ocean. It was beautiful. We got off the train and all got cappuccinos and pastries, and walked to a beautiful garden in Taormina with stones and statues and gorgeous flowers(birds of paradise) and trees. Lauren and I took some immature pictures imitating statues and we found some mating caterpillars. Emily really wanted me to pick one up to take a picture of me with it, and just as I was reaching for it, Mark slaps my hand away and pulls me away and says “Honey, leave them alone, they’re having sex. How would you like it if someone pet you? The sock is on the door, just leave them be”. HAHAHA. About an hour after our morning pastry, Francesco took us to the best bakery where we watched them make canolis in the back kitchen, and then we ate them. It was the best canoli I ever had.

After this we take a bus to the beach and lay out for 4 hours. It was the most relaxing thing ever and it was quite a change actually laying on send rather than rocks. We got back on the bus and drove two hours to Syracusa where our hotel was, checked in, showered, and rested until dinner. These trips take a lot out of me so I went to bed early both nights.

The next day we woke up early, ate breakfast at our hotel and started our walking tour of Syracusa. We went into this cave and this dog was going absolutely crazy barking up at the top and like trying to climb up the cave walls, and then frantically chasing his tale. A picture was taken of the dog, and on several peoples cameras there was an or over the dogs head, so we agreed that a ghost was definitely messing with this dog. Afterwards we went to an amphitheater which was pretty cool and apparently Al Pacino has performed there. Above the amphitheater were caves and waterfalls and apparently people used to “make love” in these caves which looked really uncomfortable but it was weird because it actually looked like the shape of beds were formed in there.

We continued to tour the city, and Francesco was being completely inappropriate the entire time. Mind you this man has to be in his 70’s. He had a friend there that he knew that was helping him chaperone and show us around, and evidently he was gay because Francesco kept telling us to “follow the gay man”. We were in the catacombs which weren’t as cool as in Paris (all the bones were gone in this one), and Francesco lights up a cigarette and then tells us that when we were done taking pictures, to “turn around and follow the gay”. At one point when we were outside, sitting on the steps of the church this ADORABLE little boy, had to have been just about 2, kept running over to us and smiling and flirting and would get soo mad when his dad would pick him up and try to take him away.

The last thing that we did on Saturday was take a boat ride out into the ocean. I’m pretty sure everyone but me and Lauren jumped into the water, climbed a cliff and jumped off. Few had bathing suits. Most jumped in clothes, or underwear. I was satisfied just watching. The highlight of this boatride for me though, was when this poor bird was drowning—I was near tears until the boat driver pulled over and saved it. It made my day. My dinner was terrible. I basically had a plate of cheese. It’s ridiculously hard being a vegetarian over here.

Sunday we went to Noto. I loved the architecture there. It was soo clean and much different from that of Florence or any other place that I’ve been in Italy for that matter. After this we went to the beach again for another 2 hours, ate lunch, and were off to the train station. While we were waiting for our late train (it would be a miracle if a train was ever on time in Italy) I decided to fulfill a bet that I had with Lauren. I bet that Francesco would let me have a puff of his cigarette. She bet that there was no way he would let me. We bet a huge bag of peanut m&m’s because they’re 4 euros here and hard to find. I asked him, and he handed it over. I took a tiny puff and barely had it out of my mouth before pointing at Lauren and jumping around because I just won a bag of M&M’s.

13 more days.