Saturday, April 2, 2011
The last weekend in February, my friend Bud and I went to Paris! And it was spectacular. Just splendid. We left on the night of the 24th. We were supposed to fly from Florence to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Paris. However, that night we got layed over in Frankfurt because our flight from Florence to Frankfurt was delayed so we missed our connection. But we were on the first flight that next morning and didn't really lose any time. We got to Paris around 9am that morning, went and checked into our hotel and got some breakfast. After Breakfast we hit the ground running. We used the METRO the entire time we were in Paris. It was fantastic. So easy to navigate. That morning we went to the Louvre, which was fantastic. I love that museum. Bud and I are in the same Humanities class and we got to see pretty much all of the works we had studied the two semesters in Florence. We were very overwhelmed by the size of the Louvre. I had been before, this was Bud's first time to Paris. We got to see all of the pieces we wanted to. After the Louvre we went to Musee D'Orsay. This museum has mostly Impressionist and works from the Belle Epoque, which is my favorite era of Art History. After lovely strolls through these museums we went and ate lunch at the HARD ROCK in PARIS!!! It was fantastic. I got nachos and a coke with FREE REFILLS! So delicious. After lunch we went shopping. I got a Longchamp bag! I'd been wanting one for so long. That night we ate dinner and did the Eiffel Tower. The next morning, Bud went to Versailles and I went and got my nose pierced and went shopping on the Champs Elysee. Bud and I met for lunch and walked around before we had to go back to the airport. The plane rides back to Florence were quite smooth.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The week after my Amsterdam weekend was an interesting one. I got back from the Netherlands on Sunday afternoon. Monday was a regular day of class. But Tuesday we left for Turkey as a group. We left Florence at 8am and drove to the Bologna Airport where we took a flight to Istanbul. In Istanbul we took a flight to Izmir, Turkey, which is on the asian side of Turkey. Izmir is near the ancient city of Ephesus. This is the same city that Paul wrote to(Ephesians). It took us a full 12 hours of traveling to get from Florence to Ephesus. Wednesday morning we woke up and toured the ancient city. The tour was so fascinating. I love ancient Roman cities and its architecture. We got to see the library at Ephesus. It was the second largest in the ancient world behind the library at Alexandria. It was huge. The city was just so interesting. I mean, Paul actually walked down the same streets we were walking down. He could have sat on the same steps I sat on. I was awestruck. After Ephesus we visited the Temple or Artemis and the Church of St. John. While we were at the church there was the noon time call to prayer for the muslims. It was so contradictory. I was standing in the middle of a Christian church hearing the Islamic call to prayer. The last thing we did in Ephesus/Izmir was visit Turkish rug and ceramic factories. After those visits we went to the airport and flew back to Istanbul for the rest of our visit.
Thursday morning we woke up and went and saw the great mosaics of Turkey and then went to the Blue Mosque. I had never been to a mosque before. I thought it was very interesting. I love learning about other cultures and religions. After the Mosque we went to the Sophia Hagai. Which was an old Christian church that was turned into a mosque in the 1600's and is now a museum. That was very interesting to see all of the changes it had to go under to convert into a mosque. After that was lunch. And i found out that I LOVE Turkish food. Its so yummy. After lunch we went to the Grand Bazaar. I bought a hookah and a pair of hiram pants. After the Bazaar we went to an authentic Turkish bath. Its like a spa but better. I got a scrub, massage and a facial. I was so relaxed after. I went back to the hotel, ate dinner and passed out. It was fabulous.
The last day we went to an Egyptian Spice market in the morning and then took a cruise around the Bosporus from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side. It was neat to see the changes from European side to the Asian. After the market we had free time on the European side. I needed to go back to the spice market to get more turkish delight. I was with my friend Lana and Alexa. We needed to get from one side of the free way to the next. We ended up crossing six lanes of traffic and a tram way to get to the market. We almost died. Multiple times. But it was a fun adventure. That night we ate at the hotel and saw the whirling dervishes. Turkey was an amazing experience. I absolutely fell in love with Istanbul.
We've finally gotten back on our regular school schedule with four day weeks and three day weekends! It was so nice. Classes are going well, but a little overwhelming. I've missed my friends from home a lot this week. This past weekend I went to Amsterdam! Which was just amazing! I loved the city so much. I went with my friend Bailey. We left really early on Friday morning and was in A'dam by lunch. A'dam has the most amazing public transportation system. It was so easy to get around. We got a 48hour pass for all the public transportation and used it as much as we needed. Once we checked into our hotel we went back to the city center and went to the VanGogh Museum. I am a HUGE VanGogh fan. And this museum had a good majority of his works. We got to see the Irises, Sunflowers and a few of his self portraits to name a few. After the museum, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. Which was so delicious. I had potato skins and a coke. You can't really get that stuff in Italy. Then we walked around the city and looked in a few shops. That night we turned in early. I had been up since 3am.
Saturday morning we got an early start. That morning we got breakfast at this place called Pancake Corner. Bailey got a banana pancake and I got a grilled cheese. I had been craving a grilled cheese since I left the states. After breakfast we went to the Anne Frank House. It was so sad and depressing. The space that her, her family and another family shared was so tiny and dark. I had never realized how devastating her story was. After the Anne Frank house we made a trip to the Heineken Brewery! Which was actually really neat. I've never been the biggest beer fan. But I really liked seeing how it was made and it didn't taste half bad. After the beer, we found a bagel place with free WiFi. So that's where we spent the rest of our afternoon. It was delicious. I love Bagels. After out bagel stop we went to the infamous Red Light District. That was the weirdest thing I have encountered. Prostitution is such a nonchalant thing in A'Dam. The girls were just hanging there. It was weird seeing their blinds shut because everyone knows what's going down behind the curtain. After the detour in the redlight district, Bailey and I went gambling. I love to gamble and she never had. So it was a fun thing to do. I came out of the casino even so I was a happy camper. For dinner that night we had cocktails and brownie sundaes. Best decision ever. SO yummy. The next morning we woke up and went to the airport and flew back to Florence. Amsterdam has been one of my favorite places I've traveled. I truly enjoyed my time there.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I am back in Florence after a nice month long break back in the states. My Christmas holiday was so nice. I got to hang out with my friends and family and really just relax! Such a blessing. But now I am back in Florence and it is as beautiful as ever. I love this place. So far I have just been doing the normal thing. The first two days I was here it was just super chill. Just do whatever we wanted and just relax, get acclimated to everything. Then we all went to Assisi the sunday after we got back. I love Assisi so much! Its adorable. Then the first full week back in Italy was Intensive Italian. Which wasn't as bad as last semester. We got to do an Italian cooking class, volunteer and learn Italian card games. On the weekends so far we have been relaxing and just enjoying being back in Italy. This past week was our first week of classes. Which was just awful. It was SO long. I'm taking Renaissance Art, Italian, Humanities and Anatomy/Physiology. I love my anatomy class so much. Ren art will be good. but my teacher is iffie. And the other two are what they are. I'm really excited to start traveling for the semester. I have something planned every weekend. Its going to be a hard semester but its also going to be a whole lot of fun. I can't wait.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Guess which one was my favorite? THANKSGIVING. This whole past week I was in just a bad mood. We had this Humanities paper that I started on last weekend and finished actually on Thanksgiving night. We had a full week of classes because of finals coming up. Which meant I had HUMANITIES three times. Which was almost unbearable. But we all made it through. Thanksgiving was very bittersweet. I had so much fun with my new Florence family but it also made me realize how much I take "family time" for granted when I'm home. I missed them so much. But Sara mad us turkey, dressing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and cornbread. It was so yummy! And the next day we had leftovers. Which were so yummy. And on Friday I got to skype my family while they put up the christmas tree! And they are saving me a few ornaments to put on the tree when I get home in 6 days!!! I can't wait to be back in Nashville.
So pretty much that whole week I worked on my HUM paper and so that weekend I just mostly chilled. I helped people start their papers and get themseleves on track. I was more of a sounding board for people who just needed to talk. I ate Spera. Which is amazing! I was weekend coordinator. So I was in-charge of the house. Which was fun. Nothing too exciting to report. We watched ELF on Saturday night!!! I love that movie so much. It was all in all a chill weekend. I turned my paper in this past tuesday. And this week is "deadweek" so we are all starting to study for exams and finishing up things. I had my oral Italian exam this morning. And that means no class tomorrow. I only have Soc tomorrow. At 2pm! I don't have to wake up until lunch time!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This week has been so crazy! Its just been really busy. I'm definitely ready for Christmas Break! Going home to good ole' NashVegas! The reason this week was so crazy was the fact I had a Humanities reading test. Which doesn't really sound that intimidating, but it really is. Leonardo, my humanities teacher, is crazy. He expects us to recount every detail of every event and person he asks about. Its crazy. So I spent my entire week studying for that. And this next week I will be working on a paper for his class. I hate it. But it's life and I will get through it. But this past weekend was just amazing. I had a blast. On Thursday night, someone put in the third season of How I Met Your Mother. Half the Villa sat down and watched it. It was hilarious. I had never seen an episode before. I loved it so much! The next morning, Friday, I woke up at 11am. I didn't get out of my bed until 12. I left the Villa at 1pm to go to the grocery store. When I got back, some people were watching Knocked Up, so I finished it with them. After the movie was over, we got to talking about How I Met Your Mother and my friend Brea was like, "I have the forth season in my room. Lets watch it!". So, everyone in the villa at this time (about 15 people) came into the student center and we watched 10 episodes from season four. Then we all went to Spera and HOPS. It was a great night. I came back after HOPS and played Monopoly until 3:30am. I didn't get to sleep until 5am. The next afternoon I woke up around 1pm. I did some school work and skyped G. Then I got another Pizza from Spera. This place is the most amazing in the whole wide world. I'm obsessed with their pizza. Which was evident when I walked in and the main cook looks at me and goes, "Pizza Margherita senza Basilico. Si?" I giggles and said yes. Its just too good! When I get back to the Villa people are sitting around eating so I join. And after we eat, we decide to watch more HIMYM. And we finish the whole fourth season. We watched the third and fourth season in one weekend. I was so proud of us! Then this morning I woke up at 12pm, showered and straightened my hair. Then I watched football for a couple hours and did some school work. Next I ate dinner and worked on some more things for school. After that I skyped my sister and dad. Then when my mom came back from the grocery store I skyped her while she cooked! It was so much fun. My night was full skype! After the family I talked to my friend Megan and lastly I talked to Kevin. It was so great to catch up with everyone. I miss people!
Monday, November 15, 2010
This past week has been exhausting. And my patience and sanity are running thin. I've missed my home and family this week. As you know, I LOVE making lists. So to make myself feel better this week I did A LOT of window browsing on Tiffany and Co's website as well as make a list of all the fun things I get to do when I get back to the States! It will be CHRISTMAS when I get back! Which makes me very very happy! Here are the things that I want to do:
1. Opryland Hotel and ICE! For Christmas vibes
2. Go Christmas light trolling
3. Eat at Henpeck Market, Dumplins and Mellow Mushroom
4. SONIC! I miss crappy fast food!
5. Bake Christmas Cookies
6. Breakfast at The Mercantile, Cracker Barrel, Merridee's and Pancake Pantry
7. Go to the Movies!
8. Eat Lucky Charms. I miss them terribly
9. Pam's home cooking
10. Playing cards with the family
11. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
12. Pinkberry/ Sweet Cece's
14. Lastly, I get to DRIVE!