Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Little Things

Wow it’s been a week since my last post. A lot of little things have happened in the past week to make it one of my favorite weeks in Italy. I’m going to try to remember them all. Let’s see, the highlights…hmmm…

On Monday after class, I went out with some friends and spent the afternoon in the sunshine. We ate gelato and talked about traveling and just life in general. A particularly lovely afternoon.

On Tuesday, the French girl/woman (twenty-something person) that lives with us made dinner. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Charlotte before. She’s a Ph.D. student who speaks Italian, French, and English. She’s incredibly sweet and works as a good intermediary when there is something important that Eryn and I need to convey to our host mom. Charlotte made a French quiche with onions, feta, and ham. So delicious. The culmination of culture was really funny that night. We, Americans, are living in Florence eating an authentic French meal.

Wednesday wasn’t all that special. Long day of class. But we did see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. It was beautiful. We’ve seen so much authentic classic art on this trip that I sometimes take it for granted. So I suppose Wednesday was pretty special after all. It’s not every day in the USA that you get to see famous works of art.

Thursday night I met up with some friends after dinner. We ended up in an Irish pub for a few drinks and lo and behold the White Sox game was on. My White Sox! And we were winning (which, from what I hear is rare these days)! After the game ended we went to meet up with another girl from Lake Forest who is studying in Florence for the semester in a different program. Two of my very good friends from school who are currently studying in Spain came to visit for the weekend! They stayed with Sarah, the other girl studying in Florence, because she lives in an apartment. It was so awesome to see them. We met up at a bar later on Thursday evening and had a fantastic time. Seeing people from LFC is always fun when you study abroad and it’s a bonus when they happen to be good friends. We shared stories all night and made plans to meet up the next day.

Friday morning I met up with Sarah, Maris, and Hannah at the Duomo. John, another LFC kid from my program, came along. It was a mini LFC reunion. Sarah knew of a really good bakery across the river and it totally delivered. They had cupcakes which was a big deal because Italians don’t really do cupcakes. They’re not as big into baked goods, preferring gelato or cannollis. After breakfast we just explored the city and hung out in beautiful palazzos. We broke off around 4 and met up again before dinner. My host mom invited Hannah and Maris over for dinner. Dinner turned out to be a lot of fun. Hannah and Maris speak Spanish very well; Maris is almost fluent. Italian and Spanish are very similar so it was easy to communicate. The whole thing was neat because I got to share part of my experience with people from home. They got to see what I how I live every day.

Last night was a major celebration called Notte Bianca (white night) in Florence. All over the city there were music performances, juggling acts, fire throwers, modern art dancers until nearly 6 am. It was absolute madness! There were sooo many people out. I saw a vegetable orchestra. Yeah, that’s right, people were making music by blowing on cucumbers, pounding on pumpkins, and whistling through gourds. It was awesome. The city was so alive and vibrant. Ultimate celebration mode.

Today Maris and Hannah left for Venice. Super sad to see them leave but I know they’ll have an awesome time in Venice. I can’t wait to go myself in a few weeks. After I said farewell, I went to this park by my house and read a book all afternoon. It’s the little pleasures in life. Tomorrow I’ll hang out some more and do some homework, hopefully book my flight back to London so that I can fly home.

My Italian is coming along I think. It’s amazing how much more I understand than when I first arrived. I think it will be a pretty easy week of classes which will be nice. I think it’s supposed to rain but oh well. It’s another four-day week of classes. I don’t know what exactly I’ll do next weekend, explore Tuscany some more I suppose. I have definitely fallen in love with Italy.

I’m coming home tan. I’m determined.

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