Six: A week with the Chicks!

I have had kind of a boring week this week if you all want the honest truth. Not that anything about Europe is boring, just that there was not as much going on this week as there has been the last few. At least not for me. We have basically stayed in Florence all week and to be honest with you maybe that was a good thing. I feel like I was in need of a breather because this coming week is Oktoberfest! My roommate Trish and I are going to be going together and our other roommate Grace is going to be going separately with one of her friends from back home.

Anyway I will tell you all about Oktoberfest once I have experienced it all with childlike wonder and tested my body’s amazing liver capabilities! Before I can tell you all that I have to fill you in on the lesser adventures. This week I had my first photography critique in class and to say it went badly would be an understatement of epic proportions. It went horribly. Maybe not to my teacher, but to me it seemed like the worst thing imaginable.

The first thing that you should know is that I actually have no clue what I am doing when it comes to using a camera. Sure I was on the year book staff in high school during my senior year, but let’s be honest the real MVP’s were Laura Moorman, Jenna Schade, and Dylan Power. Ergo all very good with technology and organization. You go Glen CoCo! The rest of us were recruited by Ackerman for some unknown reason. I would like to think she recruited me for my creativity and my writing, but who really knows, all that matters is it wasn’t for my photography skills. So here I am at college across the ocean trying to hone some skill that I apparently do not possess.

When we go to class everyone presented their pictures through a slide show after we had them uploaded to the server. The first girl edited all of her photos and cropped them to perfection. She also had them done in black and white. In case you didn’t know to a photography professor that is gold. Almost everyone had amazing pictures that were perfectly edited. Not to be dramatic but I feel like everyone is my class is a professional and has done all of this crap before. It kind of seems a little unfair if you ask me, so it is a good thing we are being graded on improvement and not on best photos ever taken, otherwise I might we playing a losing game.

After that class the week stayed in pretty much the same boring routine come home, make food, do dishes, go for a run with Trish Etcetera. Well then on Tuesday night Trish and I decided to make the most epic of decisions. We signed up for Oktoberfest. For those of you that don’t know what it is basically it is a giant three weeklong festival dedicated to the large amount of beer consumption and being German. I have German ancestors so it seems like a fabulous excuse to go if you ask me. Hey I’m a college student sue me!

That isn’t the craziest thing I did this week. Wait till you get a load of this. I had a completely vegetarian meal done by the schools restaurant, meaning it is prepared by some of the world’s finest staff and students. It was actually really good and although I don’t plan on becoming a vegetarian anytime soon it was really cool to get outside of my comfort zone and try something really different. So maybe my week wasn’t completely crazy and filled with as many fun filled adventures. Every explorer needs a little bit of rejuvenation now and then. I will tell you more when I have better things to report for now stay amazing and live life like every day is your best.

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This is Five and I SURVIVED!

This week was a pretty crazy week for me. I had tons of fun this week and the weekend was no exception. As some of you may know I went to see T-Pain perform at one of the night clubs here in Florence on Wednesda. Not to burst anyone’s bubble but I will just tell you now I wasn’t very impressed. The club was fun but it was packed and there wasn’t very much room to breathe let alone dance. T-Pain didn’t come on until one thirty in the morning, and one of my roommates, Andrea and I decided to go back around two thirty. That’s early in case you didn’t know. So moral of the story don’t waste your money going to his show. Sorry not sorry!

The next day two of my other roommates Courtney and Trisha asked if I would want to go to the Swiss Alps for the weekend. We booked it the day of and then left that night at nine pm for Interlaken. The town itself is called Interlaken because in Latin it means between the lakes, and the city literally sits between two lakes. We got to our hostel at about six fifteen in the morning and I was running on zero sleep. We got in a quick two hour nap and then the rest of the day we did whatever we wanted to. In the late morning Courtney and I went hiking on one of the mountain trails with a girl named, Bree.  Trish went sky diving with the other girl we met named Mary Ann. The two girls we met are studying abroad in Rome for the semester so I am sure we will be seeing them again soon. The hike was beautiful and I took so many pictures I was starting to feel like an Asian tourist…. No offense.

That night after we got back from hiking we went to the chocolate demonstration at one of the local restaurants, that also sells chocolate. Obviously we ate plenty of chocolate and then later tried some cheese fondue. Let me just say the chocolate was definitely amazing, but I was a little disappointed in the fondue. It was not as good as I thought it would be, but then again after eating the best chocolate you have ever had any other food really just doesn’t stand a chance. After that we went to the Irish Pub in town and had some beers, and the rest of the group we traveled with went out that night. The night life in Switzerland was pretty good for how small the town was that we were in. We met some cool locals and we all had a blast.

The next day Courtney and I decided that if Trish, who is a total bad ass, could jump out of a plane we could at least suck it up and jump of the side of a mountain. We signed up to go paragliding and I am so glad that we did. For those of you that don’t know I am absolutely terrified to fly so this was kind of a huge deal for me to willingly fling myself into the sky. Courtney is afraid of heights so as you can imagine we were quiet the pair. It was easily one of the best experiences of my life. I could see the whole city and the mountains as well as both of the lakes. I was up higher than the birds. I only know that because I saw them flying down below me. My flight time was about twenty minutes and Courtney was waiting for me on the ground when I landed.

I absolutely loved Switzerland and I am beyond excited to go and explore more and to do more. I would definitely recommend visiting Interlaken if you ever get the chance, especially if you are an adrenaline junky! I say this because not only is it one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, but the locals are also super friendly and there is literally so many extreme sports it was hard to choose only one thing to do. I can’t wait to see where else my adventure will take me, but I don’t think I will be jumping off the side of a mountain again anytime soon. Once was definitely enough for me, but I SURVIVED!!!

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My Crazy European Adventure: Here comes Four get ready for More!

Sometimes one night can change everything. One thing can make a world of difference in how you see something or in how you react to a situation. As many of you may or may not know I have been having kind of a hard time lately with the whole homesickness thing. I had a few rough days this past week and yeah even one or two the week before that. Part of it I think had to do with the fact that I was suffering from cabin fever. I had been in my apartment so long it was starting to get to me. Well, this week has definitely been different than last week. For starters I finally got out of the city.

My friends and roommates Trisha and Grace as well as myself decided it was time to go on a little adventure. We decided to go horseback riding through Tuscany ending with a wine tasting and a buffet style dinner. It was definitely one of the best ideas and I am so glad that I did it. For starters the wine was really good… Hello it’s Italy! , but besides that we also got to meet some pretty cool people when we went. Our guides were Italian and one of the girls that worked at the horse farm we went to actually goes to our university. We also met a lady from Ireland and let me just tell you the Irish seem like pretty rowdy people. She was incredibly funny and gave us some great travel tips for when we go and visit Dublin in October.

When we finally got home around eight thirty the three of us were kind of tired. My other three roommates walked in shortly after we did and announced that we needed to go out. I didn’t really want to at the time, but I can be a pushover when it comes to certain things so I agreed to go. I was really not looking forward to going out on the town. Not because I don’t like to but because I was feeling kind of tired, but all of that soon changed. We met a group of really cool Australian guys at the bar we went to and soon we were all chatting it up like it was nothing. I can honestly say I haven’t met a single Aussie that I didn’t like. They are really nice and outgoing people. So for the rest of the night we all kind of hung out and it turned out to be one of the best nights I have ever had. Who doesn’t love having a glass of wine by the Duomo when it is all lit up?!

Anyway the point I am trying to make is to try new things. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. When you do that you can learn so much more about yourself and other people that you didn’t know before. Who knows you might even meet some really cool people along the way. I will probably be having many more adventures before the semester is over, so it’s Ciao for now! I will blog again soon!

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My Crazy European Adventure: Week Three

 

                This week has been a huge learning experience for me. I have finally arrived in Italy and I have moved into my new apartment. I never thought that I would ever be this homesick though. They told us at our orientation that it hits you about the second or third week of being away from home. So I guess this means that it is right on schedule. We have had plenty of free time so far, and I think that may be why I am so homesick because you know me I dwell on everything. Not that Italy isn’t beautiful but I just miss home. I think that once I get busy with classes and traveling around it will be fine.

                I start my classes on Tuesday this coming week and then I have class on Wednesday. After that I am free to travel for the weekend. Hello Italy! I hope that my camera doesn’t run out of space because it looks like I am going to be taking a lot of pictures. I am really excited to start my classes because they are all in the same location, and I am beyond excited to learn all of the new things that my teachers have to teach me. The way classes are done here are so much different than in the U.S. For example we don’t have desks we sit on couch cushioned seats set up stadium style. If that isn’t cool then I give up.

                I also really like my roommates. There are six of us and there are three rooms. My roommates name is Andrea she is from Michigan and as you might have guessed she goes by Andy. I really like her because she is really the complete opposite of me. Don’t get me wrong we have things in common because we are both nerdy, but she is kind of soft spoken and shy, and we all know that I am neither of those things. We both like to read so it looks like bringing all of the books I brought with me was a good idea. I think that it is really good to be around someone that is so different from me, and who knows maybe she will teach me to be quieter I doubt it but you never know.

                The rest of the girls are all really cool too. The first one that I met was Courtney, she is also from Michigan and she and Andy go to the same school along with her roommate Trish. This poor girl had the airlines loose her luggage for four days and took it like a champ. I probably would have chewed someone out if it were me, but she was pretty cool about it and she got it Saturday so that’s a plus. She is kind of the self-proclaimed mom out of everyone here which I think is funny. She reminds me of Jessica McEvoy actually, and it really cracks me up because they both have the same laugh.

                Trish is the oldest and she will graduate right after this. She is just as homesick as me so we have kind of been keeping each other sane. She is really sweet and I think we are going to be fast friends. Grace and Lexi are the other two girls. Grace is from Massachusetts and Lexi is from Colorado, and they are both really fun. Lexi is really crazy, but in a good way. She is here to learn the culinary arts so let’s hope she doesn’t make me too fat. Grace is here for business, but she is going to be doing a lot of culture classes. She is kind of quiet, but then again I think everyone is quiet so I guess we will see how the semester goes.

 I am sure you will hear a lot more about all of these ladies because we are stuck together for the next four months. I can’t wait to get out and tour some more of Italy and Europe. As always I am going to keep an open mind and see where the rest of this adventure takes me. Wish me Luck!

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