Friday, December 9, 2011

November 19th, things are about to get out of order

So, I went to Rome a little while ago and typed this up when I got back but didn't quite finish it. While my project is taking forever to render, I figured I could catch up on some bloggin :)

I was beyond excited to finally be able to go to Rome that when my alarm went off at 6 am, I didn't even hit the snooze. I had around a half an hour to get ready before I had to leave so it was the perfect amount to be able to eat breakfast slowly and take my time getting ready. I left and went to the bus with a few minutes to spare and found my friends who I was going on the trip with. I sat with my friend Mary Haley who goes to Baylor University in Texas and we slept for a majority of the bus ride. She will from here on out be referred to as MH because I do not feel like typing out her full name every time.

We got to Rome on time and all I kept saying was, "Oh my gosh, I am actually here" over and over again but it was ok because MH was doing the same. We were allowed some free time to go get lunch so we walked to a pizza place with our friend Celia and we all split two large Margarita pizzas. On the way back after lunch we got some gelato from a place we had noticed earlier and the the flavors were very good. I don't remember now what they were, but they were delicious.

We started our tour with the Vatican Museum and then went into the main attraction, the Sistine Chapel. I am not much of a museum person, but this was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined it being. It was very busy and almost every surface was covered, but it was so beautiful. We went from the Sistine to St. Peters basilica and it was gorgeous. I love walking through old churches and seeing all of the old art and statues that they created. It amazes me the beautiful things that people are able to create with their hands, especially when they are giant chunks of marble. After the basilica, Celia and I went into the gift shop and looked around for about thirty minutes because Celia couldn't choose the rosaries. We went in and out of the shop probably a total of five times because she kept on forgetting people who she needed to get rosaries for, it was pretty funny.

We rode the bus to the hotel and had a little while before dinner was ready to be served. It was dark by this time but the three of us still wanted to walk around so we went quickly to our hotel rooms and then went out to the city. The room was very nice and it was even a little on the big size for the hotels that I have stayed in. We went out to the street and started our wandering process. Since it was dark, it was hard to actually see what was around us but the lights that were on allowed us to look into stores and see the fronts of the buildings. MH with her savvy navigation skills was able to get us back to the hotel even though I doubted a little bit that she knew where we were or where we were going, similar to Chris in Pompeii, only this time I didn't attach us to a group of high school German boys.

When we got back from our walk we had a few minutes to freshen up before dinner.We headed down and sat with two other girls that I don't remember the names of, but they were really nice. Dinner was super delicious. It was a pasta dish for starters and then for the main dish it was a mixture of a type of potato salad, beans, and pork loin (is what I am calling it). It was really good but I still have yet to find a potato salad that beats either my mother's or Mrs. Marshall's German potato salad. For dessert we had some sort of vanilla pie that had chocolate drizzle and it was delicious. Dinner was so much fun. The five of us girls were laughing so hard that at one point I was crying a little. The peak of the night was when the waiter came over and grabbed our vinaigrette bottle and said "oh you girls were laughing so much I thought this was wine!" And then later on he proceeded to call me special, I am still not sure what type of "special" he called me.

After dinner Celia and I decided that we wanted to go see the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain at night time because it is probably a once in a life time thing to be able to see, at least once in ten years thing to see. We went with a girl from my Italian class and her friends who were very nice and full of laughter so it was perfect. We went to the Trevi first and wandered around on our way there. Once we made it there it was beyond beautiful and I am so glad that I went at night time. It was just so peaceful and not very crowded at all. Obviously there were tourists there, but it wasn't too bad. The lights from the fountain at night time project a really pretty green onto the building it is attached too and almost makes it look kind of eerie in a way.

When we decided that we were a little on the chilly side, we made our way over to the Spanish Steps. I thought they were going to be a little bit larger, but they weren't. I had the same feeling I had when I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time, all this hype and it was only about half as big as I thought it was going to be. Anyhow, we took a lot of pictures and then sat a bit near the top before they verged off in two different directions. I went to the top to look over the city and it was beautiful. Celia and I went down to tell the girls we were with that we were heading out. On my way back up, I tripped. I tripped up the Spanish Steps. WHO DOES THAT? Classy girls like me, I guess. Gosh, I am my mother's daughter. Oh well, not many can say they have done that. Is that a bright side?

Celia and I took a quick walk back to the hotel because we were both freezing and I looked like Rudolph in all of my pictures already, so I didn't want to risk getting sick. The fact that I was exhausted was only part of the reason for heading back early. We got ready for bed and I feel asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Con amore, Ciao!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November 21st-24th

Rome will come, just maybe next weekend once I have a moment to relax, in the meantime, here is last weeks postings!

Well, as it turns out, school has really gotten in the way of me posting these puppies and I am NOT happy about that. So as you can see as the dates for the post, this is going to have to be another week update. Not a whole lot other than homework happened last week but it will still be good for me to give an update or two of what happened each day.

Monday 21st:
I woke up early and started working on my project for a little bit before I had to go to my lighting class. I wanted to make sure that my presentation was exactly what i wanted it to be so my teacher could see all of my progress that i have made since the previous week. I am building a custom book case that will be installed to another one of my finals and it is coming along quite nicely. We went on a field trip to a few local stores to look at their choices for their lighting fixtures and to evaluate them. It was interesting and much more informational than when we had to go on our own for our midterm projects. We have to write a paper about the lighting choices and analyze the stores. In sustainable design, we showed our progress for our final projects and our teachers were pleased with our work. I am happy with the progress of my group because, unlike last time, it seems like they are willing to put in the effort that is needed to complete the project and have it be presented professionally. After class I went home and spent the rest of the night doing homework.

Tuesday 22nd:

Woke up and went to my Revit class which was very productive and emotional all at the same time. I found out that I have been selected to be published in our school's catalog of projects and that my work is going to be on display in our final showcase of the year. I am very excited but also very nervous to have my work on display. It will be a week filled with little sleep in order to get my work done, but I know it will be very worth it to put all of the extra hours in. I came home and had lunch while doing homework. I skyped with mamma for a few minutes and then headed off to Italian class to dominate the quiz. After class I came home and spent the rest of the night doing my Revit project.

Wednesday 23rd:

I went to wine class and it was a very exciting day. We presented our wines we had made the previous week and tasted each groups version of the wine we had made. My partner's name is Summer and so we decide to have our wine's name be "Moore of Summer", our slogan of course being that everyone wants some "Moore of Summer". Seriously, I should change my major to advertising. However, I should not change my major to wine making because ours tasted absolutely horrendous. The one that tasted the best was of course mixed by students who are studying wine as their major, they are here on a year long program taking only wine courses. To be honest, I am not sure how they function during the day. On my way home, I got dried ginger from my fruit man at the San Lorenzo market. It tasted horrible. I love ginger with my sushi and I love eating candied ginger from time to time, but this ginger made me want to vomit. I even gave it a few more tries on my way home, but I just couldn't do it. In order to remove the taste from my mouth I got a kebob for lunch which is always a delicious thing. I can't wait to make them for my friends at home and to introduce my family to the goodness that is the kebob. Once I got home I ate my kebob and waited for my roommates to get home so that I could try and give them my ginger. Success. Each of them tried it and then had the exact same reaction that I had. Even though it is mean, watching their faces was a rather funny thing to see. I finished the day with homework and trying to get as far ahead as I could on my project before the weekend and Thanksgiving the next day.

Thursday 24th:
I started my morning with laundry and Revit. So much of my time has been devoted to this project but I am so nervous that I wont complete it in time that it is difficult for me to focus on any other project that I have been given. Horrible, I know, but for those I have more time. There is so much of a time crunch and pressure when it comes to getting this project completed on time. I spent most of the morning working on my project and then I skyped with my mamma for a few minutes, as is our normal tradition on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was definitely weird waking up knowing it was Thanksgiving and that I would not be spending it with my family. I went to class and our teacher gave us what were basically eclairs from her favorite bakery. She said that this was the best she could do in order to try and give us a Thanksgiving, it was so sweet of her to think of us. I got back my quiz and I received a very good grade on it so I was very happy with that. I went to the grocery store with Valarie to get what I was assigned, two loaves of bread, and headed home to start my homework before heading out for the thanksgiving festivities that were to begin around 730. After about an hour of productivity I helped Ellen make baked apples and also a cheese-rice-broccoli casserole. We got ready and headed out to her friends house where everyone was gathering together for dinner. We unfortunately had a vegetarian dinner unintentionally because no one cooked the bird and then no one had any meat in their dishes. It was definitely different than I am used to, but I was so thankful to be around such nice people and to have a feast on Thanksgiving. After we ate all of our food and finished the many bottles of wine, we decided to go out to a bar in town that everyone really likes and spent the rest of the night there. It was a really great night and it is a Thanksgiving that I will remember for a very, very long time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 18th

I slept through my alarm but was thankfully woken up by a friend to tell me that they were waiting on me for our wine field trip to a vineyard in Verona. I raced out the door and literally ran the mile to where we were they were waiting. It was so sweet of my teacher to wait and it really means a lot to know that a teacher cares about you and enjoys having you around.

The three hour bus ride passed quickly due to the fact that we were all asleep, with one potty break caused by me, we made it there in a rather reasonable amount of time. For this trip, we went to two different vineyards that are located only a mile or two away from each other. The first we went to was a vineyard called Masi and it contained one of the oldest wine cellars in all of Italy. The tour was very informational and the wine is rather famous around Italy. I am not sure if it is famous in the US, but I do know that they carry Masi brand wine in some stores. After our trip to Masi, we went down the road to a vineyard called SergoAlighieri and it was breath-takingly beautiful. The fall colors were all around us from the golden yellows to the cranberry reds, this is one of those times where pictures do no justice. We walked around the vineyard and got an amazing tour filled with a lot of information. We also saw their rooms they hold the grapes in until they are perfectly dried out.

After our tour they took us to their main reception hall and we had our wine tasting. They had a feast prepared for us of different cheeses, meats, and bread, I was beyond happy. We all ate while evaluating the wine and just really enjoyed each others company. My class is really nice because there are only about ten of us so it is very quaint and cozy. Our teacher is only around 24 years and so cute, she always has the cutest clothes. She is really fun and sweet, she really enjoys our class.

Oh I should have said this earlier but now I will give a little bit of history of the vineyard. The name Alighieri might ring a bell because of the author Dante Alighieri, the author and former residence of my beloved city. When Dante was exiled from Florence, he and his family settled in Verona on a plot of land and decided to start a vineyard. The vineyard was run primarily by his son, but Dante lived there as well. A few hundred years ago, the last born Alighieri was a woman and she then married a Count with the last name of Serego. He allowed her to keep her maiden name because it was so famous as long as she was willing to have his name before hers, something very radical for these times. The decedents of Dante still live on the lands and run the vineyard. The current generation has two daughters and so they are hoping to be able to find men who will be willing to let them keep their names and continue to run the vineyard. We took the bus back and I slept a majority of the trip.

Of the three vineyards that I have visited, this was hands down my favorite. From the atmosphere to the lands to them providing us food to the history, it was just the most amazing experience. I would rank them vineyard 3, vineyard 1, and then vineyard 2.

We made it back to Florence and I had dinner and started my homework. The girls wanted to see the fourth Twilight movie, and although I am not a twi-tard, I thought it would be fun to go and see it with them. Turns out that it was not too bad of a movie and so it was a good experience in the end. And now I can say that I saw a movie in Italy.

When we got back to the apartment, I packed for Rome and worked a little bit more on homework. Rome was early the next morning and so even though I went to bed at 1:30, I knew I needed to make the most of my sleep. I was beyond excited to go to Rome.

Con amore, Ciao!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 17th

It was a very productive morning of working on my Revit. I kind of had a high from the night before because I had worked so long and hard on the cabinet that it was great to be able to start it again in the morning. I started with sweeping and mopping, I realized I hadn't mopped in a month and so the water was a little dingy to say the least. After mopping I started Revit and spent most of the morning bouncing between that and my Italian homework that was due later in the day.

I went to Italian class and it was fun because we played a game with a few classmates and also went over our written homework. The written homework was a love story that was 10 sentences long, I wrote mine about Massimo and Laura.

I came home to work on more homework and to wait for Courtney to get back from class to head to dinner. We were going to go to the school's culinary student's restaurant but it was closed for the evening and decided to instead go to a Spanish restaurant that we had seen on the way. I got "the Gringa" which was essentially a quesadilla with shredded pork, pineapple, and spicy cheese. It was probably the most delicious and greasy thing I have had in a long time. Their guac was heaven-sent and it was just beyond delicious. On the way home, we got some gelato for desert and I don't remember the flavors, but it was of course delicious. We went to our favorite place that is just down the block from our apartment.

We came home and did a lot of homework before we both realized that we wanted to go out for the evening. We blasted our music, got ready, and went out. We had intended to repeat last Thursday's bar hoping but the first bar was so much fun that we didn't want to leave. We went to a place called Slowly, and it was just a lot of fun. 

Con amore, Ciao!

November 16th

Sorry these are late! I started to get super busy again with school and so these aren't going to be the most detailed seeing as how they are a week late! That is ok, I will get my act together sooner or later! Also, I will add to them as I remember different things if they are random memories from the certain days.

Ok I started the morning with wine class and it was super exciting because I was able to make my own wine! A partner (that was for you Daddy) and I mixed together three different types of sangiovese wine that our teacher had available for us and we are going to be drinking them in the next class after lecture on the 23rd.

After class, I continued my new tradition of getting dried fruit after each wine class on my way through the market. Today I decided to get a euro of dried ananas, which is pineapple, and it was delicious. I always have the plan of saving them for when I get home but for some reason, they never make it past the Duomo. I am not sure if it is that I am impatient or the fact that I just had three glasses of wine at 10:30 in the morning, probably a mixture of the two.

I had lunch while skyping with my mom for a couple of minutes and then was able to skype John for the first time since getting here. It was great to catch up with him and be able to see him. I did laundry and started my homework. Courtney and I went to an American coffee shop here called Astor and we worked on our homework together. It was nice to have a change of environment and be able to be out of the apartment to work on our homework. 

I came home when Courtney went to her night class and I had my dinner of spaghetti while doing homework. Miriam and Ellen were going to a friend's party so they asked me to braid their hair and I was obviously more than willing.

I spent the rest of the night doing homework and it was a very productive night in revit. After 6 hours, I built a cabinet.

Con amore, Ciao!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 15th

Well, I started my day with puffies and joghurt as usual and then headed off to my revit class with high hopes. I stopped by the Neptune fountain in my Piazza to get some free mineral water, which has become a very nice tradition that I have. Also, I have become obsessed with mineral water, it is so delicious. I used to hate it before coming here (except for when it was with red wine of course, Mrs. Marshall) but now that I am just so cultured and worldly, I love it!

Revit class was great and it was an amazingly productive day. My teacher showed me how to do some pretty amazing things in the program and it sort of freaked me out because I realized just how much work I have ahead of me for the rest of the semester. I am really going to have to crack down on work which unfortunately cuts down on my wandering time. I will have my weekends for that though, but I am not excited for the work load ahead of me. Especially because I am traveling just about every weekend until I leave.

I came home for lunch and my 10 minute catch up with my Mamma and then headed out to Italian class. I have had a salami, arugula, and goat cheese sandwich just about everyday since the first time I tried it when I have been eating at home. Obviously, when on breaks and travels it is more difficult, but I think that they are just about the most delicious combination in the whole world for a sandwich. I dare any of you to challenge that! And Mamma, you are not allowed to say mayonnaise and peanut butter, barf.

Italian class was annoying as usual and started homework right away. When it was dinner time, I had spaghetti and a mixture of frozen veggies. It is a bag I got from the supermarket that has all the veggies in it that are intended for minestrone soup, but I just boiled them and had a bowl. After dinner I started my wine paper that I had been researching for for the past week. A friend, Val, came over to write hers with me and it was a lot of fun. We both finished our papers in a reasonable amount of time and it was much more enjoyable to work on it with someone else rather than just by myself.

Ellen had a bunch of girls over, including Val, to cook bake brownies and it was a lot of fun meeting them. I spent the rest of the night working on my Revit project and working on Italian homework. Court and I do our homework next to each other every night at the table that is in our room so it is really nice always being able to hang out with her and to have someone to talk to whenever a thought comes to mind, I'm really going to miss that chica.

Con amore, Ciao!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14th

Slow moving day today, I woke up early and started my homework after eating breakfast. I was able to do a few things around the house that needed to be done and then I headed off to lighting class. We learned about different artists and their influence on light, such as Caravaggio and the Pantheon. During break I got some gelato, Santa Croce and menta which was such a good combo. Went back to class and we presented what we are thinking of for our final projects. Wow, final projects already? Didn't I just get here?

After class I raced home to make some spaghetti to bring back to class with me for some dinner and I actually ended up being a little late to class. It was ok though because the teachers were late too. We spent class looking at what they expect us to have for our final projects and also looking at other examples of projects that they think would be good for us to know about. We have two more papers to write for the class and one project to complete, looks like it will be a busy rest of the semester for this girl. On an exciting note, as soon as I opened up my spaghetti and began eating it, everyone kept saying, "oh what is that? It smells SO good!" I was very pleased with myself.

I came home from class and began working on homework. I was able to skype with Daddy for a little bit which was great! We only get to skype about once a week so it is always so special when we do get the chance. He promised to not get the Christmas tree until I get home so I could not be more thrilled. I also go to talk to Chris for a few minutes before I headed to bed.

Good day, but I am starting to realize how much school work I have to complete before the end of the year. Anyone want to volunteer so that I can really enjoy my last few weeks here?

Con amore, Ciao!

November 13th

Courtney and I had another pretty epic night on Saturday when we returned from Assisi, so we decided to sleep in, shocking I know. So we woke up around 12 and I started my day with blogging and homework. She had a few errands she needed to run so she was gone for a few hours but when she returned we went grocery shopping. I have decided to do spaghetti this week because it has been a while since I made it, and when I made it the other day, it was delicious. Also, it helps that it is so inexpensive. Wednesday will be tacos with Adrian and Freddy so that will help to mix up my meal routine for the week.

On the way home from grocery shopping, C spotted a pair of boots that she instantly fell in love with so we went into the store so she could try them on. They are black boots and difficult to explain but they reminded me of something Michael Jackson would wear. They had a heel so maybe he wouldn't, but he is the first person I thought of when I saw the boots. They are very cool looking, just not something that I would ever be able to rock. So, after a while in the shoe store, we headed home to make dinner. She made a variety of veggies and I made my spaghetti which was delicious. I have also been adding some red pepper flakes I got from the open air market forever ago and so the sauce has a kick, I am rather impressed with myself.

After dinner, I finished the night with blogging and homework. It was a rather uneventful day but I knew I needed to catch up on my blogs because otherwise I wouldn't remember very much. I also made a promise to you and to myself that I was going to be better about it, so I wanted to keep my promise.

As the hightlight of my day, Chris and I were able to skype for a little bit! We haven't been able to for a little while and so it was nice to be able to hear his voice for a little bit. A great way to end the day.

Con amore, Ciao!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 12th

This past week I knew I wanted to do something like a day trip because I had nothing planned so far for this weekend. I started thinking about the places that I still wanted to visit and Assisi was at the top of my list. I ask Court if she wanted to go with me and she said yes! We were excited because this was the first trip we would be taking together that wasn't planned by the school, it was our own adventure.

We got up super early to get to the train station to buy our tickets so that part was not fun at all. We went to the station and with no problem purchased our tickets on the next train out to Assisi which was at 8:02. We waited in the station for about a half of an hour and the boarded the train and went on our way. Between homework and napping on the train, it was a pretty quick but boring ride.

When we got to Assis, the first thing we did was purchase our return tickets because we wanted to avoid any timing issues that could have popped up. Since the train station for Assisi is about a 3 mile walk to the actual city, we waited for the train and then took it up the huge hill to where the city is located. We decided that it would probably be wise to get a map of the city so that we would be able to know where we were and, even though it was small, we didn't want to get lost. The map I purchased had a little information packet in it so it was a good souvenir to get instead of a post card. At the shop, we asked the woman where her favorite place to get pizza was, and after a few times of her explaining where it was, we headed there and got some lunch.

I got a pizza with ham, olives, and artichokes. It was the best crust that I have ever had! It was the perfect mixture between crispy yet still doughy, salty and flavorful, thick and thin. Oh, so good. After pizza we decided that we would window shop and walk around the little town to see as much as we could. We headed up the hill, looking in all the shops along the way, to the Basilica of St. Francis.We stopped in a little had shop and C fell in love with one, but we decided that we should come back instead of purchasing it right away. The church was gorgeous and almost indescribable. We started our self guided tour in what is known as the lower basilica and looked at all of the paintings on the walls and everything. Italy has this problem of thinking they need to cover literally every surface in their churches with paintings, statues, and whatever else they can think of. This basilica was the exact opposite. It had the perfect amount of paintings, most about St. Francis, but everything was so beautiful. We walked down to where he is buried and it gave me the chills. It was so amazing to be there and see the different relics of his life. When we were finished with his tomb we made our way outside and went to the upper and main part of the church. While we were upstairs they were having communion so Court and I went in line and received the Eucharist. It is definitely cool to say that I have had communion at the Basilica of St. Francis, for some reason, it even seemed a little holier! Ok, that was obviously a joke, please give me at least a little giggle, Dad.

After the upper area of the church, we walked around the town for a little bit and then decided that we wanted some coffee so we stopped in a little shop and the woman was so nice. She let me use their bathroom before she knew we had any intention of buying anything and that is beyond rare in Italy. No on lets you use their bathroom for free and it is very frustrating. I understand why they have this policy, but coming from America "the land of public restrooms", it is very frustrating at times. On a side note, I have never seen a more gorgeous view out of a bathroom window. Assisi is surrounded by rolling hills and it is one of the most beautiful countrysides that I have ever seen. Everything was so green and vibrant that it is one of those times where the camera does not do it justice.

When we finished conversing with the woman, we decided to head back to that little shop and get the hat because we weren't sure what time it closed, better safe than sorry. Passing through the piazza located just before the basilica, there was a big performance by what looked like a bunch of people in their early twenties. We weren't sure what their performance was but they had swastikas on their arms and were dressed in clothes from that time period. They were performing a play and it looked pretty intense. We got the hat and then went back up to where the basilica is located and decided to go to the top of the city.

On the way we stopped in just about every shop until the point where they all started to look the same and then continued up the hill to another one of the main piazzas. A cute little side note, in Italy, they have a lot of three wheeled trucks that the locals use for transporting different goods. Well, in the piazza, there was a group of about five Italian men all standing around tipping the car on its side so that one of them could change the flat tire. It was so funny to watch then interact and talk with each other. We found a few more churches and walked in each of them. They were all so charming in their own way, whether it was how small they were or the amazing artwork they had, it was just so interesting walking in the churches and seeing it all. We got a little pastry that is called la rocciata which is a red strudel that has walnuts and apples in it, it was so tasty and sweet. The man at the bakery suggested this because he said that it was a pastry special to the area so we must try it.

After we ate our pastry and walked around more and realized that the temperature had dropped immensely and that we were both freezing. We briskly walked down all the hills we had climbed to go back to the bus station. We were hoping we would be able to catch an earlier train than the one we had planned on but we weren't sure. We waited around in the little shops near the bus station for the bus to come and got kicked out of one because he realized what we were doing and not planning on buying anything.

Luckily soon after the bus arrived and we went to the train station seeing that the next train was only in 30 minutes which was very nice. We both got a little snack to hold us over and then boarded the train. While we were sitting we were talking and not paying to too much attention to what was going on because we were so excited to get on the train. When the conductor came by to check our tickets he told us we were in the wrong class and Court realized she had lost her ticket. She left it on the console and she went to grab it and it wasn't there. We had a little freak out moment but it was all ok because we found it in her purse. We moved to second class and the ride was smooth from there. The second time he went through the cars to check tickets we moved to grab ours and he responded with, "don't worry, I remember you two". We couldn't stop laughing because it was so funny.

We made it home and made some spaghetti for dinner. I put onions and garlic into the sauce I made and it was so delicious, almost as good as the Moore family sauce. We had a long dinner just the two of us and it was so much fun. After dinner, we got ready and went out on a bar hop of Florence, I have never done this before and it was so much fun. Over all, it was a great day. I am so thankful that I went to Assisi and was able to see the town. It was so beautiful, quaint, and clean.

Con amore, Ciao!

November 10th

It was sort of a lazy morning around the house and I slept in a little bit. That is for sure one thing that I am going to miss about here, the fact that I was able to sleep in. I spent most of the morning catching up on homework for my Italian class and also updating my blogs. I really really want to get better about blogging again because I know that there are going to be so many things I will forget if I don't have them written down. This has been an amazing experience so far and I don't want to forget a single moment.

I was able to skype with mamma during our regular time of her morning and my afternoon right before I head to class on Tuesday and Thursday. I went to one of the school buildings to give my final portion of my payment for my Rome trip on the 19th and got some gelato on my way to class. Italian class we reviewed our homework and then went to get gelato for one of our in class assignments of being able to order things at restaurants. This is a skill that I perfected early on thanks to Mrs. Marshall's tapes that she lent me. The gelataria is located right near my apartment but because I got gelato on my way TO class, I just talked a little in Italian to my professor instead of purchasing it. I left class with a few friends and went to purchase a purse that I had seen the other day and fell in love with it immediately. It took me about 30 minutes to actually purchase the bag because it was rather expensive but I decided that since it would be my Christmas present that it would be ok. That didn't stop me from freaking out and wondering if I had made the correct decision or not and so I had a minor freak attack. It is ok though now and I have stopped freaking out about it, notice that I am writing this three days later. The purse is gorgeous though and it is my one expensive purchase to myself because I decided to not buy boots or a leather coat while I am here. I don't think I can pull of cool leather jackets, I am not hip enough.

I came home and I skyped with Kelly for a bit and it is nice to be back on the schedule we had when I first got here. She and I both got so busy with school that it was hard to keep the schedule but hopefully now we will be able to continue. I worked on homework and then straightened Courtney's hair. I had dinner of my left overs from dinner with Freddy and Adrian and it was almost more delicious the second night than it was the first night if that is even possible. I skyped with Danae for a little bit and it was a lot of fun to catch up. I finished the night with watching Charlie St. Cloud and heading to bed early because I had to wake up early the next morning for my vineyard trip. In conclusion, Charlie St. Cloud was a dumb movie and I am thankful that Chris never allowed me to force him into watching it.

Con amore, Ciao!

November 11th

Today was a wine field trip so I woke up super early to make it to the Piazza to meet with my class. I walked to the Piazza making it there with plenty of time to spare and talked with a few friends. Adrian and Freddy's marketing class was coming with our class today because their next project has something to do with wine and its production. I sat with Adrian on the bus and it was a pretty quick ride. We went to a town called Suvereto which is actually right next to a town that we had already been to for a field trip called Populonia. The name of the vineyard was Petra and it was very different than the first one that I visited.

Petra is a very modern vineyard and was actually built in the 1970's. Swiss architect Mario Botta was hired to design the cellar and it is really something amazing. In my opinion, it looks like a giant crop circle, but it is pretty cool; google it. We toured the grounds first and they were breath taking. The vineyard is trying to become very sustainable and their efforts are very obvious. In the only area of the land that was not being used by the vines, their pond, they designed a floating device that allowed them to have photovoltaic panels on the pond. The panels help to generate more power than the vineyard needs to run so they supply it to other local farmers. On our way back up to the cellar building, their pigs (which were giant) came running towards us. The guide fed them some corn and everyone pulled out their camera to take pictures. The guide thought this was funny and said, "boy it sure is too bad you aren't staying for lunch." Gross.

We toured the cellar building and went through every area of it. Another effort towards their sustainability goal is that they don't have any presses for their grapes. They load them through the top of the take and then let gravity do the pressing. It is one of those things where you wonder, "why hasn't this always been the process?" We went to the second floor of the cellar and looked down into one of the tanks which was huge. I asked how heavy the lid was and the guide allowed me to close the tank lid. SUPER cool to be able to say that I have done that. We walked around a little more and then began the wine tastings. We sampled two different types of red wine and they were pretty good. The first one we sampled I liked better because it was more fruity and less astringent.

After the wine tasting we went to their olive oil production building and sampled their olive oils. They were so good and it was really cool to taste fresh olive oil. It was very informational to find out about the process and then to find out that many EVOOs actually aren't, they just say that they are. If the percentage on the back of the bottle is less than 1.1% then it is real EVOO.

We took the bus back to Florence and it seemed to go quicker than the bus ride there which is good. When I got back to the apartment I worked on different things and then went to dinner with Courtney, one of our roommates Ellen, and two of her friends. Dinner was super delicious and I got penne strascicate alla fiorentina which was basically penne pasta in a bolognesse sauce and super delicious. I have had a really good streak lately on food and i am very thankful for that. I love food, sometimes too much.

We came home and finished the night with doing Ellen's nails and straightening her hair, it was a good girly night filled with chitchat.

Con amore, Ciao!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

October 30th-November 9th

Well since most of last week blogging time was devoted to creating the fall break novel of a blog, I didn't have the energy or the extra time to blog for each day unfortunately. So what I have decided to do is just give a few high lights from each day instead of doing one for each day. Also, I might not be very good about food in this post, I know you are all devastated not hearing about which flavor of yogurt I had with breakfast. Well, starting with:

October 30th
This was the day that Chris left so most of the day was spent uploading pictures to facebook and beginning the blog. Nothing very exciting happened because I was so tired from the fast paced break that all I wanted to do was lay in bed and catch up on some sleep and other things I needed to do on the computer. I was emotionally drained from sending off Chris. This was not a very good week for me emotionally, and that is also why I am not giving a daily update because I don't want to whine and look back on this and get upset at myself for whining.

October 31st
For my lighting class we went to the Gucci Museum that opened in the Piazza Signoria and it was really interesting to see all of the historic pieces of luggage and clothing. I also found out my midterm grade and I did much better than I thought I did. For sustainable class, we also went on a field trip but we went to a tile store that was also for bathroom fixtures. It was interesting seeing all of the different tiles and styles that Italy has. On the way home, I got some gelato. I can officially say that I have had gelato for dinner; I feel like a true Italian now. We had our halloween party when I got home and it was so much fun! A lot of people showed up and it was a great party. Us girls were characters from Sex and the City, I was obviously Charlotte York. We went out to a new bar after and that was fun dancing and goofing around.

Side note, how the heck is it already November?

November 1st
Since All Saint's day is observed here in Italy, we did not have school. I spent the day working on blogs and catching up on homework. It was rainy out so the option of going outside was put to the bottom of the to do list.

November 2nd
Wine class was good and we got our midterms back. I did well on the test and I was really glad because I studied very hard for that test. The wine class is not at all what I thought it was going to be like. There are so many different types of varieties and classifications to grapes that it is amazing! Here I was thinking there were only three! Red, green, and black are honestly all that I think the world needs to know about.

November 3rd
Great morning filled with sleeping in, laundry, and sweeping. I have become a freak about making my bed, not a day goes by that I don't make it. The true test will be if I continue this habit when I return home. Italian class was good and we got our midterms back, I got an 89! I am very happy with my grade, do I wish it was an A? Of course, but I am still happy with the grade I received.

November 4th
Day was filled with finishing blogs and working on homework. At night, I went to dinner at Adrian, Connor, and Harry's apartment and we made a roasted chicken with rice and potatoes! It was so delicious. In conclusion, the bird took about an hour and a half longer to cook than we had originally intended, we were very hungry by the time we ended up eating. We had plenty of wine to keep us occupied though so it was all fine.

November 5th
I went to the San Lorenzo market and walked around looking at everything and buy different presents for my family. It was so much fun and I was able to take my  mind off of all the things I had been thinking about lately and just give myself a breather. I went to the boy's apartment again for fondue and that was a lot of fun. They had a lot of people there and it the fondue beyond delicious.

November 6th
Good day! I went to church in the morning with Mrs. Messina and it was interesting to say the least. I can now cross "being slapped by a holy figure" off of my bucket list. Ok, some explaining is obviously needed. We were at church and it was a special mass because the cardinal (or bishop, we couldn't quite tell) of Florence was at mass! It was a glorious celebration and there was so much singing and praising going on. So, the cardinal was walking around shaking hands and kissing people's cheeks and when he gets to me, we shake hands but because I don't go into kiss him, he slaps me! Ok, it was more of a pat pat on the cheek, but it is more fun to say that I got slapped, isn't it?

November 7th
For lighting class, we reviewed all the different types of lighting and it was a boring but informational class. It is interesting to learn about all the characteristics and details that the types of lighting have. For Sustainable design we went to a site located in Florence and it was really cool to see a bit of modern architecture inside of a city that is filled with the exact opposite. When we returned to the class, the architect came back with us and gave a presentation more in detail of the process he went through and a lot more of the technical details were given. The budget for his little project was 3 million euro. Pocket change, really.We also found out that a majority of our final project for the class will be individual. For those of you who have put up with me whining about our midterm project, you understand what an amazing thing this was for me to hear. My responsibility will be to redesign more in detail our private offices in the conference center and I am very excited to start this project.

November 8th
A happy 43rd birthday to Mr. Marshall
In my revit class I finally took my midterm and handed in part of my final project. I received a 95 on the midterm and I am very thrilled. I came home and was able to skype with my Mamma for a little bit and that was so nice. We have this system worked out where we skype Tuesday and Thursday right before she goes to work and right before I head to my Italian class. It works out very nicely for both of us. Mr. Messina was finally released from the hospital and it was an amazing thing to have on this day. Courtney and I went out to Karaoke and had such a fun time. We plan on going back again very soon.

November 9th
Mr. and Mrs. Messina got onto a train to Milan to spend the night there and then hopefully take a flight out of there the next day. He just needs to get home to America to the doctors that speak English and so that they can really tell him what is going on instead of dodging around all the questions and not giving answers. 
I had my wine class in the morning, and again, it was beyond filled with information. I washed my sheets before class hoping that they would be dry by bedtime. In the afternoon, I wandered around the Oltrarno and had a few hours to myself just to think. It is getting harder and harder for me to get lost in my beloved city. Every time I cross the river and try to get lost, I just always end up at the Piazza Michelangelo, without fail. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I made dinner with Freddy and Adrian and it was delicious. We made a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and mozz cheese. I made a salad dressing that Court's mom taught me how to make and it was SO good. We used the rest of my pesto that I got from Cinque Terra with pasta and chicken for the main dish. We had a new type of red wine and it was very delicious. Also, to add a memory that only I will understand, "Did you pour acid down my window?"

I am so sorry that I have been bad about my postings, I just was mostly devoting my time to the Fall break blog, and if you read that, you know how long and detailed it was. So, this is a promise to you and myself that I will be better about my blogs again. The last few weeks I have really dropped the ball and this is not good for when I look back on this to remember every detail of my time here. So, starting today, I will implement my daily blog again. I know you are all so pumped :)

Con amore, Ciao!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

October 29th

Well, this was Chris' last day in Italy so we wanted to make it extra special.

We started the day with waking up at 5:30 in order to catch our train in time and we made it to the station in Naples with plenty of time to spare. We both spent the three hours traveling in and out of sleep. It was super difficult to be comfortable on the train so we didn't get very good sleep which was annoying but obviously not that big of a deal. We walked back to the apartment to drop off our bag and have breakfast of cocoa puffs and coffee. The Messina's (my roommate’s parents) came when we were in the middle and Chris was able to talk sports with Mr. Messina and Courtney. He had been deprived of sports talk all week, I felt so bad for the poor guy, but obviously not too bad.

When they were done, we went to the San Lorenzo food market and leather market to finish shopping for different things that Chris had not been able to get yet. The food market was closed when we went last Sunday so he was finally able to see the inside of the market, including all of the lampredotto and cow's noses in the cases. Gross. We finished with the leather market and headed back to the apartment so we could drop off all of his goodies before we went to the antique market.

On the way to the market, we got boilito paninis which are boiled beef and apparently something else that is a famous Florentine dish. They were boiled beef sandwiches and delicious. With the parsley salsa on ours, they were the perfect sandwich. The famous antique market was a lot smaller than we thought it was going to be which was a bummer but we both found things from there that we purchased. It was very interesting to see all of the different things there that the vendors were trying to sell. The market was very similar to American antique markets where there was a lot of interesting finds and a lot of, well for lack of better words, crap. It of course was more interesting because all of the things were Italian, or at least we assumed they were, so it made even the crap even a little bit more romantic. On our way home, we went by the supermarket that I go to and got our supplies for dinner. Picnic's hold a special place in our heart and we figured that a picnic would be the perfect way to end our amazing week that we had together. We got bread, goat cheese, grapes, salami, prosciutto, and wine.

We came back to the apartment to drop off our dinner materials and realized that Chris should pack before we headed to church. It was horrible and so sad to watch him pack and check in for his flight. After he packed, we still had a little bit of time left so we played some cards because there wasn't really enough time to do anything or go anywhere, just about fifteen minutes or so.

We went to church at the Duomo and I was finally able to go inside. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. I thought it was going to be covered in paintings on all the walls and decked out in statues and marble. It wasn't. It was the perfect amount of paintings and statues and had stained glass on every window. The Duomo is massive and is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been inside of. The mass was a little boring because there was no singing, but it was nice to be able to understand a sermon for the first time in the eight Sundays that I have been here.  The sermon was interesting because it was about not giving up faith in God and the church if a priest were to make a mistake, for priests are human and have times of weakness, and it really just seemed like he had done something terrible recently and this was his way of confessing.  However, the message was still true!

On the way back to the apartment we got a waffle treat that are all over Florence. It is a waffle with what ever topping you decide, usually either fruit, nutella, or whipped cream. We decided to get one because neither of us had ever had one before and as the register dinged at 8 euro for our total, we realized we had been dooped into another tourist trap. It was a good waffle, but let's be honest here, I can make one just as easy as they did. Oh well, it was a good first and a good last for the waffle experience and we can at least say that we got one. 

With our appetites being completely shot, we went back to the apartment and played cards. I know most of you are thinking, "why the hell are they playing so many cards on their last night in Florence?" And the answer is very simple, it is one of our favorite things to do with each other. It is a great way to spend quality time together and since we were both so pooped from the go go go of the week, we just wanted to relax and enjoy each others' company. In our opinion, it was yet another perfect element to our last night together.

Finally around 8 or so, we made our way to the Piazza della Signorina to listen to the guitar player and eat our dinner together. We finished dinner and danced as she played her sweet songs, it was so romantic. After dinner we came back to the apartment and put the left overs in the fridge then went down to get his last serving of gelato for the trip. We got some delicious flavors, I got lampone and amaretto (raspberry and almond) Chris got tiramisu and frutti di bosco. After gelato we wandered the streets looking in the windows of different shops and just spent more time together. Once we were done getting lost for a little, we went back to the apartment and played cards and made sure everything was packed and ready to go in the morning for when we woke up at 4:30. It was a perfect day and a perfect way to end the wonderful vacation.

October 28th

We had breakfast at the hotel again and it was delicious, again. Latte, espresso, and a croissant with custard and a little bit of fruit inside. It was so nice of them to provide breakfast, granted we paid for it, but it was still a nice perk. We shopped around Naples and went back to the stores we had eyed the day before when we were just window shopping and we got a few different things. We went to the hotel to drop everything and wanted to head off to Capri, but right after we got out of the hotel door on the street Chris finally saw a sweater that I could buy him for a Christmas present. We bought it and then headed back up to the room to put it away. We debated even going to Capri because we would only have a few hours and the tickets were rather expensive for the only few hours we would have there. We decided on going because odds were that we would regret not going when we had the chance more than we would regret actually spending the money to get there.  Chris finally found his shot glasses that he had been searching for since we arrived in Naples and we left thinking we were lucky to finally find them only to see the next 5 stores selling them. Oh well, they weren’t cheaper at least. 

After finally making it to the harbor, Chris got a true experience of Italian directions. Every time we asked an official where the ticket office was for the ferries they said, "out the door and to the left". This was not true. After searching and searching, the ticket office was a five minute speed walk across the huge parking lot. We bought the tickets and then decided we should get some lunch before heading to the island. Stopped at a little shop back on one of the main roads and got a sandwich with artichokes, ham, tomatoes, cheese and lettuce. It was grilled and delicious, the perfect way to pass the time.

We waited just a little bit at the docks for the ferry to arrive and then got onto the boat. There was an announcement that kept going off that sounded like they could have been Rhonda (my alarm clock)'s sister. She kept asking us to "sit down please" and it was rather annoying. We were sitting down, but there was no reason for her to tell us to sit down, it wasn't like we were going to be able to tip it or anything.

We made it to Capri and it is one of the most gorgeous places that I have ever been to. It was simply breath taking. We started our trip with a little souvenir shopping and window shopping at their port and were both successful with finding things that we wanted to get. I got a gorgeous amethyst necklace that has pearls on it, pretty much perfect for me. We spent about an hour of our time doing that going from end to end of the shops and comparing different things and of course, comparing prices. A favorite moment was when we were looking in a nicknack store, we started eating a few samples that they had around. As we finished, they put up a sign that said "no self service". Whoops.

After our shopping, we started to explore the city. We rode the Funicular all the way to the top of the city and then got off. It wasn't what we thought it was, but it was still fun. There is a chair lift that takes you around the city and that is what we thought we were getting on. The Funicular is more of a train with out seats that you ride to the next area they have of shopping. It was still cool, just a little different than we thought it was going to be.

When we made it to the top we explored around with half paying attention to where we were going and got some gelato at the entrance to a park that we decided to go into. The gelato was amazing. We got a lemon flavor and a "Capri specialty" flavor which was a really smooth and creamy chocolate with hints of peanut butter flavor. One thing that was really cute about the walk were all the cats that were around. It seems like there are so many cats always just wandering around these little communities that it really makes me want to take one home. I have decided that the first cat I get, I am naming it Gelato, seems only fitting, and it’s close to the Italian word for cat “Gatto.” We wandered around for a while trying to find the best view that we could and it was a success. The view we found of the sun setting was amazing. Unfortunately, we weren't able to watch it set, but it was still gorgeous to watch the setting we did have. We walked around more and found what is known as Capri's version of Rodeo Drive. It was crazy looking at all the things in the window that they had on display.

We walked down to the port instead of paying to go down in the Funicular. This way, we were able to save a few euros and also explore more of the island. It was neat to see all of the different gates that people had to their front yards. It was a good mixture of interesting wooden ones and metal ones. The walk down was quicker than anticipated so we stopped at a little cafe to get a snack and use the washroom before we got onto the ferry. We got a mini chocolate chip cannoli, a Capri pastry with caramel liqueur sauce, and a cappuccino. As the cashier said "10 euro", Chris and I realized that we had been dooped for the first time into a tourist's trap. Luckily, they were good, not worth the 10 euro, but at least enjoyable.

We made the short trip over to the port and waited for our boat to arrive. It was a short trip back to Naples and we were both excited for pizza for dinner. We walked around a little bit in search of the perfect place, and finally we found it. Chris ordered a pizza that had tomatoes, fresh smoked cheese, salami, cayenne pepper, and cottage cheese and mine had cheese, tomatoes, eggs, peas, and salami. They were both unbelievably delicious and a great way to end our time in Naples.

We ended the night with playing cards and enjoying our last night there. It was a very long and tiring week so it was good to have just a little chill night because we had to get up super early for our train the next morning.

October 27th

We woke up and got ready before the hotel keepers arrived with our breakfast. It was a little cup of espresso, a latte, and a custard filled pastry. Breakfast was very good and it was a nice little perk to have it included in the cost of the room. We wanted to head out early so that we would be able to see enough of the city before heading out to Pompeii, so during breakfast we made our game plan for the day and then headed out.

We walked around what is known as Old City for a while window shopping which was fun just wandering around and looking at all the fascinating architecture of Naples. Naples and Florence are so different. They are like comparing Chicago and New York. New York is older and dirtier but has really interesting architecture and Chicago is clean and has newer architecture. Both are amazing cities and are so different from each other.

We made our way over to the Archeological Museum and it was just like every other museum. It had a lot of artifacts from Pompeii which was cool to see and it was interesting because they had a lot of different types of statues and paintings and mosaics. We compared Chris' calves to Hercules' and as you can imagine, they were pretty close in size. Chris' favorite room was what is known as the "Secret Room.” It is a room that contains all of the erotic art from Pompeii and also different time periods. Chris walked around taking pictures of everything and repeating the phrase, "this is fantastic”, and it actually was interesting.  Make sure to check out some of the several photos Chris took of this part of the museum.  The room was relatively small but somehow made up more than half of the photos he took at the museum…

We got pizza for lunch at a little side of the road cart and it was actually pretty delicious, or at least mine was. I got one with tomatoes and onions on it and Chris got one that had seafood on it. Unfortunately, his was not very good but mine was delicious. I have also discovered that I LOVE Fanta. I think it is one of the most delicious drinks that was ever brought to this planet. This may or may not be a good thing. We walked around some more looking at the different sites in Florence on our way to the train station. We walked by Naple's Duomo, which was far less impressive than Florence and Milan's, but it was still really pretty from the outside. Chris was in search of his shot glasses but was not successful. I got a hang painted spaghetti measuring tool that I have always wanted. It has four holes in it and the sizes get larger depending on how many people you plan on cooking for. I will have to see if it is accurate when I put it to the test the first night I return home (Chris’ serving size most likely starts at the third largest hole). Get ready for a big Moore family spaghetti dinner everyone! While wandering around we got these little cookie things from a cafe that were really good. We got a chocolate flavored one and a coffee flavored one and they were so cute with little sprinkles rolled onto the sides of them. With time going quicker than anticipated, we realized we should probably make our way over to Pompeii. Our favorite quote of the day was said by an elderly English couple coming out of the train station. The woman said, "is this really it?" To which her husband replied, "I hate this God awful place already."

We made it to the train station just in time to run down the stairs and make it onto the train to Herculaneum. Unfortunately, their subway is no better than Chicago's; it might actually be worse. It was hot, stinky, and crowded. After we were shoved and shuffled around the train (with our hands closely guarding our belongings), we got off at the correct stop and made our way down the eight blocks to the city. It was a beautiful entrance to the park and there were flowers over the trellises. We bought our tickets for the entrance to the ruins and made our way down the walk way to the actual city. It was really, really cool to see how the new city is built right next to the old city, only 60 ft up in the air. The websites that we were looking at said that Herculaneum was more intact than Pompeii, but the only difference that we observed was that in Herculaneum, most of the buildings had roofs on them. We walked around the city on the paths and looked into the different buildings, all the while reading what Rick had to say about them which unfortunately, was not that much. We finished the city in about 45 minutes and rushed back to the train station to catch the next train to Pompeii.

The ride to Pompeii was a bit longer than the one to Herculaneum, but this one was at least less crowded. We got into the city and it was amazing how much larger it was than Herculaneum. On a scale of one to ten, Herculaneum was a 3 and Pompeii was a 10. The city was huge and we were excited to explore every bit of it. The coolest parts of the city were the mummified people and the bath house. When they were excavating the site, they would come across oddly shaped pockets in the solidified ash.  These pockets were in the shape of human beings and contained bones.  The pockets were created by the following process: After the Pompeii citizens died from suffocation (all the ash in the air), they were buried by 60 feet of ash.  The ash eventually hardened and the bodies decomposed.  What was left was empty pockets with only bones remaining.  The excavators filled the holes with plaster and preserved the shape that way.  There were only two plaster casts on display but it was cool because one of them even had their teeth! The bath house was very interesting just with the different technologies they had back then and the ideas. The thing that I thought was the coolest was that in the "Steam Room", they created a design on the ceiling of different grooves so that the condensation would ride those down the sides of the walls as opposed to dripping on the people inside the room. Gosh, so creative and innovative. After the bath house we walked around some more and found their main arch they built for the aqueduct. We drank from the faucet that was there and that was cool to be able to say we have done that, just another random, weird thing we did.

After exploring a lot of the city the sun started to set and it was a beautiful sunset. Chris was taking pictures constantly and it was a good thing that I left him in charge of photography for the day. I think Chris' favorite part of the Pompeii visit was going into the town's brothel (no longer functioning of course) that they had. On the walls above the different rooms, they had frescoes of different "menu items" that men could order during their time at the brothel. He kept using his new favorite term "this is fantastic" for just about everything in there. We realized that it was getting dark very quickly and we still had a few things to see so to Chris' disliking, we left the brothel and headed over to the amphitheater. Unfortunately, when we made it to the amphitheater we weren't able to get close enough to it because it was blocked off from viewing.  So as we were heading back the sun was practically down and me being me, doubted Chris on his insistence that he knew where we needed to go so I latched us on to a group of German tourists who had a map. While we were heading out Chris made up a story about how the dark night sky was like the ash and that this is how the people fleeing Vesuvius must have felt. He sure is a keeper. As it turns out, even though the Germans had a map, they were still lost and Chris was correcting them on the real way to get out of the mazed city of Pompeii. We were about ten minutes from the exit when an Italian who worked in the park came to us and told us to follow him out. We survived Pompeii.

We took the train back to Naples and talked about what we wanted to have for dinner. It was decided that sea food was a must and so we consulted the third wheel of our trip, Rick Steves, and he suggested a restaurant near the station. We walked the five minutes to the restaurant and sat down starved. We looked over the menu and tried to decide what we wanted to get. We decided on mussels, spaghetti with seafood, and spinach with lemon. We placed our order and were given sourdough bread and bruschetta with these little balls of fried dough on the side. Whatever they were, they were delicious. I forgot how much I love sourdough bread and boy it was nice to be reminded. As we were sitting there eating the hors d'oeuvres, Chris noticed in the case near us that they had a big mixture of different seafoods and we thought that we should get that instead of the mussels. So we called the waiter over and asked him to change our order and that we wanted to have what was in the case. He came back from the kitchen and took us over to the case and asked us what veggies we wanted on the plate. What we didn't understand was what the new thing we ordered was a plate full of veggies and not the seafood platter we thought it was going to be. It had mushrooms, eggplant, a mixture of eggplant and tomatoes, and olives on the plate. Once we sat back down we called the waiter over and asked him to reorder the mussels and to cancel the spinach. The waiter obviously loved us.

When we finished the veggies and bread our food came out and was delicious. The pasta was a little on the cold side, but wasn't too bad. It might have just been that they prepared it before the mussels and so they were waiting on the mussels to finish cooking before they brought everything out. I am not sure, but it was some really good food. On the way home, we stopped and got some pastries because Chris had some intense cravings. We got two different ones, one had nutella wrapped in a pastry crust and the other was a baklava flaky sort of a pastry with some custard on the inside which they heated up for us. We walked back to the hotel to eat our pastries and drink our wine that we bought the night before. The wine was local wine made from grapes grown near Pompeii. It was a very sweet, light, white wine that I enjoyed. We spent the remainder of the evening playing cards and drinking wine.