Aug 30th and 31st
So let’s start at the very beginning of my day! We went to church in the morning and then went to coffee with a few of dad’s friends. They were very nice and of course interested in hearing about the trip. After coffee, mom and I went to Urgent Care because my ear was still really hurting. Turns out, that I did have swimmer’s ear but because we didn’t catch it in time, it turned into an infection. We got the medications for it and went on our way home to race around finishing packing and race to the airport. We stopped by Stones Jewelers on the way to replace my watch battery, which of course the band broke as soon as I stepped onto Florence soil. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare and I ended up sitting and waiting for two hours before my plane took off. It was obviously a tearful goodbye but it was a good one. Hilary was able to come with us which was a great thing to have her come along. Having the two hours to wait was actually nice because I was able to talk with Kelly for such a long time. She is such a great friend and I am so thankful for her. Chris took a few minutes out of his day, as did Ronnie, so it was very nice to talk to them and hear their final well wishes. Ronnie was telling me to drink wine so I could fall asleep, such a good older brother.
My flight to Amsterdam was great and it went pretty quickly. I sat next to this lad from Dublin and he was really nice. Don’t worry Chris, he loved your joke. Unfortunately though, I wasn’t able to sleep. I am not sure what the reason was, but this girlfriend was not pleased.
Waiting at the Amsterdam airport went slowly, I was able to skype with Chris but mom and dad were too lazy to wake up and remember their daughter so I wasn’t able to tell them that I arrived safely. Amazing how quickly they forget the little one…
I slept almost the entire flight to Florence which was very nice to be able to take a nap finally. One of the best feelings in the world is when you see all of your luggage come rolling around on the conveyer belt at the airport. I have never actually been nauseous with the thought that the airline could lose luggage. Well, I guess there is a first time for everything. After picking up all of my bags, I went to the office to find out where my apartment is. Turns out that our apartment is RIDICULOUS. It is so beautiful and we have gorgeous views! We can see the Tuscan hills and also the red clay rooftops of our neighboring buildings. Since our building is one floor higher than our neighbors, we are able to see almost everything. We are only a few blocks away from the Duomo, only a hop skip and a jump away from the Piazza Repubblica, and on one of the best streets, Via Calzaiuoli. AMAZING! We are so blessed to be so close to everything. It is awesome! Only problem is that we have 14 flights of stairs to climb. No joke. It took me 45 minutes to climb the stairs with all of my luggage. It is so worth it though. Seriously.
After a few hours to myself, Courtney got here and she is amazing. She is so great and everything I hoped she would be. We went out for dinner followed by my first gelato. So here is the thing. I had real Italian Lasagna for the first time and even though it was good, it was nothing like my mom’s. Dah mamah moore’sah famousah lasagnah is toah dieah forah! I have been learning Italian as I am sure you all can tell! After dinner we walked around for a little while and then headed back to finish unpacking. The other two girls were almost to the top of the 80th flight of stairs when we caught up to them and helped them with their luggage. Ellen and Miriam are both so sweet and such great girls.
So that brings us to today! September 1st. It has been a great first day in Florence and the city is AMAZING! It is so beautiful and still so surreal that I am here. There were so many bumps along the way and I am just so thankful to the good Lord that I am able to be here and experience this amazing opportunity. Today we had orientation and then went to out to lunch with two boys (Freddie and Adrian) that we met and they are so nice. I had a sandwich on ciabatta bread with artichokes, tomatoes, ham, and some sort of cheese/mayo/delicious dressing. Omg. I might have a new obsession with artichokes. SO good. Then we walked around for about an hour trying to find a supermarket but with no such luck. We are going to have to google that sucker to figure out where it is. We asked seriously 20 different Italians and none of them knew where it was. After our walk, Courtney and I went for our first run! It was great! Unfortunately, I got light headed near the end so I had to walk for a little and then finished running. We came home and showered, separately of course, and then discovered we had internet! Such a wonderful invention! We are actually grabbing the wifi of the girl across our ally/courtyard. It is not either, but more so a combination of the two.
We then went to dinner and had DELICIOUS food. It was sooo good. The best thing we had was an eggplant parmigiana dish. Oh I want to learn how to make that sucker. It was too good. Then for dessert we had tiramisu, WHICH was so much better than any other I have had. I have never had tiramisu with coffee actually in the lady fingers, and let me tell you, it was so good. After dinner we walked around for about three hours trying to figure out where this one disco was. One thing I have learned about Italians, no one really knows where anything is. It is SO frustrating. It was Adrian’s birthday so we wanted to go out dancing. We ended up going to a bar called Slowly which had some good music so of course I turned it into a dance floor. That is one thing that I am not afraid of, being the first one out there and making a fool of myself. I love it. So we stayed there for a few hours and it was awesome! I danced like a crazy person, so for those of you who know me very well, equals me having a great night! AND now you are all caught up on my first few days of my Florence adventure! I promise to be better about posts but it was so difficult because we were without internet.
I am not at the point of missing home yet; I do miss the people though. It still feels like I am on vacation so it will probably hit me in a week or two that I am here for a while.
Con amore, Ciao!