Saturday, May 19, 2012

an epilogue:

i've been back in the states for a week now, and i must say - even though it has been a little hectic, running back and forth between new jersey and boston - it is great to be home.  on my first day back, i felt like buddy the elf when he came to new york city for the first time, a stranger in a foreign land, absolutely amazed at everything i saw.  i wasn't exactly a stranger to america, but there were definitely a lot of things that made me gasp with excitement a little, things i had totally forgotten about.  there is green grass and trees everywhere i go - the streets smell like flowers, not sh*t - the air is clean and i can breath without constantly inhaling cigarette smoke - temperature is measured in fahrenheit and time is told with a twelve hour clock, not 24 - tap water is free, and it tastes good - american soap actually makes me feel clean - dryers exist, so now i can actually wash my sweatshirt more than once a month without worrying about having something to wear while it dries - i can put my purse on the back of my chair at restaurants without getting robbed - stores sell cheerios, peanut butter, and oreos - people speak english (obviously) and i know what's going on ALL the time.  don't get me wrong, living in italy for four months was amazing.  it was a once in a lifetime experience i will never forget.  but if there's one thing i've learned from it all, it is that i don't ever really want to leave this country again.  sure, things might be a little screwed up from time to time, but once i took a step away from it for a little while, i realized how simple and easy things can be here.

i love america.

Friday, May 11, 2012

tonight is my last night in firenze - in about 24 hours, i'll be back in new jersey, ready to curl up in my big comfy bed, air conditioning, with my pup marley.  i honestly don't even know how to feel about going home.  it's hard to explain the feeling to anyone who has not shared this experience, it's almost like this whole semester was a dream (if that makes any sense).  i have to admit i am excited to get back to america, but here are some things i'll definitely miss about living in florence:

the best food in the entire world
unlimited gelato
the leather market (i'll even miss being hit on by the creepy men)
pizza man (pretty much all these things have to do with food)
not real school
fresh fruit at the markets
family dinners with my roommates
cheap wine
hanging out in our bat cave
sun bathing on santa croce
playing with cats in the gardens

i didn't realize how much i'm going to miss it here until tonight - sitting on the stairs at piazzale michelangelo, overlooking the city and the sunset, listening to a woman with dreads play her ukulele and sing it's a wonderful world.  doesn't get much better than that.

arrivederci firenze! see you later (maybe?)!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

just got back from amalfi coast this weekend, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world. i went with some friends from florence through a tour group for students, we stayed in sorrento and took some day trips to capri, positano and pompei. friday we took a boat tour around the island of capri, went inside the blue grotto - a cave with glowing blue water that is one of the seven wonders of the world - explored the island, took a one-man chairlift up to the top of anacapri, tasted some limoncello and got some custom made sandals.
on our way to capri
inside the blue grotto
tunnel of love
natural arch shaped like an elephant
chair lift to anacapri

making my sandals
took a ride in an open air taxi... wish they had these in america
saturday was our beach day. we headed down to positano early in the morning, and of course as soon as we got on the beach, the sun hid behind storm clouds and it got freezing cold. despite the ominous clouds, we still hopped on a boat to go cave swimming and cliff jumping. we jumped off the boat to swim through a cave in what ended up being jelly-fish-infested waters. luckily, i dodged all the jelly fish with my expert swimming skills and was one of the only one's who didn't get stung (psh who am i kidding, i just got lucky). but after the near-death experience, i was too wiped to jump back into that water off of a cliff. i can only handle so much adrenaline in one day. when we got back to the beach, we took a walk, found some another new cat friend, and then the sun came out 10 minutes before we left. typical murphy's law. it was still a good day. and absolutely beautiful and breath taking.
sitting on the beach in positano
here come the clouds...

on the boat to cave swimming
cave with billions of jellies
caroline and sweetest cat alive
cat and me playing
today was our last day in amalfi - we took an early bus to pompei and wandered around the ruins that were uncovered from a mount vesuvius eruption thousands of years ago.
ruins in pompei

pups taking a nap

frozen man from the volcano eruption
 it was a great weekend, but i'm happy to be home in florence. and with only a week to go! how did that happen?? time flies.