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Archive for January, 2010

Well it’s day 3 here in Florence.

Allow me to update you on the past 2 days. 🙂

Yesterday: We had a walking tour at 11, which was very helpful because Fredrica showed us important places that we should take advantage of. These include the paper exchange where we can get our books, important piazzas to use for landmarks, the train and bus station, and other places like that. Then we came back to the apartment to rest for a while and then headed back to Accademia for the academic orientation and the cell phone info. That was fun- just freaked me out about all the potential work we’ll have to do. :/ OH WELL. I can worry about that tomorrow.  We then walked around Florence in search of a hair dryer among other random stuff we needed.  Then we headed to the “Standa” the largest supermarket in Florence, which is half the size of a Walgreens. haha And it was so super crazy busy that Elizabeth, Corey, and I just got stuff for breakfast and then waited because we were exhausted beyond belief.  We walked back across the Arno river and started walking up the closest way to our apartment when we see 3 large black guys just standing near the steps. So we decided to walk around the other way, and as we start walking up this huge hill that leads to our apartment, we see about 7 of them standing across from our apartment entrance just hanging out. Needless to say, we were freaked! Corey called Betty Morgan right away and she told us to go into a store and have them call the police for us, so we find this little bread store and walk in but the owner doesn’t speak English, made things very interesting. So all 4 of us are trying to explain to her the situation and she understands enough to call the police. Corey also talks with them and explains the situation and the policeman says he’ll send 1 police car. Corey calls Betty back and she told us to stand under a light until the police come. Well we waited for nearly 30 minutes and no one came and we were tired and hungry and plus at this point 3 of the guys had walked back down the hill.  Then we see people walking up so we just follow them and finally made it safely into our apartment! THAT was an adventure. Then I had to explain to the police officers who came and who didn’t speak English what happened and it was just a mess. Anyways- we got it figured out and then Corey, Elizabeth, and I went to dinner at a restaurant close to our apartment and it was SO GOOD! I had gnocchi and wine and our waiter was so cute and nice and didn’t speak any English so it was even funnier! And that was that day- exciting and tiring to say the least.

TODAY: We got up at 11:30 and just lazed around and then went to the San Lorenzo Market and walked around there. That was enjoyable to look at everything and talk to the vendors- they’re just so funny! We also went to Grom- DELICIOUS gelato- AND homemade! It was wonderful!! Then went BACK to the standa and got regular food and also spent 20 minutes in the 99 cent shop looking at wash soap- that was also an adventure! Then we came back, made dinner, and got gelato with some of the girls. It was a really nice relaxing day!

Now I’m off to bed before I start classes tomorrow! Wish me luck- glad I have been taking Italian for the last 3 weeks! Hope it helps!

Love to all who read this book…:)

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What a day!

Phew.

I’m here!! IN FLORENCE!!!!  And let me tell you it was not an easy feat. First- my parents and I get to the airport in D.C. and the traffic was awful so my Mom and I led and we ended up in the daily parking which was a zillion miles away from the terminal and I was super crabby so it just was not good. We got to the terminal but had to walk through the wind that was about 40 mph- SO COLD. When we got inside I went to line and checked in and THANKFULLY both my bags were under the weight limit but both my carry ons were not allowed on the plane. Then I freaked out- because I didn’t plan on that happening so instead of reacting calmly and rationally I went into a tantrum- sort of- and had a mild panic attack. But my Mom and Dad helped me and we fit everything into one carry on.

Then because Corey sprained her ankle, Elizabeth and I got to be the DMA for Corey so while she got wheeled around in a chair we got to drag her bags, which was fine, it just got heavy by the time we hit Paris. Anyways- the guy who was wheeling Corey around had NO idea WHATSOEVER what he was doing! I thought we were going to get kidnapped and dragged somewhere else. He thought he knew where we going but he did not. We (Eliz and I) had to ask where to go and it just so stressful! FINALLY we got to the gate like 20 minutes later and got to relax a little and then I bought another bag ( a rolling backpack) because I couldn’t handle the one huge E-bag. And the rolling suitcase really helped me out. So we get to the gate and then the gate guy comes and tells us that we get to get on first because of Corey! We were pretty excited because even though this happened to her- we all received perks from it! So we get on the plane and get settled and take off and such and then Corey and I ate some beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes, which were very good for airplane food.

I didn’t sleep that much- off and on I guess for about 4 hours- and I watched Sweet Home Alabama, which is one of my favorites! 🙂 Then we landed in Paris- which is just wonderful! I LOVE PARIS even though I’ve only been there once. And even better is that Corey got a wheelchair again, and this time was even better because we got through lines in immigration and we got our own personal van to take us to the other terminal for our flight to Florence! The guy was so funny!! He barely spoke English- it was more like Frenglish and it was even better because he was so expressive! It helped lighten the mood after dragging around so many bags all day. Again- we got to board the plane first and that was really nice because Corey got to take her time getting on because we had to get on from the outside instead of a gate thing in the inside. And that whole flight was basically a blur because I slept the whole time which made me feel a TON better, more rested and ready for the remainder of the day.

We arrived in Florence (Firenze), Italy (Italia) around 3 pm local time, 8 am central time, and the airport is so tiny but so cute/quaint. We waited for the bags and I was actually able to get both of them off the belt, which I was surprised about because they were both about 70 lbs each and I had my other 2 bags which were heavy too! Eliz and I loaded them up on a cart and dragged them through customs which was just a gate haha, not what any of us were expecting. Then we checked our names and were guided to a van so that we could get to our apartment!! Filipo was our driver and he was a great driver, it reminded me a lot of Enzo, which we all know is the best bus driver EVER. Filipo gave us some history and general information about Florence and he drove us around by the Duomo and down the street where I was nearly 2 years ago. It’s so weird to be back here and with different people because all I keep thinking about is how much fun I had before and all the memories we made. But this trip is for new memories. We went to dinner at this great pizzeria and had pizza, wine, and lemon gelato, what a great meal!! It was so good and so much fun! I know this trip will be a blast!! I can’t wait to see what else I get to experience and learn!!

LOVE YOU ALL!

Ciao di Firenze

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It’s HERE!!!

Today is the day!!

In precisely 21 hours I will be on a plane to Paris, which will eventually take me to Florence where I will spend the next 3.5 months living and breathing the culture. BEYOND EXCITED AND NERVOUS. The packing and stress of moving out is done and I’m SO thankful for that! That alone was going to send me over the edge. I’m crabby and unnerved because I’m not in my usual element and the anticipation of leaving my parents and friends is really setting in.  I can’t believe that it will be 6 months before I see some of my Elon friends again! Never thought I’d actually miss that place! But closing my door in DK 202 B really made me realize what a wonderful semester/winter term I’ve had. I have learned so much and have become closer to my friends that makes it so hard to leave them.

Anyways- we’ve made the journey to D.C.  and I’m just ready to get on the plane and get there already! We drove around downtown D.C. tonight and it was just so fitting to be in the Capital of my country before I leave. I felt so proud and patriotic as my parents and I drove past the Capitol and listened to Obama give his State of the Union Address. I really am proud to be an American and proud of my country- as corny as that sounds. I simply want to embrace all the culture I can before I’m immersed in another.

Well I’m off to sleep before the big day! I can’t believe it’s here–really this time it is!!

I love you all! Ciao…

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6 DAYS!!!

It’s coming SO SO SOON!

I really can’t believe it- I know I’ve said that in the last 2 notes. BUT NOW. It truly is real.

Done with class. A written final and an oral final to go. Packing up my room. Spending the last weekend with my friends. Spending the last few days in the U.S. with my parents. Packing some more. Watching the last bits of TV. Packing up my room.  THAT IS ALL I HAVE LEFT BEFORE I GO!

Just completely unreal to me and honestly getting more excited every day because I just LOVE Florence so much!! The excitement has set in and the fears are starting to leave and I’m really thankful for that. REALLY thankful.  I promise that I will try and keep everyone updated and I know I will be talking to my Mom so if anyone wants any specifics, feel free to chat with her. 🙂

I’m sad because I will miss you all so very much and will think of you all the time, I know it. And to my dear friends who were with me on my last trip, I will make more fun memories at our favorite places. 😀

Arrivederci miei amici e mia famiglia

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Well the time continues to tick away and it is now only 14 days until I leave! I seriously can’t believe that in roughly 2 weeks I will in Italy! It is truly crazy and unbelievable. I think I’m more nervous now than I have been because again- it seems more real now.  Anyways- I am leaving straight from Elon, which means all my packing and cleaning my room out has to be done before I go! YIKES! But I know that I will get it all done before I go, even studying will get done. It just is a lot to accomplish in such a short time.

I got my schedule today from the study abroad office and I have class every day from 9-12:30- all Italian language, but with a break between. That won’t be too bad because I’m taking 3 hours of language now, so that is kind of exciting! And that is all I have Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Tuesday and Thursday is different. That is when my other classes are- so I have the language classes and then I have Political Science from 1:30-3:15 and then Art History from 3:30-5:15, which will make for very long Tuesdays and Thursdays. BUT there is also plenty of time for travel and exploring the wonderful city of Firenze. 🙂

More pictures and updates to come….just thought I’d give more updates for information I have now! Oh- I can officially READ Italian now! EXCITING!

Okay well bye for now.

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24 days?!

SO!

24 days! The countdown officially begins I suppose.  It was always right there in my mind but now that it’s officially the month I’m leaving- it seems more real.

I am truly beyond excited to go because I had such a wonderful experience when I went in the summer of 2008. Seeing everything and truly experiencing Italy without my parents and with kids my own age was just wonderful.  Not that I didn’t love seeing Europe with my parents, but I think because I was older I appreciated it more.  But on that same note- I’m really nervous.  I’m nervous to be outside my comfort zone with people I don’t know, living in a foreign land for three and a half months, and not being able to talk to my Mom and Dad all the time.  It will be an adjustment but I know once I get settled I’ll love it.

With that being said, this blog will update everyone who reads about my adventures in Italy. I will try and update as often as I can so my family and friends at home can keep up with me.

With love from Elon as of now…Katie

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