andddd she's home.

i can't believe it's all over. i feel much the same way as i did before leaving; disbelief in how fast it came, except this time i wasn't ready to come back. i have never been so sad to leave a place. i think a large part of it had to do with the awesome group that we had at ADA this semester. but i also loved the language and food and the ability to hop on a train and visit a quaint little town in the tuscan countryside that's been around for centuries. however, besides my family and friends, i missed my room and bagels. my car and starbucks. smoothie king and reservoir drives with my top down.

so, despite having a great last week with my mom and sister, traveling to venice and rome, i am quite happy to be sitting in my room while i type this. so i'm home. and it feels good.


and she fights for her life.

this quote has been floating around in my head for a while, so as a way to further procrastinate and refuse to do my paper, i'm posting it:

Life is nothing but a race toward death in which no one is permitted to stand still for a time or to go more slowly for all men are driven forward with equal momentum and equal speed. -St. Augustine


an encounter on the bus... and then some

so the italian transportation system is pretty lax... you're supposed to buy tickets and validate them before you get on a bus/train/tram but since officials rarely check (esp on buses) we have gotten pretty lax about using the tickets that the ADA gave us for our busrides to and from ballet. eventually, it was going to catch up with us. and it did. monday after ballet. neither lizbie nor i have brought a ticket on the bus in a while, but monday, an official got on the bus and started checking that everyone had validated their ticket. we didn't have any money or passports on us and he didn't speak english as well as he thought, but in the end one of our friends used an extra bus ticket on us. really, it could've been a lot worse... like 40 euro in fines each. we'd been riding the free wave for a while; i'm surprised we didn't get in trouble sooner.

tuesday night i went to my very first wine tasting. what better place to first experience that than in tuscany? not much to say about that; we got a little lost on the walk there, but eventually found our way. then we tried 2 wines, one of which has a '93' rating from wine spectator magazine. i guess that's pretty bangin? they served some antipasti with our wine which was really good as well. i'm probably going to go back to the enoteca (wine bar) and ship a case home before i leave.

wednesday night was our last tramanto. tramanto means sunset in italian... don't really know why it was picked as the name for these events, but i digress. there's usually 3 scheduled a semester and the events core for that week has to plan it. this time around, the events core asked us, if we felt so inclined, to create a page for the memory book that is housed in the living room at the ADA. for those of us who did, we read aloud a portion or all of the page we created and then put it into the book, which is really a binder with page protectors. my contribution was inspired by the monthly "hey, it's ok!" in glamour, but fitted to be ADA specific. afterwards, the core surprised us with superlatives they had created for everyone and handed them out on certificates. i won "most likely to be hit on by an italian man," which is a fitting theme for the semester due to the blonde hair.

tonight was our last cabaret. i MC'ed with my "twin", eva, as well as performed. eva dressed in my leotard, goucher dance jacket and some leggings of mine, while i wore all black and her commedia act. we kept it simple, just introducing the performances, because sometimes, at previous cabarets, the MCs were a little over the top. lizbie and i decided to recreate the "daft bodies" video. it was fun, but now i can't completely wash away the words we wrote in PERMANENT marker on our bodies.

it's unreal that all this will be over so soon. in two weeks from tomorrow i'll be on a plane back to the us. i still can't wrap my head around it. but it is inspiring me to live even more in the moment, so i don't miss out on a single thing.


mystery hours

this weekend was full of leisurely adventure- the best kind if you ask me. i woke up on yesterday and decided that i needed to go somewhere in tuscany. i had heard good things about orvieto, so i decided to walk down to the market, buy my favorite panino, and then mosey my way over to the train station. i decided to go by myself- i read about women traveling alone across europe in rick steve's and figured that this would be a good way to ease into it. orvieto is only a little over an hour away, so i got into the city around midafternoon. went to the beautiful duomo and then just wandered the streets. it was great; if i wanted to stop, i stopped, and i didn't have to go into any stores that i wasn't interested in, something that is bound to happen when one travels in packs. it didn't hurt that the day was absolutely gorgeous as well, causing the whole town to look like a postcard. at one point, i grabbed some lemon and strawberry gelato and found my way to a church with this grassy area right on the side of the hill. i sat there for a while and by the time i was making my way back to the bus stop, the light was absolutely perfect- i got to see the sun kissed side streets with the laundry and flowers spilling out of the windows, just like in postcards.

today, the weather wasn't quite as perfect, but i stuck it out and went to siena with some friends. glad i did, the city is beautiful as well. i've been reading 'under the tuscan sun' and at one point the author's husband observes that documentaries set in italy didn't impress him nearly as much as they did before purchasing a house in cortona. i felt that same way today; everywhere i've traveled in italy is so picturesque, i can't believe people actually live in these towns. in some ways, i'm so ready to head back to the u.s., but in others, i could stay in italy forever, speaking the beautiful language and just wandering through streets that have been there for centuries.


sunsets over the teatrino.

unfortunately, i really haven't had a lot of time to leisurely take in the sunsets here, as we're usually in class or rushing to or from another city. but a few days ago and then today i got to take in some gorgeous views.

after class, i went into my room and saw the most beautiful light streaming through a bunch of dark clouds. i grabbed my camera and literally ran to the roof so i could watch how the light adjusted itself. it was drizzling slightly, but i didn't care; the light was too perfect to miss. at first it threw all of arezzo in silhouette, throwing some backlight on the surrounding tuscan hills. slowly, the sun made it's way through the clouds and lit the valley below me. it was absolutely incredible to watch. sometimes, the simplest things are the most incredible to watch.


i got my philosophy

it's incredible that this program is going to be over in a matter of weeks. i'm a little disappointed that it's only 3 months instead of 4. ever since spring break, classes have felt so good and i think that's because we've finally hit our stride. i'm starting to understand the way giorgio works and why things that seem strange actually do work in his class. we are working on our final compositions for his class and the other day something funny, yet unexpected happened. part of our final presentation is duets. giorgio had instructed us to add humming to them for the next time we showed them in class. on tuesday, a couple was showing their duet and they hummed "build me up, buttercup." we all started singing along, so giorgio had us stand up and sort of act like an a cappella group behind the duet. we ended up doing it for 2 of the 4 pieces and i think we're actually going to end up showing them that way. he even talked to a professor in the theater track, kevin, who is going to work with us on the singing. i love how i never know what to expect with his class.


asleep on a sunbeam.

i don't know why, but sometimes i forget what a beautiful place arezzo is. there's not a lot to do here, so i haven't spent a lot of time exploring, but i stayed this weekend and was able to truly appreciate how pretty it is. liz, perry and jamie visited yesterday and maybe it was showing them around that helped open my eyes as well. i can't believe i've been in italy for two months now: it still seems surreal to me when i think about it. in some ways i wish i could've taken a year abroad instead because i can't possibly fit in everything that i would like to in just three months. at the same time, gotta try and live in the present and not worry about what ifs.

this week felt like it went really quickly: all of a sudden, it was friday. we had class up until dinner (ricardo served breakfast... mmm!) and then we got ready for the american decadence party that was being hosted at a discotheque called snob. admission was free for americans and costumes were encouraged, but none of us went the costume route. instead, we all dressed up (a few of us broke out the fanny packs again) and pre-gamed in the limo so we didn't spend all our money on drinks. the ADA was well represented at snob; we were some of the only people there for a long time, but we just had a dance party for a few hours, which was really fun.

yesterday, eva and i walked down to the market and got the most fantastic panini. whenever i'm here on a saturday, i make a point to purchase one of these sandwiches- that's how good they are. met up with the ladies at the train station and then gave them a brief tour of arezzo. we sat on the wall outside the duomo for a while, soaking up the view of the tuscan countryside. after a nice nap, we went back into town for life-changing pasta. it was actually pretty busy at the restaurant, so they sat us in this back room. i love eating there: the ingredients are just so fresh that even a simple dish tastes amazing. we got some gelato after dinner and ate it on our way to the bar. when we got back, we sat on the roof of the teatrino and took in the view of the night sky. bello bello bello.

after some coffee o'clock for breakfast and dropping the girls off at the train station, i took a leisurely walk back to the villa. put some chill music on and sat on a swingset in this park for a while. it's near the duomo, so there's a great view up there. i'm constantly with people, all of whom i like, but from time to time, i need some space. it was really peaceful sitting up there because most people were in church. might have to make it a sunday ritual.