Thursday, May 13, 2010

Verona take 2!

Going to Verona for the second time was a completely different experience. It was warm and sunny! I have been in Milan sitting through two weeks of non stop rain and seeing the sun again definitely lifted my spirits. I realize now that I cannot function well where it is gloomy all of the time, it does not lead me to be very happy. I joined my friend's Elle and Rina on their trip to Verona and this time I said, "WE must get a map!" After Holly and I wandered the streets of Verona I knew that the only way to successful get where I wanted to go was by a map. Okay, I'll admit I am the person on the trip who has to hold the map and constantly wants to tell people the way to go... I have accepted this as part of my Type A personality. :) Verona was fun because I got to enjoy some time away from school and Milan with friends. We walked around the whole city, visiting Giuletta's balcony and Elle got the chance to attach a love lock to the area. She later threw the keys away in the river. A tradition in Italy is love locks. People will sharpie or engrave their names onto locks and lock them on bridges and romantic areas and throw the keys away, symbolizing their love never breaking. It was fun for Elle and something she'll always remember. I was on watch guard from the security guard, we weren't actually sure that love locks are really legal.
On the way back through town we stopped at a German festival that was in town for the day. We drink beers and listened to the German's sing folk songs and dance around. It was all in all so fun and relaxing. It was nice to do something, not Italian. I wanted to stay all day at the German Festival but was overruled with the others vote. We headed back to the train station, jumped on the train to Milan and we're off! While searching for seats throughout the train we kept running into people singing very loudly and wearing Robin Hood like hats... with feathers and everything. Needless to say we were confused. Finally we stopped in a car with open seats and were motioned forward by a group of men singing. Finally, I learned they were alpine military units on the way to Bergamo for a reunion. Every year they pick a place in Italy to celebrate and gather. For two hours we were serenaded and given homemade wine to drink. It was a lot of fun and completely out of the pattern of my Italian life, I loved it!

Arriving back to rainy Milan, I'll admit was not as great as being on the train and drinking wine, but it is home. Finals have been happening this week and today is my last class of Italy. How strange is that! I cannot believe that these months have flown by and even though I look forward to Louisville I know that a part of me will always remain Italian. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sometimes relaxing is good...

I will admit that when I am not traveling my life is more dull and ordinary... I have been stationed in Milan for the past two weekends and through the next one. The first weekend home after Morocco I was not really sure what to do with myself, it has been a crazy semester full of crazy adventures and I am not used to relaxing. Relaxing though has been good. I have finally gotten rid of my semi-permanent cough that I had since Ireland which would flair up whenever I got tired and have slept a little bit more through the weekend since I do not have to make beds on airport floors or in the Sahara desert. This is my last full week of classes... I cannot believe that this semester has literally flown by, but really everyone said that it would, so what can I expect? My first final...this morning, Italian. One down, three to go. Thinking of leaving is bittersweet and usually depends on the day of the week. I want to go home more whenever I read emails from friends telling me they miss me, skype phone calls from home with count downs until the day I arrive in the Louisville airport, and thinking of all the fun I will have during the summer (it is my favorite season :)). I also know that leaving Milan will be hard, it has been a fun chapter of my life and when I turn the page, real world and having responsibilities will start to commence. It has been a strange experience for me, not having to work or go to family parties or be involved on campus... and soon I get to go back to that world, but I have missed it.

Everyday I tell my roommate how lucky we are to be here...haha I am pretty sure she now thinks that I am slightly crazy because of how often I express appreciation, but it is true... I am very, very lucky and realize and appreciate that...

I have a few more trips planned for my last few days in Italy and cannot wait... it's less than a month until home and I know that it'll be time before I know it. :)

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