30 January 2011


going out last night = fail.

one of my roomies has a really good friend studying abroad here as well. we went to their apartment. and then came back home. too sleepy. oh and it was raining. and there was about a 2 1/2 hour wait to get in at all the places we wanted to go. hahahaha so our exciting night out..... not so exciting! still had fun though! and today should be good though. We are going to figure out the fastest and most direct walking routes to school. Yes it starts tomorrow and im actually really excited! so short blog... just wanted yall to be able to laugh at our trial and error of attempting to go out haha

until then... ciao! :)

29 January 2011


so today was our first real day of freedom. We didnt have anywhere that we had to be, no orientation, no class, nothing! and it was GLORIOUS! hahaha we started the day off right, sleeping in until 11:30. We finally got moving and we all had a million errands to run.

first stop on the list was getting a "friends of uffizi pass". This pass was relatively cheap and gives us unlimited access to a ton of the museums, gardens, and palaces in florence AND you get to skip lines! its good for the whole year so we figured it was a good investment. After that we kind of separated to run more errands. 2 other girls and myself decided we wanted to explore more of the city and hopefully find the same Wind store where we had bought my phone and try to see if I could finally get one... since my box was empty when i opened it.

Well we were wandering through the city... no idea where we were. We finally decided to try to look at a map and figure out what area the phone store was in. While we are stopped on teh corner, huddled together, looking at a map, this gypsy lady comes up to us and starts begging us for money and would NOT leave us alone. So finally I said lets keep walking... we literally turned a corner and seriously was directly in front of the Wind phone store! We were so excited! So we walk in and the same guy is working. He recognizes me and says oh you need a phone... i was waiting for you yesterday! and he was super nice about the whole thing, gave me my phone, no problems, and it was amazing! it maybe took a minute to get my phone. So easy! we were expecting that he wouldnt understand and there would be arguing, lots of hand gestures, and major language barrier.... yeah none of that happened. it was so great!

After getting our phone, we popped into this swanky cafe for lunch. Ended up staying for almost 2 hours just chatting. So fun! Finally we went on a mission to find a gym. I mean with all of this food, you gotta work it off!! not that we dont know miles and miles of walking each day.... we still want to stay in shape! so we found our gym and then made our way home. We stopped by a little market and got pasta to cook for dinner. We shall see how that goes haha

So today was our first day without anything to do. And we realized that besides our one class a day on mon-thurs... thats what it is going to be like the rest of the time we were here and we got super excited. This lead us to the decision that a celebration is in order for tonight. Time to experience the night club. So were keeping it classy and going to a little joint in town... called Space electronica. TOOO FUNNY!

you should check out the website http://www.spaceelectronic.net/  and see what im talking about....should be an interesting experience :) ill be sure to let you know how it goes.

until then... ciao!

28 January 2011

is this real life?

so today was interesting. we went to the supermarket and learned how to grocery shop. pretty exciting stuff. We also had academic orientation. good news.... i PASSED my placement test and i am in italian 2! i was kind of nervous when the test said there was an oral exam after the written portion... turns out it was just me nervously answering yes and no questions about if I had family in Italy because of my last name. So it was super easy :) and i found out where all of my classes are. The Lorenzo de Medici school doesnt have a "Campus" like most colleges. It is essentially random buildings in the same general area of the city with a couple of them scattered around. Well all of my classes are in the same building.... which i think is a good thing! my schedule also rocks.... one class a day. except wednesdays.. I have 2 classes. we dont have class on Fridays either! holllllaaaa 3 day weekends. you know what that means.... lots of traveling :)

anyways, so today i had my first "ahhaaa" moment. so after our orientation I had to take my placement test and the rest of the girls in my flat went on a mission to find a hair dryer and a straightener. Mary left me with her phone because i dont have one... ill get to that story in a while. So i call them to meet up and they told me they were shopping at zara. So i decided to try to make it back to them without getting a map out... by myself. I made it to the duomo so i had made it halfway there. As im walking through the piazza admiring the duomo the bells from the duomo tower started going off. I literally stopped walking, looked at it, and stared. This building is absolutely stunning. I kid you not it blows my mind every time i walk by, i literally can't believe that something this beautiful is in the middle of this busy city. America is slacking when it comes to pretty buildings. for reals. future architects.... forget the modern look. the detail and fine scultping/molding/whatever it is....yeah thats where its at! ok so im walking.... the church bells are going off... im successfully navigating the city by myself.. and it dawns on me. this is my life for the next 3 1/2 months!!! how insane is that?!?!?! yeah its unbelievable. It was just one of those moments where i realize how fortunate i am to have this opportunity and how thankful i am for it. so thank you parents :) you did good!

so i met up with the girls at zara.... dont worry parents I havent gone shopping... yet!! oh so cell phone story. yeah its a classic. Last night we got crazy lost trying to find the stupid cell phone store. after walking around aimlessly we literally stumble upon it and go to talk to the italian owner. he was no help, kind of hostile, and im pretty sure he thought we were dumb americans and trying to scam us. So we buy the cheapest phone he has. Well he only has 4 left, and then 2 of this other phone that was the same price. There are 6 of us so we said perfect. We picked out our plan, paid for it and headed home. Well me, being the sleepy jet lagged person I was, went to bed last night without opening my phone and decided I wanted to set it up today. Well I go to open the box for my phone and what do i find??? a charger and NO PHONE!!!!! yeah ridiculous.. i know! so i have to go back to the store tomorrow and try to convince the italian guy that there was no phone in it. Im thinking it was the display one or something and hoepfully he gives me another one. This could be interesting.

Well that's all i have for today. Now that we are officially done with all of our orientations, we are on our own schedule. This weekend we are thinking about hitting up the museums because its supposed to rain saturday and sunday. Uffizi and Acadamia (hellooooo statue of David) are calling are names! Also, we think we found a zoo today? so we are going to see what that is all about! Ill post after the weekend with pictures too.

until then... ciao!! :)

27 January 2011

made it!

well i finally made it to Italia!! and we have lots to catch up on ... starting with the flight over here

It was actually a pretty easy trip. I made it to Charlotte, no problems. Then I had a flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany. I was super pumped for this flight because I had gotten my seat assignment and it was the bulkhead (lots of leg room) aisle seat and no one else was supposed to be on my row... or so i  thought. Well we board the plane and i take my seat, and no one is sitting next to me. The last 2 people board and I see these 2 morbidly obese women walking on with a screaming 1 1/2 year old. Where do they go to sit..... right next to me. The plane is WIDE open too. So instead of having the entire bulkhead for the 8 hour flight, i faced the reality that I could have the leg room, but sit uncomfortably next to these 2 women with a crying baby, or move into the row behind me (which was empty) and sacrifice the leg room... which i did. It worked out for the better, minus the fact that the baby NEVER stopped crying and so I probably got an hour maybe 2 hours of sleep on that flight. No big deal. Everything else went perfectly though :)

When I arrived in Florence there were a TON of study abroad students at the airport. 2 of the girls im living with in my apartment were on my flight from Germany so we took a taxi to the hotel we had to stay in the first night. So we get to the hotel, check in, and decide to go wander around the city. We didn't have anything to do until dinner at 7 that night. We did some exploring, ran in to more of our girls and have a good time. There are a total of 18 of us from TCU here and its a really great group of people! The organization we are working with here, Accent, is awesome and they have 2 ladies, who are essentially in charge of us and they are so cool! Anyways we went to dinner with the whole group.

Naturally, after a day of traveling, we were all pretty hungry. When it came to dinner time, we were definitely ready to eat. We all went to this small little restaurant not to far from our hotel. After we sit down, they brought us each a plate of pasta. Thinking this was the whole meal, we all devoured it. Little did we know they had another course of chicken and potatoes waiting for us. Oh and and then they tried to make us eat desert too but we couldnt handle it. I had totally forgotten how Italians eat like 4 course dinners here and was not ready for that. Needless to say next time we do a big dinner, we will prepare ourselves and not eat the day before. we had a blast though, and then went back to the hotel to crash. Well there were 4 of us in this room. We each had a bed smaller than a twin size bed. and it was FREEZING!!!!!!! oh and the walls are paper thin so we heard every drunk italian going back home all the way until about 4 in the morning. it was awesome.... not. and did I mention freezing..... im talking leggings, under shorts, under sweatpants, with tshirt and sweatshirts on. Yeah not a good night.

So we woke up this morning super excited because we were supposed to check out of our hotel and they were going to put us in taxis and take us to our apartments! we are living in apartments all throughout the city! Our housing director, Daniela, had told us earlier that our apartment was her favorite because of the location and other things. Its on the other side of the river from the duomo... the more residential less touristy part of the city and its awesome! we have a 3 bedroom/2 1/2 bath with a living room, kitchen, and other little sitting/dining area. Its perfect for us. There are 6 of us total in here and were having a blast. It didn't really sink in until we started moving in and unpacking that we are actually here and here to stay for the next 3 1/2 months!

 So after we unpacked we went to go grab lunch. definitely got kicked out of a cafe because some of us brought food in from another cafe.... yeah classic stupid american move. go us. but the rest of the day was fun. We had a walking tour to find some of the important places around town. Then we had a super long orientation with our program coordinators. After that we went on a mission to get go phones. After some arguing with the phone guy we got it all figured out and decided to get dinner! We had our first italian pizza tonight at a precious place called Gusta pizza. it was phenom.... margherita pizza is so much better here then it is at home. Probably just because we were eating pizza in Italy and it seemed cooler but yeah. definite win :) apparently they have amazing desert pizza but we didnt try it tonight. We will have to save nutella pizza for another night haha.

Today was exciting though. First full day in my new home. We are starting to get a sense of direction (sort of...) we look so dumb standing on the corner, all 6 of us, huddled around a map, looking all over the place, but we are slowly figuring it out. We realized that you can pretty much see the duomo wherever you are... and if you can get to the duomo you can get anywhere.

Tomorrow we have our academic orientation... yes school... still have that going on. We start class on monday! oh and were learning how to shop at the supermarkets tomorrow as well. apparently its a lot different here. shocker. We are just ready for the weekend so we can do some planning for some trips we want to take and more exploring (duomo hiking sounds like a good idea to me... aka climbing hundred of stairs to the top of the duomo for the view). Anyways, my jet lag is kicking in and we have to be up at 7 tomorrow morning so its bedtime for me. Ill be posting pics at some point and will update soon. Oh and be sure to look on facebook in the near future. I brought my Flip video camera and ill have a little tour of the apartment up there soon :)

until then... Ciao!

24 January 2011

Goodbye America.... HELLLOOOO Italy!

Well it is finally here. After months of preparation, tons of paperwork,  endless errands, 2 suitcases, and 1 backpack later, it is officially time for me to leave! If you are reading this blog, you should know that I will be spending this semester studying abroad in Firenze (thats Florence for you non-italians) Italy! I have been blessed with this opportunity and cannot wait to go see, explore, and submerge myself in the Italian culture. The adventure begins tomorrow with a solid 17 hours of traveling and I couldn't be more excited!!

Until next time (from Italy). Ciao!  :)

oh I almost forgot....
skype: dadevoto
ichat: augusta90