16 March 2011

Tres Chic...i mean.. Viva L'Italia!

Before we start you should know 2 important things. 1) This is the current dance anthem of our apartment. Especially now that 2) tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of Italian unification is TOMORROW, we feel that this is a song with international flair, and its just catchy. Besides, who doesnt love shakira. enjoy :)

Also, tomorrow, Thursday, is a big day for Italy. Like i mentioned before, its the 150 anniversary of unification. aka its kind of like independence day here. It is a brand new holiday, the government announced it like a month ago, if even, and its craziness. There are so many events!!! Tonight at 1030 we are going to Piazza Signore for some flag raising ceremony, followed by fireworks, and a historical parade! VIVA L'ITALIA!! The Ponte Vecchio is lit up to look like the Italian flag - green, white and red. The Pitti Palace is lit up white. Its awesome. There are Italian flags hanging all over the streets. We even bought one and its hanging in our apartment. So presh. So since tomorrow is the start of spring break and this holiday... we are celebrating with our own theme day party - Guidas and Grappas (the italian version of TCU's senioritas and margaritas hahaha). And its St. Patty's day tomrrow, so it should be a good time!! then Friday we leave for spring break - island hopping in Greece for 8 days!! :)

now we have oh so much to catch up on im going to have to do another blog post. This one is all about my weekend spent in the French Riviera 2 weekends ago for carnaval. i dont have words to explain it. but it was one of the best trips so far. So lets begin...

If you recall, this was the trip I won with Euroadventure. Well Wednesday, the day before we were supposed to leave, we received an email saying the trip had been cancelled because a group backed out last minute and we didnt have enough people to go. However, Shaun and his wife (work for euroadventures), said if we still wanted to do the trip and figure out a way to get there, he would set up the hotel reservations and stay for the weekend and show us around. So this is what we did. There were 7 TCU girls going. Thursday afternoon we headed to the train station and made our way to France. It was about an 8 hour trip there, so we arrived at around 10 that night in Nice. Shaun had left us a note saying if we wanted to go out he would show us around. Some girls were tired, so only 4 (out of 7 TCU girls), wanted to go. So at 11, we headed out to explore the Nice nightlife. He and his wife (Reta/Meta/No idea how to say her name) took us on a "mini pub crawl." It was a really fun, chill, night. We got to see where everything was and got our bearings on the city.

first night out in Nice
The next day was amazing. We walked around Nice a little, and then hopped on a train for Cannes. We got off the train and started exploring by heading straight to the beach. The beach was lined with designer shops and fancy hotels. We saw the place where Cannes Film Festival is held. After walking around, we decided to go to this precious bar/restaurant on teh beach. I'm talking tables in the sand, right next to the water... amazing. The view was breathtaking. We ordered a bottle of Champagne because we figured thats what you should do in France. We sat at this place for a couple of hours and watched the sunset. It was gorgeous. I didn't want to leave. I can't explain how pretty it was and the pictures do not do it justice. Needless to say it was a great day, one i will never forget.

sunset = gorgeous

Cannes at Sunset - the yellow umbrellas is where we stopped for champagne

go frogs :)
Now that same night, Friday night, we returned to Nice. Shaun had recommended this restaurant for dinner, so we (like 10 of us) went there. *sidenote... there were 2 girls who had planned on going on the euroadventure trip and decided to come on there own as well... during the weekend i found out they are both chi os as well. to fun. and yeah we all hung out the whole weekend* but back to the restaurant.. It was fabulous. Delicious seafood and pasta. After we figured it was time to hit up the night life because Carnivale was the next night. So we hit up Wayne's. We had been to waynes the night before. It is this bar that is split in half. One room there is a dj and all of these tables. Well in order to dance, you get on top of the tables because there is no room in between them on the floor. So EVERYONE is dancing on tehse tables. The other area has table and chairs for a more chill environment. Well it was so fun. We were getting ready to leave because the bar was closing and all of a sudden I hear Morgan and some girls talking these guys. They are kind of arguing so i go to see what was going on. I hear Morgan "there is no way you are a water polo player"... Then I hear Kelly "you are not on the olympic water polo team".  I make my way over to them right as this guy is proving to morgan that they are in fact on the french olympic water polo team. hahahaha one of them is even wearing their team shirt. it was toooo hilarious. Well the bars close early in Nice, so the waterpolo team, well 5 of them, invited our group to go with them to this club. so we went. It was packed when we got there and they werent letting anyone in. One of the guys walked us to the door and got all of us girls in. It was this tiny place with an awesome dj, crazy lights, and lots of people. We danced all night. It was soooo much fun.

starting the night at waynes

"we need more candids"

at waynes lol

dancing at the club
just 2 of the olympic water polo players hahaha
The next day, Saturday, was just as amazing. Shaun and his wife took the whole group to Monte Carlo, Monaco. One of the worlds smallest and richest countries. For those of you who dont know... this is the place where the world famous Monte Carlo Casino is (James Bond) and they have a big car race there as well. We took a train there, got off and began hiking. This place is very hilly. We stopped by a ferrari garage - yeah its ridiculous - this tiny city... all you saw were ferraris, maseratis, etc... and the yachts. omg the yachts were bigger than anything ive ever seen. Apparently they dock some of the biggest yachts in the world here. I want one!!! Some of them have helicopter pads!! Anyways, we hiked up to the palace/castle where Princess Grace Kelly used to live and where the current royal family lives. So pretty. After that we hiked around some more, took some awesome pics, went to the church where Grace Kelly is buried, and then made our way back the marina. After that we headed up to the Monte Carlo Casino. Saw the famous roundabout where all the ridiculously nice cars are... went into the casino... attempted to gamble... and then left. There is this precious cafe next where we sat, people watched, and had a snack. After that it was time to head back to Nice. Another wonderful and beautiful day... check!

its so pretty they put a giant picture frame to take pics in :)

all the girls in Monte Carlo

overlooking the marina of Monte Carlo!

in front of Monte Carlo Casino

beautiful cars

Saturday night was the big night.. CARNAVAL!!!! the main reason we came to Nice! The big thing for carnaval in Nice is the parade. There was one Saturday night and one Sunday afternoon. Saturday night was the main one and omg was it crazy! First off, at our hotel, the super metro/borderline gay worker at the hotel kept telling us that there would be a champagne party before the parade. Well everyone met in "the chill out room" (that is what the sign said... along with... "the party starts here") for the free champagne. We hung out here for a little bit and then headed out for the parade. It lasted for about 3 hours and essentially is a crazy silly string/confetti fight with these INSANE floats and loud music and dancers and craziness. It was sooooo cooool. omg it was so much fun. Well the block where the parade was, there is this carnival type area with rides and things for kids and tehn a MASSIVE ferris wheel. I'm talking, well i dont know how big, but it was huge! So during the parade we got on the ferris wheel so that we could see everything going on. omg. so cool. After that we made our way to the bars aka back to Waynes. Danced all night again. Had an absolute blast!!!

one of the floats!

sign at the "chill out room"

view of Carnaval from ferris wheel!


tcu frogs love carnaval!

Sunday morning, we woke up, and 3 of the tcu girls had already left. they had booked different train tickets for the return (hindsight is 20/20), and we didn't want to leave super early that morning. Well we ate breakfast, and walked around Nice some more. We went on the ferris wheel again during the day - could see the whole city it felt like, and the beach! we didn't realize how close to the water we were, so after we got off the ferris wheel, we walked to the beach. On the way to the beach we saw all of the floats from teh parade before... turns out they were getting ready for the day parade. We went down to the water and waited for the parade. Once the parade started it was the same thing as the night before (loud music, floats, dancers, confetti, silly string). So fun.

some floats of at the parade

before ferris wheel ride

on the ferris wheel overlooking Nice!

Then around 2 we decided it was time to say goodbye to France and come back to Italy. Little did we know what we were getting into...

Apparently the last train that got into Italy Sunday night was the one that left 20 min before ours. What that meant was we had lots of stops, lots of layovers. The ticket lady told us the earliest we could get into Florence was 5:30 am Monday morning!!! talk about a nightmare... we left at 2:30 pm Sunday. Went to Ventimiglia, had like a 3 or 4 hour stop... got off ate dinner. Got on a train that arrived somewhere else at like 11. Next train didn't leave until like 1. Got to Pisa at like 2 45... and slept on the floor with all teh homeless people until about 5. Which is when we got on the train to florence. We got back to our house around 6. It was exhausting to say the least. I had class at 10 30 and then slept alllllll day. The trip was well worth it!  Such a fun weekend. I woke up Monday evening, skyped wiht my Dad and he told me my MOM and my aunt were coming to visit me on Wednesday for the week!!! I was super excited! great way to end the weekend and start the week!

but i'll save their visit for my next blog.... which will be coming shortly! until then..CIAO!

and GO ITALYYY!!!! hahaha :)