Let the adventures begin..
Ciao family & friends!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and stay updated on my super cool life in Europe. Feel free to comment on my post so I know you checked in and makes me feel like I'm not writing all this for nothing. Got to Florence safe and sound yesterday afternoon. Flights were easy, and although I felt like shit (stuffy nose, chapped lips, sneezing galore..yes i was that annoying girl on the plane), its safe to say others had it worse. A few people on our program got their flights canceled or delayed and their baggage lost. Luckily, my two huge overweight suitcases made to Firenze, and even found their way up our 89 steps to our flat. Yes you read that right, Chelsea (my super cool roommate) and I carried all of our luggage up the steps. It was worth it though, because when we got to the top we met our amazing host mom Myriam and saw the incredible place we will be living for the next few months. She was super friendly and although she only speaks limited English, we are able to hold wonderful conversations with her. She showed us the balcony and the breath taking view of Piazza Santa Croce. (See picture below)
I also forgot to mention that our first impression of Italy was our cab driver. He was so adorable and friendly but had serious road rage. We soon found out that all Italian drivers are crazy drivers. Literally felt like we were on a roller coaster and now walking around we can see that driving is no joke, they are ruthless and will drive through these tiny roads with their tiny cars not caring whose walking in the way. Super scary but awesome at the same time.
Anyway, after our tour of the home and my unpacking (which took far too long, the rents were right saying I brought way too much..whoops!), Chels and I decided it would be fun to check something off the bucket list right away. Side note- during our four hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany we made ourselves a bucket list for the semester, in addition to writing our first entries in our travel journals. We decided to check off: Get lost. See next post about entitled Get lost to hear more about that one, but lets just say it was definitely a success. Allowed us to explore the area around where we were living. It was no doubt, love at first sight.
We then came home for a delicious dinner with our host mom, her boyfriend Michele, Myriams sisters, and three other JMU girls who are living in the apartment but coming to our house for dinner. Also side note about Myriam and Michele, they are probably in their mid forties have been hosting American students for eight years now and have been together for even longer. Myriam is a dancer\actress in Operas and has the reputation of being the best host mom cook (obvs why we picked her). Michele (prounced Mee-shell) doesnt speak any English, is a little quieter, but is an avid rock climber. Super interesting dude. So anywho, they made us our first home-cooked Italian dinner. We had some pasta and chicken with melted cheese and ham on it, in addition to some classic Italian white wine. We then had a delicious salad and bread with some oil and balsamic and they even recommended we put some salt on it. You know me, I was like OH YEAHHHH. (Not really though, but I laughed out loud in my head cause I really do have an addiction to salt and I thought Id have to give it up while abroad...but I guess not. Instead of my mom hiding the salt like at home, my host mom ENCOURAGES it. How fab). So then the best part came after dinner, we had heard Myriam preparing this "cake" all day, so we were really loooking forward to dessert. She explains it to us and it turns out what they call cake is a bowl of homemade perfectly whipped chocolate mousse with nuts sprinkled on top. It was probably the most amazing thing to ever touch my lips in my life. I was only one to accept seconds when she offered because I just couldnt deny it, even though I was so full. It was that good.
Now that you are all drooling in jealousy, I will stop discussing the amazing food (hopefully all my posts wont be this long venting about it, but if its always as good as it was last night....they just might be). We ended the night by giving Myriam and Michele the chocolates, cookies, and American flag teddy bear we brought them as a house warming gift. We even wrote a thank you in advance letter in Italian. They totally called us out on our google translating but definitely appreciated the attempt. They even started to tear up a little when they were reading it which was super cute. We then preceded to pay 1.99 to buy the Bachelor season premiere on itunes because no show websites work outside of the US and we just couldn't wait. Fell asleep before the girls limo showed up because were exhausted, so hopefully well find some downside to catch up on that this week. Although, fortunately that is the least of my priorities.
This morning we went to James Madison University in Florence for our orientation we learned lots about pickpocketing and the dangers of alcohol, etc and got all our important documents and our Italian phones. They are super organized and experienced which made me feel safe. We then toook a walking tour with our director Alessandro, hes a super adorable italian man who I heard is going to be an incredible professor. Then we came home and had gusta pizza which we had heard amazing things about and it was actually even better than we thought.
Were home now. Im going to meet some friends for drinks and see Jamies apartment! Looking forward to another incredible meal tonight.
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for checking in!