Part 2!

Part 2! yay!

So…that night while we were out, we also met some very cute italian boys who bought us roses! So that was fun.

The one who bought me roses was Peter (in Italian, it’s Pietra), and he bought me a red and a pink one. He also told me I had the most beautiful eyes in all of Florence!  I’m sure that was 100% true and not a line at all.

When we got home, we put our roses in a vase on the center of our kitchen table to admire for the next couple of days. Because we are girls, and that’s how we roll. They smelled really good.

On Sunday, it rained all morning, which was much, MUCH needed.  It cooled things off so much! Sometimes, I have to actually cover up with my sheet when I go to sleep now.  Huge improvement.

Although the small side streets were a tad flooded, we still set out in the morning for church and a few museums later. It was actually really pretty! The rain felt so good on my skin, and the air was still warm. It wasn’t storming badly or anything, just a nice end of summer rain. We stopped at an American-style diner (they have American-style restaurants here, just like we have Italian ones at home) for a nice taste of home for brunch. I got scrambled eggs, toast, hashbrowns and a cappuccino, and it was so delicious!

The school gave us museum passes to get into most of the museums for free AND skip the long lines (woo!), so we attempted to visit the national history museum and the museum of modern art, but you need your student ID, and a few of the girls forgot theirs. So we saved it for another rainy or sunny day, and visited the Gucci museum instead.

Some of the stuff in there was ridiculous! Did you know they make Gucci cars, golf clubs, bicycles, sleds and silverware? How rich do you have to be to afford those things? I mean, obviously I will be able to afford them because my husband and I will have very successful careers. I just worry for everyone else….just kidding. I’m planning on going into public relations for non-profits, so I don’t think that will be an issue. However, if I win the lottery or marry a doctor, don’t ever let me own something as pointless as a GUCCI sled. or bicycle. Don’t ever let it get to the point where I have so much money, I buy things like that. okay? okay. thanks. glad we took care of that.

On Monday, we started class at Kent! My classes seem interesting, but a little difficult. I’m sure once we get into them, I will enjoy them though. It’s such a huge transition because we have our classes back-to-back and all in the same building. In one way, it’s kind of nice because we don’t have huge breaks with nothing to do in between classes.  But in another way, it kind of reminds me of middle school. And most people know how I felt about middle school.

We had italian homework that night, and one thing I quickly realized is that it’s ten times harder to concentrate on doing homework with all of Florence just outside your window! I’m really enjoying learning though! My favorite classes so far are Italian and Art History.  Plus, the people who work at the school, including all of the professors, are pretty much the most wonderful people I have met. They’re the kind of professors who are passionate about what they do and want you to learn and experience as much as you can! Those are the best kind. They have this way of making you feel like you can do anything you’re passionate about, if you set your mind to it!

The first day of orientation, we ended up talking to one of the fashion professors, who sat down with us for about an hour and showed us every single place on the map that we should go. He told us to start traveling right away, and travel as much as we can every weekend, because it’s cheap, and the best way to learn. He explained to us the importance of being a traveler, not a tourist, and trying to immerse ourselves in the culture and lifestyle of the locals as much as we can wherever we are! It was really encouraging. Then he was like, “Alright, what other questions do you have? What else can I help you with?” I just love when professors are so eager to help outside of class like that, because I feel like I’m actually learning something worthwhile.

Also, we’ve been having some issues with the people at the travel agency, such as not being the friendliest and wanting to rip us off.  But thankfully, we spoke to some of our kind professors, and they helped us figure out the best and cheapest solution for traveling this weekend! One of our professors actually spent half the class period just talking to us about how and where to travel instead of teaching the class. So that was fun.  It looks like we’ll be heading to Croatia this weekend by train, if everything goes according to our plans! Which, coincidentally or not so coincidentally, is on my bucket list of places to go before I die. Yes, I have one of those. And next weekend, we’ll be spending 3 days and 3 nights on the Amalfi Coast (which is also on the list! actually, most places are on the list haha), visiting Pompeii and Capri and lots of other fun places.

Just casually checking things off my bucket list daily. You know how I do.

I’ll keep you updated on how school and everything here is going! I hope everything is great wherever you are. Love you lots and lots!

xoxo Lizzie xoxo

“Be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” -Andrew Zimmern

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Italians are beautiful.

Can we just talk about something?

Can we just talk about how I have not seen one unattractive Italian since we got here?

They all look like they stepped straight off the pages of a magazine. And they’re just so effortlessly beautiful. We’re walking around in this 100 degree heat, sweating from every location on our bodies, and these people just walk around wearing dark pants, long sleeve dresses and heels. And their hair and makeup is perfectly intact. I don’t understand. Are they mutants? What is this nonsense?

Furthermore, they’re all so skinny and muscular, even though there is tons of delicious food everywhere and gelato around every corner (Gelato is italian ice cream, but it’s more like a mixture of frozen yogurt and sherbert. Except better. Way better. It’s like eating a delicious cloud from heaven!)

And I’m pretty sure I have not seen one gym. Although, on my gym finder app for my smart phone (I have a gym finder app and an exercise fetish. Don’t worry about it) it says there are a bunch around here. But I think the Italians like to keep them secretly hidden from sight so they can all remain much more attractive than we are. That’s my theory.

I don’t even know where to begin with all the attractive Italian men so I won’t.

I think what I love most about Italy though, and I know it sounds cheesy and lame, is Italians are just beautiful people. On the inside too. I love how much they value relationships and community and investing in each other. It really is beautiful. For example, people say hi when they pass by each other. It reminds me of how America used to be in the old days. When you’re sitting on the porch and people walk by, waving and saying hi to each other…that’s what it’s like here! And when you accidentally brush against somebody on the crowded sidewalks, nobody says excuse me or I’m sorry or glares at you, because contact with other human beings isn’t actually considered an invasion of personal space. I don’t think personal space really exists here very much at all. People talk very close together, and they greet you with a kiss and a hug!
You don’t even have to talk to an Italian to notice how important relationships are to them though, because it’s evident in their culture. All of the cafes and restaurants are small and crowded, but hardly any places give you anything to-go. Some of the American, touristy areas will, but usually if you ask for coffee to-go at a local place, they just stare at you and say “I don’t understand.” Because people aren’t on-the-go. They sit down and eat meals and drink coffee together…that’s just what they do here. It’s so foreign!
In American restaurants, I always get annoyed when I don’t have enough room because everything is usually so spread out. But in restaurants here, the tables and seats are so small and really, really close together. The first time we went out to lunch at one of the cafes, I felt so incredibly awkward. We were sitting at this tiny table on these tiny stools that felt like a little kid’s tea table or something, and I kept trying to move my stool around so I wasn’t in anybody’s way.  I figured people would be annoyed. But people here aren’t so closed off to other people, and I think it’s awesome. I love America, and I don’t think it’s just us who are closed off sometimes. There are people who are like that all over the world. I’m sure there are Italians who are like that too, but I do think our culture is a lot different from European culture in a lot of ways.
In general, I just think italians are on the right track, and we could learn a lot from how they love each other! And also how everyone is so chill and laid-back. The culture here is so much more relaxed and focused on people and relationships, rather than machines and products.  It’s hard to get used to at first when you’re accustomed to being in a rush all the time, but once you finally start to get accustomed to it, you just can’t help but feel like that’s how it’s supposed to be! All the time.

Also, I want to live here.

That’s all! I’m not sure what we’re up to today, but I’ll keep you posted.

xoxo Lizzie xoxo

Writing Playlist:
Bon Iver

Viareggio, classes, rainy days and new friends! Part 1.

Ciao Belle!

A lot has been going on around here, so I’ve been super busy! We decided to venture out on our first weekend excursion, and it was mildly successful. We didn’t go out of the country or anything, but we were all in desperate need of a beach, so we decided to travel a couple hours to the coast and spend the day at Viareggio!

We went with a huge group of people, so things were slightly stressful like they always are with big groups, but eventually we got it under control and had a really good time. We took a train, which was awesome, by the way. I forgot how much I love trains! Mostly because I haven’t ridden one in years.  They are just so peaceful!

And unlike airplanes (cough cough) they have HUGE windows. Which are good for: viewing the gorgeous tuscan scenery, avoiding eye contact with homeless creepers inviting you to play soccer, being in complete adoration of God and everything He makes, contemplating your life, re-thinking your life, being in shock that this is actually your life….etc.

Trains are also better than airplanes, in my humble opinion, because the temperature is consistently normal, the seats are bigger and less close together so you don’t have to make awkward conversation with the people next to you, and they are 100% more comfortable for sleeping.

Whoever invented trains knew what they were doing. Those airplane brothers needed to get on board. It would be awesome if one day in the future, I could have a career and live somewhere that I could commute to work by train everyday. Italy, perhaps? I am also very proud of us for navigating the train station so well, even though there were no English translations for anything. Two other British people asked us for directions! Either we look like we know exactly what we’re doing all the time, or British people are just completely clueless. But I choose to believe that we rock at this whole Italy thing, basically.

Anyway, I listened to a lot of John Mayer and Michael Buble and just stared out the window. I couldn’t even comprehend how beautiful it was! And I just kept thinking how grateful I am for my life. I never thought I would be traveling all over Europe. Ever! It feels like a dream, and I’m absolutely in love with it. I just want to spend the rest of my short little life traveling the whole world, because being surrounded by different cultures, and different people and languages and lifestyles, is the best learning experience I’ve ever had!

The beach was pretty awesome too! It was a typical public beach, but I mean, a public beach in Italy, so….still better. It was soooo nice to be in the cool water with how hot it’s been. We spent the whole day there! We left at 7 a.m. and returned around 7 p.m., so needless to say, we were all exhausted.  However, we still managed to find the energy to go out on the town later! It was the last weekend before classes, so it was pretty mandatory that we live it up.

We headed out to The Gallery, which is a local cocktail bar down the street from us. We go there pretty much any time we want to hang out, because we like the atmosphere. They play relaxing music, and it’s just a chill place. Some of the sports bars are a little too crazy for us, because we just like to hang out and talk. But we’ve gotten to know some of the regulars and workers there, so it’s actually been helping us learn too! The one guy who works there told us he’s giving us a break since we just got here, so he’s been speaking in fluent English to us all the time.  But in a couple of weeks, he’s going to start integrating Italian, and halfway through the semester, he said he is cutting us off from English.  So anytime we go in after that, we are only allowed to speak with him in Italian! I thought that was extremely nice of him, because he knows that we’re here to learn. Plus, he never makes us pay when we go there, just because he thinks we’re awesome! So, that’s a plus.

We also became friends with the owner of the gelato shop down the street from us (isn’t our diet superb?), and he gives us a brief Italian lesson every time we go there.  It sounds silly, but today we had our first Italian class for Kent, and I actually knew a lot of the phrases we covered because he taught them to us! It’s a whole lot easier to learn a language when you are surrounded by it, and I was really surprised by how eager so many people here are to help you learn!

Well, there is a lot more to say about the rest of our weekend, and the first day of school today. I split this post into two parts because so much has been happening! So stay tuned for part 2!

Thanks so much for reading my blog….I love you and miss you and I can’t wait to move here! hahaha. but seriously.

xoxo Lizzie xoxo

Writing playlist:
Something in the Water – Brooke Fraser
Sleepyhead – Passion Pit
Little Secrets – Passion Pit
Midsummer Station Album – Owl City