Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Party in the USA...

I went from Medieval castles to a tropical paradise...
I live on the corner of "Surfsong Road" and "Ocean Green"
I play on the beach for hours at a time...
Only downside is that I kicked one of these in the ocean the other day...
First Jelly fish, now horseshoe crabs
I eat endless watermelon, and had a delicious hamburger with french fries last night...

It's good to be home

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Arrivederci Italia!

Dearest friends-

My last week in Italy was filled with oodles of fun that I simply must share with you!

Our last Saturday some of the gang decided to go back to Firenze (Florence) because we did not see everything we wanted to the first time! So this time around the agenda included:

1. Casa Bonarotti
2. Medici Chapels

These chapels officially became one of my favorite spots in Florence. The ceiling was simply awesome!
3. San Lorenzo Chapel and Library
4. the Barjello
5. Boboli Gardens
I felt like I was in Narnia... bliss!

That night we spent the night in Florence in a hostel. I finally had a true hostel experience- 7 beds in one room. That night was probably one of the longest nights of my life considering it was about 7,000 degrees in the room, but we couldn't open the windows because there was a party going on in the street below us until about 4 in the morning, celebrating the world cup. Needless to say I probably slept only 20 minutes the whole night!

(Our feet after a LONG day of adventure and mostly walking... )
But the next morning we had the awesome chance to got to district conference and listen to a broadcast for all of Europe in Italian! It was such a neat experience!

It was certainly fun to go, but nice to get back to little Siena!

The rest of the week passed all too QUICKLY!! I just didn't even know what to do with myself!! How was I suddenly walking down to the train station, spending the night at the Pisa airport (oh that airport and I will always have fond memories) and then in Paris flying back to America???

I must say that Italy was basically one big, long, amazing dream come to life!! I still have a few more posts left in me because I am not home yet so tune in for some more of my adventures later!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

so this is goodbye... or just ci vediamo

i am in paris getting ready to fly home... I am uber sad and excited at the same time... more later....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Carroccio Gang!

Presenting... IL CARROCCIO!


My internship could not possibly be better! I love it so much and the people are my best friends! They give me presents, feed me, and are so patient with my horrible italian- I LOVE THEM!

me, Janean, Emmy, Bikash, and Mobeb

Renata wasn't in today... but I will get pictures so you can see her later! Oh and by the way... Tom Hanks has totally been to my restaurant! They have a picture with him hanging up!

Calcio? Anyone...

Screaming and Cheering until the wee hours of the morning...
Singing, honking horns- Yelling for Italia...
Being in Italy for the world cup...
Best thing ever!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Follonica e Monteriggioni- perfecto!

Well team,
The past few days have definitely been fun and adventure filled. I didn't have to work and Nielle was here so we did a lot of frolicking! BEST THING EVER!! On Monday I just showed Nielle around Siena. Tuesday, our group decided to hop on the train and go to


It is a teeny hilltop town. We got off at our train stop and actually had to hike up to the town. On the way we found another little surprise. We saw a sign that said Castello, which is castle in Italian. So we took a little detour up to this old castle. It was deserted, which of course made it ideal for exploring. I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie and we climbed in to the old house. We explored the various rooms, it looked a little war-torn- but of course it was completely safe :) Cajin found a window that we could climb out of to get to the outside wall. At this point I felt like Anne Shirley as she attempts to walk across the roof... Don't worry, I didn't fall so all is well!

After that adventure we continued on to Monteriggioni. The city was really cool and we climbed on top of the city walls to see some amazing views of the Tuscan Valley. It also started pouring rain here so we played in the rain and jumped in puddles... needless to say I was soaked! (Monteriggioni from a distance...)

At the Castello...
Wednesday we went to FOLLONICA-
beautiful beach town! White sandy beaches + clear blue water + sun shining= BEST DAY! We actually went to Follonica on Saturday and it was so amazing we just had to go back. We spent the day swimming in the warm water and playing in the sand. I'm sure the italians thought we were crazy since they pretty much go to the bea
ch just to tan, but we were loving life. We finished the day with Pizza and Gelato... Heaven!
Well I can't believe that my adventure will be ending so soon, But I am loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Il mio restaurante e i miei amici!

Well team I decided that It is finally time that I blog about my internship!! It is so amazing and I absolutely love working at my restaurant...

Il Carroccio!

It is an awesome, small, but very classy and expensive restaurant just outside of the piazza. Let me take a minute to introduce you to my coworkers-


My boss and a native of Siena. She has had her restaurant for over 20 years. She is an amazing cook, and a little bit intimidating. I have a hard time understanding her Italian sometimes, so she just laughs at me, but I really love working and learning from her. OH, and she had purple highlights even though she is well over 50!


The head cook who is from Bangladesh. He is the one who makes all of Renata’s fabulous recipes. He is so nice and patient with me and always tells me exactly what he is make and what he puts into the recipes so I can recreate them- only he never measures anything (because he is just that good) so I’m not positive my attempts to recreate the food will be successful J


My best friend at the restaurant! Emmy is from Senegal and she speaks French, Italian, and English. She is the most patient with me and always helps me with my Italian! She fixes my mistakes and asks me to help her with my English. Emmy knows that I love to make desserts, so whenever someone orders a dessert, she lets me do it! I also help her with all the appetizers!


Our Brazilian Server! She is so fun and loves to dance and sing. But with her Portuguese accent and how fast she talks, sometimes I don’t understand her. But Emmy translates, so it’s all good!


The quite dishwasher from Bangladesh. He is such a hard worker, just takes orders from everyone and always cleans up my messes for me!

So that is the crew!! I love working there with all my heart! For the past few days the have had riposare (the verb to relax). Basically it means they close the store and take a little break. So I have just been frolicking with....


She flew all the way from Birmingham to frolic with me in Italia! BEST DAY!!!

pictures to come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

By the sea... Oh how happy we will be...

Well my dear readers. I thought that I had officially been baffled beyond words and awed beyond imagination here in Italy- Yet some how Italy never fails to surprise me. Yesterday, I experienced the adventure of a lifetime and will now award “The most beautiful city in Italy award I have thus seen so far” to.... CINQUE TERRE!!!!

This group of 5 cities is built up along the Mediterranean Sea in Northern Italy.

Just take a look and prepare to witness bliss-

We took the train to the first city- Riomaggiore- and then began the beautiful hikes from city to city on the "Via del Amore" (the pathway of LOVE :). The second city was Manarola- SO BEAUTIFUL!!! - It truly is magnificent!
It was here that I had a bit of a fun experience... I don't know if you notice the rocks in the bottom right of the above picture, But they stick out into the ocean. Well of course our group had to be hardcore and go out on to the rocks. Everything was just dandy until the waves started getting really big. So we were hurry to get back to the side, and I took a little step on a very slippery rock... and I was a goner... into the ocean, clothes, backpack and all!! Of course it was hilarious and I couldn't breath because I was laughing so hard! I was totally fine with only minor cuts and bruises- and my dear friend Natalie sacrificed her dry clothes so I didn't have to hike in soaking wet ones! It was a fantastic way to start the day! Here is a picture post fall, nice and wet...
Well the hikes to the other cities were less eventful, and more beautiful with every step!! We hiked first to Corniglia, then on to Vernazza.

SO AMAZING!!!! The hike was uber steep, but so pretty it didn't even matter! Our last stop was Monterrosso, which we took the train to. When we walked out of the little station we saw this...

It was time for the BEACH!!! We had so much fun swimming in the BLUE water!! It was so clear!! But now it is time for hilarious story #2. So Kari, Sydnee, Jarom, and I were just out swimming about and having a fabulous time. Suddenly I kicked some and screamed!! It hurt and I said "I think I just kicked a jellyfish!!" We were just laughing and thought It couldn't possibly be a jellyfish! Well a few minutes later... Jarom yells, and then yells, and then yells... He got hit three times by the evil jellyfish, and His stings were HUGE!!!
Jarom was definitely masking his pain in this after shot because his arm was burning!! We had to go to the lifeguard and get some medicine. It was for sure an eventful trip to the sea!!

We finished the day with gelato and the 4 hour train ride home. All in All a day from heaven!!