Wednesday, April 29, 2009

They took my umbrella....

I got my purse back from Paris!
I was pleasantly surprised and a little disappointed all at the same time.  They left everything except: my camera, my ipod, my flash drive, and my umbrella.  They even took my umbrella.  Come on!  I knew the camera and ipod would be gone, but I was hoping they might have a heart and give back the flash drive.  Oh well.  At least I got my Id's back.  Now I don't have to pay GC $50 for a new G-card. 
And, I bought myself a leather jacket today.  Megan and I went together, it was an interesting experience.  The place that we went to, sells custom made leather jackets to most study abroaders in Florence.  So we knew he was good and that we'd get a good deal.  After trying on the first leather jacket, I was completely turned off.  I just looked different.  But eventually I found one that I liked.  I fell in love with a black bomber jacket with a hood (hood is 10 euros extra).  I'm not made like Italian women, I have curves (you know, hips and breasts which Italian women aren't big on here).  So, the tight small, form-fitting ones weren't cutting it.  He finally brought out the bomber jackets and then we started talking my kind of leather jacket.  And then when I tried it on, I knew it was the one.  :) Its nice.  Megan says I look sexy in it (which I don't of course) but it does seem to match my attitude very well.  I'm happy with my purchase, and it should last for a verrrry looong time.  I wonder what Keith will think of it....


OH! ps... only 17 days left! ahhhhhhhhh!!!! 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Its like Christmas....

This past Thursday, I got a package in the mail! and it was a big one too. It was like Christmas all over again, I couldn't wait to open it up.  So, I did, in the middle of class.  I must say I do have the worlds best mother-in-law.  She stocked me up with American foods/candies.  Gobstoppers, Charleston Chews, Nerds, Oreos, beef jerky!,  and Poptarts!  It was amazing to open it and see all those goodies, plus a letter from her, Keish, and Court.  Exciting stuff.  Needless to say, everyone is jealous, but I share.  And my jewelry teacher, who is German, wanted to try the Charleston Chews.  He loved them! He said that I would have to mail him some more once I get back in the states.  lol.  I LOVE my goodies.  They will definitely hold me over for the next 20 days, yes thats right, I only have 20 days left.  Crazy huh?  but I have sooo much work to get done in those 20 days.  I have to start and finish a two-panel painting, make some corrections to an old painting, finish up a marble sculpture (which is not going too bad), start and finish a silver bracelet in jewelry class, and a project/paper for my museums class.  Oh, and Italian class is going ok.  My grade average is a B (in Italian), which is awesome because it gives me some leeway on that final.  ;)
And this coming Tuesday afternoon is going to be like Christmas too because....there are good people in the world.  Some in Paris turned my purse into the Police Station, who in turn turned it into the City Lost and Found.  They sent me a letter telling me to come get myself or send someone to do it for me.  And my friend, Ashley, is in Paris right now and said that she would get it for me!  How amazing is that?  Not only that it was turned it but that I have a friend that is willing to take time out of there time in Paris to get it for me!  I feel much better about the whole "I lost my purse/life in Paris...." thing.  There are good people in the world.  So, this Tuesday I get my purse back.  I dont care whats in it, probably not the things I want the most but thats ok.  I'm just excited to have it back.  Know what I mean? I love for my ipod and camera to still be in there, but I'm not counting on it.  Electronics are tempting to take I suppose.  But maybe my drivers license and student ids are still in there, and *fingers crossed* my flash drive.  But no expectations.  I just wonder what hell my purse went through to get back to me, its adventures.  :)
So, in the meantime, I'll eat my Oreo Fudge Rings from the U.S.A, work my butt off on art projects, and count down the days til I'm back in Kentucky but enjoy those 20 days in the process.  


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun Facts about Italia...

So, I'm currently procrastinating my homework.  And I've been learning random and interesting facts about Italy since I've been here, and it has lead me to google some more tidbits about Italy.  
  1. Italy is the 5th most industrialized country in the world.
  2. Its about the size of Arizona.
  3. The average Italian eats about 55 pounds of pasta a year.  
  4. Italy has a low birth rate, because family values are changing in Italy.
  5. 98% of Italians in Italy are Roman Catholics.  
  6. The story of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi, a Florentine.
  7. The average Italian eats about 1/2 pound of bread a day.
  8. Italy has one of the highest eating disorders rates in the world. (I've been told this, I'm not 100% sure on it though.)
  9. Eyeglasses are an Italian invention.
  10. The average Italian drinks about 26 gallons of wine a year.
  11. Italy imports over 75% of its energy.
  12. Italy has over 3,000 museums, Florence being the home of Italian Art.
  13. The Vespa is an Italian made motor scooter.
haha.  I enjoy these facts much more than my Italian homework.
I hope you do too.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

When in Rome....

Bungalow #30.  Nice.

Caitlin locking it up.

Rows and Rows of Bungalows.

The rockin view from PLUS hostel.  Notice the trees.  

Fountain at the Spanish Steps.

Me on the Spanish Steps.

The Pine Cone Courtyard.

Modern Art. Gotta love it. This thing spins.  :)

Our goofy tour guide.

The Lacoon. :)

AHHHHH!!! i love this piece.  

Mikey was obsessed over this piece back in the day.

Vatican looking OUT.

Pope's Royal Guards.  Dorks.  Sucks to wear that everyday.

We are Romans.

Awesome seats... :)


Green Apple was deelish.

The Madhouse that was the Gelato Bar

Trevi Fountain

This past weekend I went to Rome with my roommate Caitlin.  I had been dying to go, and wanted to wait until the weather straightened up to go.  Thankfully, it didn't rain until after we were already on the train back home.  Rome was really the only other Italian city that I had be dying to see.  Hello, the Sistine Chapel is there.  So, to Rome I went.  It was an interesting adventure.
We staying at PLUS Hostel in Rome, which really did turn out to be a camping village that was 30 minutes outside of the city center.  The distance kinda sucked, but we figured out the bus and metro system it was easy.  Be best thing about staying there, was that there were TREES!!!!  Florence has no trees (expect in the parks).  We stayed in a "bunaglow" which consisted of two beds, and a tiny bathroom.  Thats all.  It was nice though because it was clean and super CHEAP.  36 euros for two nights (for one person).  Sweet deal.  
We took the fast train to Rome, and it was nice.  Only took about 1.5 hours.  After we checked in at PLUS, we hopped on a bus, then a metro, and went to the Spanish Steps.  Very pretty, especially at sunset.  It was a nice square, with a small fountain designed by Bernini and is supposed to look like a small boat that was once stranded there.   There were many shops and street artists at Piazza di Spangna as well.  The steps can get quite crowded, and I don't really like crowds but it was still very pretty.  Afterwards, we went in search of a good place to get dinner.  We picked a random trattoria and of course it was delicious.  Then we headed back to the Hostel because we had to be at the Vatican first thing in the morning to meet up with our tour group. 
I'd like to start off with this tidbit of information, Vatican City, is a country.  Yes, it is in ROME but it is its own country as well.  It's the world's smallest country, about .2 square miles and serves as the spiritual center for millions of people from all over the world.  Its usually referred to as a City State and often called "the Holy See".  Pretty much the only people who live there within the .2 square miles are priests, nuns, guards, high-ranking dignitaries, and the Pope.
We booked a group tour, with a hefty fee, for the Vatican Museum which includes: the Sistine Chapel, a modern art collection, countless rooms of art, and just a lot of stuff...mostly all "donated" to the Vatican.  Some of the worlds most famous pieces are held here.  Like the Lacoon for example.  And of course the frescos within the Sistine Chapel.  Overall, I'm so thankful for the experience of the visiting the Vatican, but never in my life will I probably ever do it again.  Why? Simply because of the crowds.  It was horrible the massive amount of people there.  I would do it again, on a less busy day, but our tour guide said that the day we were there was a "slow" day.  Ugh.  Heck, we only spent 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel because there were so many people and the guards were professional bad mood-ers.  Yelling at people and stuff.  It was overwhelming.  But Mikey did one hell of a job on that ceiling.  But the Last Judgement is still my favorite.  I made a list a few years ago in high school, of things I wanted to see or do before I died, seeing the Sistine Chapel was on there, and can now be checked off the list.  :)
After the Vatican, we walked to the Colosseum and got in for free, why I'm not sure, but the ticket lady said it was free and I was happy.  The Colosseum was very cool.  No wonder so many movies made after this amazing place.  Back in the day it could hold about 55,000 spectators.  The coolest part about the Colosseum was the sections underground, which you couldn't get to but you could see it.  Thats where they held the prisoners/slaves and the wild animals.  Sucks that in 847 an earthquake hit and made it into the ruins that it is today.  
After the Colosseum, we walked around a bit.  Caitlin has family in Rome, so we met up with them and walked around.  We met them at the Pantheon, which we seen from the outside.  The inside was reserved for those who wanted to pray.  The Pantheon is located in the Piazza della Rotonda square; which was my favorite square that I seen in Rome.  Caitlins family took us to this gelato bar near the Pantheon.  It was like nothing I've ever seen before in my life.  It was a cross between an auction and a mosh-pit.  Ridiculous.  You pay first, and then squeeze your way to the gelato bar, get squished, hope and pray that the gelato boys see you so that they can take your order (or atleast this is how it is for short people like me), get your ice cream, pray that it doesn't fall off the cone as you fight your way back the the back of the store to exit.  Yeah, it was that busy.  But it was soooo good.... I had green apple (verde mela), and it tasted just like green apple.  After we left Caitlin's family we continued to walk around Rome a bit, just stopping to look at stuff in the windows or to shop.  We also seen the beautiful Trevi Fountain.  Gorgeous.  
Overall, I enjoyed Rome, but prefer Florence.  Florence is smaller, everything is within walking distance, and the people here are friendlier.  Rome was huge.  But for a big city, it was awesome especially with its old ruins intermingled with the modern city.  I liked Rome.  I would've liked to have spent more than a weekend there, to just walk around some more.  But its nice to be back in Florence too.  


Monday, April 13, 2009

More Random Places/Pictures...

Well, I've been lazy, so I decided to upload some of the random photos on my camera.

This is via Porta Rossa 6, where me and Keith stayed.

Street artists' tools.

Easter Sunday, theme of course.

Hard at work, gotta make that dough. 3 people worked on this one.

Mikey's tomb. Impressive huh? 

Don't you wish this was the outside of your  home too?

Obsessed with this purple flowers.

Another street artist hard at work.

Later that day, I seen him after he was done for the day, with half his costume still on.  He made enough to buy himself a beer. That much was certain.

Arno at night.

Look at the Ponte Vecchio shine.

I really need to get out and shoot more.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

I've learned a lot...

From my time here.
For example:
I know, without a doubt, that I belong wherever Keith is.
I have never been so proud to be an American.
I know that they miss me even though it doesn't always seem like it all the time.
I know that they mean more to me now than they did before I left.
I need a Rutherford burger more than I need pasta.
I like American ice cream just as much as gelato.
I feel like the relationship with my parents has strengthened since I've been here.
I know that I can do it, I just don't want to do it alone.
I've surprised myself and continue too.
I know Gemini misses me and won't forget me.
I hate the fact that I'm missing important moments in my loved ones lives.
I know they don't really understand what its like to live away from your entire support system.
I know they don't understand what homesickness really feels like either.
I know I am strong.
I know thats its hard on him too, that he is stronger than me, and that he keeps me together.
I know that I have learned more than just painting techniques from Marsha.
I really really really love my privacy.
I know its ok to just be me, not who they expect me to be.
I like Kentucky, even Lincoln County.

Today, in case you can't tell, I have been feeling extremely homesick.  And felt the need to make a list of things that I have learned while I'm here, not a technical list, like the few phrases I've learned in Italian, but things that I've learned about myself.  Things that I know I'll be proud of when I leave here.  Last semester when I was debating on whether or not I was really going to study abroad or not, I was told that it was an experience I would never forget.  Good or bad.  And I completely agree, and its been both good and bad.  And I'm glad I did it and have continued to do it.  I've learned so much. About Myself. the World and My World. Italy. People. Art. Relationships. Religion. I've learned so much.  And will always be grateful.  Part me is writing this so that I don't forget it.  Sometimes, homesickness can get me pretty down and I need a reminder.  I think its been brought on by the fact that tomorrow is Easter and I have no plans.  I won't be seeing my niece is her easter outfit, hunting eggs.  Nor be eating dinner at home with my parents.  I won't get to spend my 6th Easter with Keith, when it feels like I took 1-5 for granted.  I like Italy a lot, just not today.

34 days and counting...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I have a phone-date tonight...

A lot has happened since the last time I blogged.  Not with me particularly but you probably heard about the earthquake that hit central Italy last Sunday night.  I'm ok.  Everyone was freaking out trying to get ahold of me when they woke up in the US and heard about it.  My mom in particular.  The quake caused quite the damage too.  Atleast 200ish people dead, 17,000 homeless, 2,000 injured, and still some people are missing.  Its scary to think of what could've happened if it had been closer to Florence, how different my life would be right now if it had been.  
But onto less depressing things...
Went to Santa Croce last weekend.  Lovely, the tombs are pretty amazing and elaborate.  Then I went to Cappelle Medicee today.  Nice.
And then I went shopping today! :) and bought a lovely new purse, italian leather.  Its gorgeous.  I'm pretty pumped about it.  And I bought a pair of flats today too, so I can wear them with my skirts since the weather has been really nice.
Silly italians are still wearing scraves and jackets.  Its like 75! And they look at the Americans in shorts and dresses and think we're crazy.  haha.  
And I went to the movies last night, and watched "The Reader" in English.  It was good.  Different kind of love story.  But good.  Definitely an adult movie.
Well, I'm getting off here.  I've updated you and I have a phone-date in about 30 minutes.  


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Time to be a big kid...

...Or atleast start thinking about it.  Which means that I register for Fall '09 classes soon, this coming week!!! ahhh!!!  Senior year! I am not sure I'm ready for that.  That means I have to start thinking about life after college and what it means to be a big kid. ugh.  But I'm also kind of excited.  Its an opportunity to show what I've learned and the potential that I have to contribute to the world.  So, I'm trying to look at it like that instead of freaking out.  
Speaking of seniors, I'm very bummed that I will be missing senior show this year back home.  Many of my friends are going to be graduating and I arrive in Lexington on May 16, day of Graduation.  I'm hoping some of them will still be around later in the day so I can say goodbye to some of them atleast.  I am also in search of a summer job too.  Which is very difficult in this economy and considering that I have to do it all through email since I'm not there.  We'll see.  The weather is finally starting to act right around here.  Sunny, blue skies and upper 60's sometimes lower 70's.  Thank goodness.  It improves the mood, but sometimes makes me want to be lazy and not do my homework.  Like yesterday for example.  I intended to get my painting homework done in the studio, but it was just too nice outside to be in all day.  So, I took my Italian homework, bought a book, and went to the Bobilos.  Finished my Italian homework, started and nearly finished a book, and took a wonderful little nap under a shade tree.  It was lovely.  It doing things like that, that make me realize that "Yeah I really am in Florence, ITALY."  It was so nice.  Then I treated myself to a slushy (yeah they have slushies here in Italy too!) on my walk home.  It was overall a great day.  And I'm glad I did it because today it rained, and I worked in the studio on painting stuff.  A self-portrait = ugh.  It turned out ok.  Looks like me I think.  
My friend, Ashley, got a tattoo this week.  It was her first one and I went with her as support (and why would I pass up the opportunity to watch someone get tatted up?).  She drew up her own design, a poppy flower, very colorful and pretty.  She got it done at Dragon Tattoo on via Faenza, where they charge way too much but do a real good job.  The tattoo artist was very cool too.  He had pickled snakes on his desk, big snakes too, not little ones.  And mounted spiders.  Its also so interesting to see how his/her space is decorated, tells alot about them.  He did an awesome job on Ashley, looked just like her drawing.  And she did so well for her first tat, and she already wants another one! :) Its so addicting.  But now I have the itch, for one.  But I've had the itch for a while.  Its time to get another one.  I was talking to my mom about it and she says,
"Peggy you need to stop. Your body is fine the way it is." lol.  I have so much more body to decorate though.  ;)  
Time is winding down here.  I only have 41 days left, and today is almost over.  Its crazy.  Because the first half of the semester I dealt with a lot of homesickness and felt like I wished a lot of it away.  But after Keith visited me, I looked at things differently.  And he gave me the swift kick in the butt that I needed to straighten up.  Now, its going to fly by.  Only 6 weeks of class left, including finals.  Then I have a day to pack and then I leave for home.  Everyone here is starting to realize it too.  They are either traveling like crazy trying to see all of Europe, or staying in Florence more b/c they traveled the first half.  I need to travel more.  See more of Italy.  I'm such a slacker.  But I like to relax on the weekends, and I always have painting homework no doubt.
I did well on all my midterms.  Got a B in Italian.  I was pumped I got an A in painting!  I was so happy about that.  Recieved an A in my museums class and a 100% on a paper for her (if Dr. D had graded it, it defiantly wouldn't have been a 100, but there's some leeway here with the language barrier too though). Got an A in jewelry, actually another 100.  :)  So, I've been doing pretty well.  Again, no midterm in Marble Sculpture.  I feel good about my classes.  :)
Well thats the update.