Tales from Italy ch. 5: Avventure future (Future Adventures)!!!

Posted by favial at 5:26 pm on Saturday, March 6, 2010
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Oh, Blog! There’s so many exciting things going on right now!!!

To start, I’ve discovered two new fun facts:
1- Monika and Ryan can dance! And I don’t just mean dance randomly, but I mean they can professionally dance! A few days ago when they discovered that the other knew how to dance, they got up and just… started dancing! And what’s even better- swing dancing! And WALTZING! And it was all done spontaneously without any rehearsal! The rest of us just sat back and watched in awe- I wish I had had my camera (Lack of camera Fail #1). It was so stunning to watch! My favorite part is they promised me they’d teach me how to dance before the semester’s over :)!

2- I need to find a means of snacking before my Italian for Foreigners class. On Tuesday, I went to Italian for Foreigners class after my Ceramics class, and despite the fact that I had had breakfast that morning, my stomach decided to be an obnoxious pain in the butt. And as my luck would have it, we had silent work. While my stomach was busy making beastly growls, I attempted to hide its ruckus by shuffling my feet and making light coughs between efforts to do my work. Monika just laughed beside me lol.

This week I also had my first Teaching Assistant jobs! Monday was simple as all it involved was establishing my schedule. Wednesday I held office hours- no one came, but it was soooo cool to see my name officially on the schedule of classes!! It looks like I’m an Italian professor here! I wanted to get a picture of it, but this was Fail #2 of not having my camera on me this week.

Fail #3 happened when Laura and I were walking down Via Mazzini on our way back to the dorms when we passed a shop that sells jeans. To our great pleasure however, the mannequins in the front window were left undressed while the shop was closed for the afternoon. There in the bright sunlit glass window stood 3 pairs of nude mannequin legs; the 2 sets of female mannequin legs stood on both sides of the 1 pair of male legs which, to make things even funnier, was turned in a manner so that he was mooning all of Urbino from the front window of this little jean shop. WHY DID I NOT HAVE MY CAMERA AGAIN?!

Lesson learned: ALWAYS have my camera on me. I never know what the day will show me.

Classes this week were also fantastic, and I have already picked my favorite- Music for the Show. I am one of 2 students -the other now being Laura- and our professor is the coolest man ever. Each class is like a private conversation between the 3 of us (I’m pretty sure we could convince him to hold our class in a coffee shop). He shows much enthusiasm and manages to keep us interested the whole time! Our 2 hour class flies by. One of the best parts (there are many) is he is very helpful and understanding of our attempts at Italian and helps us with the English that he knows. I asked if he taught more classes in hopes that I could take them, but alas, this is his first semester and this is his only class. We have truly found a hidden gem.

While all this is wonderful to me, the highlight of my week comes in the booking of flights! This week I managed to book a flight for Sicily next week, and tickets to the UK for my spring break! I’m so excited!!!
Tomorrow, I leave for Bologna where I will catch a plane for Sicily where Laura, Janelle, Monika, Judith, and I will have our own apartment in Palermo for 5 days! Be sure to read my next entry after I get back (and I promise to not fail with pictures that time).
For spring break, I’ll be travelling with Janelle to the UK! We’re flying into Edinburgh, Scotland and we will gradually work our way down through England visiting New Castle, the Manchester/ Chester/ Liverpool area, a small side trip to Dublin, Ireland, flying back into Cardiff, Wales, and finishing off with the Reading/ London area before flying home. I’m extra excited to see so much of so many places- and so many of my friends! That is probably the best part- I have friends in each of the places we’re visiting which means I can save money on hostels AND have the extra bonus of seeing fantastic people the whole time!

In my attempts to book my UK flights however, I made the mistake of booking the same flight home (from London to Ancona) twice- I had two tickets in my name for the same flight home!! I had had both flights open in two tabs on my internet browser, and I guess when I booked the first one, it had refreshed both tabs, causing me to accidentally book the same flight twice. I know I should have been more careful and double-checked, but to be honest, I did. Seeing a confirmation for London > Ancona made sense to me since I did have to make that flight; it just didn’t register to me that I had already booked that particular one already. All this resulted in me having to call my parents hoping that they wouldn’t mind covering the 30 euro fee to fix my flight since I hadn’t accounted on paying that additional cost. My parents told me not to worry; everyone makes mistakes. They covered my extra charge. I am truly fortunate to have such understanding -and the best- parents in the world.

Anyway, I’m off to pack for my Sicily trip tomorrow!
A settimana prossima quando ritornero`! (Until next week when I return!)
CIAO!

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Why Wales? Entry #5 London Love

Posted by defabbias at 12:34 pm on Saturday, March 6, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

One of my friends here was planning on going to London for the weekend to meet up with a friend that she hasn’t seen in 13 years. Since she was planning on going anyway, she decided to invite some others and make a mini-vacation out of it.

I went to London last year with some friends while one friend was studying abroad there. For some reason I forgot how amazing London is. Of course when people asked if I wanted to go, I accepted the offer- but I wasn’t nearly as excited as I should have been. I figured I would be seeing the same things, and doing the same stuff, but with three different people- the entire experience was unlike my previous London adventure. It was an experience that ultimately bonded us four travelers and created everlasting friendships amongst the four of us.

We got to London on Friday evening and had dinner at The Shakespeare Pub. It was just the three of us (me, Maggie, and Christine) until our other friend Justine met us there.

When Justine arrived, we had to figure out how to get to our hostel… bus, tube, taxi… how to get tickets…

We finally decided on a taxi, just because we were so tired. We took it to Hyde Park, and checked into the Hyde Park Hostel. This hostel was rather sketchy, but that made the experience more rich and lively. We were lucky enough to get a room just for the four of us. This was nice because we were able to relax in the room whenever neccesary.
Justine didn’t eat yet, so we found this waffle house near our hostel… This waffle house had the most amazing waffles ever, and was perhaps the highlight of our trip. We would travel back to London just for the waffles!

After Waffle-mania, we headed to experience the London night life. We ended up going to this cool London club, and after leaving decided to walk back to our hostel. Although it was freezing, this walk back gave us a unique view of the beautiful city, because London was so quiet. It is interesting to see a city that is so busy all day long, so silent. We walked home past Buckingham Palace, and saw many sights in the late late hours of the night.

Since we really only had one day in London, we needed to plan accordingly. I didn’t really put much say in, since I have seen and expirienced London’s magic previously. We headed to the Natural History Museum, which was an amazing museum. As an education major, I really enjoyed this museum. It was so hands on and interactive. It was filled with sayings and quotations which brought the facts all together. I would love to take my class here on a field trip… perhaps it’s just a bit too far.

We only saw one aspect of the museum (the Earth, volcanoes, etc), since our stomachs were growling. Believe it or not, there were not many places to eat around the museum, so we went to Kings Cross, and prior to finding food- we went to platform 9 3/4. We found a great little cafe to eat at, and had yet another plate of fish and chips (I can’t get enough!).

After that, we decided not to go back to the museum, but to head to see Big Ben. Big Ben is beautiful. We took un obseen amount of photos, and proceded to adventure into the city.

Somewhere along the way we hit Buckingham Palace. We also rode the London eye, and enjoyed the 4D expirience.
Our stomachs were growling yet again, so we searched, and searched for dinner. We almost ate at the Sherlock Holmes pub, but it was too pricey/crowded. We ended up at Garfunkle’s- to enjoy a lovely burger and chips.

Then, the best part of the night! We decided not to go out again, we went back to the WAFFLE HOUSE… we got waffles to go. We also went to the store around the corner, and bought cans of whipped cream, and large amounts of junk food. We felt sick afterwards, but it was sooo good! Poor Christine dropped her chocolate covered waffle all over the floor. (I wouln’t eat anything that fell on the hostel floor, but she tried to pick at it, haha)

Next morning, we got ready, and went to see Peter Pan. There is a statue of Peter Pan, which was put there by JM Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. The statue was erected in the middle of the night, to seem as if Peter arrived by magic for the children. This was in the newspaper following the statue being erected.

“There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived.”

After viewing the statue, Maggie left us to go back to Cardiff, as Christine, Justine and I kept exploring.Along one street we found all artwork for sale. We strolled down the street admiring the amazing talent. We all discussed our wishes for the money to buy all of this artwork and fill our homes with it. We then grabbed a bite to eat, and headed to the British Museum.

After the British Museum, it was time to say goodbye to Justine. She was off to reunite with her  friend she hasn’t seen for 13 years! This was the sole purpose for going to London. Christine and I ventured off to enjoy some crepes at a creperie, and then did some shopping/wandering.

We got our bus back to Cardiff at around 6:30, and got back home in time for the superbowl! I, thankfully opted out. I must say I was happy to be in the UK for the superbowl, where it didn’t really matter if you watched it or not.

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