🎶I chase your love around a figure 8…🎶 #elliegoulding #halcyon #spotify #obsessing (Taken with Instagram at Miami University Rec Center)
“She lives in a fairytale, somewhere too far for us to find. Forgotten the taste and smell of a world that she’s left behind…”
Snooping around Cedar Point with @sbframp. #Snoopy #CedarPoint #Sandusky #Ohio #RollerCoasters #Fun #Summer (Taken with Instagram)
My wake up call rang at 6am in the airport hotel room in Zurich. I got up and got ready to catch my flight back to America! When I left the Dayrooms, I checked the departures board to see what gate I needed to get to. After I passed through the security check point, I stopped and used my last few euros to buy an orange juice. I made it through security and to my gate with tons of time to spare, so I pulled out my computer and watched some TV shows on my harddrive to kill the time. Soon, it was time to board the flight! I waited in the long line of general boarding for nearly 10 minutes! When I finally got to the gate, I handed the woman my passport and boarding pass only to be told that I had to get my ticket stamped at passport control before boarding. Of course. So I got out of line, went to passport control, and got back in line again. Finally, I was walking onto the plane.
Once all of the passengers were seated, we started taxiing out to the runway. I was seated in the center section for this trip. I had the right side aisle seat of the four center seats. The three people seated in the same center section with me were a family- a mother and her daughter and son. They didn’t say much for mos tof the flight, we all just kept to ourselves. I started out the flight by watching The Lorax on my personal TV. While the movie played, the flight crew gave out biscuit crackers and pretzels as a snack, as well as drinks. I just had water. I wasn’t really tired at this point, so after The Lorax was finished, I started the Reese Witherspoon movie This Means War. Toward the end of this movie, the flight attendants passed out dinner. I had the chicken again, only the meal was different this time from the first flight a few weeks ago. It was chicken in gravy with peas and carrots and potato hash brown type things. There was a side salad, a side piece of Swiss cheese (Switzerland cheese, not the kind with holes in it), a roll with butter, and a crumbly cake with apricots for dessert. It was all very delicious! I ate every last bite! After dinner was collected, I had coffee and a piece of Swiss chocolate with nougat in it- YUM!
After This Means War was over, I watched one episode of Modern Family while I finished my coffee and chocolate. I was feeling really tired by now, and we still had about 4 hours of flight time, so I decided to shut off my TV and listen to music while I closed my eyes. I was going in and out of sleep, but only slept for about an hour total of light, interrupted sleep. When I woke up, the flight crew was handing out snacks of New York style pizzas and ice cream. It thought it was cool that they give out food in accordance with the destination. Even though the food is always Swiss, they theme it well! Haha.. I asked for another coffee, and started the movie Wanderlust for the remaining hour and something trip. After I finished my pizza and ice cream, I started to drink my coffee. The woman sitting next to me started talking to me about where I was headed and where I was coming from. I told her I had been studying in Italy. She and the two kids with her, (and husband and the rest of her family), live in Switzerland for her husband’s work. Originally from Iowa, though, she knew all about the midwest and Miami University. She and her kids were traveling to NYC this day to begin a string of college visits for her son. Once they landed at JFK, they were taking a train to Baltimore, then eventually they were flying to Pittsburgh to tour Duquesne! What a small world!! She was really nice, and we ended up talking for the remainder of the flight. It was really nice to talk to someone so friendly!
When we got off the plane in NYC, it was about 12:05pm- back on EST!!! We were shuffled into the airport to go through customs immediately after unboarding. Obviously, this was something I had never done before, but it seemed really unorganized. I mean, for purpose of customs, it just didn’t seem very well done. We were given a small piece of paper to fill out our personal information (contact info, age, where we were going, where we had been abroad, etc.) and on the back of that sheet, we had to declare what we were bringing into the country that had been bought overseas. It was strange because they didn’t give us any sort of instruction as to what we should declare. Things in our carry on luggage? Things in our checked luggage? Food, okay. But what about clothes and shoes? Other gifts? I just scribbled down a few things that were in my carry on and figured if there were any problems, I would just have to explain that I didn’t know what I was supposed to write!! I waited in the customs line for about 15 minutes, or so, and when I walked through the guy initialed my declaration form and sent me on my way. Well that was easy? And seemingly pointless?? I went to the luggage carousel and waited for my luggage to drop. Once I had it, I walked through the other side of customs where they took my sheet of paper from before and sent me through the gates. I feel like I could have smuggled drugs in and they wouldn’t have known…did they scan my checked luggage sometime before now that I missed?? I’m not sure. But it didn’t seem very official. Oh, well.
Once I was in JFK, I headed to the AirTrain to get to the Delta terminal. It was confusing to figure out because the second train was closed down, so to get anywhere, you just had to ride on the only train operating for up to 10 or 15 minutes. Once I was finally to Terminal 3, I headed to the check-in. The lines were very long, but I was able to check my luggage and make it through security by 1:30pm. Once I made it to my gate, I was ready to relax until my flight. After a couple of hours passed, I decided to grab something small to eat to hold me over before the flight boarded. I bought a 5 piece chicken nuggets from a Wendy’s near my gate and ate them before we boarded. When I finished, I noticed it was about 3:25pm, and the departures sign displayed that our flight was delayed 15 minutes, to depart at 4:15pm. The airport was a madhouse because many flights were being canceled due to weather coming in through the midwest, blocking most routes through Pennsylvania. The Delta terminal in general was insane because they board multiple flights through the same gate. I’ve never run an airport before, but I think it was safe to say this was a completely idiotic idea during the design of this place. But what do I know. Soon, amongst the chaos and pandemonium, flight 3023 was invited to board the plane to Pittsburgh. I was really beginning to hit a wall at this point, since I had woken up at 6am in Switzerland, which was 12am EST. Basically, the 4pm board time felt more like 10pm to me. I decided it would be okay since I could rest on the flight then have all night at home to relax and sleep.
After everyone was boarded, I sat back in my seat to relax. We taxied out of the gate and the stewardess started going over the safety precautions for the flight. Once we were at the runway, we stopped moving. We sat there for about 20 minutes, no one really know what was going on, until soon the pilot came on the speaker and announced that we were waiting for a sky intersection to open up. Apparently the bad weather that was currently over Pennsylvania had caused a “road block” of sorts, preventing us from being able to travel through to Pittsburgh. He told us that he was not sure how long the wait would be, but we would sit there and wait it out until he heard otherwise from air traffic control. There were a lot of moans and groans from the other passengers around me, but this news didn’t really mean anything to me. I just got off of an eight hour transatlantic flight- I doubted I would even notice waiting another 20 minutes. The flight attendants distributed snacks and water, but I just put my head down on my table to relax. After not 20 minutes, but two hours had passed, the captain announced that we would be pulling back into the gate to allow us to have a bathroom break and to get food. More moans and groans. I decided that I was too tired for words, so I didn’t get off of the plane, but instead, took advantage of the silenced engines and almost total solidarity to put my head down again and rest. I didn’t get any sleep in, because within 20 minutes, it was 6:30pm- the designated time by which the pilot told everyone to be reboarded. We pulled back out from the gate and the pilot announced that the intersection was still closed, but that air traffic control was working on opening it shortly. He told us that there was going to be more of a wait, but that they were doing everything in their power to get us to Pittsburgh. Before we knew it, 2 more hours had passed and we were pulling back into the gate to unboard, (I found out later that the reason they do this is because you are not legally allowed to let passengers sit still on a parked plane for more than 2 to 3 hours without letting them out at the gate for food and bathroom purposes). Well, by the time people were reboarding this second time (which I stayed put once again) it was almost 10pm and dark outside. As we pulled away from the gate for the third time, the pilot came on the intercom in a cheerful tone to announce that the intersection over PA was opened! We were able to travel to Pittsburgh now, and we would be on our way soon!! YAY! The only obstacle now was getting out of the airport. Because of all the traffic coming to and leaving from JFK, there was a bit of a hold up with this- of course. The pilot told us that we were about 20th in line for the runway, and since air traffic was putting at least 20 miles between planes, we had at least another 45 minute wait before we could take off. Forty-five minutes and then we would be off!! Except that now….it was thunder storming. I checked my phone after we sat there for a little while and the time read 11:20pm. AKA 5:20am in Switzerland…meaning in 40 minutes, I’ll have been awake for 24 hours. OMG. I couldn’t see straight, I felt sick, I was hungry and uncomfortable. I don’t have much memory of what happened next other than by the time 11:45pm hit, the storm outside was subsiding, and the captain was announcing that unfortunately our flight was canceled. Mamma mia. Is this serious!? You cancel our flight after 8 hours….but made us sit here all this time while you were what…DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO CANCEL IT? I was literally delirious with exhaustion and hunger. I had 5% battery with a dead computer aka no hope of charging my phone unless I found a wall outlet. I called mom and let her know what she already had figured out based on the arrival boards in Pittsburgh that she and Seth had been staring at all night. What a mess…..
First things first, I needed something to eat. I walked off of the plane back into the terminal and SHOCKER…everything was CLOSED because it was 12am!!!! Perfect!!!! I didn’t even have water to drink since that’s so dangerous to have at airports you have to buy a bottle for $8 once you’re inside. UGH!!!!!! The inside of the terminal was a zoo. People everywhere trying to rebook flights and get accommodations arranged for the night. I decided I would wait before getting in line and instead go find my luggage. I wasn’t sure how to get to baggage claim from where I stood so I walked along until eventually a security guard approached me and asked if I needed help. I told him that my flight had been canceled and I wasn’t sure what to do now. I asked if I should go claim my luggage before talking to someone about rebooking another flight. He seemed as if he wasn’t entirely sure either, but he suggested that I go claim my luggage so that it wouldn’t turn up lost. I told him I needed to reschedule for another flight, and he said that I would just need to do that at the Delta counter behind me. I thanked him, and followed his directions to the downstairs luggage claim service counter. Once I was there, a woman was announcing to all of the people in the small office that they would not be dropping any luggage tonight, but instead they were planning to send each person’s luggage with them on whatever flight they rebooked with Delta. Frustrated and exhausted, I walked back upstairs to get in the long line to reschedule my flight. I was met at the door by the nice security guard that had told me to go get my luggage. I explained to him that they were unfortunately not dropping any of the luggage tonight, and that I needed back inside the terminal to get in line for the Delta counter. All of a sudden, he turned into a psycho asshole and rudely told me that I wasn’t allowed back inside! He started yelling at me saying that I shouldn’t have left the terminal and that I would need to go back through security to come back to the gate…and security would open again at 4:30am. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I was way too tired for argument, so I just calmly but seriously asked him, “Why did you tell me to go check for my luggage when you knew I needed to rebook my flight from inside the gate…and you knew that I wouldn’t be allowed back inside until 4:30am?” His response is what really pissed me off. He replied only with a, “I didn’t.” Cool. I turned my back on him and walked away. Without a plan, I found a wall outlet and sat down to charge my phone.
Once my phone was charged a bit, I called mom and asked her to call Delta about rescheduling my flight. She was really upset to hear about the run in with the incompetent security guard, but she called Delta and got me rebooked on another flight- the soonest I could leave JFK was 2pm the next day and I had to fly into Cleveland instead of Pittsburgh. I didn’t even care. What could I do at this point anyway?
Around 11pm, I had gotten a text from one of my friends that is living in New York City for the summer asking me to come out with him. I told him I couldn’t because I was sitting on the airplane, haha. But now that it was nearly 2am, and I had no hope of leaving the city for at least 12 hours from now, all I could think about was finding a place to sleep. I texted him to see if he was still awake. In the meantime, I walked outside to the terminal next to the one I was currently inside of in hopes of finding a place to sit other than the dirty floor. My search was unsuccessful, but at around 3am, my friend Eric texted me back. He had been out in the city, but he said I was welcome to sleep over at his place until my flight the next morning. So relieved by this, I didn’t even think twice about paying the insanely offensive cab fee of $49 for the 30 minute ride from JFK to his apartment in Midtown Manhattan. When I got there, he pulled his spare bed down for me, and I was passed out by 4am.
I woke up to a charlie horse around 9am and wasn’t surprised at all based on the weekend I was having. I decided to just stay up since I needed to leave Eric’s place by 10am or 10:30am anyway. I didn’t have the energy to do much more than sit around, though, so I passed the time by calling Tenika and telling her about my exciting day yesterday. Eric had to be at work at 10am, so he made us both coffee and gave me helpful instructions on how to take the subway to the JFK AirTrain. After I said goodbye to him, I set out into the city to get breakfast and make my way back to my least favorite place in the world. I grabbed an iced coffee (I know, two in one hour…questionable), and a couple donuts at a Dunkin Donuts near the subway station, then hopped on the E train to get to JFK. The train ride was about 35 minutes, but I was arriving to the AirTrain station at JFK before I knew it. I had to pay to get on the AirTrain, but the combined cost of the AirTrain and subway was 1/5 of the price I paid for the taxi last night. So I couldn’t complain.
I rode the AirTrain to the forsaken Delta terminal, went through security, and soon I was back at my beloved gate number 25. Nice to see you again! -___- I found a seat and sat down to charge my computer and relax before my flight. It was only about 11:30am-noonish, so I had a little bit of a wait. Around 1:30pm, I grabbed a 5 piece chicken nugget from the expensive Wendy’s, and went to the Delta counter to check on my luggage. For some reason I had a bad feeling about it’s whereabouts. I tried using the Delta iPhone app that a man I met in the airport had told me about yesterday. You can use the app to check on flight delays and cancelations as well as to track your luggage. When I loaded my luggage in the app, it registered it as untraceable…probably not a good sign. The woman I went up to at the Delta counter was really nice, and she offered to look it up on her computer. I gave her my luggage tag number and she punched it in. It came up on her screen as having landed in Minnesota this morning, she told me with a smile! Um…..what???? I told her that I wasn’t going to Minnesota and her smille changed to a look of confusion…Oh. She punched in some more numbers and hit some more keys until she sighed and with a look of relief said, “Ohhhhh! Okay, it says here that your luggage landed in Pittsburgh just a couple hours ago.” Great. I told her that was better than Minnesota but still not good. I explained that I had originally been on a flight to Pittsburgh but had to rebook on a flight to Cleveland. I asked her what I should do and she said Delta could ship the luggage to me. At this point, Delta had become my literal biggest nightmare so I assured her that I live close enough to the Pittsburgh airport that that wouldn’t be necessary. I would go pick it up myself. Annoyed, but satisfied that it could be worse, I went back to my gate to sit and wait for my flight to board.
By now, it was about 1:45pm, and my flight was supposed to depart at 1:55pm. Why hadn’t we boarded? I checked the departures board by the gate and it said that the Cleveland bound flight was delayed until 2:36pm. And so it begins. Oh well. I sat down and put in my headphones to drown out the chaos. Around 2:40pm, we still hadn’t boarded, but the departure board still read 2:36pm. Obviously they take organization really seriously here at the Delta terminal. I looked back at the board a few minutes later and our flight had once again been delayed until 3:20pm. Just when I was wondering if I would ever see Ohio again, they announced that the connecting flight to Cleveland was now boarding. I checked my phone and it was 3:20pm…so obviously we weren’t departing on time. Whatever. Getting on the plane is a step in the right direction, right? Maybe I shouldn’t assume that after last night…
I was seated on the plane and it turned out, I had the seat to myself. I spread out and put on my shhmask to get some rest. It was an hour and fifteen flight, so I figured that was plenty of time for a nap. After about 30 minutes had passed and we hadn’t moved, I pulled up my shhmask to see what was going on…nothing. The pilot came on the intercom a few minutes later and announced that there was some departure traffic, and we were just waiting our turn in line. He said we had about a 40 minute wait. WTF? Is this real life?? HAHAHA.. I couldn’t even take this seriously. I covered my eyes and put my head down. Wake me either when we’re there, or when we’re kicked off the plane to rebook. Mamma mia…
By 4pm, I heard the engines roar to a start and the pilot announced that we were ready for take off. We were in the air just a few minutes after that, on schedule for a 5:15pm landing in Cleveland. Thank goodness!! When the stewardess came around with drinks and snacks, I decided to get one of everything. I couldn’t decide and I wasn’t afraid to take complete advantage of Delta at this point. So I had water, coffee, peanuts, and cookies…two packs of each of the latter. They owed it to me, right? Haha.. The flight attendant was nice, but I’m pretty sure she thought I was mentally insane…or just fat. I did have my shhmask strapped across my forehead, my neck pillow hanging off my shoulders, and I probably smelled like a dumpster wearing three-day-worn clothes. Oh, well. After I finished my snacks, I turned up my iPod and closed my eyes for the remaining 45 minutes of the flight.
FINALLY, we landed in Cleveland, and I’ve never been so happy to be there! Haha!! I got off the plane and raced to the baggage claim area where mom and Seth were waiting patiently for me. It felt like a dream coming out of a nightmare. I couldn’t believe I had finally made it. Well, almost. We did still have a 2 hour drive home. Mom told me that she talked to someone in baggage claim services about my lost luggage and they told her that if I could stop in and give them my luggage tag number, they would have my luggage delivered to me by courier by the end of the night. That seemed like an okay idea, so I filled out the form with my address and contact information, gave them my luggage tag, and they promised a front door delivery. We set off on our way home!
Now that I am home, I can’t believe my time in Italy is really over. I’m so sad that I had to say goodbye, but I am sooooo happy (especially after my travel troubles) to be home! I think that the weekend it took me to get back to Ohio was an adventure in itself! I’m so excited to think about all of the exciting adventures and experiences I had while abroad, and I feel so blessed to have been able to do something that most people never will. It felt like I was living a whole different life as an exciting Italian traveler! I know that I will go back sometime in the future, and I can’t wait for when that time comes. But until then, and until school begins next month, it’s back to living my favorite life- at home with my beloved friends and family :)
Thanks so much to everyone who kept up with my blog. I hope that you enjoyed reading it and following along with my travels as much as I enjoyed writing about them!
Until my next adventure,
Ciao ciao!! ;-)
after two days of travel, FINALLY landed in Cleveland! 💝✈☺ @sframpton #travel #airport #cleveland #love (Taken with Instagram at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE))
As I sit here and type this from my hotel room in Zurich, it still hasn’t fully set in that my time in Italy has come to an end. I haven’t registered the fact that by this time tomorrow, I’ll be home in Ohio… I’m happy, yet sad at the same time…
After our second rendezvous to the secret bakery last night combined with some noisy neighbors, I didn’t fall asleep until after 3am. I slept in a bit today, but still woke up around 10am. After I showered and finished packing, my roommates were finally starting to stir. We cleaned up our messy apartment as I prepared my lines and such for my check out process. Around 11:30am, a man came to the apartment to change the bed linens and collect my keys :( he was really nice, but he also brought shocking news- Katie, Kaitlin, and Sarah will be getting not two, but three new roommates! We knew there was a chance of this happening, but we didn’t think it really would! The three of them tidied their things in anticipation of the new comers, especially in case they were to arrive while we were out.
By about 12 noon, we were out the door headed on some last minute shopping for me and ready to spend our last few hours together. We walked back to one of the shops we had stopped in yesterday so that I could buy a pair of wedges I had my eye on.. Hehe! After that, we headed toward the San Lorenzo markets (the upscale flea market mash up of a much nicer Rogers Sale and a friendlier, more legal Chinatown). We spent some time in the markets, browsing through purses and trinkets, scarves, and more. We all made some purchases and had a good time just hanging out! We grabbed a quick lunch at the Central Market (open-air food marketplace in San Lorenzo) before it closed at 2pm. After shopping for a little bit longer, we were really feeling the heat. It was so hot today that being outside for so long was really affecting us! I wanted to get gelato one last time before I left, so we decided to call it quits on shopping and head back toward home. We stopped at Grom- what came to be my favorite gelato spot- and each got a cup of two flavors! I got raspberry and pistachio one last time. I’m going to miss this so much!! After we left there, we walked home.
When we entered our apartment building, and ascended the many stairs to our floor, we noticed that our apartment door was standing open……. We all sort of glanced at each other with mixed worries and questions before we all just slowly walked in. We found a woman inside that didn’t speak any English but appeared to be cleaning? The apartment smelled wonderful, like it had just been scrubbed from corner to corner. As we walked into the space to our rooms and the kitchen, we saw a man down the hall cleaning out the bathrooms. All of the dishes (which were practically all dirty) were washed and put away. All of the surfaces and floors were squeaky clean, and everything was in perfect order. How long had they been here!!? We were admittedly not very happy at first to know that SAI allowed these people to come in without even giving us a heads up- I mean, we all had our valuables just sitting out in the open. My passport was on the table the woman was scrubbing for goodness sake! And when we came home, how were they to even know we were the proper residents? We could have been anyone just coming in to rob the place and they wouldn’t have known? LOL. We realized these ideas were far fetched, maybe, but still realistic fears that should have warranted a warning. Oh well. The man and woman were really so kind and we were nothing but grateful for how well they had cleaned our home! It looked GREAT!
After they left, it was nearly 4pm. We sat around for a bit, recuperating from our heat (and walking) exhaustion. I made sure everything was in order, and before I knew it, it was time for me to say goodbye. I gave a quick but sad farewell to Sarah and Kaitlin who had things to do and couldn’t walk with me. But Katie offered to come! She and I walked with my luggage the short 5 minute walk to the Duomo so that I could catch a taxi. When we got there, there was a taxi already waiting! The driver loaded luggage and I said goodbye to my roommate. We were both so sad that my trip has ended, but we know it won’t be the last time we talk! :) I got into the taxi and I was off. Bye-bye Duomo and city center…bye-bye to my Florence home.
The taxi arrived at the airport at about 10 after 5pm. It’s a flat rate fee of €20 to the airport, plus €1 per bag the driver stows, so I gave him €21 euro and went into check my luggage. I had my luggage checked (and it was NOT overweight! WOO WOO!), and I was through security all within 15 minutes. I found my gate and sat down with my kindle to wait. Just around the scheduled boarding time, they announced that the flight would be delayed. I suppose it didn’t matter much to me since I was only headed toward a hotel room. I sat reading until finally we were called to board the shuttle bus to the aircraft.
When I got on the plane, I had the left side window seat. On Swiss airplanes, the seats go 3-aisle-2 for short flights. I was in the 3 seat side and no one else ever sat down so I had the whole row to myself…which was actually sort of inconvenient when they began giving drinks and snacks since there was no person in the aisle to pass things. Haha, oh well. I had some Swiss wine during the flight, in hopes it would make me sleepy, along with another butter pretzel roll like last time, and of course, some Swiss milk chocolate :) I was able to read a couple more chapters of my book, but eventually, we were landing in Zurich.
As soon as I got off the plane, I headed toward the Dayroom section of the airport. And I was proud to realize I was very familiar with where I was when I walked in! I knew exactly how to get to the Dayrooms. When I reached the check in counter to reserve my room, I told the woman I had a mixture of franks and euros. She was very kind and helped me sort it out! I was able to pay in half of each currency! Haha, silly. I’m not going to miss THAT! I’m ready for dollars again!!
The room I was given is gorgeous and so comfortable- well worth all of my foreign money (yes, I had to use every last cent to pay for it). As I inspected the room, I realized the only English speaking TV channel is MTV which is playing Jersey Shore, no thanks, and the outlets are not the same as Italian outlets, so I can’t charge anything :\ all of the markets and cafeteria’s closed at 10pm so I got stuck eating one of the donuts I packed to have for breakfast for a sad excuse for dinner instead.
It’s about 11pm now, and I think it’s time for sleep! I have a 6am wake-up call, so I need to get my rest!
I’m so excited to be coming home! By tomorrow night (EST, haha), I’ll be in my own bed! :)
AHHHH my last FULL day in Florence has ENDED… I cannot believe it.
I woke up this morning to my internal alarm around 8:15am, but after a short while, I fell back asleep until about 11am. I guess I was more tired than I thought! I got up and sat out in the living room to work on organizing and uploading pictures from the past few days. Katie was awake skyping with a friend, and Kaitlin had just gotten back from her class in which she had a final exam. We all hung out in the apartment doing our own thing until we decided we wanted lunch. Angela came home around then from her morning class and we invited her to join us, but she had to work on a paper for her later afternoon class. She stayed home with Sarah, who was still sleeping, and Kaitlin, Katie and I headed out.
We headed down the block from our house toward the Piazza della Signora to find a hole-in-the-wall panini shop that we heard would be totally worth the search. We stopped in couple shops along the way, until we decided we were too hungry to wait any longer. We had to ask a couple of police officers for helpful directions, but soon we found the small hidden shop. We all ordered the same sandwich- a panini with salami, cheese, and balsamic. It was so yummy! And just for 3.50! Kaitlin and Katie marked the spot on their maps so that they would be able to return! After all of that searching, we found that it wasn’t even that far from our home! :)
When we left the sandwich shop, we started shopping again. We stopped into a shop that sold a European brand of Toms to check out the shoes. They were really cute and looked and felt just like Toms! The only difference was that these Toms were different prints. One pair had cheetah print! We all tried some on, but only Katie fell in love. She bought the cheetah pair and we headed out onto our next destination. By now, Kaitlin and I were really feeling the day wearing on us so we suggested stopping for coffee. We popped into a small caffe a short distance from where we were shopping and had cappuccinos. Feeling a bit more refreshed, we left to get back to our shopping. We spent some time in Zara, then headed toward the marketplace near the Ponte Vecchio to browse the purses. Soon, it was 6pm and our time to shop was up! We needed to get home to say goodbye to Angela before she left!! We headed straight home, arriving around 6:15pm, and Angela was still packing. The three of us sat in the kitchen chatting, eventually joined by Sarah, until we were interrupted by Angela bidding us farewell. We were so sad to have to say goodbye.. :( She hugged us all then left pretty quickly. She was on her way to first catch a train to Rome, sleep over in a hotel there, then fly out of the Capitol city tomorrow morning.
After Angela’s departure, we relaxed in the kitchen for awhile, just chatting and browsing Pinterest and Facebook. Katie isn’t very familiar with all of the different means of social media, so I decided to give her a 101 crash course in the matter. We created accounts and went over how to use Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, and Tumblr! By the end of the lesson, she said her brain was on an information overload! HAHA! But she is on her way to the 21st century ;) While she played around with her new iPhone apps and social networking accounts, I started making dinner. I was interuppted for a few minutes for a FaceTime call from Mom, Grandma, and Pappy! What a nice surprise! I got to talk to them for a few minutes while the water boiled for the pasta. After we hung up, I put on the gnocchi and rigatoni we were having for supper. I threw some rolls in the oven to heat them up and put some sauce on the stove to warm. Within minutes, our dinner was ready! Sarah cut up some watermelon and we took the bowl of fruit and a bottle of wine to the living room to eat at the bigger table. Kaitlin put the Adam Sandler movie “Bedtime Stories” on her laptop for us to watch while we ate. After dinner, Kaitlin and I painted our nails while the movie finished.
After the movie ended, we put on music and decided to play a card game. We played a game called King’s Cup (according to Kailtlin), but it is basically like the drinking card game, Kings. We didn’t have any cans of beer, so mostly we just played for fun until we were board. We wanted a new game to play so I suggested we play Pizza Box- since we are never short on those in our trash pile! I grabbed a box and explained the game then we played. We were having a lot of fun just staying in and relaxing and goofing around with one another. :) Eventually, 1am rolled around and we decided that since we are up so later, we should make a visit (a final one for me) to the Secret Bakery. We grabbed our wallets and headed out! Florence was pretty poppin’ at this late hour which came as kind of a surprise to us. I think we knew that people would of course be out late on a Friday night, but maybe not in the streets? Haha.. . interesting, I guess. We finally reached the bakery and we each got a chocolate croissant (Katie and I got two since we already made the mistake of getting just one last time!). We ate the yummies on the walk home, and even though we contemplated going to a bar, we headed straight home to get to bed! Collectively, we are just not the night owl bunch!
It’s a little after 3am now, and I am so ready to be asleep. I was able to get most of my packing done tonight in between doing other things, which will hopefully make tomorrow more relaxing. My roommates and I plan to get brunch in the later morning then go shopping again tomorrow, before I have to head to the airport around 5pm. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed someone’s company as much as I have come to enjoy theirs in such a short period of time. I think that by the time I’m asleep in Zurich tomorrow night, I am really going to miss them!! :( While I know it will be hard to say goodbye, I can’t explain my excitement to be going HOME! I hate being 5 hours away from home during school, let alone halfway around the world! The three week trip was just enough for me, and I am ready to be back in good old Ohio :)
I’ll definitely blog about my final travels through Switzerland and NYC, so I have a couple more posts to come. Thanks so much to everyone that has been reading and keeping up with my posts- it makes it that much more worthwhile to write them. I’m so glad I was able to share this wonderful experience with you all!
Last home cooked dinner in Italia.. :( #italy #florence #pasta #gnocchi #cooking #food #foodofinstagram (Taken with Instagram)
Photos from our last dinner together as roommates. I had macaroni and tiramisu and of course, wine. Nick Caudill and Nate Finney (friends from Miami) met up with us at the restaurant!
Photos from the final project of my construction course. The draped gown I had to create without cutting the fabric, and my teacher, Sabrina Fichi, and me.
Shots from Rome!
Just a few shots from the Boboli Gardens in Florence
me and my final project in class- drape an evening gown using a bed sheet without any cutting. #cool #interesting #fun #florence #italy #italyou #fashion #draping #design #nofilter (Taken with Instagram)
il Colosseo!!!!!!!! 😳😁🇮🇹 #colosseum #rome #italy #amazing #architecture #ancient #roman #nofilter (Taken with Instagram)
Dio mio, can you believe that I finished classes today??? It’s crazy how fast time flew by on this trip.
I woke up this morning as late as possible, still feeling exhausted from my day in Rome. I decided to just throw my hair in a bun and go to class without much preparation in exchange for a few more precious minutes of sleep. I arrived to class before anyone else today. The other girls came in shortly after I did, and we were administered an evaluation form to fill out regarding the course. Let’s just say I tried to stay as fair as possible… Our professor arrived a few minutes later as we were finishing the forms. As class began, he announced that we would just take turns presenting our collections. I went third of the four of us. Of course, he told me that he didn’t like one of my pieces- yes, one of the very ones he had told me he loved two days ago. I don’t understand him. I decided to just tell him I how I felt and responded with an, “I don’t care.” He just sort of laughed and let it go. What could he do now? I can’t change it??? Whatever!
When class was over, 15 minutes early, I headed home hopeful to get a small snooze in before my next class at noon. I had a final exam and draping to do in my next class and I didn’t much want to do it half asleep. I slept for about 45 minutes before waking up, washing my hair and heading back out. I stopped at the grocery store to get a donut and chocolate milk (which was way too chocolately) before walking to my school. When I go there, the class before mine was still in session, so I had time to eat my donut before starting. I took the exam in about 5 minutes (it was only two questions, LOL). Then, it was time to drape! I was excited about doing this, until Sabrina showed me my material- a bed sheet set (fitted and unfitted sheet and a pillow case) with race cars on it. What the? Haha.. I guess this is Creative Garment Recycling. It wouldn’t make sense in this case to use actual evening gown material. She left me alone to look over my exam and I went to work. I must have only worked for about 10-15 minutes before I announced that I was done. The finish kind of snuck up on me, because even I didn’t know that the final product would look as it did. But I have to say…I can’t be modest. It was AWESOME!! The race cars melted away into a beautifully draped gown ready for the red carpet. The front and back of the bodice were intricate yet simple, and the asymmetrical line of the skirt added edge, yet trend to the skirt. I was impressed! Haha.. And so was Sabrina!! She complimented me with a “WOW,” before deciding that she wanted pictures of it to hang in the classroom!! I snapped away with my phone, and even had her take one of me with the piece. She told me that she would leave it on the dress form for at least a week as a fine example to other students of how to drape. AH!! SO COOL!! :) After this, I was finished! And it was only 1pm. I was so sad to say goodbye to Sabrina, and she was sad to say bye to me. She asked me to try my hardest to come back to Florence one day, as well as to keep her updated on my schooling and career progress in the future. We took a picture together, and I was on my way.
When I got home, I felt a little sad realizing that I would likely not see her again for a very long time, if ever. Goodness, how mind blowing. Kaitlin and Katie were watching TV in Kaitlin’s room, and Angela was napping. I sat with the first two for a little bit, chatting, until we decided we were hungry. Soon, Angela woke up, so the four of us went to get sandwiches at The Oil Shoppe. I got the same thing that I got yesterday and was totally satisfied. When we had all been served, I left to head toward the Duomo to go shopping while the other three went home. I stopped at Astor on the way to get an iced coffee for a little pick me up, and it did the trick! Finally, I reached a store that I had read about called Promod. They sell trendy clothes like Forever XXI and H&M and for nearly the same bargain prices. I browsed for a little bit before deciding on a lace top and a rusty orange colored tank. I headed out with my cute new purchases toward the San Lorenzo markets. I stopped at a couple of vendors to browse around, but soon grew tired of the constant nagging and harassing to buy things! I decided it was probably time to head home. On my way home, I stopped at the grocery by our house and bought a 6 pack of 1.5 Liter water bottles, and two 1.5 Liter bottles of iced tea for just 2.30 euro! Can you believe that?? 8 drinks for less than three euro when you typically pay 1.50 to 2.50 euro for a .5 Liter to 1.5 Liter bottle of water. YIKES!
I walked home and came inside to find that Sarah, Angela, and Katie weren’t home, just Kaitlin. She and I talked for a bit before I decided to start working on picture uploads and stuff. I FaceTimed with Seth and worked on my computer for a while until all of my roommates were home. We decided that we were hungry and we wanted to all go out to dinner together as a going away send off for Angela and me. Angela leaves tomorrow morning :( We all got spruced up and set off South to find a place to eat. After not being able to find our initial spot of interest, we headed further West to find a restaurant called Dante. We found it just a couple blocks away from the Ponte Vecchio and headed inside. At this restaurant, students are served a free bottle of wine with their dinner! I ordred macaroni with tomato sauce and pecorino cheese and we got a bottle of white wine for the table. We all finished eating pretty quickly, then began to just sit and talk over our wine. We each ordered some dessert- Kaitlin and I split Tiramisu- and the waitress brought us more wine. By now, we had been there for over two hours!! The Italian way seems to be that you just sit and take your time at restaurants, so we didn’t get a second glance for staying so long. We just enjoyed ourselves in the nice atmosphere of the restaurant.
Soon, my friend Nick Caudill came in to eat! Nick is here in Florence with a group of Miami kids studying through a Miami program. He and a couple of other guys from the program sat at the table next to us in the restaurant. I visited with them for a little while, going back and forth between our tables. Soon, they finished eating and had no desire to sit around forever like we did! They are catching a 4:30am train tomorrow morning to head to Paris for the weekend! We stood talking amongst Kaitlin, Katie, and myself (Angela and Sarah headed home because Angela needed to study and pack) for about 45 minutes! It was nice to talk to familiar faces and just to hang out after dinner. They couldn’t stick around for too long though since they had to make their early departure out of Italy. We told them goodbye, and we headed our separate ways. The walk home seemed to go quickly than it actually did, but we were keying into our apartment in no time. We came in and all wanted to pass out!! Angela was just finishing up her homework and heading to bed, too. We washed up and settled down, and now it’s time to sleep!
It’s after 2am here, and I was going to go to the secret bakery tonight, but I can barely hold my eyes open … :( maybe tomorrow. I seriously can’t believe it will be my last night in Firenze!!!!! NOOOOO!! :( I’m going to miss it insanely, but I can’t say I’m not looking forward to good old Ohio.
I’ll post the random pictures from today later, but in the meantime, check out my albums on facebook! With the exception of today and the Boboli Gardens, everything is there!
Thanks for reading!! :) <3