Monday, June 27, 2011

32: And Onward!

For those who followed my Florence Blog, thank you so much for sharing in my adventures abroad. A special thanks to Angela Hu and Jamie Kapili who shared links to my blog on theres!

For more Peter-isms, follow my regular blog:

Many good memories and warm wishes!

Friday, May 13, 2011

31: This is it

I just said goodbye to my new friends I made here in Florence; Carolyn and Katelyn. On top of that I just said goodbye to my snazzy-dressed roommate, Kevin before he went out for the night. And now it's just me packing, wondering if the weight limit for Lufthansa applies to the heavy mixed emotions I feel about departing tomorrow afternoon.

I can't say I'm one to handle many feelings at once. I prefer my emotions to be simple, straight forward, and one noted. I'm excited to be going home, which feels like a big sigh of relief. Not that I was holding my breath this entire semester, but I think I'm just glad to be going back to something familiar where it's okay to let my guard down. But on the other hand, I'm sad to be leaving because I have grown attached to Florence. And while I may have not undergone an Eat, Pray, Love transformation, I do think I grew a little and I'm almost sure I found myself again (at least a small part of the self I was before). I'm also dreading the airport security, which will be heightened no doubt... but I also feel good and secure about the hypothetical and assumed heightened security. I'm just feeling all over the place!

So this is it. My semester of self-discovery and food is coming to a close. I leave Florence a little heavier than I once was (thank you pasta), a bit more linguistically versed (thanks to my Italian teacher, Catia), definitely with a better fashion sense (mostly thanks to the Italian style), and a little bit more complete.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

30: Uff-you!

Finally went to the Uffizi Gallery today-beautiful!

Yesterday I had the famous cheesecake at 4 Leoni. And I visited the Pitti Palace again, making sure to stop this time at La Sala Bianca So, it was a pretty successful day I think.

Things Still Left To Do:
1. Buy a Ponte Vecchio jewelry piece
2. Get me some gladiator sandals
3. Pashminas for everybody!
4. Biscotti for the family

Monday, May 9, 2011

29: Felice Cumpleanno!

Happy Birthday to me! Another year, another birthday I suppose. 22 sounds quite substantial, though...I'm old.

Tonight I went to dinner with Nina to The Diner. So that means.....

Things I Still Have to Do in Florence:
1. Uffizzi Gallery
2. Revisit the Pitti Palace Costume Gallery
3. Pitti Palace
4. One more trek up to Piazzale Michelangelo
5. Buy gladiator sandals per me
6. Buy gifts for others
7. Go inside Santa Croce
8. Academia one more time to see David


Days until I'm in the USA: 5

Sunday, May 8, 2011

28: the beginning of the end

Today is Mother's Day (Happy Mother's Day, mom!). It's also the last Sunday in Firenze. I'll take in a few seconds to let that statement settle...

I won't go into details, but after a rowdy Friday night out I found myself sleeping most of Saturday away only to wake up on the other side of this weekend on Sunday morning. And thus marks the beginning of my last week in Florence. I spent the day lazily wandering around with Carolyn and Caitlyn, ending up at a public park north of the city center. We sat and pretended to study before heading to San Spirito for an early dinner at Gusta Osteria. So good. After many nights of Gusta Pizza, I'm glad I finally went to their restaurant; I've heard many good things about it and was very satisfied.

So this is my last week here in Florence, which at times feels like home and other times feels like not-home. I've had a really complete experience both of the culture and place, but also a personal one. I think, well, I'd like to think I've done some growing. If anything this semester abroad was necessary in the overall spectrum of my life, what I came from and what I'm moving towards.

Days until I leave for home: 6

Sunday, May 1, 2011

27: Whatchoosayyy?

Happy May!

That sounds so freaking weird. That means literally 2 weeks left until I leave, just 14 days. Yes, I am feeling a little sad about that...hmm.

It's funny how I spent much of my time here missing home and missing the things I'm used to and when confronted with the very close end of the program I'm kind of sad to go. That being said I don't think I'd want to stay longer. 14 Days is enough time to get to do the things around Florence I want to do, the main one visiting the Uffizi Gallery at least twice. Considering it's in the back of my apartment building and I have a student pass that gets me in infront of the line and for free I should have gone a while ago. Oops.

This weekend has been filled with a lot of work. Projects, papers, and presentations are due this coming week and finals exams are the next. Yes, I have exams and papers/projects in all my classes :( So I opted to stay in Florence this weekend and work through the tremendous pile of work I have to get done. I've finished a very large Italian Fashion History project, and I'm trying to make headway on my Wine Tasting paper and presentation, which is due tomorrow...I might be in trouble for that one. I blame the lack of information online about Giacomo Tachis. Who is that? Yeah, exactly...

The fashion show is also this coming week and thank God my dress is done-zo! Well, mostly done. I have to put a hook and eye in, then it's done. The studios aren't open on the weekends though, which is complete bullshit if you ask me, and they are only open until 8:30PM on weekdays, so I hope everybody gets their stuff done! I'm hoping that after the professor and fashion department head sees my dress they will give me credit for the Apparel Design class, ergo I won't have to take Draping II senior spring...that's just a hope. I'd feel weird asking for credit so if they want to give it to me I'll gladly accept :)

My birthday is soon, too. I'll be 22. Enough said :(

Thursday, April 28, 2011

26: 5 Days in Germany

So I went to Frankfurt and Munich last weekend (I know, good timing with Springfest happening THIS weekend...).

Thursday: I landed in Frankfurt Hahn Airport really confused. They say that English is Germanic, so I had assumed I'd be able to understand at least the gist of what someone was saying. False. My first impression of the German written language was somebody got frustrated and slammed their fist on a keyboard. So, I asked a lady working at the airport where I need to go to get to Frankfurt. It's around 2:30PM. Oh, what now? I have to take a 2 hour bus ride into the city. So I get on the bus, which cost 13 Euro. A sweltering coach bus, so hot that the fuzzy seats stuck to the backs of my calves. The sun beaming brightly through the wide windows added to the heat; I understood what green-housed plants must feel like...

The bus drops me off by the train station, Houfbanouf....I think I spelled that wrong. My hotel is on the other side of the train station but do I know that? Not really, no, mainly because I'm just fried and an idiot at this point. I grab a schnitzel sandwhich (yeah!) and then realize where I am and where I need to go. The Adler hotel is in a shifty part of town, across the street from the train station and near the financial district (you have to walk through the strip clubs and casinos, though), so I'm assuming the digs won't be that great. I am surprised by a few things:
1. The receptionist and reception area is spotless.
2. There is a bowl of free candy.
3. The minibar (which only has water, but still in theory this is awesome) is free.
4. Our room is adorable.

So then I settled in and walked around the area, exploring the modern architecture in Frankfurt's outer area before Annie and Nicole arrives at midnight.

Friday: We walked a lot. We walked into the center of the city where most of the touristy things are. There are a few cool beer gardens and shops. We almost got hit by the tram. Nicole got so tired she was laughing at everything. We sat at a beer garden on the south side of the river and drank apfelwein (apple wine), which was okay, but not terrific. What else....

Bess and Laura came in the late afternoon and we saw them! Happy Birthday Laura!

Saturday: We go to the Frankfurt Modern Museum, which is fucking weird. The theme was photography and I've never seen so many pictures of naked people. That's what modern art is, I guess, photographs of naked people... and portraits of girls, piles of candy, and hanging lights... Afterwards the trio, Annie-Nicole-Peter, trained it to Munich. Annie then went to Venice while Nicole and I stayed in Munich.

Sunday: Munich is amazing. I love Munich. Our hotels was funky and modern, but that wasn't the best part. The best part was that we were right across the street from a family bakery (Bäkerei in German). We were near the English Garden an the Hofgarten, at the bottom of one of the universities there.

We ventured into Marienplatz, the center, which had some choice Bavarian architecture. There were people walking around in leiderhosen! Did I spell that right? We had lunch at Hofbrauhaus, a touristy beer house, but still really great. I'm not the biggest beer-drinker, but the beer I had in Munich was quite yummy.

Speaking of beer, Nicole and I went to a solid German food place for dinner and got delicious pints there. And then Nicole had the great idea to walk around and find a bar, which we did. We found a beer garden near our hotel and sat down outside. We ordered just two beers, "what most people get," we told the server. Enter two gigantic liter mugs of beer. My tolerance is not what it used to be back in freshmen year, I'm actually an old woman when it comes to alcohol. In my wine tasting class I'm sleepy after one third-glass... So needless to day this was a lot of beer.

On the way home Nicole and I laughed about a store called, "Futon Futon."

Monday: If you asked me what I expected about Germany I would not have said gardens. In fact, there's a cold and industrial depiction I get when I think about Germany, which I guess is what Berlin is like (says Nicole and Annie), and then there's a whole Bavarian Germany that comes to mind too. I think of gardens as being French or English. That being said, Nicole and I walked around the English Garden and I was really surprised at how cool it is. There are beer gardens, statues, rivers, a pond to paddleboat in! There's even a spot near the end of the garden where surfers practice their moves in the river!

After the garden, we went to a Japanese Fashion exhibit at the contemporary art museum. It's kind of mind-blowing to think that we were so close to some of the greatest and most iconic pieces by Yoji Yamamoto, Juniya Watanabe, Rei Kawabuko, and Issei Miyaki!

At our hotel we got free pastries and then went to take a night train from Munich to Florence.

Tuesday: 6:30AM we arrived in Florence Santa Maria Novella Station. I am exhausted and hungry. But the night train was totally worth it. We even had a stowaway in our room. Some German girl who didn't know where she was going and didn't want to tell anybody where she was from. But the other people in our room didn't seem worried by her. Yeah, it was an experience that I'm glad I had.