Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ah! Paris! C'est la vie!

So I have been in Paris since yesterday evening. My hostel is right next to the Moulin Rouge and about a million places to eat, so it has a very good location. Right now it's almost  midnight, and I am exhausted after walking around for 12 hours straight today. I woke up very early to start my day. I was going to go to the Louvre, but it ended up that it's closed on Tuesdays! So I went on to the Jardin des Tuileries - The Royal Garden. It was beautiful! I also walked to Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts, Saint Germain Cathedral, the Obelisque, the Hotel des Invalides, Parc du Champs de Mars (in front of the Eiffel Tower), the Eiffel Tower, Jardins du Trocadero, the Arc de Triomphe. I love it here. There is so much to see and do with a ton of wonderful sights. There was an amazing market, in front of the Eiffel Tower on the Jardins du Trocadero. It had all kinds products from purses to scarves to jewelry and of food from sausages to cheese to crepes to hot wine! I ate chicken Paella for dinner as I sat in front of the Eiffel Tower, and then I had hot wine (or vino brulĂ© as it is in Italy which I had for the first time this past Sunday, and it's incredible!), vin chaud as it's called here.

The worst things about Paris so far as I have seen are, of course, the excessive smoking of cigarettes which I despise, the annoying vendors that walk around trying to sell you the same thing over and over, and the petitioners (I don't really know what they're doing, but they go around asking people for signatures and donations for something I don't even know of). Like when I went to the Locks of Love bridge (Pont des Arts), I was literally harassed by five people at the same time as they tried to get me to sign something and give them money. They were pushing me and shoving their papers in my face... No. Not a fan. Other than that, I love Paris. The architecture is spectacular of course. I still have 2 more full days of Paris until I leave on Friday for my next destination. Tomorrow I plan I using my ticket for the Louvre that I already bought last night online, going to see Notre Dame, the opera house and the Sacree Couer which is a 10 minute walk from my hostel. Then on Thursday... Versailles maybe? I would like to see it. I can't believe that I've only been here for a little more than 24 hours and I have already taken almost 400 pictures! Poor Raul (my camera for those of you who don't know)... he will be so exhausted by the end of this month.

I'm going to sleep now. so my already sore body can rest for another long day of touristy adventures tomorrow. Bonne nuit mes amis!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


The last week of school is this week. I have 3 finals to take, and I really need to study for every single of one of them. The internet that usually appears at our apartment as decided to not let us on anymore... so whenever I need to access one of my books, which is entirely online, I have to go to school. Considering how much I hate the school, that was obviously not an option. So today, after doing a Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban workout that I made myself, I decided to venture out of my apartment on a blind search for a cafe, that is open on Sundays, has free wifi, a bathroom, and good coffee and food. After trekking up and around and down and across the Porto Nuova area... Alas! I find a place called Exki Cafe, and it fits every single one of my criteria. Here I shall stay until I complete i miei compiti italiani (my Italian homework) as well as an extensive amount of  Business Law and E-commerce. I am so happy that I have found this place. It is no Starbucks, but it will surely do. 
I wanted to send a couple of packages to America for a few special people, but I found out it will cost me 60 euro to send a package that is 5 kilo! Che cazzo!? Sorry guys... but I still have things to buy before I leave on the 17th! I got the majority of them when I went shopping Friday with Jillian. She showed me a store on Via Roma that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to buy something. After shopping we ran into some USAC girls, and we all went to dinner. Once I got home, I had to leave again, because I was invited to my Brazilian friend's birthday party. It was really fun! There were so many people, though and the majority of them were Brazilian and Argentinian! So to speak, I had to use my broken Italian or my rusty Spanish, but it's good because i got to practice :) I'm getting better at it, but there are still a lot of words that I don't know. By the end of the night, I was mixing my Italian and Spanish into multilingual sentences. Talent.
Alright, now that I have updated all of my goings-on, I really do need to do homework. Ciao! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

School -_-

I just finished a powerpoint for my European Union class tomorrow. My all time faaaaavorite class. And today I just had my presentation for E-commerce which went pretty well I think. Our professor really liked ours for what I could tell, and next week we have our finals... 3 for me since I'm auditing Elementary Italian 2. And once I finish my finals, I leave on the 17th for... well, I'm going to wait until after I've been :) I cannot wait to be out of school for a whole month.
So I babysat on Monday and Tuesday as per usual, and I bought Matteo two new books in English, The Hobbit and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He loves them! We used to read this one book in English of his, but we both reeally hate it, so I got him ones that we'll both like. Also, his parents, Angela and Georgio, invited me to go with them to their cabin in the mountains! How cool is that? Pretty cool I'd say. I've never actually been to the mountains when there's snow. I hope I can go with them. Tuesday night I ate dinner with them. We had soup, salad, fish, fruit and wine, course. 
This is a short one, because I'm exhausted and I have to wake up early in the morning for Italian, again.
Buonanotte! I will try to write a longer, more informative one next time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mi dispiace!

I  am so sorry everyone! I didn't even realize it has been almost a month since I last posted! I have been up to the usual thing. Traveling, food, and fun. And school, I guess, which I am beginning to like less and less and the year progresses. I'm not a fan of the professors besides my Italian one, and the school is just so boring in itself. I still babysit Matteo on Mondays and some Tuesdays. It's so much fun babysitting him. We had a leaf fight in the park the other day, and he was all smiles, and he always tries to race me everywhere! I always let him win, of course. Well, usually. Until he began to cheat. Haha. I forgot how much I like kids. I'm glad I started babysitting him. I haven't done anything like it since I tutored Spanish to Elementary kids when I was in high school.

Halloween was a fun night. It was my friend Jillian's birthday, so we all went out to dinner at Amicimiei and then to a couple of clubs. It was a late night, so I'm glad there was no school the next day because it was All Saint's Day. We had stopped going out as much for a little while, but after Halloween, we tried some new places that we hadn't been to before. There are some really nice clubs in Torino that play some great music.

On November 9-12 we were in Amsterdam. I loved it so much! The architecture was beautiful. Every apartment was completely different than the one next to it. I can't believe how much detail was put into each building. There are cyclists EVERYWHERE! They run the city. There are definitely more people on bicycles than in cars. I almost got run over multiple times because I kept accidentally walking the bike lane, and the only difference between the bike lane the pedestrian sidewalk is the color of the brick, so...no buona. Our hostel was okay. The security was good and so were the rooms, but one thing that was completely unhelpful was the fact that we could only buy a towel for 4,50 euro! Which was all amounts of ridiculous, because why would we want to carry to around with us after we buy it? We don't have room for that nonsense. Christina and I refused to buy them because we're cheap, so we just used our scarves as towels which worked out pretty well because they are so big.

Of course, we went to the red light district when we were there. I can't believe that it's really so provocative like that! I mean, I heard that there were women everywhere doing that, but I didn't really know how true it was. Christina and I felt awkward as we walked through the allies flooded with red light and men. Haha. Besides the red light district, I could definitely live there, but I'm not  a big fan of Dutch. It's not that pretty of a language, and I don't really care to learn it... Saturday, we were wondering around the city going in no particular direction and we happened upon an open market which had everything we could have needed. It was a huge market and Christina and I couldn't resist buying some things for ourselves :) Including some nice, cheap watches that they guy fitted to our wrists and replaced the old batteries for us. We got a delicious waffle with cinnamon and powdered sugar from Wally's Waffles in the market. It was incredible! So fresh, he made it right in front of us. We went to Madame Tussaud's the day we were leaving. We had a whole lot of fun in there. I completely forgot that I had already been to a Madam Tussaud's in New York City, but nevertheless, it was still a whole lot of fun.

On Sunday, we went from Amsterdam to Brussels for our school field trip. I was actually pretty excited about it, until we got there and experienced it. I thought we were going to be getting exclusive tours around Parliament and having discussions with multiple influencers, but nooooo. It was basically a total of 6 hours of 3 different people talking to us about the EU. Talk about bo-ring. It was like I was sitting in class, except that I had to dress up. Since we were in Belgium, We (be prepared Marcus...) ate a lot of waffles and drank a lot of beer. We went to this really cool pub called Delirium. It was huge and had a plethora of beer! I only drank dark beer though (because you taught me right, dad). But the bartender picked out some really good, inexpensive ones for me. Another really popular thing in Belgium in french fries. I wouldn't have thought that. And they eat them with mayonnaise.... interesting. They speak Dutch as well as French in Belgium. Not was I expected, but when you think about it, it makes sense. It was very dreary when we went. There was no sun through Wednesday when we left, but Belgium does have some beautiful aspects just like most cities. Some of the architecture is still from the 1600s and the churches and parks are always spectacular.

When we got back to Torino on Wednesday, I had to go straight to school for 4 hours. It was not fun. I was particularly exhausted from traveling.

Today, I just got back from London. I really enjoyed it! There is so much to do and see, and all of the Christmas lights and other decorations were so beautiful! I love Christmas decorations, and they were all over London. There were a couple of things I wasn't too jazzed about... one is that there are way way way too many people. It's a bit vexing. Two is the amount of trash there was in some areas. Pretty gross and pungent at times. I saw all of the necessary London sights. I went to Big Ben, the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge (SO pretty at night), the London Eye, the Peter Pan Statue Platform 9 3/4 (it was really disappointing, but it was cool to be at Kings Cross Station), the Millennium Footpath (the bridge that is destroyed by Death Eaters in the Harry Potter 5 movie), Buckingham Palace, the National Portrait Museum, Westminster Abbey and Shakespeare's Globe. But since all of us are running low on funds, we didn't get to do a couple of things such as going inside of Westminster Abbey (where Elizabeth I had her funeral and where Harry and Kate were married). We couldn't go on the Tower Dungeon tour or in the London eye. We were supposed to pay for the museum of the Globe Theater, but we found a way around that. It was pretty lame anyway, so it wouldn't have been worth the 13 pounds for an admission ticket. The Globe is now only a replica anyway. I would have payed if it were real. I would like to go back to London another time and do more when I have more to spend.

The weather was freezing! On Thursday, it was cold and started raining at night. We had a wonderfully delicious dinner of french fries (or chips) and hot chocolate. Haha. We were all missing our family, but we made the best of being in London for thanksgiving. Friday, the weather was pretty good, so we got to see a lot including the changing of the guards. It probably seems stupid, but I really thought the guards would have been like they look in the movies. Wearing red uniforms, massive, black, furry hats and standing on the outside of the gates so I could try to make them laugh. Nope. I could not even try to converse with them, but the changing of the guards was still cool to watch. Saturday the weather was terrible! It was raining, super windy and freezing air.
Even though the weather was bad, I loved London. It was also nice to have Starbucks again. I haven't had it in 3 months! I will be uploading pictures soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Una Nuova Citta!

This weekend Christina, Jillian and I went to Lisbon, Portugal! It was so much fun and such a beautiful city! To me, Portuguese sounds like German.... but it's basically Spanish with extremely different pronunciations! We didn't get to spend as much time there as we would have liked to, but we can always go back, and it was just a last minute trip considering we bought the tickets on Thursday! Our plane left at 8:00 pm Friday, or it was supposed to, it was delayed 2 hours so we had to wait at the airport, and we didn't get to Lisbon until past midnight! So that was a little upsetting. After climbing a mountain of stairs from the metro, we went straight to our hostel (Old Town Hostel). It was so nice and very cute. Right after we put our stuff in our room that we shared with 5 other girls, we left to go out. The guy that worked at the front desk was just getting off work, so he took us to a bar to try a traditional Portuguese drink which was very nice of him. Then he introduced us to a lot of his friends and they showed us around that night to some a popular club called Jamaica. They had such a good musical selection. I was impressed. While there I met some sweet guys from Belgium and Scotland.We got back home VERY late. We only got 2 hours of sleep that night because we wanted to wake up early and see the city.

We got a complimentary breakfast of bread, cheese, butter (seriously the best butter I ever had), jam, cereal, coffee, juice and anything else we could find in the kitchen. Then we went on a walking tour of the city, where we were taken to a huge market at the end. It was super cool and had a lot of interesting objects to buy. After the tour was over, we went to find a restaurant for lunch and chose the worst place ever! We all hated our food. It was terrible, but at least our server was nice. We found a Starbucks on our way back to the hostel, so that gave us some more energy to get all the way back. There are so many hills in Lisbon! It was exhausting. Once we got back, we passed out for 2 more hours before we went to dinner at 8:30 which was made by the people who worked at our hostel. It was WAY better than our lunch. There were about 30 people at the dinner sitting around one big table, one small table and a couple of couches (which is where we sat). We met so many nice people at dinner! 2 Italians, a German, a Spaniard, a girl from California, a guy from Lisbon, and a Montenegrin. After dinner we were taken on a pub crawl sponsored by the hostel by a guy named Tiago... haha. He was awesome. There ended up being about 40 people on the pub crawl, and we met so many people!

We left the pub crawl early because we had to make it to our flight back that was leaving at 6:50 AM on Sunday.... terrible, but we figured we would sleep on the plane. Right after we got on the plane, all of us were out like a light. Haha. We arrived back in Torino at about 10:30. Christina and I ate lunch, and passed out super early (sorry I couldn't skype with you, mom and dad). It was a very exciting and eventful weekend. I definitely loved Portugal and hope to go back. I will stay in the same hostel because it was so cheap and nice!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Relaxing Sundays

Big news! Thursday, Christina and I booked tickets to go to London for Thanksgiving! We're going with a few others from USAC, and we all have a big dinner of Chipotle and Starbucks for our Thanksgiving dinner. It's going to be so much fun!
This weekend was a lot of fun. Nothing too crazy. Friday night, I went out with some friends to get some sushi. It was really good! After dinner we went to a hookah lounge, then to a place called Barz8 for some really fruity and pretty drinks that took the bartender about 30 minutes to make because of how articulate they were, and then we went to Murazzi for about an hour, and we saw people lighting lanterns to float into the sky!
Saturday USAC took us to the Alba Truffle festival. They had told us that we would either love the truffles or hate them because of how potent they are. Aloooot of people hated them, but I liked them, maybe it's because I really like mushrooms, but it was still really except the smell of them was a little too pungent for me. There was so many samples of incredible cheese and wine and chocolate and oils and bread and truffle creams to try! We couldn't have free samples of actual truffles by themselves because they're so expensive. It costs 3,000 euro for one kilo of truffles.... so I obviously didn't buy any truffles. Haha. They're so expensive because truffles are grown underground and are very hard to find, so pigs and dogs are usually used to find them. Pigs because they are naturally attracted to truffles and love to eat them, but dogs are more commonly trained and used these days because pigs would eat them, too much! 
We were going to go to Ikea today to get a comforter for Christina, but that didn't happen. We're generally too lazy on Sundays, but we still might go.
Well, make sure to keep checking on my picture pages because I do upload new ones onto some of the pages or create new ones every once in a while!
Ciao ciao.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Not having internet access all the time makes it difficult! I might have to buy an internet stick soon because Skyping is next to impossible. I don't have e-commerce today so that's 3 hours of my life that I don't have to spend sitting in a classroom :)
Babysitting is going really well. I love Matteo! He is adorable and such a smarty. I pick him up from school every Monday, then I take him home, make him dinner and I show him some movies in English that he needs to see... and they help his English. So far I've only showed him The Lion King and the first half of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He loves them both! I think it's important to pass on such great films to the next generation.
Thursday I met up with my language partner. Her name is Sara and she's very sweet. Her English isn't bad at all. Two other girls from USAC also have language partners, but one of theirs ditched, so we all just hang out together instead. It's Layla and Oana, Jillian and Marco (no more) and of course Sara and I. Saturday night, Sara, Matteo (Sara's boyfriend) and Oana took us out to Karaoke at a place called Luca's Pub. It was a lot of fun! We met up with a bunch of their friends, and I'm quite proud of myself that I remember the majority of their names. When we went on stage, Sara, Matteo, Nicolas, Oana, Jillian and I all sang Barbie Girl and Baby One More Time. I'm pretty sure the crowd fell in love with us... no big deal.
I haven't been traveling as much as I would like, but I hope to do a lot more of that in the near future. I have written out all of my plans, and now I just have to execute them. This weekend we're going to Alba for a truffle festival -- truffle as in the mushroom, not chocolate -- and Christina and I might hit up Milan on Saturday night when we get back form Alba. It should be a good weekend.
I've been looking into my Christmas break destinations since I have a whole month! Many places are being considered, and they will all be very exciting, but I know I can't wait to go back to Sweden for Christmas :) I'm sad that I can't be in my home for Christmas, but even though I can't be with one family for Christmas, I am lucky enough to have another one to go to.
It's been getting really cold at night and pretty chilly during the day, as well. If it's this cold to me in the fall... I'm scared to imagine how I'm going to be feeling when winter actually hits! I hope I survive. Living in Texas my whole life has not properly prepared me for this! I wish we had a bigger fireplace in our apartment, or one that we knew how to work. Ah well.
I finally got my glasses in the mail! So I was excited about that (thanks mom and dad for sending them!), even though I had to pay 53 euros to pick them up from the post office. They work great, but I can definitely only wear them when I read because otherwise they make me dizzy.
I have two exams tomorrow, one in Italian and one in European Union (ugh). The Italian one is a final because it's the end of Italian 1, so next week I start Italian 2. Should be interesting.
Ho fame! Time to go eat. Ciao ciao!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It Tis A Hard Life

I feel like I've been so busy lately, but I don't think I really have been. Haha. Although, I do have an exam tomorrow in Legal Environment for Business that I'm a little worried about. I just finished studying for it. And I have 2 exams on Thursday as well, in Italian (easy) and European Union (not easy and super boring I'm sorry to say).
I started babysitting though :) An adorable, little boy named Matteo. I babysat him for the first time yesterday. And I babysat him today only for a little bit to pick him up from school and take him home, but I stayed for dinner tonight, and his parents are both really nice. For dinner we first had some bread and cheese (delicious), second: some eggs (odd) third: some pasta with oil (plain but good) and then of course gelato. Then Matteo got out some of his books that are written in English and read to me. He is actually very good at English for being 7! It surprised me! And he's also learning Chinese... it's crazy. Such a smart kid. I'm only going to babysit him on Mondays and Tuesdays so I'll still have time to travel and do school work, but I might start volunteering at an elementary school, as well. I haven't decided yet.
I've seen some great places that aren't too far from Torino. On Friday, Alberto took me on his motorcycle to a beautiful lake! I really enjoyed it, and he's also taken me to a few castles outside of Torino and some parks in Torino: Parco Madalena and Parco Europe. Both are very pretty with a spectacular view of the city. I went to my first hookah lounge in Italy last night. It was really nice, too. Cozy.
I've been enjoying living here so much, and sometimes I still can't believe that I do! Even though, I do miss my friends and family just a smidgen... ;) haha. I normally wouldn't even be able to be on the internet right now, but my neighbors recently got internet, so I'm using theirs :)
Off to bed! I have to wake up for a long day of class tomorrow.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Incredible Weekend!

This past weekend, USAC took us to the Italian Riviera including Genova, Santa Margherita, Cinque Terre and Portofino. It was so beautiful! It was better than I had pictured it. We left Friday morning at 8:30 by bus and drove to Genova which is the 6th largest city in Italia. It is a very pretty city with a ton of churches and, of course, ships because it is a port city. We stayed in Genova for a few hours and then got back on the bus for one more hour drive to Santa Margherita which is right on the water and is very well known for its pesto (the best I've ever tasted). We had focaccia for lunch and had the rest of the day to ourselves. There were many stores to buy clothes, but we only found one that we could afford... haha. That night we ate at a restaurant that had the best pizza and pasta I have had yet; it was called Pizzeria d'Emilio. Our server gave us free two free Lemoncini each, and they are so strong! Christina and I met this older couple from Bristol sitting right behind us at the restaurant. They were very nice and gave us a lot of information about where we should go and how, and they had a dog named Polly who was so sweet and I was able to get my puppy fix for the day :) I miss puppies so much! They're everywhere and I just want to pick all of them up! I''ve only seen 4 cats since I've been here and 3 were in the Italian Riviera.

On Saturday, we all took a train to the last city of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore, and we moved through all the rest of the cities from there to Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. They were all wonderful! My favorite is probably Manarola or Monterosso. Riomaggiore is one of the smallest, so it was nice. We ate in Manarola and it was very good food. I had a seafood spaghetti (although I'm not really sure what everything was that I ate...). Corniglia is a city where you have to walk up manyyyyyyyyy stairs to see it. It started to rain but we didn't care. We just let ourselves get wet. Haha. When we got to the bottom of the stairs, we saw a sign that said "beach" and an arrow, so we followed it. It took us down to this dark tunnel where we saw two English women coming out. They said the beach was down the tunnel by about 2 km, so we whipped out our iPhones and using the flashlight app began to walk down this pitch black, creepy tunnel to see a beach. When we exited we had to walk down these ridiculous stairs to a beach that wasn't even that awesome, but we made it fun and swam anyway... haha. It was pretty cold water and there was no sand, but tons of black rocks. Then it started to rain while we were swimming and our clothes got wet (this is probably why am a tad sick at the moment, but it was fun --- carpe diem!) It was pretty dark by the time we got to Vernazza and completely dark when we got to Monterosso, but it was still fun.

We never got around to eating dinner, and we got back to Santa Margherita past midnight, so everything for food was closed, so we had wine for dinner instead. Sunday morning we went to Portofino which was 20 minutes away by boat. Portofino was soooo amazing! I loved it, such a cute city. We saw the Dolce and Gabbana house which looked like a castle! The water was so pretty. There were boats everywhere and a huge yacht. I almost bought a sailor hat, but I didn't, and I'm very upset about it. The buildings made me laugh because they looked like cutouts that would be at Six Flags or something.

We went back to Santa Margherita at 1 to eat and go to the beach where we continued to skip rocks and try to juggle rocks. Then we had to be on the train by 5:15, but it was delayed... the train ride is when I really started not feeling well. I was cold and my throat hurt and my nose was stuffy as all of that is now, but I think it was worth it, as well as the cut I got on the bottom of my foot from the rocks. The whole weekend, we made sure to have many doses of gelato, and I'm pretty sure that helped. When I got home at about 9, I did my Italian homework, took a shower and passed out because I had to wake up early again for school, so here I am. I just want to go home and sleep and eat something, but before I do, I need to do some homework for E-commerce and go to the grocery store and pharmacy :( Oh well.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Wednesday night was a lot fun. I went on my first date with an Italian boy :) He's very sweet.
Thursday night, Christina and I and the boys went to downtown to try out this place we heard of that had a drink called the "tamango". Let's just say we're never going to go there again, but it was still a fun night... we think.
Yesterday, we went on a tour of a vineyard in or near Alba. I'm not really sure. It was a hard day for Christina and I , but we made it through. It was a beautiful place and the grapes were so good and the people were so nice! We got a 4 course lunch that was delicious as well as some wine. It was a fun trip (and I know you're jealous, dad).
Today, Christina and I went to the open market for groceries. We got so much food for cheap! We got a whole bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables, some brie e parmiggiano e pollo. Then we stopped by the supermarket below our house for bread and wine. We made a very good dinner with linguini. After dinner, we stopped by this pastry shop. It was delicious! I'm so happy I chose Italy for my study abroad location. I love food so much! Haha. I just have to make sure that I keep up with my running. Which I have been.
Today when Christina and I were on our way to the market we ran into a mime.... his face was painted white and he tried to get money from us by escorting us down the street... he was ridiculously creepy, but it was funny. We also stopped by a book store where we got some fridge magnets (one says "carpe diem" and the other "in vino veritas" haha) and I got Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Italian :) which made my day. I will be reading that over and over again, or trying to...
Tomorrow, we're finally going to go clothing shopping, for the first time since we've been here. Ridiculous, I know. I can't believe it hasn't even been 3 weeks since I've been here. It feels like I've been here for at least a few months. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just Another Monday

On Mondays the only class I have is Italian, so I'm finished for today. On my test last week I made a 98, so I guess I'm not doing too shabby. Yesterday, Christina and I explored a little around Torino, and we still have a lot more to find! We're also going to start planning some excursions to other countries. We're going to Brussels and Amsterdam in November for sure, but nothing else is written in stone just yet. 

There are so many things that I notice here that are different from back home. Most I like, but others not so much:

- Italians either hate or love Americans (luckily for me I've only experience the latter)
- Men dress much better here as do people in general.
- Cars will stop to let you pass more than in America
- People are much more outdoorsy :) On Sunday, the park was PACKED with families and couples and friends. 
- The weather(at least at this time) is great! I know it's going to get much colder, but I'm enjoying it for the moment.
- The only free water can be found sporadically about the city constantly pouring from a spout onto the ground.
- The architecture is beautiful!
- The way people park here, will never cease to amaze me. They park almost anywhere! It's funny; we would be ticketed in America for what they do.
- Pizza, pasta,coffee and wine are ubiquitous, delicious and generally cheap.
- The coffee..... 0_0
- Traveling is relatively easy and cheap when confirmed at the right moments
- So far, people have been extremely kind when I've needed help with directions or anything having to do with the Italian language.
- Nice bathrooms are not easy to find when it comes to clubs or bars
- It is rare to see an overweight person
- I've only seen 3 trucks since I've been here. Lots of Fiat, Audi and Volkswagen.
- I love the language. It's wonderful, and I'm trying very hard to learn it!

So there's some of my opinions :)

I like my other classes. I have an American professor for my Legal Environment for Business class. He's a lawyer, obviously intellegent, and I know he already likes me because I'm practically the only person who responds to him in class. E-Commerce is alright. Nothing all that interesting, but the professor is nice, owns his own business and is rather attractive... haha. And my EU professor is also pretty chill, and is very excited about the subject, so I should learn a lot from him, as well. My Italian teacher is good at her job, but she's sometimes confusing with how she tries to explain it, and she wears some.... interesting outfits. Yes, let's leave in at that. Haha. Tomorrow, I have no class, but Wednesday I have class from 9-5:30. Sucks. Then I have 2 classes on Thursday from 9-2:15 and Friday I don't have anything :) This should be an interesting semester.. I plan to learn a lot! Hopefully, by the end of this semester I will be almost fluent in Italian. I feel like I've already learned so much just from being around it all the time!

I've got to look up some trip information, and the eat some lunch and go on a run before the USAC 25th anniversary gathering at 4:30.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Buena Note!

Christina found out that we can get free wifi in our apartment if we're in the kitchen, by the window, and only using one computer at a time. Haha. But hey, it's free! So I'm about to go to bed, so I can get a decent nights sleep before my first test tomorrow in Italiano! I think that I'm prepared enough. I should do well. Today we went to the Lingotto Museum on top of the mall. It was pretty cool. On the top of it was a track that was made for test driving FIAT, so that was interesting plus it was an amazing view! We've decided to go hiking in the Alps to see the village that's there and Lago Verde, a green lake, I guess. Haha. I'll have some pictures of today uploaded in a bit
Christina and I haven't had ANY gelato in TWO whole days. We're getting a lot tomorrow to compensate.
I'm off to bed. Ciao!

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Week Gone....

So this weekend was incredible. This entire week has been incredible! Tuesday night Christina and I had mexican food... Haha. It was actually pretty good. We were surprised. My enchiladas were even a little spicy, a little. It was funny because we went to eat at around 9:30 or 10 and families were still bringing their kids (very well behaved) out to dinner. Whenever we were finished eating, they asked us if we wanted dessert, we said no, and we expected them to bring us our check, but they didn't. We didn't even know how to ask for it yet. So we sat there for about 30 minutes until we finally got their attention to pay for it. The next day we found out at Orientation that we will never be rushed at dinner. We're expected to sit for hours to finish talking and having some wine. Haha. We've gotten better at dining out now. Wednesday night we had pizza at our favorite pizzeria, Fratelli Pommero. They were so nice to us, and just seemed so excited that we were trying to speak Italian. Haha. Not to mention that the pizza was phenomenal! I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food :( I'll start soon! We each had a Lemoncello with our food, and it was SO strong! We were not expecting it! I swear one of those Lemocello was equivalent to 3-4 glasses of wine. Haha. 

Thursday night, we ate dinner wtih our neighbors (also from USAC: Brody, Joey, Joe and Sam) at a pizzeria called Il Barone near our school in Lingotto. We met some American business men who asked us where we were from when they heard our English, and we told them we're studying abroad and they laughed saying that they knew what that meant. Haha. After dinner we all went to a bar near our apartments on Il Beratti and had some ciupittos (shots-I'm not even sure if that's the right way of spelling it) and vino. We just chilled at that bar, just talking. It was fun. Christina and I are so glad that we have fun people living right across the street from us. We're going to be sad when they leave us since they're only here for a semester.

Friday night, Christina, the boys and I all went to eat at Fratelli Pummero at midnight, then we went to meet up with some people at Valentino Park, where there was a wine party. There was literally a party in a public park where tons of people were drinking and dancing; it would have never been allowed in the states. Haha. Then we moved down to the Po River clubs and hung out around there for a while. We didn't get home until pretttyyyyy late. 

Saturday night we made our first Italian dinner at home. It was so good! 

The ingredients at the market here are so fresh, and we have one literally right around the corner from our apartment. Christina and I are obsessed with cheese and bread. I introduced her to Brie... she loves it. Of course. Haha. I'm just so happy that I was placed with someone with whom I get along so well. We just flow. Haha. Once dinner was over. We hopped on a train to Asti, about an hour southeast of Torino, because there was a wine festival. It was huge!! Everybody was wearing a bag around their necks to hold their wine glass for when they weren't drinking, so of course we got one. There was so much food and wine and music and games. I won a bottle of wine in one of them. Christina and I met some Italians, Marco, Edoardo and Leandro. They were nice, and we hung out for a little bit after the festival. We probably wouldn't have been able to get home if they hadn't helped us get on the train. Haha. The train on the way back was PACKED. I had to stand the entire time and it took us a full 20-30 minutes before we even left while we were crammed in there. We got home incredibly late again and the guys came over for a little bit, before we passed out.

And Sunday, we made dinner again, and went over to the boys apartment to hang out and have some more vino. Christina and I planned to not go out last night so we could finally get a night of proper sleep, so we didn't think we'd be up late just hanging out with them, but we didn't get to sleep until about 3. Haha. We just have too much fun. Sleep isn't going to happen much. Plus, whenever we say we're tired, the guys respond with "Carpe Diem!"

So as you can tell, I have been extremely busy, and I don't get on the internet on the weekends because I usually can't, so... patience. 
I'm glad that everything is going so well and that I'm meeting so many cool people, including Italians, like this guy Alberto. He's so nice and always helps me with my Italian and I his English which is actually really good. Hopefully I get the hang of Italian sooner rather than later!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Can't Believe I Live Here

Oh my goodness. So so much has happened within the past few days! I guess I will begin after my last post from the airport in Toronto....
My layover in Toronto was not supposed to be very long. I was just sitting and waiting for them to call my flight up to the gate, but they never did, so I went up to look, and it wasn't there! My flight had changed gates and I never heard them say it. I missed the largest leg of my flight.... I had gone up to the service desk and they said there would not be another flight until 5:00 in the morning! They were asking me if I needed help finding a hotel for the night. I was incredibly upset! It was like a movie --- "And then, when all hope was lost..." Haha --- but really. I thought I had no chance of making it to my orientation. Then they said to hold on a second because my flight was coming back!!! I thought surely not just because I missed it... nope. A man had a seizure right as they were about to take off and they had to come back to get him off!
The airport employees were beyond helpful. They told me to follow them, took me to the hallway to get on the airplane, and told me to stand there until the paramedics got the man off the plane (who looked perfectly fine!). A manager, made sure that someone brought my luggage up from where it was being held and put it on the plane when the other man's luggage was being taken off. I cannot believe how lucky I got! And neither could anyone else. Everyone kept saying how this has never happened before, and after I got on the plane everyone knew me as "the girl who missed her flight, but go incredibly lucky". Haha. It was a tad embarrassing, but I made it!
Once I got to Frankfurt, I had already missed my connecting flight because the flight from Toronto was delayed for so long, so I had to wait 4 hours for another flight to Torino. I didn't care because I was just happy I made it to Europe, even though this delay would mean I would miss the group transportation to the hotel. I went to buy a bus ticket and I saw a guy holding a USAC folder. He was a student from California going to the same place I was! My credit card wouldn't work on the ticket machine, so he (his name is Joey) bought me one and we headed to the hotel together to find everyone else. We got there when everyone was at the group dinner, and we got to the restaurant when they were leaving, and we were starving, so it sucked! They took us on a short tour around downtown Torino which was very helpful, but afterwards Joey  and I were still hungry so we went to go eat some pizza and have some wine. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. I don't know how eating pizza in America is going to compare anymore, and of course the wine was unbelievable. We moved into our apartments the next day and I met my two roommates, Christina (from Ohio) and Nicolina from Naples. We haven't seen Nicolina much, but Christina and I get along so well! It's awesome. We also made really good friends with other USAC students that live across the street from us, Sam, Joe and Joey.
I love where we live! I love all the people here. I love the food and just everything is so amazing!
I went into a caffe this morning and ordered a cappuccino and pastry in Italian and I conversed with the owners. They were so nice, and could tell I'm from America, but that I'm trying hard to speak Italian. I have already learned so much just from being around people speaking Italian and hearing it all the time.
Christina and I went to a pizza place last night and we each had a lemoncello. It was so strong. We didn't see it coming.
Well, I gots to go. I'll upload pictures later!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Not Long Now!

One leg down, two to go! It was only a 2 hour ride from DFW to here, and there was no need for me to use any of the entertainment devices I brought because I sat next to a very amiable fellow from Toronto named Eric. He's about 30, works in finance and was visiting Dallas... conversation got intense. Haha. I like it when I sit next to someone to talk to because it sucks having to go such a long time without talking, which you all probably know is increasingly difficult for me.

I am currently sitting in Toronto's airport waiting for the longest leg of my journey to Frankfurt. It is only one hour later here than it is back home, so I'm not tired yet. I hope I'll be able to sleep at least a little bit on the plane, otherwise I'm going to be sooooooooooo tired when I arrive tomorrow in Torino at 2:00 p.m. I am debating if I should get some snacks.... my plane boards in about 15 minutes, but I have no idea how edible the airplane food will be. Yep. I'm starving. I'm getting food. 
I'll keep you posted!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

So Close!

So I have fit all of this^^^ plus a little more into my ginormous suitcase. I have only 3 pounds left to put into it.... it's just not enough clothes! I hope I won't regret taking just one suitcase. I'll probably end up shipping some stuff back ahead of time. Oh, the difficulties of being a woman with style! Haha. 

In about 48 hours I'll be leaving for the airport! :D

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Decisions decisions...

I am going to be attending this event called Sensation, but I'm not sure if I should go to the one in Dusseldorf or in Copenhagen. Either way, I'm excited because it is something I have never been to before! Even though I'm not completely sure as to what it is. The only lead I have is this video below, but it looks fun!

I also finally got a tent buddy for Oktoberfest! Thank you Lorin!

Monday, August 27, 2012

T minus 5 days!

I cannot believe there are only five days remaining until I finally embark on my study abroad adventure into Torino, Italia! After months of research, waiting, paperwork, waiting, essays, waiting and waiting, it's actually happening! Coming to the end of my summer only means the beginning of my fall semester in a beautiful, foreign metropolis! I have spent an abundance of time in the planning of this trip and acquiring all of the necessary documentation. Once my visa arrived, an exponential amount of weight lifted from my chest; I had been exceedingly nervous it would not arrive on time before I departed. 

I had also ordered an International Student ID Card as a prepaid MasterCard and for discounts in various places in Europe which is pretty awesome. Along with that, my canvas backpack, textbooks, electric converter and laptop have all arrived on time! The last thing I have to worry about is fitting enough clothes into one suitcase without going over 50 pounds.... Ha. Yeah.... 

I'm vacillating between whether I'm feeling nervous or excited, maybe it's both, but which ever way it is, I cannot wait to be in living in Italy! I know I will miss my friends and family dearly, but I think I'll be keeping myself entertained well enough. Balancing school and fun will surely be difficult. I already have so many plans! Oktoberfest in Munich, Christmas in Sweden, St. Patty's day in Ireland, Disneyland in Paris, Cinque Terre, Portofino, Venice, Milan and ROME! So much to see. This is the chance of a lifetime, and I am so grateful that I am going to be able to experience it!