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.