Friday, April 12, 2013


So I'm going to talk about my Easter experience, even though I know that it was a while ago. Easter Sunday,  or Pasqua, was a beautiful day. I went running and hung around outside relaxing. There were people everywhere laying on the grass and having picnics with family and friends. The next day on the Monday after Easter, or Pasquetta, it was not as pretty of a day, but it was a lot of fun. 
First I must say that while I was on the train to Milan for my flight to Marrakech, I met an Italian named Francesco. We were the only two that were in our train cart considering it was past midnight. He heard me talking on the phone to my sister, and when I hung up, he came over to talk to me, telling me how much he loves to talk to Americans to practice his English and because he said Americans are always very gregarious. He got off the train before I did, but not before we exchange info. A few days after I returned from Spring Break, I had forgotten about getting his information until he called me and wanted to meet up for appertivo (a drink and food). We went and it was a lot of fun. Then we went to meet up with his friend Simone, he's also a nice guy who had  an adorable puppy named Frisky that obtained all of my attention while I was there. I am so animal deprived. Anyways, Simone doesn't know English very well, so we spoke in Italian as the three of us relaxed drinking some coffee. When we were leaving, Francesco then invited me to go to his family's house for Pasquetta for una grigliata (a BBQ).
So that's what I did for the Monday after Easter. I had SO much fun! It was a blast. There were a bunch of people there. All of his friends and family and they were all so nice. When I first got there, they didn't really talk to me because I don't think they knew that I know Italian, and none of them besides Francesco knew English. Haha. Once I started up a conversation to one of them, they all started talking to me. It was really weird because I was kind of like an amazement to them. They asked me all kinds of questions about Texas and certain foods and where I go to school and everything. It was super overwhelming, but I got some good practice for my Italian. The food was mostly just meet. They had chicken, sausage, hamburgers & hotdogs (without the buns) and even ribs. They had some grilled melanzane (eggplant) and zucchini, as well as some salad for after. There was lots of wine and beer. And for dessert they served a traditional Italian cake that is only served at Easter. I can't remember what it's called but it was pretty good. Later, after ALL of that food, someone brought a delicious pizza out and added hotdogs to it.... haha. That may sound really gross, but it was surprisingly good. At the part, I met this girl Giorgia who is super sweet. We talked a lot and before she left we exchanged numbers. A week later we had lunch together. I was a little nervous because I would have to speak in Italian for an hour straight, but it was easier than I thought. 
So overall, it was a very good easter. 
Okay. Well, back to my homework. I have so much to do -_-

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Break

Ciao tutti!
I was able to spend about a week with my lovely parentals before they continued forth on their Italian Adventure to the Italian Riviera and Rome. I tried to show them as much of Torino as possible before they had to leave, and I think they enjoyed themselves. I took them to eat great food and see the beautiful sites, but one week wasn't enough, for them to see Torino or for me to see them, but after 7 months of not seeing them it was still good! 2 days after they left Torino to finish celebrating their 30th year anniversary, I went off my own way onto my own adventure that would last 9 days.
Spring break was incredibly exhausting, but the best spring break I've ever had! I chose to go to 3 places... Marrakech, Morocco then to Barcelona, Spain and lastly to Ireland where I stayed in Dublin and visited Wicklow.

Morocco was the craziest place I have ever been to! I have never seen anything like it before... the culture is completely different than any other I have ever seen. I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. And yes I traveled there alone, but no worries because I wasn't alone for one second, except when I went roaming around on  my own for a bit on the first day. After roaming around Marrakech for about 4 hours I had to go back to my hostel and take a nap because of my ridiculous journey to get to there. I had to leave Torino at 11:00 pm to take an 1 and a half hour train to Milan. Then I had to wait at the freezing Milan Central Train Station for 3 hours until the bus came to take me to Bergamo Airport which was a 1 hour trip. Then from Bergamo, I finally flew to Marrakech, and I arrived at about 10 am. My hostel sent a taxi to the airport to pick me up which was awesome, and when I arrived at the hostel, they and their cat Mimi greeted me with mint tea and cookies. They gave me a map and showed me how to get around, and they taught me how I should barter with the locals which saved me a lot of dirham! They were so nice and helpful. So after my nap in my room that I shared with 7 other people, I woke up to hear someone rummaging around in their bags in one of the bunks near mine. We started talking, and then decided to spend the rest of the day together. His name was Peter, and he's from Slovakia, but moved to California for work. I had so much fun with him. He is such a funny guy, and we had great conversations that were very interesting. We both loved taking pictures, and we spent about 2 or 3 hours on a restaurant terrace just taking pictures of the sun setting over the main square as the chaos continued to burst on the streets below us, drums and chants filled the air as we breathed in the smell of curry coming from the street restaurants, watching them fighting with each other for customers to eat at their tables.Peter and I were walking through the street restaurants (which only come up at night) to get to the markets on the other side, and a man literally started pulling me into the restaurant to eat there, but luckily tall, strong Peter saved me. Haha. He was good at that since me being a white, blonde, blue-eyed american I got more  attention than I wanted. Peter and I ate our dinner, continued taking pictures and bought souvenirs until we finally got tired enough and headed back to the hostel a little after midnight, even though the locals were still frantically beating their drums and enchanting their snakes behind us.
       The next morning, Peter and I had our free breakfast at the hostel (including the best coffee ever), and then we had to say goodbye because I was off to a trip to a hike up the mountains to a waterfall, and he would be gone to Egypt by the time I returned. It's sad having to say goodbye to people with whom you get along so well. That day, the hostel had organized the trip, and just myself left to another a hostel to get more people that wanted to go. That's where I met my other two new friends, Natalie from New Zealand and Tom from England. They both live in Seville, Spain as English teachers, and they're roommates. Natalie and I got along so well. She is just as crazy as I am, so we had fun basking in our weirdness. We drove to the waterfall in a van and made a few stops along the way. The first stop was a local woman's house where she made us tea and let us look through her house which was nice, for a summer home since it wasn't really completely inside. Our group sat together on a large sofa drinking tea and talking. We had people from Italy, France and German in our group. It was interesting. Our next stop was at some camels on the side of the road. We were able to ride them, and, of course, there were Moroccans trying to sell us jewelry. The next stop was at a garden where they grow all kinds of herbs to make creams, lotions and oils. It was really cool to see how certain herbs can be used and watching them make everything. The next stop was where we had to cross a river to a blacksmith on the other side. It was alright. Finally we stopped for food, which Natalie, Tom and I found too expensive so we went somewhere else while the wealthy french people ate. Our food was better anyways. After everyone was well replenished, we began our journey up the mountain. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. It took a long time, and I probably would have fallen if it wasn't for our travel guide who was hopping all over the rocks like a spider monkey.The view at the top was breathtaking, and then to get back down, we had to go further up. Natalie and I made it even more fun by singing songs relating to what we were doing like "Top of the world looking down on creation..." "Ooooh, we're halfway there, oooh living on a prayer." ect. ect. Tom enjoyed our voices I'm sure. We all slept on the van ride back because of the effort we exerted throughout the day. Once we returned to the crowded streets of Marrakech, the 3 of us decided to smoke some hookah with the turtles of the hostel and then head over to a restaurant for some happy hour drinks and to see some belly dancing which I involved myself in. I felt like I was swaying my hips in succession with theirs, but I don't think that's really how it looked! Haha. While we were at the restaurant, we decided it would be a good idea to write our own rap, about Morocco. We created our own rap names, and began the lyrics to our Moroccan rap. Soon we decided to go back to their hostel and smoke some more hookah while we finished our rap. Tom ended up going to bed early so it was just Natalie and I finishing our song by ourselves. After we completed it, we recorded it. It is embarrassingly amazing. If anyone wants to see it, just Facebook me and I'll message it to you because I am  not posting it up here. The next day I hung out with 6 students that are studying in Paris. 4 of them are from the states, one from Canada and the other from Australia. They were all super cool, and we went out to eat together and then relaxed at our hostel afterwards smoking some hookah [it's just what you do when you're in Morocco]. All of them but one had to leave in the morning to Casablanca, and one of the 2 girls, Abby, wasn't leaving until a little later, so we hung out until then. And a few hours after she left for Paris did I leave to go to my next stop. Barcelona.

I arrived in Barcelona a little after midnight to my hostel. I didn't really like my hostel in Barcelona. The only thing I really appreciated about it was the fact that they had muffins AND fruit for the included breakfast, which never happens at hostels. I shared a room with 13 other people, but I never really saw any of them because they way the room was set up. Each bed was like it's own little room with boards separating each bed from the other, and they each had curtains as doors. Hostels are how I meet people, so that really messed up my methods, but it was kinda cool in the fact that you have more privacy. The next day, it rained, hard. I went out anyway with my umbrella, but soon I grew tired of the cold water seeping in through my boots, turning my feet numb, and once I found out that there was a hole in my umbrella that slowly dampened my hair I was done with the rain. I couldn't even take any pictures. So I just went back to my hostel after eating some delicious Spanish food, and read off my Nook until the rain stopped hours later and I went back out to take pictures. The next day, I did a lot more. I went to the beach, and did a bus tour of the city which is could since I had no idea where to go. Then I went to the aquarium and the Gaudi house which was the coolest designed houses I have ever seen! So weird yet amazing. I had Paella and Spanish wine for dinner and got a good 2 hours of sleep before I had to take my taxi to the train station to take the bus to the Girona airport for my 6:55 am flight to Dublin.

I got to my ridiculously expensive hotel (at least for me)  in Dublin at about 11 am. It was a really nice hotel with a delicious breakfast! But the only reason why I stayed there was because all hostels were completely booked and my couchsurfing plan didn't fall through as I had hoped. Dublin was really cool even though it was a tad dreary because it rained a bit. On  my second day, I went to Wicklow Mountain National Park.It was so beautiful. I spent 6 hours there roaming around through the lush green trees and flowing chilled rivers. At one point I was walking up a hill, where the trees were so dense that I couldn't see an ounce of light coming trough. And then about 30 feet in front of me along the grass, I saw a large brown furry creature walking towards me, so I immediately turned around and sprinted back down the hill as fast as I could. I have never seen a bear before that wasn't inside a cage. People said there aren't any bears in the park, but I beg to differ! What else could it have been? On the bus back to Dublin I met these two guys from Wisconsin who were really nice, so I was glad to meet more people to hang out with.
       I took a ton of pictures as always once I got back to Dublin, had some fish and chips and visited the Jameson Distillery which was amazing. I got some free whiskey, and became an official whiskey tester according to my certificate. I met a couple from Houston there, and we all had lunch at the distillery accompanied by some whiskey sours. They were really nice and fun to talk to. Both of them worked for the Air force. I went to a club on my second night with some people I met and it was crazy. I just met some more people and danced to the crazy music. It was a blast. The next day rushed by in a flurry of green and Guinness. It seemed as if everyone in the world was in Dublin dressed like leprechauns for St. Patrick's day. The parade was loud and consumed the entire city. I hung out with some people I met the day before and to be honest I couldn't tell you much. It was the best St. Patrick's day, I know that, at least. One of the people I was with let me put my bag at their place so that I didn't have to carry it around with me the whole night. There were tons of bars, pints of beer, loads of singing and a myriad of people! I'm just happy I was able to make it to the bus that took me to the Dublin Airport. I had fallen asleep on bus, and I woke about 6 Italian guys being very loud, which was good so I wouldn't miss my stop. I didn't move when I heard them. I just continued to lay on my bag with my hair covering my face, then I heard them. The guys were speaking in Italian, and they were talking about me. They obviously thought I couldn't understand them. They were taking about if I were pretty or ugly and how they couldn't see me because my face was covered, and they were wondering when I was going to wake up. Then I sit up, and they're all looking at me as I say... "Allora, bella oppure brutto?" Which means, "So, pretty or ugly?" haha. They all freak out and one of them said "Oh! Ha sentito tutti!" "She heard everything!" Haha. It was hilarious. Then I started talking to them until their stop came. Soon I was at the airport. I found a nice cushioned bench on the top floor where I fell asleep before my flight in 5 hours. I woke up a few hours later and saw every other bench occupied by another fellow drunken St. Patrick's Day Celebrator. Also the floors were covered with passed out people dressed in green. It was a long journey back to Torino as I had to fly to Barcelona first then to Milan because it was cheaper that way.

It was such an extraordinary vacation, but I am happy to be back in Torino after being away for so long. I missed my city. Then I thought about when I'm going to have to leave in less than 2 months. I can't believe I have been living here for this long. My roommate and I were just talking about how we feel like this is our life; like this is what we do. I'm going to be so sad to leave Italy, to leave Europe, but then again, I can't wait to see my family and friends again! I miss you all!

Well, I appreciate it if you took your time to read this crazy long post, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Un Altro Mese Passato

Hello all,
So this past weekend I went to Verona and Venice with USAC. It was so much fun. I liked Verona alot, and Venice was gorgeous! Pictures I've seen of Venice are nothing like it is in person. I did and saw everything necessary when I went, I saw the bridge of sighs and il Ponte de Rialto, San Marco Piazza, the main canal, I went on a Gondola ride, bought a Venetian Glass and Venetian masks. The Gondola ride was by far the best Gondola ride in the history of Gondola rides. Haha. Our Gondolier was so sweet and he even sang for us which is something that all of the other Gondoliers is Venice refused to do. 

About two weeks ago, I went to Bardonecchia to snowboard, something I had never done before! I went with my friend Matt, and the entire way there and up to the point where we rented our skis and snowboard, I was asking him which one I should do, ski or snowboard, ski or snowboard, snowboard or ski? I was really nervous since I had never done either, and he told me skiing would be easier, but I've always wanted to try snowboarding.... and I'm glad that I did! It was the most fun that I had in a long time! I knew I would hurt myself, but I wasn't going to worry about that until it actually happened. Matt had skied before, but he went with me to the bunny slope, so I could try it out. I went down twice (very difficultly I might add) and then he told me it was time for the bigger slope, which was pretty darn big. When I was at the top of the slope, I had to stand and breathe before I would go down because I was terrified! When I would get to scared of falling or going to fast I would just kinda fall down on purpose to stop. I usually fell on my ass and my hands which really strained by wrists, especially my right one, but by the end of the day, I had snowboarded down that hill about 8 or 9 times. Matt said I did really well for a first timer. There were moments when I hardly ever fell, and I would just listen to my iPod to Rob Zombie and Prodigy, and I flew down the slope, past all the loser snowboarders that fell. The last time I went down, it was getting pretty dark, and I couldn't fully see the run, so I fell pretty badly on my already wounded tailbone and wrists that I screamed and some of the other skiers came over to me to see if I was okay. They wanted to call the snowmobile medic to come get me, but I made it down the rest of the hill on my own. When I got home from a long day, my wrist was wrapped and barely movable, I couldn't move much because of my severely bruised or otherwise cracked tailbone, and I was covered in bruises. The next day, I was so sore, I couldn't move a muscle without being in pain! It was ridiculous, but all worth it because I had so much fun on the snow.

Next week is the last week before spring break, and I am so excited! I have 3 destinations planned that I will be going to, and I can't wait (Non vedo l'ora)! I have all of my flights booked and all but one place to stay. It's definitely going to be the best spring break that I've had in a while, mainly because I've had to work for the past few that I remember. In just a couple more days, my lovely parentals are coming to visit me for about a week, and I can't wait to see them! It's been about 7 months since I've seen them, far too long. I wish the rest of my family and friends could come with them!

So before you leave my blog, check out my "Carnival of Ivrea" page and my "Bardonecchia" page because they both have videos on them that I recently uploaded. Also I put up pictures of Venice (including video of Gondola ride) and Verona, so check those out, too!

Ho finito. A presto!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Buon San Valentino!

Ciao tutti! This is the second time I have been slacking in my postings, and I apologize. I believe I left off when I was in Rome... well, Jill and I ended up riding a vespa around Rome the next day after that post. It was really cheap, so we figured why not! It was probably one of the most terrifying days of my life. Italian drivers are crazy, and I was so happy once we returned the scooter intact to the store. I'm pretty sure the woman who worked there was surprised to see us alive and the scooter in one piece. We're just glad she didn't notice the scrape on the side from when we fell! La Morte Macchina (our nickname for the scooter) will live on to escort more foreigners around Roma. At the end of the day, Jillian told me that every time we stopped at a fountain to make a wish, she wished that we would live through the scooter rental. Haha. It was easy when it was just me on the scooter, but it was exceedingly difficult once a second person came aboard!  We drove to Vatican City and the Spanish Steps the day we had the vespa, and we also saw the Sistine Chapel which was just as incredible as the former two. I liked that all of the Christmas decorations were still up all over Rome, so we were able to enjoy them a little longer. I really enjoyed Rome. It is definitely a beautiful city with a plethora of history. I loved the Coliseum. I could not stop looking at it! 

I returned to Torino the night of the 11th after a long day of traveling to get back. I had to take a bus from Rome to the airport, a plane to Bergamo outside of Milan, a bus from Bergamo to Milan central train station, a train to Torino and then finally the metro to my apartment. It was exhausting! I was so happy to be back in Torino after all of that time away. I really am going to miss it when I have to leave for good. The new USAC students got here on the 14th, and we went to the group dinner to meet everyone, but really just because USAC was paying for the food. They know that's the only way to get us to come to those events... free food. Christina and I met our new roommate, Stephanie. She's really cool and very sweet. I got lucky with my roommates this year. They're not those kind of girls that drive me to insanity. The new guys that live across the street from us are pretty cool and nice to talk to. It's not the same without the old crew, but at least Brody is still here. 

Classes this semester are a lot more arduous than last semester. They definitely take more of my free time, so since classes have started I didn't really travel anywhere. I just stayed in Torino which is fine. Some of the new USAC girls, Erin and Emily, and I found this amazing Mexican food restaurant because all of us miss Mexican food! The people that work there know us now, and always give us free drinks, so that's a plus. We're going back tonight to celebrate Valentine's day with some margaritas and nachos. I'm looking forward to it as it will probably be one of my better Valentine's Days. Haha. I finally went somewhere this past weekend with some kids in USAC. There were 12 of us who went to Aosta and Cogne to go hiking in the mountains, and it was so beautiful! I had never seen anything like it. When we were hiking, we saw some ice climbers on a frozen waterfall, so we went over to get a closer look and decided to trek up the side of this very steep mountain to see them in action. It was exhausting getting up there, but the view made it worth it, and getting down was the best part. We just sat on out butts or out shoes and slid down! It was so much fun! I was freezing, but I was having too good of a time to care. 

This past Tuesday, USAC let us skip school, and they took us to the Carnival of Ivrea ( for the day. It was an amazingly painful yet exciting  experience! I have never been to anything like it before. I am covered in bruises and my entire body aches, but I wouldn't take it back for anything! I actually would love to go back one year and actually be on a legitimate team even though you have to pay 100 euro, but it would be great. Our group was fighting with Team Death. All the teams have their own costumes and there are nine teams. I don't remember all of the names, but there's also the Panthers, the Mercenaries, the Spades, the Chessman, etc. It was the most chaotic event in which I have ever taken part! I got hit in the head at least 6 maybe 7 times, the arms and legs numerous times, and a couple of times in the stomach. There were people walking around with bloody noses, broken noses, black eyes, it was crazy! Words cannot describe what it really was like. You don't have to get hit if you don't want to, and you don't have to play. In that case you wear a red that looks like a stocking, but you still kinda get hit anyway. Once I had scoped the situation out, I took my hat off to throw some oranges. 

Well, I have some work to do, so I have to go, but I hope you're satisfied with this extensive post!
And don't forget to look at the new pictures I posted under "Aosta and Cogne" and "Carnival of Ivrea (Orange Festival)". Also I'm going to try to upload some videos on the "Videos" page if I can get it to work, and they will most likely be sideways, so I'm sorry!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Roman Holiday

This one is going to be short, but I just wanted to let everyone know I made it safely to Rome from Sweden. The night I got here, my friend Jillian and I went to another hostel to meet new people, and that was a lot of fun. I met 5 Australians, 1 South African, 1 Russian and some others that I don't remember where they said they were from. Haha. But it was really cool talking to people from such diverse locations, and I think the Australians were the most interesting. In my room in the hostel, I'm with two Americans and 2 Argentinians, and one more person is coming today, so we'll see how that goes. Yesterday, my first day in Rome, Jillian and I saw the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, la Bocca della Verita (the mouth of truth) which is in the church of Santa Maria, the Arch of Constantine and a bunch of other things that are not significantly known aspects of Rome, but still beautiful. Today, Jill and I have plans to go to the Vatican in style... I will fill you in on what exactly I mean by that after I make sure it actually happens. So far, Rome is amazing! Very beautiful.
Well, I'm off to eat a delicious, FREE breakfast of croissants and coffee, then we're off!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal, and a Happy New Year

The last couple of weeks have been quite eventful. Quite eventful indeed. On the 21st, I left for Sweden after being in Paris for a good 4 days where I took about a trillion pictures. Make sure and look at my Paris page to see all of them. Paris is a very beautiful city, so I could not resist. A really cool thing that I did before I left Paris was when I went to Notre Dame, I sat in on a service that was going on at the time. It was pretty cool, even though I did not understand one word they were saying. I even went up and had wine and bread, and I donated when the money basket came around. It was a very interesting experience, and I'm glad I did it!

Anyways, so when I arrived in Sweden, Marcus and his mother Rika picked me up from the airport which I really appreciated. It was so good to see them again. I hadn't seen Rika since the summer of 2011, and I hadn't seen Marcus since last August which felt like it was more than just 5 months. It was freezing when I first stepped off the plane all the way until now. Brrr! Of course there was snow for a little while until the rain came and washed it all away replacing it with one of my best friends in the world... ice. Ice and I have never gotten along very well because it always insists on hurting me, so it was inevitable that I busted it and bruised my right leg quite badly. It happens. It is a nice colored bruise, though. Some wonderful shades of blue, purple and green. 

I have really enjoyed spending so much time here, and I am very grateful towards Marcus, Rika and Peter for letting me stay here. It's been very relaxing! The day I got here, Marcus and I decorated the Christmas tree. A REAL Christmas tree. My family has always had a fake tree because my dad and sister are allergic to real ones. It was nice to have a real tree for once, but it is a whole lot more difficult to decorate! Those needles are very painful, and I did not particularly like them stabbing me when I was wrapping the lights around. Marcus' brother, Christian, came a couple of days after myself, and I hadn't seen him since the summer of 2009, so it was really good to see him again. We all made a really crappy snowman together, so that was nice. Then we went on a quest through the snowy woods in search of large, deadly icicles. A couple of days later, I walked on a frozen lake. Which was really cool. I almost died. Not really, but that would have been interesting. At least, I think so.
Christmas dinner was very good, of course, since Rika made it. We had moose meat, that Peter shot and Rika prepped. I had never eaten moose meat before, but it is delicious! Tasty beasts, those moose. Some of Marcus' relatives came over for Christmas Eve dinner, so it was nice to meet them. In Sweden, the 24th is Christmas day so the 23rd is obviously Christmas Eve and on Christmas day, we also had some more delicious Swedish food. Then the time came for presents, and even though I told them not to, my parents still sent me a few items, and I loved all of them. Marcus, Rika, Peter and Christian all got me presents as well which were all very lovely, as well, but now I have a little packing problem... I really do not think I can fit everything in my luggage :( But we shall see in a few more days when I try to pack.

On the 29th, Peter and Rika drove us into Gothenburg to have dinner at Rika's parents apartment. They have a gorgeous apartment, and the food was incredible that evening. It was 3 courses: appetizer, main course and desert, all accompanied by wine. Then we had coffee afterwards. I love Rika's parents. They are so, so sweet. I would spell out their names, but I do not know how to. Haha. I also got to chat more with one of Rika's brothers and his wife who are also wonderful people. I am so lucky to have been able to spend these holidays with such amazing people that I am happy to call my family. 

New Year's Eve was so much fun! Marcus and I went to a friend's house, where we ate dinner, played some games, shot some fireworks and, of course, drank copious amounts of non-alcoholic mixtures that maybe were not really virgins. I met some new people, but I also got to see some familiar faces. I was able to see Emma, Patrick, Anna, Affe (another Marcus) and Krille (another Christian). And all of the new people were very nice. I really appreciated it when they would speak in English for me, considering I was the only one there who couldn't speak Swedish. Spending Christmas and New Year's in Sweden was a very good idea. Tomorrow, Marcus leaves to go back to school, but I don't leave until the 6th, so Peter and Rika have to put of with me for a little bit longer, and I don't have to say bye to them yet. I'm not looking forward to, yet again, saying goodbye to Marcus, but hopefully he will be coming back to Texas for this next summer.

I hope all of you had an amazing Christmas and New Years!