I am so overcome with excitment. I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Florence, Italy . . . and I LIVE here. I don't know what the time says, but in Italy its 11:30 am, and we're seven hours ahead of Texas, so you do the math. I got here yesterday afternoon. Last night I went out with my roommates and had pizza and wine and then crashed. We were all sooo tired. I woke up really early this morning though, at like six. We have nothing planned with the school today, so shopping is in order, there are molto saldi oggi (many sales today. I'm trying to impress you with my blossoming Italian.) Tomorrow orientation starts and then class starts Monday.

It still hasn't hit me I'm actually living here for the next 3 1/2 months. It's so surreal. We went to the Duomo this morning and it's absolutely gorgeous. Che bella! And I get to see it everyday.


I hate saying goodbye to people. It makes my stomach hurt. When I thought about going to Florence I thought of how wonderful it would be and all the experiences I would have and all the art I would learn about. I didn't think about all of the goodbyes. It's been harder saying goodbye for this than it was saying goodbye for college two years ago. I think that's because I've allowed myself to become closer to people than my high school self did. Not that I'm still not stoked about going to Italy, it just stings a little, and I didn't prepare myself for that.

But it's just three and a half months.

This time tomorrow I will be on a plane.

Mama mia!

I'm back in Waco, just for the night.

This place has really become a home to me. This apartment with these girls. I'm already looking forward to coming back next semester. Sure it's still as messy as I left it last week--the fondue pot is still sitting on the table from last Friday night . . . with water and bits of chocolate in it, and empty boxes are everywhere, but these girls are wonderful, so it's ok. And I don't have to live here.

This time next week I will be in Firenze. AHHHHHHHH. Mama mia! Mozzarella! Meatball!

Really, I'll be more excited once I've finished packing.

It's a video

So one of the guys who went with us to Kenya is making us an awesome video. Here are two teaser videos. The first is just like a preview, the second is from the safari.


It's weird to be back, but not really be back. Not bad weird, just weird. But more than that it's fun. It's fun to see everyone again and catch up. I'm in Wacko Waco for the next couple days, getting time in with my friends before I leave for four months (a week from Monday).

The apartamento is a mess, though. A MESS. I'm kinda glad I won't be here to have to help clean it up. Heh.

Ya see, when six people live together, a lot of times stuff just won't get done because everyone expects someone else to do it. That's why we have a chart denoting whose turn it is to take out the trash and recycling. And that's why the mistletoe is still up.

Clean teeth

The last time we spoke I was 20 and a little over two weeks away from my departure for Italy. Today I am 21 and 1 1/2 weeks away from Florence. Times are a-changing.

I went to the dentist yesterday and the lady who cleaned my teeth had just come back from Italy. Both of her parents are from Sicily and when she found out I was spending the fall in Florence she got all excited and went on and on and on about Italy. What to do, what the weather will be like, what to wear, and placed much emphasis on wearing comfortable shoes. The TV in our room was tuned to KERA and was showing ariel views of Sicily. With a $100 donation, I could obtain a copy of a DVD of this 20 minute program about Sicily. The donation guy on the show said we should buy it and show it to young people to educate them about the world. Me and the dentist lady chuckled at this. I can watch the Travel channel for free. Free to me anyway, I don't pay for the Satellite TV

And she said my teeth were suprisingly clean considering I hadn't been to the dentist in two years. And the fact that I never floss. I didn't tell her that part. I never really have, but my dentist always says my teeth are really clean, so I don't really have the motivation to start now.

Also, last time we spoke I had not yet recieved my visa and was getting kind of concerned about it. It is now in my possession, thankfully. I'm actually going to Florence.

Two weeks.

I think I've eaten enough chicken salad this past month to last me for a little while. Simplicitea's Tea Room has some wonderful chicken salad, and everyday after the lunch rush I usually sit down to a scoop of it with a bunch of Club crackers, and sometimes some fruit or a slice of quiche. Today was my last day working at the aforementioned Tea Room, and after that last meal of chicken salad, the thought of it now kind of makes me nauseous.

So yes, I am now no longer working as a waitress, and am really looking forward to sleeping in a lot these next two weeks.

So, people are usually a little shocked to hear that last year I shared an apartment with five other girls. But get this, in Italy, I'm going to be living in an apartment with 8 girls. There wll be nine of us in all (in case you needed help with the math). My own room will have three girls, including myself. I know the two girls though, they are from Baylor. I don't know them really well, but they seem to be agreeable.

I'm so flippin' excited. Two weeks people. I'm leaving in two weeks.