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Italy Study Abroad Trip 2011 - Sara Robbins

Day 22 – Oh flying, how you stress me out.

June 4th, 2011
6-4
So at 550 my alarm went off for me to make sure Linsey and Alaina were up so they could get on the bus by 630 to go to the airport. They got up and were moving around just fine. The room was freezing but that’s because we don’t really understand the thermostat in here. So they headed off and I attempted to go back to sleep. It didn’t really work. Then I finally gave up and got up and started naming pictures that I hadn’t gotten to yet and just missed Linsey and Alaina a lot. It was so sad to be there alone. I am glad Mom is meeting up with me because traveling along after already having traveled for 3 weeks is not appealing to me at all right now.
I tried unsuccessfully to take two naps.
I ended up going to work-out with Catherine (the TA) and I was going to attempt a third nap but instead got caught up in exchanging pictures with her and Ryan. So at 3:20 I realized I needed to hurry and grab some lunch or I wouldn’t get any. Ryan and I ended up going out and we found this pizza shop it gave us these huge pieces of pizza for a pretty good price and so we got those and figured we wouldn’t have to worry very much about supper after those. We got back and I put my stuff away and then it was time for me to head out. I walked to the metro stop (which I had walked to earlier to make sure it where it was) and got my metro pass, got on, and went to the termini. From there I got a train ticket to the airport, walked down a never-ending line of train platforms and found my train where I sat in a Harry Potter-style train. By that I mean that it had 6 seats in a section with dividers between. The other trains haven’t had the divider things and they had tables. I sat with a British woman, a youngish couple, and 2 Italian ladies. I passed by hay bales and corn-like weeds and thought of Nebraska. I got to the airport and waited in line to check in my bag, that took about an hour and then I breezed through security. I found the gate my plane was leaving from and made it there with 15 minutes to spare before boarding was supposed to start. With my free time I located a bathroom, used it, and filled my water bottle from the sink. Boarding was delayed a bit so I ended up having plenty of time.
The flight was uneventful. They did, however, give me a sandwich, which I was not expecting. I figured I’d get some pretzels and munch on my roll that I stole from breakfast. It was pretty good. We landed and Mom was waiting at my gate so we walked down to our other flight’s gate. This one was delayed a bit too so we had a little time and I again found a bathroom and filled my water bottle. Then we were off. On this flight they gave me a kit kat bar! I wish the US airlines would take note of this. You could also ask for wine or beer as your complimentary beverage, not that I was interested but still.
We made it to Venice at about 12:15am, finally got our bags by 12:45 or so and began our search for transportation. The water taxis were all gone so we ended up grabbing a land taxi which took us to Rome Plaza and then we took the 1:29am night vaporetto to the stop near our hotel. Then we got lost on the way to the hotel but a couple of random Italian guys ended up helping us fix our wrong turn and finally we arrived at the hotel. We were given a key and went to the first floor where our room was supposed to be. We came to an opening with tables and no rooms with numbers on them. So I ran to the next floor up to see if we were off, we weren’t and Mom finally ended up trying to open one of the unmarked doors to find that there was a numbered door behind it. We found ours, got in and turned on the air. I attempted to put my passport in the safe, just to lock it with an unknown combination, and then I gave up and went to bed. The time as I lay there was 10 to 3am. What an awful, awful last leg of the journey.

Day 21 – On the Road again!

June 3rd, 2011
6-3
We got up and had our last breakfast at the farmhouse. That was yummy and sad all at the same time. I had frosted flakes which were just amazing but I was surprised how much I enjoyed them because I haven’t had them for years. Then we loaded onto the bus and drove for 4 or 5 hours. I was determined not use my iPod today and so I ended up finishing my book that I brought and reading my Bible and just reflecting on some things in my life. I am glad these long bus rides are over because they give me way too much time to see how much needs to change in my life. Haha. We did make one rest stop on the way and at that gas station I found this cat thing. One of those with a motion sensor, most of the other toys played a song but this cat had this evil, evil laugh. It was actually a little maniacal sounding, really. At first I was shocked and then the second time it did it I started laughing and each time I heard it, it sounded funnier and funnier. I was laughing like crazy, who would give their child a toy like that? Alaina started laughing at me and one of the guys was actually really bothered by the cat thing so I shut it off and we left.
We finally got to the hotel and everyone got their room keys and we all raced to the bathrooms. We get to do whatever we want today and all Dr. E wanted was for us to make our flights tomorrow. So we went hunting for some lunch. Alaina and Linsey wanted to go to a cheap t-shirt place we found last time we were in Rome and so we went that way. We got a really good deal. Alaina got 2 shirts and Linsey and I each got 1 so that we could do the 4 for ten euro deal they had going on. That was my t-shirt for me from Italy. Then we continued looking around and just perusing the markets and shops on our way back to the hotel. We are staying on the opposite side of the city center this time so it’s a little bit different view of things when we go walking.
Then we just hung out in the room for a while before going exploring again for supper. Everything seems to move so slowly now that class is done. I feel like we should be hurrying to get to the next site just to realize I’ve seen most of them here. Alaina and Linsey packed up for their flight back to the States tomorrow. I am all packed up for my flight to Venice tomorrow. Linsey and I actually ended up spending a lot of time playing solitaire because we don’t have free internet at this hotel.
We went out for supper and ended up finding this pasta place pretty close that was really good. We were all thrilled because it was the first time we had found good pasta outside of a group meal. It really hit the spot. So then we ended up coming back to the hotel so Alaina could write some postcards and we could just hang out until we went to bed. While we were just hanging out in here, Dr. E came by with our prizes for winning the scavenger hunt. We got to choose between gelato and a secret souvenir so we chose secret souvenir and ended up getting these Rome pencils and little calendars and awesome postcards. We were pretty thrilled.
They are all leaving at 6:30 and so I will be all alone here with just one other boy. He is going to France on a train at 8 pm and my flight isn’t until 7:20. So I get to navigate the metro again and the train station and then I’ll get to the airport. It shouldn’t be a big deal and everything should go smoothly but I’ll leave early just in case. I am a little worried about my flights in general though because I have pretty tight layovers on all of them. I am sure it will work out I just can’t help being a little anxious.

Day 20 – Buffalo cheese! Oh and Pompeii! :D

June 2nd, 2011
6-2
So we got up kind of early and ate some breakfast. Then we started for Pompeii which was about a 1.5 hour drive from the farmhouse. We got there and they had these huge lemons! HUGE! I mean, like as big as my head huge! It was incredible. I gave my presentation on Pompeii while we were waiting to get our tickets and that was really good. I thought it went well and that people thought it was interesting. I thought it was interesting. I wanted to know when the coliseum was built because a lot of the brick work was similar and I thought that was super cool. I was so excited to be there and see it all but I was so disappointed because there weren’t really very many good souveniers to get there. Oh, and my camera died about 1 hour into it. We were there for a total of 4 hours so that was super sad but Alaina took some pictures for me.
Then we drove back towards Paestum and stopped to see the Paestum excavations which were actually Greek temples. It was really neat to get to see the difference between those temples and the ones we saw back in Rome. We were done after that. No more class. She is going to check our sketches and maybe journals on the long drive tomorrow and we still have a test thing but for the most part we are finished.
My nose and allergies have been going crazy today. It was so sad, I was using my hankie like all day long and still felt stuffy. I took my medication that I brought but it just must have been a rough day. We came back and I unloaded my suitcase and repacked it. All of my clothes have this odd smell to them. I can’t wait to clean them all. My roommates and I went out for a walk and found some lemon trees. So they grabbed a couple lemons and we ate them like it was an orange. I am sure our faces were precious.
We had a group dinner tonight then and it was by far the best food. We had this bruschetta type stuff with bread and tomatoes and onions and stuff and—because we asked for some—we got some buffalo mozzarella cheese which is what this farm is known for. It was wonderful. Then we got these mozzarella stick things which ended up being mashed potatoes which was also spectacular. Then they gave us some pasta with cheese something and some sort of vegetable and then we got chicken. THEN it was time for dessert (I know, I am going to feel so deprived when I get back to the States) which was, of course, splendid. After dinner we went around and told our favorite memories from the trip. That was fun.
I have always had a bit of a thing for old buildings but now I realize that I have fallen in love with arches. It will be so lame to go back to the US where there are few arches and no old buildings—at least not compared to here. I hope that I will be able to go someplace with lots of old buildings and arches someday in my life. But this trip has been good for me. It gave me time to figure out my purpose for the summer and readjust my attitude. I am really excited to be back in the States and get started on the things I have waiting for me. I still have another 10+ days so I this will be my vacation but when I get home it’s back to work.

Day 19 – Back to the Mainland and off to the Farm

June 1st, 2011
6-1
So this morning at 9 Linsey turns to me and groggily asks, “Is it time to get up?”
I look at my watch and reply, “What time are we meeting?”“9:45”
“Yep. We should get up then.”
So we get up and get ready in 15 minutes. Then we take another 15 minutes to pack everything. Then we head up to breakfast. After breakfast we go to the Massimo Theater to take a tour. We get there right at 10 and get our tickets. We then take the Italian tour instead of the English tour because we couldn’t wait for it because we had to get to the airport by 12 so we didn’t really understand a word. It was fine though because this British woman would turn and tell us a brief summary of what was said in the tour. That was nice of her, huh?
After the theater we got our bags and loaded onto the bus to go to the airport. We got to the airport and went through security and then had a little time to waste before we got onto the flight. This time we didn’t get a delay and so there was nothing special about takeoff or landing. We got off the airplane in Rome and hopped on our bus with good old, grumpy, smokes-in-the-bus-during-breaks Franco. We were only supposed to have a 4 hour drive to Paestum but with traffic it ended up being more like 5.5 hours. It was pretty nice though. I got a lot of reading done and just had some time to think and reflect on what I read. It was just so awesome to be able to kind of sort through some thinking. There is just tomorrow left really for the trip. We just drive on Friday and then we leave. It seems so crazy that it’s done.
We are staying at a farmhouse. It’s like a hotel but it’s in the country and we are in nice cabins. There was a queen bed and the girls decided to give it to me since I slept on the cot the first week. This is a water buffalo farm though. We won’t get to see any which is sad but all I can think of is that VeggieTales song, you know the one, “Everybody’s got a water buffalo, yours if fast but mine is slow. Where do they come from I don’t know but everybody’s got a water buffalo-hoo!”
Well, I have to present tomorrow. We are finally going to see Pompeii! I am so excited! I need to look over my notes again and make sure that it all works out when I go to say it. Night.

Day 18 – Under the Sea!

May 31st, 2011
5-31
Today was so much fun! So we got up to breakfast which was delicious and the headed out to see some of Palermo. We passed through an open air market where I got to see fish whose heads were as big as mine! There was also this huge swordfish whose nose was as long as my arm and all of them were cut open so you could see their meat and blood. It was really cool. There were vegetables and fruits and other stuff further down the street and it made me want to be able to shop like that someday. You know, the kind where you wake up early and go and get what you need from a bunch of little stands all near each other instead of Walmart.
Then we went to the Palace and saw a chapel in there. It was so cool because the walls were covered with pictures which we later realized were all mosaics. That was really impressive. Then we went to see some more of the palace and what I think were the old defense walls that are now like in the basement. I really liked the palace a lot. After the palace we went to the cathedral here (each city only has one cathedral no matter how many churches) and went in. I liked this one quite a bit too. It was also simple but had some really pretty frescoes on the ceiling way in the back. There were just two which I thought was nice. We sat there kind of taking it all in for a while. I asked Dr. E about how she got started doing all of this and we kind of just relaxed for a bit.
After that it was time for lunch so we headed off toward the sea and grabbed some food on the way. I ended up, after much indecision and a lot of back tracking, with a slice of pizza that had hot dogs and ham on it. It was good, odd but good. During the walk to the sea I saw a hibiscus tree which made my day. It reminded me of our hibiscus back home since it was the same color and they just look so pretty here. There were huge rocks by the sea and so I decided I wanted to climb on them and put my feet in. Dr. Erdogmus just told us to be careful so I ditched my shoes and went looking for a good rock; which I found and proceeded to splash my feet in the cool water. Alaina and Linsey ended up joining in on the fun and we found rocks to stand on in the water and cool off a bit. It was so great, clambering from rock to rock finding new creatures and stuff and getting a little bit wet.
We were supposed to go to a theater after that but it closed at 3 and we walked up at 2:59 so didn’t happen. So we had free time until our group supper. Linsey and I mostly just relaxed. I got a little pink today but hopefully that will go away for the most part by morning. After napping, we went on a walk and found this huge market that was just selling clothes and shoes and stuff and walked around. They had terry cloth towels with lace on the edge which I thought was odd. I am sure that I’ve seen that before it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me; mixing the two.
We had a group dinner and I finished half a glass of white wine, ate octopus, swordfish and risotto with shrimp. I am so proud of myself for trying it all. I actually thought the octopus was pretty good I just didn’t love the sauce it was in and the fact it was cold, and the swordfish was one of the last things so I was getting full. We had a delicious dessert which was similar to ice cream but not quite the same.  Tomorrow we fly again back to the main land and then drive to Paestum where we are staying in a remodeled farmhouse. I don’t know if we’ll have internet or not. I am going to finish my book—whose ending will delight me, as it always does—and go to bed. Good night, Friends!

Day 17 – Ignominiously

May 30th, 2011
5-30
Ignominiously. That is the word of the day. I definitely sat in the bus for about 20 minutes trying to decide what it means and how to say it. Due to our lack of internet I am still uncertain about the latter but as soon as I figure that out all that remains is for me to use it. I stumbled upon this word in my reading. We had a lot of time in the bus today.
We started out late and had breakfast at 9. My roommates and I were in fine form, I believe the best line said, not in the least bit out of jest, was, “Ice cream is not a sweet it’s a privilege.” It was an interesting morning. We left the hotel with all of our bags sitting in the lobby area and went to see the churches in Assisi. We started off with the Basilica of Saint Francis. I find that going to these churches makes me curious about all of the Saints they like so much. I have every intention of looking up both Saint Francis and Saint Clare as both were a big deal in this church.
It was cool to see St Francis’s tomb area. There were a bunch of pictures in there and I was a little confused but figured that if you were worried about someone that would be nice to think of a saint looking out for them. Then we crawled up the road to the city center where two more churches awaited our arrival. We saw the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (yes, there was another one of those in a different city) which had baby angels in it. They looked mischievous enough to please me so I attempted a few pictures. Next was the Cathedral of San Rufino, this was my favorite. It was super simple and yet I was still impressed by it. I just enjoyed being able to see the vaults and columns without having to look through all the adornments.
After that church we raced down the hill (this whole time we’d been climbing up streets going up a rather steep incline) to get some lunch before we snagged our bags from the hotel and went down to the bus. Where we drove for over three hours. This was where I did my reading and found the word of the day. We had a flight out of Rome to get to Sicily which didn’t leave until 7 in the evening. So we wasted 3 hours in the airport in whatever ways we could find. Alaina drew a picture of me and I looked awful. She didn’t give her best effort, I didn’t even have a body but it was funny. We finally got onto the plane which was a free-for-all-for seating and got all ready to go. After a 1-hour delay, we took off and had an unsuccessful 45-minute flight. Just as my book was getting to the really good part, we landed and everyone clapped. I laughed out loud at that because I had no idea people actually clapped for the pilots ever. We found out coach bus and loaded on. I was a bit tired and so I started going on about opening the overhead cubbies because they were a little tricky. Alaina kindly informed me that I had had a long flight and was psychologically damaged. I laughed really hard. I just find it so amusing to see what she’ll say next. We’ll have internet but I have to get the code for it. It is interesting because the rooms are so much smaller that it’s only me and Linsey in here.
I was going to talk about my book but that seems silly since it has nothing to do with Italy and I can just talk about that when I get home. I will just go to bed now because it has been a long day and I am tired. We are pretty happy with this hotel because we get a full shower door here so the floor doesn’t get wet when we shower. It is so nice!

Day 16 – The Day of Climbing

May 29th, 2011
5-29
So we got up and got some delicious breakfast and met out front to start the day in San Gimignano.  We have a balcony, which I already said that I loved, and while we were regrouping a harp player started setting up outside our window. And then the man in the room above us began to sing. Let me add this to the list of I-feel-like-I’m-in-a-movie moments.  Unfortunately the harp player was dinking around and hadn’t started playing before we left. Time for the Tower, I don’t know what its official name but we climbed it. The climb wasn’t awful and it really did have a cool view of the town.
After the tower we went to the torture museum. Now I am going to tell you that I can stomach quite a bit, I watch the History and Discovery channels and have seen some things on torture before but what I got hit with was nothing like I was expecting. It was just torture method after torture method. They were gruesome and malicious and numerous. There wasn’t any lead in or lead out to prepare you, just the torture device, a brief description of its use and sometimes a picture. I was out of that museum in record time. I think there was just something too awful for me about seeing what other people can and will do to each other over petty things like bickering and being a busy-bodies. It hurt my heart to see that stuff.
So after that we walked around a little hoping San Gimignano would be so kind as to show us some beauty; it obliged and we found some great pictures and fun little look outs. We stopped back at the hotel to get our stuff into the van and found that the harp player had started playing. It made me so happy. We grabbed some gelato from the World Champion (2007-2008) gelato shop and then packed out gear into the bus and left. We drove to Sienna first where we stopped for quite the workout.
We went to another tower, the tallest of course, and waited in line to climb that. We got tired of waiting so we walked over to the Duomo of Sienna and went inside to see the cathedral. It was really stripy but I liked it overall. It was interesting because the Duomo actually never got finished so that made for some differences between it and other cathedrals we’ve seen. We got a call from the guy waiting in line for us and so we scurried back to the tower and climbed it. I was panting by the time we reached the top. I think that might have been the most stairs we’ve ever climbed in one go. The view was amazing, though, and while we were up there a marching band passed by which was fun to see. During this climb I found a new appreciation for my shortness. As the stairs got steeper and the walls got closer together (they really did, my shoulders were definitely touching both walls at one point) the ceiling also would sporadically plunge leaving a five foot two inch tall opening. How do I know it was this tall? I never had to duck; I came close but never had to. Going down was the real treat for everyone else; trying to hunch over and navigate down the stairs safely. Yay short people! The top was sweet though, I should have some pretty sweet pictures.
Then we went back to the Duomo and saw the museum, went on top of what was supposed to be the façade (since it’s not finished it is not) and went into the baptistery. I have found that I like baby angels. I don’t know how long this partiality has lain dormant but it is here and I have noticed now. I see them everywhere and they make me laugh. Other people now point them out to me, too. There were some great baby angels that I saw today. In the baptistery we also saw a real kid getting drug  by the arm by his mom, who then—wanting to take a picture—trapped the kid between her legs to free up her arms. All this time the kid is making so many different noises (grunting, laughing, squeeling) and we are all dying laughing.
After that we grabbed some quick pizza. A huge slice, like as big as my face, for 2.5 euro. It was amazing. Then we loaded onto the bus and drove to Assisi where we are staying the night. We found our rooms and packed our overnight bags for the next two nights since we’ll fly to Palermo tomorrow and don’t want to haul the big bags. While I was packing I noticed that I was running dangerously low on underthings and so with the help of the complimentary soap and shampoo, some hot water and the hair blow-dryer, I remedied that as much as I could. Hopefully that’s all dry in the morning when we have to leave! Night!

Day 15 – The Leaning Tower

May 28th, 2011
5-28
My watch woke me up and I was not pleased. I finally drug myself out of bed and got my stuff together and got some breakfast and my stuff and headed down to meet up with the bus.
We got our stuff loaded and each got our own 2 seats on the bus. We were off to Pisa. We stopped 2 hours into the trip so that people could use the bathroom and grab some food. Linsey, Alaina and I had packed sandwiches and apples so we ate lunch and then we were off for the final hour of our journey. We arrived in Pisa and got up to see the tower and the church it goes with. Our reservation to climb the tower wasn’t until 2 so we had some free time to find food if you wanted and just shop and take pictures in the area.
Two rolled around and we started our ascent of the tower. It was actually really cool the stairs wound around along the tower in a big spiral. So many people have climbed it that the stairs have dips where everyone walks and on one side of the tower the dips were closer to the outer wall and on the other side of the tower the dips were closer to the inner wall. WE got to the top and were a little frustrated because you could barely tell from the pictures that you were on top of a tower that was leaning! We got a few good ones, though.
We went to the church and baptistery that went with the tower which is actually the bell tower of the church. Inside the baptistery a man (who worked there) went into the roped off section in the center and started singing chords. It was so cool because the space echoed enough that he could sound out the whole chord and you could just hear it ring. It was beautiful. After Pisa we were on the road again to San Gimignano where we are staying the night. It was about a 2 hour drive and I was miserable. I have only gotten carsick a handful of times but the bus we were in was a manual and the driver was insane. I felt awful. I was definitely one bad smell away from puking.
But we made it just fine and we hiked up to the hotel (cars are restricted here in San Gimignano so our bus couldn’t come) and we found our room. It has a balcony which overlooks some rolling Tuscan hills. There is a huge beautiful shower, big beds, fluffy pillows, and AC. We are so thrilled it’s not even funny. We are all so sad we are only going to be here one night because it is the cutest, most quaint little place and we all love it. We also realized due to the lack of cars there will be no motorcycles to wake us bright and early. I am ecstatic. We had a group dinner which was delicious! Had risotto for the first time at that; it was amazing. I plan to figure out how to make that when I get back.
Time for bed.

Day 14 – Today I don’t feel like doing aaanything…do do do, do do do

May 27th, 2011
5-27
So today, right on schedule, the traffic woke me up at 7:30. But this day was to be my day so I crawled down and got my headphones and slid back up into bed and slept for another 2 glorious hours! When I finally emerged from my top bunk I got up in search of some food. So I plodded down to the kitchen and made some toast with jam from my bread. Then I went and got my computer out and got pictures put on and wrote down in my journal. Then I realized the kitchen was closed from 10 ‘til 2 and I suddenly desperately wanted my Fanta that was in the fridge. I ended up coming back to the room and reading a little and organizing my suitcase. Then I showered and got ready for the day; got my shower stuff packed up.
I played Rummy with some of the others. Got my Fanta out of the fridge. Then some of us went to the super market down the street. I wanted some more bread and I needed to break my 50 euro bill because they hate it when you try and pay for 2.50 gelato with one. After the market we came back and just chilled. We paid each other back what we owed since we’ve been lending each other money whenever one of us got short during the day. It rained this afternoon and is raining now. We made pasta for supper and that was delicious. I love pasta. It wasn’t fancy, just yummy. It was such a nice relaxed day. We have to take an overnight bag so I have to pack that still. We apparently only get to take a little bag with us for the overnight tomorrow night. Well I am off to do that. I love recovery days. :)

Day 13 – Roaming Venice

May 26th, 2011
5-26
So today was our first free day. We got up really early, at 6 to get ready and walk over to the train station and get our tickets to go to Venice. After some confusion with the machines we had our tickets and got on the train. Since we didn’t get our tickets until that day we didn’t all sit together. So Alaina and Linsey were together and I was in a different car with some of the guys on the trip.
When we got to Venice, Alaina, Linsey and I got a map and started wandering. We ended up just following signs pointing to San Marco and the Rialto. We passed by this random doorway—since we weren’t on a schedule we went on a lot of random streets—that led to a little canal and we dipped our feet in. It felt really good. We passed a lot of little shops full of glass, masks and such. It was fun looking at something new. We stopped to eat our packed lunches in front of a little church near the Rialto. The church had a clock that was a 24-hour clock! I was a little amazed.
We actually saw the rest of the group after lunch and they showed us what they had bought already. Then we went to the Rialto and saw the view from there; saw some gondoliers and cool buildings. Then we went into this a little church called the Chiesa Rettoriale di San Zulian and looked inside for a bit. It had carpet on the pillars which was different. It was actually an interesting atmosphere in that church but I just couldn’t get past the carpet on the pillars.
We finished our journey to San Marco and there was this huge line out front so we ended up just getting pics of the outside and calling it good. We then just started looking for signs that looked like they would lead to interesting places.  We ended up hunting for a bathroom, which we found but had to pay a euro and a half to get in. That was sad but we paid it and did that. Then we looked for the church some of the guys had told us was nearby and free. That was San Giovanni; it was really simple but it had huge pictures on some of the walls but not all of them. It kind of looked unfinished. When we left here we saw a sign pointing to Fondamente Nuova and decided to check that out. We couldn’t find it for our lives and so we finally got out the map and realized we had been there. It was a dock thing that we had actually stopped and sat down on. There was an ambulance boat that sped by and made us laugh. The sirens here are so weird! We joke that we will go back to the states and not recognize them.
We followed some signs to another place called Alla Ferrovia and ended up back at the train station. (Alla Ferrovia means to the train station we just didn’t think about that.) We had just made a huge loop around the Grand Canal! This ended up being good because Alaina wanted to get these glasses at a shop we had seen earlier so we just went back that way. We miraculously found the shop again—we had marked it on the map but I still had my doubts about whether we’d be able to get to it. The lady in the shop didn’t speak any English though so Alaina had a question about whether she could buy just the blue glasses in a set so I got to speak a little Spanish and kind of translate for them. The lady didn’t know any Spanish either but we managed. It was fun to speak Spanish again though because this whole trip I’ve been dying to. Just because hearing everyone else on the streets speaking Italian makes me want to speak it and Spanish is as close as I can get.
Then we wandered a little more and found some stuff to sketch. When we got to the station I realized I’d left my water bottle sitting on a bench! So we walked back to see if it might still be there. It was and there was a guy on the bench looking at it. When I walked up to grab it he just looked at me and asked, “Il tuo?” and I just said, “Sí, grazie.” I was so proud of myself because I’d understood him and everything! It wasn’t really that awesome but it was enough for me. So then we got on the train and our car was closed so we just took seats in other cars and got to Milan safe and sound. We then took the subway back to our stop and walked to the hostel. I am exhausted but I am so excited for the day off tomorrow!