The last days in Florence entry
Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
23Trip End Nov 24, 2009
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Thursday: My last lesson was hmm...bad. I mean, it wasn't bad, it was just boring, so in my book, bad. But I was done, and that was all that mattered. Those of us who taught late went to aperitivo with some of the students. Aperitivo is awesome. You pay 5 euros for a drink then just eat all the buffet food they put out. We got there kinda late so by the time we went to the food table it was just bread, but since I am a carboholic, I'm not complaining. Then they brought out dessert. My God the Italians know dessert. It was almost so pretty I didn't want to eat it. But then I had a bite and decided it would be ok to ruin the beautiful display. It was fun, but since all I'd had for dinner was sweet stuff, I had a massive headache
Friday: I had gotten directions how to get to the Italian version of Target, which went a different way than I am used to. I was up early enough that I figured I would have extra time to go this new way. Unfortunately, the streets in Italy are incredibly confusing. They wind and merge with other streets, and there's always construction, and the names aren't advertised like they are in America, so needless to say, I got lost. I was pretty ticked off, cuz I had to backtrack to the main road and go the way I knew which basically would have taken me in a big circle that took more time instead of cutting it in half. I asked a guy how to get to it and he told me to take my next right. So, I cross the street and walk a block and...tada! There is the store! I literally laughed at loud. It was like I knew what I was doing. So I got to school, in a better mood, but, the reason I had a headache the night before and was in a bad mood that morning is because this guy Nate who I ran track with in college, was in a motorcycle accident, and is in the hospital in critical condition. When I heard, I just felt sick. He's stable right now, but I don't know...be praying for him. I actually ended up crying once I got to school because I realized that even if he does survive, he will most likely never run again
Saturday: Like I said, I was pretty tired all day, but it was ok because it was just a day of cleaning and packing and meeting the new people moving in. Later in the day John, our new roommate for one day Paul and I went out to the museum where the original David is (Galleria dell'Accademia). Normally it's like 10 euros to get in, but we lucked out cuz it was European Heritage Days so we got in for free. David was incredible. You could see the veins in his massive hands, and is just unbelievable. There was an instrument gallery where I saw a hurdy gurdy even though I don't know what it is, I just like the name of it (makes me think of that "I'm on a Boat" song--"with my flippy floppys") and an upright piano. Both were from about the 1300s. We saw all these old paintings that they took from churches to preserve them, and they are just incredible. I saw some things from as early as the 1200s. I can't wrap my head around that. It's just so amazing to see. Afterwards we were pretty hungry so we went to Amadeus for the last time. We had told Alexis and Kara we'd meet them at 8 at Naima, the Austrian girl's bar, so we went there and not 10 minutes later they showed up. I think both parties were kinda worried the others wouldn't show up, but we had a great time. We played with the idea of going back to the illegal pastry shop, but we were all so tired from the night before...well technically, just earlier in the day, that we didn't stay out long. As we were leaving, Antonio and Austria girl waved goodbye and told us they hoped we'd come see them again, and Alexis and Kara gave us hugs, the kind of hugs you give when you're really sad to see someone go. They were so genuine, and I'm actually really, really sad that I won't see them again. I can't explain it, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I feel like we bonded that night. John, Paul and I walked home, for the last night in the apartment.
Sunday: A couple weeks ago, I saw an ad in the Florentine, a newspaper printed in English, that there was a race coming up. I decided to do it even if others couldn't join me, but Vernon and the girls from class ended up deciding to do it as well. The shirts were bright bright orange, but I didn't wear mine to the race because normally in America the participants don't wear their shirts to the actual race. But apparently in Italy you do. The starting place was swarmed with people decked out in orange. I had on my Bolder Boulder shirt (which has some orange in it thank you very much) and a lady came up to me and said her family is from Boulder. Represent, woot woot. The five of us got together and slowly made our way to the starting line. I should explain here that we weren't doing the race part, just the walk, which was only 5K instead of 10. It took forever to get started though because there were so many people and the streets are so narrow that they were just clogged with orange Corri la Vita walkers. But it was so cool. The course hadn't been explained before, so when we got to the Duomo, people started going in two different directions. There were people with flags throughout the course, supposedly keeping us on track, but they would just stand there like, "read my mind where you're supposed to go, I ain't tellin you" (all in Italian of course). It was a very laid-back atmosphere, which I shouldn't be surprised by at this point, but a race? Comon, you need to have some organization. As we were walking along we noticed people breaking off into small museums along the course. We stopped in one, which wasn't anything more than a courtyard, but we sat down and laughed at how good it felt. We weren't working that hard, but it still felt good to rest. Vernon tried doing a magic trick that entailed sucking in the smoke from a match and breathing it out afterwards but he ended up just burning his nostril. We laughed pretty hard at that. Finally we decided we were rested enough to keep going, and hopped back on the course. I had told John that we'd be done by 11 at the latest and he looked at me like I was crazy, cuz I mean it makes sense, a 5K, walking, shouldn't take that long. But by 11:00 we had just passed the 1K marker. We made a detour into the Boboli Gardens, which again usually costs to get in, but we got in for free. We had amazing views of Florence, and took pictures of the beautiful gardens. By the time we got out, we were starving and somehow passed the 8K marker. I don't know how much we really ended up walking, but we were all dead by the time we finished. We went to a little cafe and ordered delicious pizza, and enjoyed our last time together. John and Michael met up with us, and before I knew it, I had to go finish packing because my au pair family was coming to pick me up soon. I hugged everyone goodbye and as I left I turned back and everyone had a sad look on their face. It really was sad. We agreed to meet up, since most of us are staying in Italy, but I don't know if that'll actually happen. I power walked back to my apartment, and finished packing as some new guy took a shower in my old bathroom. It felt so wrong, like he was trespassing in MY place, even though I was only there for a month. It was great apartment. I lugged my two huge suitcases, backpack, and laptop bag to the train station, where I met Luisa and Angelo. They were totally judging my bags, I know it, and I felt silly for having so much. They're really nice people though, very short, I'm like 2' taller than them, but they speak English and that's awesome. We drove out of Florence into the hills, and they put Coldplay on, and it was a beautiful moment. I couldn't believe how lucky I've been, how blessed I've been, to have this opportunity, and to meet such amazing people. The drive up to Dello reminded me of the drive to Fort Collins, with mountains in the distance but more and more farms. It took about 3 hours to get here, and it is incredible. I won't write it here since this is a long enough entry, but yeah. Italy is so much more than I ever imagined. I've had so many more experiences, random and normal, and I have been so happy it almost doesn't seem fair. I miss you all, but I wouldn't change this for the world. I love the stories I've accumulated, and thank you for reading them and sharing in my joy. Stay tuned for a Dello entry and pictures to accompany this one!