Monday, October 28, 2013

Life and a New Year

From December 31, 2012

I had been looking back at something I wrote a few years ago on a plane (hence the take off and landing references) and was excited and proud to see that where I am now was exactly where I had hoped to be then.
So, as the New Year approaches, I figured I would share it.
For 2013, I'm just excited to continue this grand adventure called life :)
(FYI: It's written the way my mind rambles) 

November 27, 2009

Take off.
I love this part.
Although I wish my destination wasn’t Gainesville. I wish it was somewhere further. Somewhere I wasn’t familiar with.
Somewhere where I’d have to figure things out on my own. Somewhere I’d get to do things my own way.
Somewhere I would have to.

I like speed. A lot.
I like to go fast. I like the rush, the adrenaline. It’s a powerful feeling.
I get bored easily.
I think I have Amy K. to thank for that. And, yes, thank because if not I’d be OK with just sitting around wasting my time on nothing.
TV? Waste. Why spend time watching someone else’s life,
wanting that adventureromancemystery, when you could be out in the real world living your life,
making your life that interesting.
I realize you have to stop waiting and wishing for romance or adventure
and go out and find it.
That’s what I want.
A life of doing stuff and going places.
I don’t want to settle and be satisfied with the humdrum. I want to go out and live. And do. I want to be able to be active and moving.
I want to have to solve problems and find solutions.
I don’t want to have time to worry about tomorrow or the future,
or to reminisce and miss the past.
I want to be outside.
Of everything.
Outdoors. Out of my comfort zone. Out of my element. Out on my own.
Out of the country. Out of control (to an extent, ha).
Out doing. Out being. Out living.
A little rougher.
And not nearly as fun.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sprinting a Marathon in Italy

Although I haven't literally been sprinting any marathons here in Italy, this is exactly how the past few weeks have felt. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining.

Here's a recap of where I've been since the wine tour:

The David (no pictures because it's against the rules, but an experience beyond words)




Mount Vesuvius

The Duomo

and Out

oh, and on top of


San Giminano: Home of world famous gellato


And today we hiked the trails of Cinque Terre!

I think I've walked, hiked, and climbed about as much as I probably do in a year in the States.
I'm loving it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Linda's Camera Saves the Day!

Here are a few more pictures from the Chianti wine tour that Linda was able to capture for me! Enjoy!

View from one of the vineyards.

Not blood. Just some red wine hanging out on the floor. No big.

There might be a little dust on the bottle but don't let it fool you about what's inside :)


The last winery.

Success! I didn't hate this one.

Pink Eyes and Red Wines

I realize I'm behind on all my adventures from this past weekend until today but I think I will just have to come back to those stories when I have a little more time. Especially since they were some good getting trapped on an island in Venice because of the Pope.

Today was interesting enough though.

This morning I had set my alarm so I could wake up and go run with my roommate, Linda, at 7 a.m. before we left for the Chianti wine tour we had planned for the day. Unfortunately, when the alarm went off I just couldn't get my eyes to open. No really. My left eye wouldn't open. At this time, much to my dismay, I realized I had pink eye. Leave it to me to get pink eye in Italy.

Luckily, Linda was also up at this time and offered to walk with me to the 24hr green cross (the pharmacy) where I was able to get some medication for my eye and make it to the school on time to leave for the wine tour.

Despite the sticky start (yea I just went there) to my day, I was able to enjoy the beautiful views from the vineyards in Tuscany (even glasses can't mess that up), learn a lot about wine (and the reason why I probably don't like it - those darn tannins), eat a wonderful home-style Italian meal, and, of course, sample many wines and olive oils.

To add the the already adventurous day, my camera decided to die just when we got to the first winery. I was able to capture this before it did though.

Gelato Update:
5 flavors tasted including chocolate, coffee, lemon, coconut, and almond milk (I think but I wasn't sure what the name meant and now I can't quite remember what it said "latte di mandorla" maybe).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts about Wine

So, my first glass of wine turned into two and then a bottle...

I am fortunate that my first taste of wine is in place that is known to have the best in the world. Unfortunately, I soon learned that, contrary to Fred's belief, wine does not taste like grape juice (which is such a shame because grape juice is just wonderful). No, wine tastes like wine, and I don't think I like that flavor yet. Emphasis on yet.

I started my first wine tasting in the comfort of my apartment in Florence with a small glass of white wine (it was recommended that I try the white first because it had a more mild flavor or something). Mild flavor or not, I was not a fan. This wasn't a problem though because what I really wanted to like was red wine.

Cue sophisticated-looking Fred in a book-lined study wearing a red velvet robe, holding a pipe: "Ah, yes, bring me the red."

So I moved on to an even smaller glass of red (on the left). Sadly, here's where the disappointment struck: red wine was just as gross. Distraught over let down (not really), I moved to the bottle (the blue one in the top right corner) of water. Ah yes, the wonderful taste of water! It never disappoints.

Being in Italy, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on wine yet. I still have a whole wine tasting trip to experience in Chianti! But for now, I don't think my parents have to worry about me drinking too much of the stuff while I'm here.

-sigh- I really did hope that red wine would taste like red grape juice...

So Many Firsts!

So much  has gone on within the past two (or is it three?) days.
Here's the rundown:

1st time in Paris! (...well the Paris airport)
    Just a short 7 hour layover in the Paris airport. The best airport food that has hit these lips though so I had no issues with it.
1st flight into Italy!
    View of Italy from the plane. I love green!
1st time at my new apartment in Florence
    Not gonna lie, I was a little worried when the cab driver dropped my roommate and me off in the ally, pointed at the door at the end and drove away leaving us to find our new home but not Amanda (who supposedly had our keys to it). But God is good and she walked up just a few minutes later. Nothing like a little suspense to get the adventure started!
1st morning in Italy
    I had forgotten where I was when I first woke up. Luckily, the mopeds driving by outside my window jogged my memory.
    Such a beautiful view outside my bedroom window!
1st lunch at a Florence cafe
    This tiny cafe was just around the corner from our apartment (I'm hoping to befriend the owner, Marco).
    This wonderful creation was a Prosciutto and Mozarella Panini. €2,50. Deal? I have no idea!
1st siting of the Duomo and the Baptistry
    The Baptistry is on the left and the Duomo is, well, the big dome in the middle.
1st time eating Gelato in Italy
    Chocolate and Coffee - honestly not that amazing, but I figured I would start off with the plain flavors and then get to the good stuff. Goal: Try all flavors. Fred's "Fav Five" to come...
1st roommate dinner
    Meet Anna (left) and Linda (right). Lets just say we had quite a learning experience trying to make our first meal. (Details to come!)
1st glass of wine!
This, however, was not the face I had after the first sip.
Note to self: Wine does not taste like grape juice. So unfortunate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

E is for Europe

Here we go! Today (in less than an hour) I will board a plane headed for Europe for my first time. Our first stop, Paris, but only the airport. Then, on to Italy where I will call home for the next month.

Adventure, here I come!