Sunday, May 31, 2009

this weekend

so. yesterday - saturday - we went to the outlets which were about 3 to 4 hours away from our apartment . we went to all your big name fashion places - prada, gucci, burberry, valentino, ect ect.. amazingness basically since it was the outlets it was cheaper than normal, and then since we were in europe its even cheaper still :) so i bought my momma a gucci purse and some burberry scarves and myself a burberry purse, it was really awesome over all my roommates bought some gucci shoes and prada purses and things like that - it was pretty good though
we were so tired when we got home we went to our friend DJ's for dinner and after that we went to bed - we had to get up at 6am this morning to go to tuscany for the day. so we hopped on the luxury buses again and we drove to Pienza and we walked around for a little while and to see the scenery. from there we hopped back on the bus and we went to another town in tuscany - here we got to see the set of the new twilight movie at least the part that was filmed in italy which was pretty cool - so we took pictures all over the square the biggest bummer was the finished filming yesterday so we weren't able to see edward :( haha..
after that we got to walk through a wine cellar, and taste a variety of wines and cheeses the place offered - and it was wonderful i bought 2 bottles of wine for a later day to enjoy :)
next we hopped back on the bus and went to a restaurant that offered us a 5 course meal. = amazing
course 1 - assorted ham, salami and cheese
course 2 - pasta with tomato sauce
course 3 - pasta with mushroom and basil sauce
course 4 - chicken and potato wedges
course 5 - dessert - biscotti type cookies

after this we had like a 3 hour drive home on the bus
we overheard some girls talking about going to see angels and demons at 1030 tonight so we were pumped and wanted to go too so we made plans to meet up and go
so we hopped on the tram and we walked the rest of the way and we got to the movie theater at 1020, and found out the movie actually started at 10 - which sucked, so we know now not to listen to other girls haha. since we were on the hunt for this place - but we managed to make good time to find it like 30 mins instead of like 45 which it would've taken.. so since the movie attempt was over - we bought some gelato and walked back - and well i would like to say it wasn't a total loss when we did get gelato :)
while we were walking home - mind you it's been mind blowingly hot here and it hasn't rained, we've basically sweat all day - well today it decided to be cold and rainy which sucked. but it started to rain on the walk back which we were doing more leisurely than our sprint walk to get to the theater.

ready for more adventures tomorrow, ciao!

Friday, May 29, 2009

vatican pictures





vatican city

so today started bright and early - we walked to john cabot our university to print our tickets for the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel! woohoo! so we ventured on our little walking way to vatican city - we found it which is always a good sign and we continued on to go inside, once inside the line to get into st. peters basilica was forever long.. so we decided to go to the Vatican museums first. we went into one it had a lot of paintings and frescos and yes to even pass the threshold of the door to the museum - knees and shoulders had to be covered. you would be surprised at how many people don't even think about this?? whatever.. so once we were inside we journey through the museum took some pictures but were on the hunt to see the vatican dowry. which we had a very hard time finding. once inside we went to the other vatican museum that contained a variety of other artwork, lots of ceiling paintings and tapestries which were all cool to look at but there were so many people we jsut wanted to make it to the sistine chapel. we finally got close after being faked out many times by a variety of signs everywhere.. we went up and down stairs, right and left through hallways, outside on scaffolding, and back in.. it was ridiculous and we thought we'd never make it..

once inside the sistine chapel there were people everywhere, mind you the space isn't really that large and they have guards everywhere telling you no pictures- and there are people walking around not even being discrete about it and pointing their cameras upward and using a flash - which destroys the artwork - people basically have no respect i've come to find.. but while we were in there for a short while after quite a long walk it was well worth it - and it was beautiful - however i attempted to take a picture when a security man stopped me dead in my tracks - i had missed the no picture sign because everywhere else it was only no flash - but some of the other girls got good ones so im going to steal theirs!

after walking through the sistine chapel we ventured into the carriage polladium - when we walked down the stairs i wasn't sure what to expect but it was the evolution of the pope mobile throughout all the popes - from horseback, to horse and carriage, to a variety of cars - clearly pretty dang cool! (yes lots of pictures of these)

we visited the egypt part of the museum here before racing to st. peters basilica to go inside there in hopes that the line was shorter - it only took about 15 mins for us to get into the basilica which was surprising after the length of the line we saw that morning. once inside we were awe struck - i took quite a few videos ill post some and quite a few pictures just of the amazingness of the inside - there is no words to describe this place and although a picture is worth a thousand words - these pictures are speechless. i dont even know where to being - lots of art work, sculptures, candles, shrine type things, pope and saints remains, lots of amazing things -- we even got to see La Pieta which was immaculate just stunning after seeing replicas in the other museums we had to find the real one -- we were still on the hunt for the vatican dowry since we heard how awesome it was..

and then behold off one side of st peters, there it was.. 4 euro for an audio tour and admission - we scooped up on that and walked around for like 2 hours, so many gorgeous things, gemstone studded, pope garbs, and books, tombs, tiaras, crowns, older pope's hats, pictures and things from pope john paul II and just wonderful things - just utterly wonderful! :) however we weren't able to pictures which was a bummer, but it was amazing to look at one of the coolest things we were able to see today

now time for my little rant - it is unbelievable about how disrespectful people are. i know i am catholic and vatican city is a very special place for my religion so i was very cautious about my knees and shoulders, not only of me but of the people i was going with since it's conservative and i wanted everyone to enjoy it and not worry about their clothing, taking pictures without the flash, and things like that to preserve the memory of what i believe - however no matter how many signs, or people telling other people to cover up or turn a flash off (i saw a museum man tell a guy no pictures while he was pointing his camera upward at the sistine chapel ceiling and have him still take a picture with the flash on right then, seriously) - they still wouldn't do it. i have just realized that although i have respect for my own things and other things that people believe in and show off, majority of the worlds population doesn't even care and still doesn't care when they are disrespectful.. i mean to them yes it might just be a museum or something else but just warning after warning and still not caring is a huge disappointment.. basically boo selfish humans.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 27 and 28

So, for may 27 - there was a huge soccer game between barcelona and manchester united for the championship - john cabot (who is extremely disorganized) warned us and sent us an email and told us not to go out and to dress in neutral colors - aka don't wear blue, red or green and don't go out anywhere unless you need to. at this point we found out the night of the 26th that the made rome a dry city until today the 28th. which is pretty funny.. but i guess they get crazy enough without it so having it served would make it worse.. so it was definitely a lazy day around our apartment and do some reading for class today - other than that there was no one outside when we finally did venture out to get food later on - the streets were clear and we stayed away from all the piazza's. so we def. laid low and didn't do anything to exciting - we made a list of places we would like to go see throughout rome during our time here.

for the 28th we woke up early and went to class this morning. we did a lot of walking up and down the same ruins which we had seen on some other tours we had gone on this past weekend. so it was interesting to learn the history but it was nothing super interesting. and we were exhausted but it seemed like forever, we did get out of class early though so that was pretty nice since we didn't get any breaks throughout the 3 hours of standing in the interesting rubble. after that we walked back to campus and had to pick up our paperwork which allows us to stay here in italy for the remaining 4 weeks we have left. and we stopped at the chinese place for lunch - which is nice when all we've been eating is pasta really.. we have no other big plans for tonight
tomorrow we are going to go to the vatican and see the museums, basilicas, and gardens and things like that - so that will be interesting and not places we get to go to during our class time.
Saturday we are going on an excursion through a company the university uses to go to the fashion outlets - which we are super excited for ;)
and sunday we are going on an event called 'under the tuscan sun' which we are going to tuscany for the day - and we will be seeing where they are filming the NewMoon movie from the twilight series - so maybe ill be lucky enough to see edward ;o) haha.. but it all should be very exciting and very interesting!

also next week - on June 2, they have a festival which is similar to our 4th of july - but its like a huge holiday all day celebrations so we don't have class and we are planning to go to the celebrations for some fun italian culture!

ciao!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

tuesday - first day of class... boo!

So today - Tuesday - we've been here for 2 week so far - its amazing its gone by so fast - only 5 more weeks to have fun! but i do miss everyone at home and i didn't forget about you i promise!

well we woke up bright and early to go to class - and we walked to john cabot - we've decided the walk is like 2.5 miles and takes us about 30-35 mins.. which isn't horrible but could be worse..
we arrive on campus for class - and find out the room is changed - so we go in there, and we have class for a total of 4 hours on tuesday and thursday. We sit in this class room for 2 hours before actually going into the 'field' for our on-site class. so while we were in class and being bored- we kept noticing our prof would say 'as it were' like every other phrase, so we started to count - and we started about 45 mins late - and we counted for the rest of the time - and it was a tally of 72 times, so you only know what its going to be like every other day and can sympathize with me a little bit..
nearing the end of our classroom time - a professor comes in and is like i have this class room at 11 you need to leave - and our professor says don't get mad at me go talk to so and so - well he comes back 10 mins later and is like for real i ahve this class room you need to leave - and then shes like seriously go take it up with so and so - and he leaves and we end up running out the door 2 seconds later and hes on his way back in the class room with some older lady in tow to give our prof a piece of his mind.

so we walked around rome for the remaining two hours - to a bunch of places we had gone on, on our tours with Massimo this past weekend, and we went over very basic things - and we ended up walking past the Colosseum - which is like over an hour away from where we live - but we did stop by 'the mouth of truth' which has the urban legend that if you say a statement and put your hand in the mouth of this stone thing - and if you lie - it bites your hand and if you tell the truth your saved, however the urban legend is not in existence anymore because someone back in the day - lied and told the truth at once and it no longer had its magic touch.

we then walked back to our apartment - and Mandy is set on finding a cat that we've saw this one day - and she bought some cat litter, cat food, ect. she has named it prada and we've been looking for it every day and she is going to adopt it and bring it back to the states -well at least that's her plan we'll see how it goes from here..

we made our second Italian meal in our kitchen, and after i went to take a shower - come to find out - NO HOT WATER! - are you kidding me.. i was so mad.. and we still don't have hot water - 5 hours later. boo - so we're calling maintenance tomorrow!
we got ready to go to Campo Di Fiori for a night to hang out - and found out that the city is dry and they closed everything earlier - tomorrow there is a huge soccer game - Manchester united vs Barcelona and apparently its a huge game - we've been warned not to wear either teams colors, to not answer when we are asked who we cheer for, and to basically stay in our apartments tomorrow since it's going to be a mad house no matter where you go. we might go to a restaurant to find a tv so we can watch the game but other than that we will be steering clear of our Italian friends since they are very much enthusiastic about the game.

Ciao!

Monday, May 25, 2009

rome...

Today is monday - we met some girls over the weekend and at orientation - who said that we had class today for like an orientation/first day of class type thing- so we walked the half hour walk to john cabot this morning to find out john cabot screwed up and in real life we don't have class til tomorrow as we thought originally before talking to other people we found had the same class as us...so after that we stopped at a fruit market, and tried to find the supermarket. tried is the key word - we couldn't find it and everyone made it sound oh so easy to find. well then we came back its about 10am at this point and we went back to bed til everyone got back from class at about noon or 1ish. we finally found the grocery store and bought soo many groceries for 40 euro which was awesome. and we came back chilled out for a little longer, and then made dinner - which was delicious!
we then walked over the river and through town to find 'the mouth of truth' well we found it alright, but its connected to the outside of the church so we weren't allowed to go in and see it however we were able to take pictures of it and we are going to go back one day probably to see it, which will be pretty cool.,
so were going to eat gelato, strawberries & nutella, and some popcorn tonight when we watch movies. :)
we really actually have class tomorrow morning at 9! eek first day of school!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Address

Hello all,
i've found my address here in rome if you want to send me mail! :)

Jenna Darin
John Cabot University
Via Della Lungara 233
00165 Rome
Italy
Box 143

**i will be coming back to the states on June 29th**

pictures





Friday Night, Saturday And Sunday..

Well. lets begin with friday- we went to the opera - it was amazing of course we couldn't understand what they were saying but we got the basic understanding of the opera and it was wonderful to watch.. elaborate costumes and great music and just wonderful - i would totally go again :)
we also found a chinese restaurant by our apartment which is surprisingly good - but yes it does have a typical chinese restaurant name - China Garden lol.. oh well it was good and nice to finally find some chicken since it seems to be in short supply around here.. they're big fish eaters and pasta (duh!)

saturday - we planned on going to the 10am tour of the fountains of rome, and over slept so we went to the 3 pm tour - it was really cool our guide's name was Massimo and he showed us all around town, the various embassies, and fountains everywhere it was really cool - until we got to the spanish steps about an hour or so walk away from our apartments and university and he was like alright i'm going to let you go here, have a nice day - we all stared at him and were like.. WAIT - WHAT?! your just going to leave us here in the middle of the spanish steps where we have no idea where we are? hes like well to go home you go that way - and he proceeded to walk the other direction - talk about survival of the fittest haha.. mandy, kendra, and i were able to navigate a huge group of us back to town and near our apartments where we indulged in chinese food once again - seriously it's either pasta, pizza, fish, or chinese here.. i mean we've found a mcdonalds and vowed to go there once before we leave but i mean really... who knows?!
Last night we decided to walk to the Colosseum - which was really cool at night- and quite a far walk - it was a lot of fun to see it and find it - again kendra, mandy and i navigated everyone back home -- you would think these people would learn how to read a map??
we also did our first load of laundry - i know sounds dumb but the laundry machines here are much different and there is no dryer - so i've been waiting for my clothes to dry for the past day - contrary to popular belief we are not allowed to hang our clothes outside our apartment - surprised me too - apparently it is viewed as unsightly and we aren't allowed to - can get ticketed for ect.. sucky..
one perk of walking around town is there are fountains everywhere that are safe to drink out of - like any fountain with water in rome you can dunk a waterbottle into or drench yourself with water and its like legit. so thats nice you only have to buy one waterbottle or bring one with you - since 'natural water' is like 1 to 2 euros a bottle.
Finally sunday - we promised we'd go to the 10 am tour today since it was scorching hot during the tour yesterday - so we got out of bed, got ready super quick, and headed to campus to meet massimo again for our tour of ancient rome. the tour was pretty awesome - lots of cool sites and places you would never think we'd be able to go with out paying for a ticket or something - so that was really cool - and we did make it to the colosseum today but we didn't go inside, so it was cool to see from the outside - we just need to buy tickets to go in it, and we are going to do that fairly soon when we have a day off to wander around town. on our journey back we stopped and had some food and are now back in our apartment cooling off, getting ready to take naps and chill for the rest of the evening - classes begin tomorrow --ugh!

Friday, May 22, 2009

may 22nd

So we've been in rome all day today - we went to orientation for the university, and a housing orientation. Lots of good tips regarding the locals, how to dress, how to act, how to use the 7ft long key they gave us.. They also gave us free lunch of PIZZA - surprise right - but pizza's delicious here so A.o.k. by me :)
we found out about some side trips and classes offered by the university.
they are offering a cooking class and a wine tasting. they've outsourced to a company which will offer us day trips and weekend trips so we are planning on going to the designer outlets and tuscany next weekend, and some other trips to Capri and Cinque Terra. we are really excited they should be a good time and they are mostly paid except for additional expenses which isn't a big deal - it'll just be nice not to plan a weekend or a trip or anything and just be told where to go.
We just made some pasta and ate our bread and nutella, the university left us a care package with food in it! so we haven't had to go grocery shoppin yet which is really nice
we are getting ready to go to the OPERA! woo a real italian opera - i am super excited it should be a lot of fun!! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

apartment pictures :)





ROME

Rome has turned out to be amazing so far. The apartment we're in is gorgeous, im with mandy, kendra and two other girls from grandvalley, which is super cool.. Our apartment is like a 30 min walk from the university however we dont have class there - our class is onsite at the different monuments. its nice to have a bathroom and internet in our apartment at our disposal to use no big deal... i was expecting some small place for our apartment but this place is wonderful i will def. post pictures so you get the idea, but check in with the university went smoothly and we have tickets to attend the opera tomorrow which is exciting.. the only bummer we have to this all is that we're supposed to have a RA meeting tomorrow so we'll see if we can switch things around and talk to our RA and make different arrangements. We had to take our ID pictures today which i wasn't really ready for since i spent the day on a plane and in an airport but oh well..
speaking of the airport people are only allowed 20 kilos per person well i was over that so i had to pay more fees which cost about the same as my ticket which really made me angry - but they put us on an earlier flight which was nice so we arrived in rome earlier than expected, were picked up by the university and taken from there. Right now its about 6:15 and we're getting ready to go out and find some food! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

venice picturesss




final day in venice

Venice today was good. We slept in and decided to go to the Island later than before, we figured that this would be good to avoid the heat, and we would be able to eat a ‘big Italian lunch’ there. Plus kendra’s foot was really hurting so we thought the less we walked around today the better since we walked around for like 8 hours yesterday.

We slept in til 12 here, so 6am at home and got ready and got on the 1 o clock ferry. When we arrived on the island we went to a cute little restraint and since we aren’t really on Italian time or American time for meals anymore we were wthe only ones in the restruant which was good but bad too since it seemed like the people were watching our every move, but we got decent service. The way they do it over here is you don’t leave a tip you are charged a service fee so they don’t really have to treat you good since they’re getting money anyways. And its usually like 12% so they’re getting pretty decent money.. We decided to ‘eat like the Italians do’ and we have no idea how they do it, you get two entrees so like a pasta dish and a meat dish. So we all ordered a pasta dish and a fish (sea bass) dish. Well we didn’t know we were allowed to pick out the fish we wanted but the waiter brought three fish out on a plate for approval. I said I don’t like to look at my food before I eat it sooo it looks fine.. and Kendra was grossed out so we just said ok and our pasta came out – delicious – and then next came our fish.. which we could barely eat any of since we were soooo full.. well.. then come the bill after we sat there for about 2 hours trying to stuff our selves sinc everything tasted so good.. and its 122 euros for the three of us?!?! We were like uhh what?! Well they figure the price of the fish by how much it weighs. So our fish entrees were like 28 euros each.. woops talk about an expensive lunch… delicious but expensive so we’ll never do that again.. pizza it is! J

After that we decided well we just spent 40 euros each on lunch and we are NOT going to buy anything else other than gelato for dessert.. so we walked around and sat in a church that turned into a violin display place and then got some gelato and got on the 530 ferry back to the mainland. Our room was a sauna no surprise there.. its just a question of how hot not is it going to be hot.. and we left to play some cards and then watched the end of slumdog millionaire, and now are sitting in the cafĂ© getting some pizza before the ‘beach party’ the Camping fusina has tonight. People are walking around in coconut bikini’s and Hawaiian print shirts.. so apparently they get really into it??

We can’t wait for tomorrow to get on the plane and go to ROME! Where we will finally be able to unpack our things and hopefully it won’t be as buggy.. we know its going to be hot, we’re prepared for that.. but the bugs can go farr away.. The plane ride is only 50 mins long and the university is going to pick us up from the airport and take us to the university (which from what I hear is really small) and we’ll check in and get our housing, which we are all hoping we’re rooming together since we’ve requested it, and we’ve spent this whole week together it would be really nice J And we have a four day orientation to the city and the university, I can’t believe how quickly this past week has gone by but I’m really excited to be acquainted with some other GVSU and MSU students. So that’s about it, I’m going to eat some pizza so ill write more tomorrow or the next time im around internet!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

mask



venice pictures :)






venice day 3

soo.. well another day in venice. we woke up super early - because we were suppppposed to chekc out of our camp ground and check back in - butt.. they are letting us stay in teh same disgusting cabin - trust me the other ones are the same since we already switched because our first one was ant infested.. buttt anyways.. so we went to venice island today again and it was fun we did a lot of scoping out the stands and today we acutally made some purchases, i bought a mask.. well 2 ones too tiny to wear, a necklace, and some wine glasses made on merona island but anyways all good purchases. yesterday since we are such cute americans the guy gave us some free keychains for our phone but they're pretty sweet.. and we got panini's to go which were delicious.. and we just did some sight seeings and got asked if we'd like to go on a gondola ride about 5374837 times.
venice is gorgeous and just like everything you see in the pictures.. we are going to go back to the island tomorrow and see if we can get to merona and barona - barona island is the one that makes lace.. but we are going to sight see and shop and stuff again tomorrow for our last day here.. we were supposed to be on a train to florence today but we decided to stay in venice for 4 days rather than just two... we've been finding a bunch of fun things to do today and we're glad we stayed.. also.. we are really excited to go to Rome on thursday for a final change of pace. it's been nice traveling around but dragging our luggage, getting on trains, waiting for buses, and going on buses and spending lots of money is just getting old so we're ready to settle in and unpack our suitcases for the first offical time!! :) woohoo!! after this i know i wont take internet, phone or running water for godsakes for granted, this has been pretty difficult..

im pretty sur ei've said it before but all they play is american music here. its kinda crazy because its like were at home when we are out of our room in the bar and stuff but its cool since we know all the words i guess.. but i was expecting to hear some cool italian music.

we got some emails from john cabot - which is the university were studyin at in Rome and we foudn out they are going to take us to the designer outlets which is pretty cool and they offer like cooking classes and stuff.. which will be fun to do..
but i only have a few more mins of interrnet, ill post some pictures! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

venice island




venice day 2

so were in venice. but when were out of the disgusting place were staying in, its much better like you have no idea haha.. so thats the key -we've figured it out, only 2 1/2 more days left!
today we went to venice island and it was awesome - gondola's everywhere, and we basically walked around and found the Basicalla there and it was great til we got to the door and i realized i had my backpack apparently your not allowed to bring them in so i had to find this place to check it but it was soo randomly placed and far away i felt like i was getting lost and i couldn't find it then some guy that spoke spanish to me knew where to put them and i just pointed and then he's like oh really i do speak english i was thinkin gohhhhhh jerk.. but he helped me out so i got over it, we went to put our bags down and of course the inside of the basicalla was gorgeous painted all over the place on the ceiling everywhere greatness, but it took like 5 misn to get through the whole thing - well the part they let you go with out paying more money and then we were out it literally took me 10 mins to find the place where to check my bag and we weren't in the church for more than 5 haha.. awesome NOT! but after that we wlaked to some of the street vendors which had great things and we just kinda checked things out for today were going to go back tommorrow to see and probably purchase things.. and then we ate some lunch it was good pizza again - you would think i was sick of pizza but im not yet!! :) its just too good here i dont think ill be able to eat american pizza every again!
we were on the hunt for a glass blowing plalce and in the mean time we got some GELATO! :) yummmy!! but finnally we did find one of the glass places -- it was amazing we watched a guy mold some galss and then we walked through the whole store - kendra bought somehting for her mom but we just looked around and then when we were checking out the guy gave us these key chain things for our 'cell phones' but they're super cool and have glass beads on them
otherwise things here are pretty good we made it back to the 'mainland' and we watched a movie and are now just getting ready to hang out - were so ready to be in rome to have steady life and see the sights there and shop there, but venice has been pretty great so far so no complaints!! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

pictures of milan && venice


one side of the room


our door way

other side of the room - i just had to spin around for this.. :-\
kendra very puzzled at why our room is soo TINY!

outside of our 'cabin'
maybe you'll realize how small this is when i say it!

milan to venice

So today was quite the adventure. first we realized we coudlnt' check into our new place in venice til 2 pm so we slept in and took a taxi to the train station to hop on a train (yes it is that easy surprisingly) and we made it on the train no problem and when we got to our destination of Menstra. we got off and went looking for the bus station to take the bus to our "camping fuscina" and we foudn the bus, bought our tickets, and watched the bus ride by since we weren't entirely sure and they didn't even stop so we waited another hour for the bus to come back... apparently they don't stop like the rapid does at school, you need to flag them down and then they'll stop for you.. next. when we were riding the bus we were talking to some other people who were traveling with backpacks and they were staying at the same place and we were like oh cool blahblah.. so thennnn i was like oh great, we finally pass our place,, were super excited after this long journey and its like a campsite, like literally a campsite with some trailers. by campsite i mean the whole nine yards - bugs like whoa, trailer/camper like things, actual campsites, restraunt, and a building for both bathrooms and showers that are not really that close to our 'trailer' it stinks to say the least - my idea as with mandy and kendra's idea of camping is staying at a hotel.
the best part of this all is were only here til thursday so we're going to do our best to last that long and we've found a few good ways to do it. get on the ferry to venice at 8 am when the first one leaves and come back on the last one back at 8:30pm so we don't have to endure doing notihng, i will post pictures for sure, and then.. in addition to taht we have to pay to use the interent, which sucks but is totally worth it to keep me in contact with teh world becasue sitting in my room doing nothing isn't really all too fun either.
well tomorrow morning the fun things will be happening when we make it over to the island for sight seeing and shopping :) we'll have plenty of time to plan tonight..
we had our first official italian pasta dishes today - mandy got pesto which looked amazing, kendra and i both had 'ragu' well meat sauce which looked to be ground beef cooked in oil. it was good but nothing like american meat sauce - where there's actually like sauce to the sauce..

i know it sounds like a lotta complaints. and i know i should be happy and i am its jsut not anything like where we were staying in milan - which to this looks like a four star hotel compared to here.. and well we were completely blindsides by this and we're all not huge fans of wilderness to say the least! k im posting pictures as you read!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sight Seeing in Milan

So today we decided to be touristy and do some sight seeing. we ventured a far way well a half hour/40 min walk to Castello Sforzesco - it was really cool and creepy. we got to look at lots of artifacts, paintings, muscial instruments, and Egyptian things. All extremely interesting, we also met some people from Canada, who were amazed we were from Michigan - and told us about the Detroit Red Wings :) in addition to that when we were walking around the Gardini there was a couple and their bridal party - consisting of one groomsmen and bridesmaid - taking pictures all over the place.
Next we decided to go to Pinacoteca di Brera tolook at the art work. We saw work by Raphael and other famous artists. We wanted to take pictures of some of the art work, Kendra did try and the museum lady came running from down the hall screaming No Photographia! We thought it might be ok since we were allowed to take pictures in the Castello without a flash no big deal.. but i guess HUGE deal. I mean I do understand they're important pictures and they probably get ruined when taking pictures all the time
Finally we got to sit down and eat some lunch. it was pretty good we had panini's and pizza. we're going to get some pasta one of these days!

In addition too all the excitment today - we've changed our plans for the next few days. instead of going to Venice for 2 days and Florence for 2 days. we've decided to stay in Venice for 4 days before going to Rome for classes. Why? Because they make public transportation sound so easy here, really not soo much. So we've opted for the easy way giving ourselves more time to see the sights and experience the life. We've also assumed that John Cabot ( our university ) will offer a trip there, or maybe we'll get a group together and go visit there on a weekend rather than stressing a lot right now.

Well were going to go shopping around the local shops now and were off to Venice tomorrow morning!! :0)

Friday, May 15, 2009

more milano pictures! :)


kendra and i - el duomo in the background!!

the first official lunch in milan!

prada anyone?

santa maria della suffragio - fancy place near our hotel!

the sign for the place we ate lunch! :)

pictures of milano! :o)


mandy and i eating pizza margherita


gelato!! :)

ferrari dragster at the ferrari store :)


el duomo!
arch way leading to the most wonderful shopping - lv, prada, ect :)

First Day in Milano!

so today was officially our first day of 'vacation' and we planned on walking into main milan for a day of shopping.. first we google mapped a route in hopes we'd be able to follow the street signs that are on the buildings not on the streets.. and we walked the wrong way woops.. and it started raining. so we went back to our hotel and found a map and highlighted our route and made it to the shopping center :) once we got there we were in heaven..like literally.. prada, gucci, versace, louis v, chanel, you name it we found it :) and we wanted to buy things everywhere!! but.. we didnt lol and there were lots of stores we dont have in the States but also there was a footlocker, and they were building an a&f which was surprising since we have that at home..and then we stumbled on to this random huge church type thing that turned out to be el duomo which is like a hugeee beautiful church-castle looking thing.. so we took some pictures in front of it and we were all touristy for a little while.. there were pigeons everywhere.. and they aren't afraid of people they were like flying all over the place we were eating and even landed in someones like empty dessert container.. we decided to eat lunch at some cute lil cafe outside of all the shopping places, and lunch here is like dinner in the States - so we just had like sandwiches but other people around us were like eating 4 course meals.. aftere that we walked home to get some bread and wine for later. and when we stopped to get bread it was only 1.27 euro.. for three loaves.. correct me if im wrong but im pretty sure its like $2 a loaf in the States.

Another random thing we've found is that everywhere we go they play american music rather than italian music or anything else. It makes me feel like i'm at home when i'm shopping at least but seriously i've think we've heard the song poker face in 3 different stores today.. clearly they like our music :) we've done something right as americans!

**note to self - no one here wears jeans.. rarely anyone actually.. all the men had on suits like were talking sport coats and ties and all the women were dressed up in like dress slacks or stylish clothes.. clearly we stuck out like a sore thumb or obvious americans.

when we went to the ferrari store we were talking to one of the workers there who was really pleasant and he figured we were from america, but thought we were from arizona.. but he was very pleasant to us and we talked to him for a little while about italy and he told us to stop in verona on our way to venice..
and the man we talked to in prada also told us how much better rome was then milan and how the food was amazing there and such. so its nice that the italian people are giving us advice about their own country... but its just funny to hear them say there are better cities to be in than milan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally to Milano

So after crazy plane adventures, we finally get on to our flight in milan, first we had to go through security again in europe this time. they're equally strict as americans with that so it was a while before we got through, then the didn't post the gate our flight was at til 25 mins before we were supposed to board the plane, so we were sitting around doing nothing waiting by the only tv we could find with departure stuff on it.. Next we finally board the plane woohoo only 1 1/2 hours til we make to to italy for real.. so we arrive things are going ok.. were looking for kendra since we were meeting her at the airport, we can't find her so i called my mom *mind you its 7am there and about 12 here* to look up kendras number since i forgot it.. :-\ we finally find her :) yipee.. now comes the fun trying to make it to our hotel/hostel.. haha ohh goodness.. first we figure out we need to take a bus, to another bus, to another bus.. cool right? not so much.. bus 1 we waited for and didn't realize it was the only the first bus we needed.. we ended up at another terminal..hopped on the 'actual bus' we needed to be on after many italian/english conversations with a variety of people there.. we took a taxi to our hotel/hostel.. and we are now laying in our room which is not very big at all.. but no surprise there.. i think since i've been up for almost 24 or so hours straight i should get some sleep :) woohoo i've made it, is all i have to say haha

ciao!

feel free to email me (jenna.j.darin@gmail.com) facebook message me or anything cool like that im going to miss my americans ;)

May 13 - 24 hours in an airport or on an airplane...let the games begin..


- so we will be spending at total of 24 hours in an airport or on an airplane – yikes right… yeah its not the funnest.. lots of people watching though J time to get onto the excitement – first when we arrive at Detroit we thought our airline wasn’t going to check us in til 145 our flight left at 2..eeek!! well come to find out we weren’t taking that airline just yet, thank god! Then security- eh nothing special there same ol’… Next we walk to our gate thinking everythings good – Mandy and I played some scrabble, then more excitement I turn to look at the screen with our flight info on it – delayed an hour.. sweet another hour in the Detroit terminal while they’re training bomb and drug sniffing dogs around us.. Finalllllllly we get onto the plane and it’s a 40 min flight to Chicago – up and down.. nothing too special.. landing in o’hare, Chicago airport – if you’ve been there you know – its huge… like mega huge – so were racing to get to our gate we have about 40 mins to find it and to find something to eat (our last American meal for 7 weeks!!) so what else to choose besides Mickey D’s haha… We then start getting in line for our flight, and realize were not sitting by eachother – eh suck! Get on the plane and find out the flight is about 7 hours and 45 mins not the original 8 hours and 50 mins our ticket says.. woohoo! I mean I plan on sleeping most of it, but its barely 8:15 right now.. so.. no sleeping yet.. another plus is that means more time in the London airport, fancy stuff. Well.. ill write more later its just been quite the flight so far… oh yah and they gave us food.. I don’t think I’ve had food on an airplane in like 10 years or at least that what it feels like.. and you know airplane food its probably as good as cardboard, not that I’ve ate cardboard before but I mean seriously com’n but the guy next to me scarfed all his food while I picked at mine thinking this is soo disgusting but I wont really have anything but pretzels, pop, and water for the next 6 hours so I better suck it up.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I'm getting closer and closer to when im actually leaving for Italy. Too much to do..surprise.. but if you want a post card or snail mail send me your address!! Otherwise I will be leaving the states on May 13th at that point my internet access will be limited, I won't really have a cell phone that will work with the states, and ill be starting school again. I've enrolled in a class called Ancient Rome and It's Monuments, but from what i've heard things have a tendency to get changed around when you get there so I hope I still will be able to take that class!! Also, I will be posting pictures on here - once i figure it out, and I will be posting whenever I can find internet that isn't mindblowing expensive. You can email me if you'd like or post back on here --
my email is jenna.j.darin@gmail.com
ciao!