Tuesday, September 18, 2007

i need a vacation

isn't that lovely? i can't wait to see the sistine chapel! i'm going to try to sneak in a few pics. i really hope our guide lets us linger in there... or there's a way for me to get back in afterwards. it was the first thing that i thought of when i found out i was coming here. not to be outdone, though, is the gorgeous fresco on the ceiling of the duomo in florence (left). i can't even imagine the work, the inspiration, the sweat and blood and tears that went into it... breathtaking.
so i've had a stressful day. things back home are hitting the proverbial fan and i have a lot of questions that won't have answers until i get back. you try to enjoy your longest chunck of consecutive time off since you started your job with the weight of the world (melodramatic, yes... but that's sorta how i feel tonight) that that hanging over you. oh well, i'm repeating the time-tested mantra "do not stress out until you have to" until it actually sinks in. i give it, oh, about 10 days to take effect.
otherwise, my new hotel line-up is now confirmed for my shortened stay in rome. the hotel panda will be home for 1 night and then off to the sister hotel the okapi for 2. it's a bitch to find anything reasonably priced, well located, and not a dive in a short amount of time and running over a weekend. but, i did it. i just will be carting my shit around more than i'd like to. at least the hotels are close together! i'm really looking forward to some r&r and time alone in rome. it'll be nice not to have to share a bathroom and a life with people for 3 days. i've enjoyed the company, but i don't enjoy their dirt (thus, the hostel was OUT for rome! i cancelled the allesandro today). i want to sleep in until 9am, take a shower when i feel like it and use as much hot water as i want to, not wear pants and read my book for an hour before bed. luxuries i have sadly done without for the past 2 weeks.
afterwards, i'm off to meet lindsay for 5 days in paris. i'm really excited to spend the time with her in the city. now i won't have to take my own picture at all the sites! i'm also excited to see how well my french will hold up. i've been rockin' the italian here when i have to... but i don't know how well i'll do under pressure in france. the italians are always very helpful - i can't wait to see what the parisians will be like when i fumble for a word. snobby jerks!
in any case, i'm off to read some of my book and relax a little. i'm going to attempt to get to bed before midnight tonight. tomorrow is my last day of work after all so it'd be nice to wake up refreshed and ready to go. plus i wanted to get the shower first tomorrow.

you know you're in italy when your blog instructions are in italian

wow... it only took me 2 weeks to update the blog. how very 'busy' of me. there really is no excuse. true, i do work 9-630 and by the time work is over and dinner plans are made and dinner is eaten it's midnight - but that shouldn't have stopped me from getting on here at least once in the past 2 weeks. well. don't hold it against me. i promise more pictures etc. to come (i do, after all, have about 1000 so far... and i haven't really been travelling yet...).
now, onto the bigger issue: how does one sum up 2 crazy, amazing, lonely, busy, squatting toilets (the horror) weeks into one quick post? wait... i guess i just did. it was actually more amazing that lonely, more crazy than busy, and more squatting toilets than... i'd care to ever see in my life again. so far i've been to florence twice, arezzo a handful of times (but not up to the prato and church at the top so i'm likely going back on thursday), siena, and assisi. not bad considering that i'd be working for a full 2 weeks and then doing all my sightseeing afterwards. still on the plate are rome & paris and the new addition of venice, which happens friday. i'm really glad that i got to see more than i was planning for - i really feel like i got a good taste of italy.
i should be working right now so i'll sign off with some quick observations about these past 2 weeks:
1. i am sick of pizza and pasta, which i never thought could be possible. i am also sick of gnocchi but can't stop ordering it when we go out.
2. i'd rather hold it than use a squatter toilet. seriously, put a seat on it.
3. tuscany is WAY more hilly than i expected. and i expected it to be hilly.
4. i am veeery glad i brought 8gb worth of memory cards.
5. i am veeery disappointed that i didn't bring my laptop.
6. i shall never eat rabbit or duck ever in my life.
7. italian guys: should not look like they spend more time on their hair than women, wear watermelon coloured pants, wear lemon coloured pants, wear lime coloured pants, wear any bright coloured pants whatsoever.
8. italian women: should smile more at the bars, not wear skinny pants (showoffs!), take a little of the eye makeup off.
9. siena has been my favourite city so far... we'll see how i feel after venice, rome, and paris though.
10. pomegranates fresh off the tree are the best fruit
11. people in italy are friendlier than you'd expect
12. italian budget hotels in rome will never answer you when you need an answer
13. calling cards are really freaking cheap
14. never trust directions from the guys in the arezzo train station unless you want to end up in santa mama at 7.30 at night not knowing how the hell to get back to where you need to go
alright... i promise i'll be back with more pictures and elaborate stories before i take off on my 10 day vacay.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

i miss you already!

just a quick note because i'm running out of time! i'm off to the airport, trying not to worry about the flight and trying to focus on the fact that when i wake up, i'll be on a whole other continent!

yikes, okay, i'm freaking out a little. and i miss my cats.

whatever. italy, here i come!

love to all,