Archive | May, 2011

Wrapping Up: Part II

16 May

On Friday I had two gelati within two hours of each other (rose and pomegranate (Colin: Fail) and watermelon and lemon).

Mom and the gang left that afternoon. Everyone seemed to have a really nice time. They took with them one of my suitcases to ease my journey. I worried briefly about not having enough left to fill my remaining backpack, but somehow I’ve managed.

Venezia, my favorite.

On Friday night I threw Colin a surprise birthday party. I’m missing his actual birthday next week, and I’m racked with guilt about it, so this was a way to make up for that. He was totally surprised, and super pleased that so many of his friends came in the middle of paper-writing season.

I think at this point, with six hours left inBologna, I’ve said all the farewells I’m going to—some of them twice. It feels so epic, but it’s just summer vacation. See you later! HAGS!

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Wrapping things up: Part I

2 May

My time left in Italy has dwindled to two weeks. It’s actually a fair chunk of time if you’re talking about being in Italy for a vacation or waiting for the results of a fellowship application. And though, in a way, I’m doing both of those things, ultimately I’m moving away from this temporary home that I’ve come to really love.

Some family are on their way here and will likely arrive before many of my West Coast readers find this post. I had time to tell them that the forecast says rain, but not the time to say the last day and a half have been absolutely beautiful.

As a result of their visit, Colin has been telling everyone that even though I’m not actually leaving for two weeks, it’s really as though I’m leaving the moment my family arrives. I feel as though I have some affliction: Well, she’ll be here, but it’s the time of year she turns into a werewolf. Maybe it’s true (not the werewolf bit—definitely not true), but I hope not; though I do realize it will be difficult to be present in any aspect of the SAIS social scene while showing off Venice to the fam.

And the fellowship application? Before I leave, Colin will know if he’s received the Boren to go study in Morocco next year, and I’ll have to figure out my plan.

There are some people I really won’t see again. I said goodbye to my Italian teachers and my language exchange partner, as well as to the kids I tutor. I worked my last shift as a nanny, though they’ve had such an important role in my time here that my family will meet them. Everyone’s curious about the other.

Making chocolate zucchini cake with Mati.

The father of the girl I tutor gave me a lift home, as usual, but for the first time it was on his scooter—my first time being on one in Italy! I know it’s cliché, but it really is a totally different way of seeing the city. I quite liked it.

At this very moment, I’m waiting to go meet my friend Leah for maybe the last time in Bologna, since she leaves even sooner than I do. Then we’ll go together to yoga; then I’ll rush over to the train station to meet Mom, Craig, Uncle Rick, and Cousin Melissa. As I wait, though, two beautiful loaves of oat-wheat bread are baking away (adapted from Radishes and Rhubarb, I added about a cup of oats), and the smell is absolutely marvelous.

Believe it or not: I didn’t get a lick of sunburn

1 May

As mentioned before, the Internet was not a major figure in the story of spring break. A stunningly beautiful apartment, a handful of stray cats, some very tasty meals, driving lessons (looks like I’ll be able to help with the driving, Mom!), a couple of women’s magazines in the hands of utterly baffled men, and a power outage all were though–imagine the fun!

From our patio

Colin, Sean, and I were the first to arrive and had most of Saturday to explore the southern port town of Cagliari, where we arrived by ferry. It was sunny, but chilly in the shade or whenever the wid picked up–it stayed that way for most of the week. Sardegna has a rich and varied history (Garibaldi even stopped here), with Phoenician layers buried under Vandal layers buried under Byzantine layers buried under Roman layers with a scattering of Moorish and Berber history as well. Honestly though, I was there to relax on that beautiful patio and enjoy the view.

It was possible to access the sea by going through our terraced landscaping and then scrambling down a rocky bluff. We didn’t have a sand beach, but the big boulders were suited for reclining and climbing, and we all did a little of both. The water was a beautiful bright blue and not too cold to jump in, but definitely too cold to stay long.

Thish, Adam, Alix, and Andrew down by the water.

Sean and Colin on the rocks

All the beauty in the world could not distract from the fact that there were different expectations among our group of how spring break would go. A few lapses in communication led to a couple uncomfortable situations, beginning with that issue of six single beds for nine people and not a single couch. Ultimately though, it was only a week. No one had their face eaten by the stray cats or got bashed against the rocks when the weather changed and the sea got rough. And I think those conditions will from now on be the criteria by which I judge my vacations.

Some of the flowers that Colin would collect for me when he went on runs, which he continues to do in Bologna!