Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Break took me to the beautiful country of Italy.

Traveling around the country seems to be my cup of tea or my peace of mind. As I fasten my seatbelt hours of travel is cake.

This trip we had a small layover in Paris, France(poor us) ha. 
By small I mean a 3 hour layover. We landed I grabbed Jenni's hand and we darted for the first train we saw, keeping our fingers crossed it would be the one that took us to the Eiffel Tower. With Jenni's knowledge, and myself giving her my trust we were on our way. We made it with just enough time to snap a picture and set back to the airport. Was worth the anxiety, if I say so myself. 

Last leg ahead of us, next stop would be Florence, Italy! Oh man were we excited, after that small taste of Paris.

As many scramble with anxiety and fear of flying, I find myself closing my eyes kicking back ,and surrounding my thought process with an imaginary clip of the endless adventures I hope to immerse myself in upon arrival.

This time.
My imaginary clip took toll.

I imagined pasta. loads of pasta. meatballs. rich food forcing the pounds on.
I imagined buildings that reach the sky, cobble stone roads, small arch ways making be feel like a princess of ancient times running around trying to find my prince, churches so beautiful you can only stare, Italian fashion that makes me smile, Italian men that make me smile...more, the imagination went wild. 

Matter of fact my imagination was met. 

One slight bummer, my suitcase decided to take an alternative route and head to Berlin, not to worry Cole and I are the same size, thank the fashion gods for smaller then normal males, or maybe just fashionable men:) I was dressed well for the two days my suitcase was vacationing. 

Landing in Florence we were directed by THE Cole Westerland, to take the bus to the train station to meet up with our tour guide for the week. So we did.

Cute tour guide, dont chya think?
next morning, Florence skies woke me.


stole my heart.

Cole insisted that we have "cultural days", days in which we had to Italianize ourselves. 
Cole sat Jenni and I down and made it rather clear how you can pick out an American in a crowd---
 -talk obnoxiously loud, wear Northface anything, have big purses with strap 
across the chest, leggings, baggy jeans, baseball caps, t-shits, backpacks, bad posture, pearl earrings, lots of University apparel, AND my favorite girls posing with their hand on the hip. 

This called for a good laughing, and he was right, Americans are rather noticeable, after the American 101 lesson, it seemed like us Americans had a fat sign pasted to our forehead stating "Hey look at me, I'm American", obviousness at its finest.


I was one of them.

I am a proud American, and like any country we all have our stereotypes and ways we present ourselves.   

Italians you see wear parkas, sweatpants, sneakers, and scarves as a typical everyday outfit. Italians also have a color palette of brown, blue, grey, and black. The men also have this hair thing going on thats like "hey, lets shave the sides of my head damn near bald, and keep this toupee of a style for the top of your head" SOME pulled it off, others shall wear a hat for the remainder of their existence. 

but seriously

Italy was insanely gorgeous, I found it hard to remember to take my phone places to take pictures because seeing these sights in person was way more important, and the actual feel couldn't be captured. So I tired my best.

While in Italy we visited Viterbo, Siena, Pisa for 20 minutes due to taking an incorrect train, and Florence where we stayed majority of the time. 



Italy has taught me 3 things, or maybe has helped enhance 3 things within my life. Regardless.

one. Having zero sense of time.
I never knew what time it was, nor did I care, everyone was late(hours late) and that was okay. I enjoyed the pace of life due to the absence of time. The pace in Italy was sloooow which gave me time each day to really absorb my surroundings, take in every aspect, whether the architecture or the bowl of carbs in front of me.

two. Company.
Beside my dearest friend Cole, who don't get me wrong as filled my heart more with this endless friendship that tickles my toes each time we reunite. The company in Italy was "real". By this, I am reminded of a evening we hung in a local coffee shop, where we had "aperitivo" in other words a cocktail, and appetizer....This older hip dressed man with a pup(everyone has a pooch with them, especially the elder) this man was a musician, and even though he spoke broken english, we chatted as a group the meaning of doing something you love. Yes, this conversation comes up a lot, but this time it was different. This hip older man used so much enthusiasm, hand motions, the largest smiles, the cutest dog, and entertained even me the non italian speaking individual on his views of enjoying what you do for the love of it, not the money it brings. It was pure, exciting, and nothing like I experienced before in random company if you will. Ideally it was a small encounter that opened a massive understanding to me. There is company. and. There is "real" company! 

three. The weight.
As pictured above, sights in Italy were nothing like those you see in America or even other countries. Italy has an architectural design that is jaw dropping, eye widening, and as Cole states faint worthy. Yes people have fainted seeing such sights, such as the Duomo. The weight of this land, this country, this adventure, these landmarks, was insane. I stood at the top of the highest point in Florence over looking the entire city....weight was all I could feel. I was this little human, standing on this platform, over looking the most breathtaking piece of land my eyes have seen this far. Pictures don't do justice, but fill the void. The weight sent chills down my spine, and I have yet to understand the beauty of this land I was surrounded by. The weight has forced me to want more, to travel more, to see more, to feel the weight elsewhere, to understand our Earth. 

Lastly, my trip was ended with a smile
the only way to end such an adventure.