These past few days have been so busy that I haven't had time to write anything, so let's get caught up. On Saturday, James planned an optional trip to San Gimingiano. (Jim-in-yawn-oh). We woke up at FIVE am (Dad, this is sleeping in for you, but for me...well, you know). My body actually woke up on its own, but I was feeling the tired when the sun started heating up the ground around 9am. We took two buses to the town, which took around two hours. The first bus was packed with a school group of 12 year olds going to a math championship. Amber, Kelsey and I were sitting in the back so we could all sit together, and apparently in all places in the world, the cool kids sit in the back of the bus (except us..we're not "cool"). Immediately I picked out the leader in the group, and they were joking around the whole time passing around two scary masks and taking pictures on their camera phones, and listening to music and singing along. That was a really badly structured sentence. Anyway, Kelsey and I were joking around, and we found out that the girl next to us was FLUENT in Italian. I think Kelsey got embarrassed because she was saying things as if no one else understood her. Sophie's mom is from New Jersey, so that's why she is fluent. She was so cute and translated things for us. We took pictures with the scary mask and found out that Italians really do think Americans are cool, even if some of them hate us as tourists. It was really fun. In San Gimignano we walked around, paid to hike the tower, got some amazing pictures, some AMAZING pizza and the world's best gelatto. At least that's what some legit organization has thought for four years in a row. Yum. Coconut (cocco) and Stratiatella (chocolate chip) go really well together, in a cone. Standard.
Other than that, we just kind of walked around trying to find souvenirs. I didn't find anything, seeing as most of the tourist shops have the same thing. I am having a really hard time finding Maureen and Ken's gift, and Brian and Melissa's gift. Bah.
We took a walk "in the Tuscan countryside", aka got out of the old town part of the city (it's really small...no cars) and walked down a dirt road right outside the wall. It was SOOOOOO hot and we were exhausted, so we took some pictures and left. I found a bunch of gnome doors! I wonder what their original purpose was. I love cool old things like that that make Italy really interesting. They keep the old things around. No use in changing it if it starts off amazing.
Oh we also went to a contemporary Italian art museum. It was so refreshing to see something modern. I think everyone here is getting sick of seeing a thousand Madonna and Childs, Depositions, and Annunciations.
On the bus ride home these loud Italian boys were so rowdy I woke up from my nap. If I fall asleep on a bus it's a big deal, so I was super grumpy when we got home. I also walk really fast, and the train station is 20 minutes away from our apartment. We have to walk through prime tourist grounds to get home, and tourists walk like a 90 year old on Sunday. Needless to say that kind of pissed me off, too. I was very impatient and wanted to go home and sleep. I even tried to get out of the grumpy and it didn't work. It's amazing how much a cold shower can do for the spirits of a sweaty grumpy tired mess. I got dressed up and felt 1,000 times better. No more grump. Loved it. Amber and I ended up going on another accidental girl date to this great restaurant called The Cat and the Fox. Everyone in our group had raved about it, so we went to try it out. I ordered chicken (yeah...it was just chicken, turns out) and Amber got salmon linguini in alfredo sauce. We ended up sharing and went to another place to get gelatto crepes. Worth every penny. On the walk home we saw this cool bar, so I walked in to ask if they had shot glasses for sale (I am collecting them for the CTC). I knew they wouldn't, but I just wanted to go in. The bartender gave me a free one! It's a really cool shape and now I only have two left to go. Got to Kelsey's and was persuaded into watching the latest Bond movie. Matt, remember the time we went to see that at the dollar theater? I got stuck in the middle of the row and had to pee 3.9 minutes into the movie. I was trapped and ended up falling asleep. It was not a good movie experience. Well I watched the first half hour again and wasn't impressed, and ended up falling asleep on the floor and drooling. But it was fun to be with friends, 8 of us crammed on a pulled out futon.
On Sunday we went to an hour of church and I saw Tempestt there! She goes to UVU and their study abroad group was at church. I did my internship at the Springville Museum of Art with her. It was so nice to see a face from home. After church we went to the beach. It was a two hour train ride away, but worth all the time and money. We got amazing kebabs next to the train station. Yum. Much more impressive than my last kebab experience. The beaches in Italy are mostly private beaches with matching umbrellas and chairs. Our group of ten ended up sharing two umbrellas, so it was only 4 each instead of 20. It is SO hot here now, so it was refreshing to be in the water, which was the perfect temperature, might I add. I had a fake tattoo on my boob and ended up getting burned there. So now I have a white spot in the shape of a circular pirate tattoo (Jeannette, Wistie, Amy...that was for you. I got a lot of flack for it but I knew I would be betraying you if I didn't put it there. What did we call that again? It was an awesome name akin to tramp stamp, but maybe even better. I can't remember).
On the way home Becca and Alisha got harrassed by 10 rowdy Italian teenage boys. There are a lot of them in Italy. They yelled and talked to Becca the whole two hour train ride back. Everyone on our car and the two next to us wanted to kill those boys. Amber actually got a migraine because of them. I was trying to read my Book of Mormon since it was Sunday, and in the two hours I barely read 15 verses and didn't comprehend any of it. It was entertaining, yes, but seriously...people need to learn when to shut their traps!
Today we painted at Ponte Vecchio. Amber and I had to go get boards halfway through class and got lost and ended up being gone for an hour. All I wanted to do was paint and it was really frustrating, especially since it was so hot. Walking around is good for us, and I'm glad we know the city pretty well, but sometimes I just want to drive somewhere! Oh well, I count it as good exercise and hopefully the counterpart to all the gelatto I've been eating? Sorry Amber for being temporarily grumpy.
I've noticed that since I've gotten my medicine things have really been looking up. I keep having really good days, smattered with some frustrating things, but nothing out of the norm. All I keep thinking is how grateful I am to be healthy again. In comparison, everything else really can't be bad.
I went shopping with Clarke and Kelsey for shorts for Clarke. We found this amazing outlet store that sells 5 euro shirts. Seeing as most clothes here are really nice, 5 is literally unheard of for good shirts. So I bought 5. Everyone is really sick of the 5 shirts they've brought, so we just decided to buy some here. I consider it an investment, seeing as a nice shirt in America would be 25 dollars at least.
For FHE they bought us gelatto and movie tickets at the real theater again. We saw Wolverine. Um, may I say that the CGI in that movie is ridiculously noticeable. Also most of it is super cheesy, but movies like that just crack me up. It was worth it just to laugh at how lame it was. The girl in that movie is really pretty in an unusual way. Hugh Jackman is hot as always. Does he ever age? Kelsey is fun to watch movies with because she thinks the things I think are funny are funny, too. Also we found out that we both love building forts. Awesome.
Sorry that was so long. That's what I get for skipping two days. Tomorrow we are going to Pisa and I'm excited to see what it's like. Our typography projects are due on Wednesday and I have no idea when I'm going to work on mine. Everyone's is really good and I feel like mine is really inferior. If I only had more time and wasn't in Italy, I think I could do a really good magazine layout based on Invisible Cities. But since I don't, and it takes so long just to make something crappy, crappy it is. I hate it, but that's how it has to be.