March 14, 2012

Un Aggiornamento

"An Update"

Well, I am currently hanging out at the apartment procrastinating and trying to avoid studying for midterms... but I thought I'd update y'all on Firenze and the happenings around here in my day-to-day life.

I LOVE my painting class. At first, I thought 5 hours was going to be rough, but its the highlight of my week and I love being able to relax, sit with my friends, and just paint. I figured out what I'm doing for my next project and I'm really excited about it. I'll post pictures when I start it, but here are some pictures of the current work:

The avocados. It's almost done.
The cactus-type plant I chose for my plant painting.

A week later.

I officially have a favorite cafe in town and their paninis are incredible! Steph & I go every week during our painting class break and I go a couple other times throughout the week. 3.50 euro for a panini with your choice of 5 toppings is a bargain so I can't resist :)

Mozzarella, Tomato, Pesto, Zucchini, & Turkey :)

My cooking class is still a blast although our first test was kind of hard. We've learned to make homemade pasta & we've learned so much about tons of different wines! Last week we went to a restaurant and had a 3 course meal with 4 different wines! Although it wasn't my favorite (we had black cabbage with tuna fish eggs on soggy bagel bread & later in the meal we had foam peas) , I definitely feel like I've already learned so much!

Homemade pasta & some sort of pasta/rice thing that Doug & I made!

Learning how to grill! It was SO good!

I got a 98% on my first Italian test and a 94% on my oral presentation! We had to talk about our favorite things to do during our free time so I talked about cooking & baking! Although I'm doing better than I expected in Italian, I FAILED my first event planning test. Yes, fail. And if you know me, you probably think that means I got a "C"... but no, I FAILED. 45%. The good news is that the test was pretty unfair & most of the class did pretty poorly so there were a lot of complaints to the teacher & other staff so we get to take it again. Lets hope it goes better this time!

A group of 13 of us girls have been switching off having everyone over to each apartment & cooking dinner on Wednesday nights! Its so fun and I love getting to sit around with the girls, eating homemade food and drinking wine! A couple weeks ago we went to Kaylen, Laura & Carrie's apartment and had Chinese food - it was sooo good! This week, we had everyone over to our place and did Mexian food - tacos & Spanish rice! Nicole and I spent ALL morning looking for Cheddar cheese & tortillas but it was so worth it! Taco night was definitely a success!

Nicole, Laura, Kaylen & Me :)

Just a few short days until I get to see my beautiful little Liza & one of my best friends, Kyle & his mom! We're going to Rome & Venice while they're here & I am so so excited to have a little piece of the US here with me for a week :)

March 10, 2012

Voyage en France

 "Trip to France"

Last weekend, I went to France & Monaco for an incredibly relaxing weekend exploring and hanging out on the beach. I took 951 pictures while I was gone, so here are just a few:

Friday morning, we headed to Monaco (a 30 minute train ride away from Nice). When we walked out of the train station in Monaco, we were greeted with an incredible view of thousands of houses covering the mountains and hundreds of yachts on the water.

We climbed pretty high up and had a great view of Monaco. We toured the city a little bit, wandered around the tiny streets & went to an aquarium.

Dresses worn by celebrities around the world.

Friday night, we had a champagne party in the lobby of the hotel and then went out to experience the night life in Nice.

Saturday morning, we headed to Cannes (where the annual Cannes Film Festival is held). We walked along the beach for a while taking in the incredible view. A few of us wandered off to find a snack and after we ate, we stumbled upon a chocolate shop. We got some chocolate, grabbed a bottle of wine at a convenience store & we headed back to the beach. We sat watching the water, drinking wine out of plastic cups, and eating delicious chocolate and I must say that this was by far the best part of my weekend!
Waiting for the train to head to Cannes!

After the beach, we decided to explore Cannes a little bit. We window shopped, got some macaroons, and with the girls' help, I bought some bright lipstick at Sephora.

Saturday night we went to a hibachi restaurant to celebrate Audrey's 20th birthday! The food was so incredible (I had fried rice, tofu, shrimp, chicken & duck) and we all had a great time celebrating with each other.

After dinner, we headed out to the center of Nice to catch the end of the Carnival parade where we all got sprayed with silly string and covered in confetti.

The Queen!

When the parade was over, a few of us decided to ride the ferris wheel and look over all of Nice. It was incredible!

We headed to a couple of local bars after our ride and ended up at Waynes where there was a local band playing U2, Blink 182 and tons of other American songs. It was so much fun and we have all been talking about it since.

Sunday morning, we headed to the beach. We found a nice spot with big rocks and took a nap on the beach. When we woke up, we wandered around, went to the fresh market & grabbed lunch.

We got on the bus and took a 30 minute drive up to Eze, France where we climbed up to the top of a hill where an ancient Roman city is located. After our hike up, we came back down for a tour of Fragonard, where tons of perfume is made daily without the use of any machines!

Visiting France & Monaco was so much fun and it was definitely the relaxing weekend that I've been needing. I had a great time hanging out with TCU friends and celebrating Audrey's 20th birthday :)