Thursday, January 17, 2008

I learned a very important lesson last weekend: never trust Mr. Andrew Langfield. I had been planning on going to Rome last weekend, but at the 11th hour I dropped that idea and decided to go with Andrew, and the Seans (Moran and Haffey) to Milano and Como. We went to Milan, walked on top of the third largest church in Europe, and visited the castle. Fun was had, but it was raining the entire time.

We took the train up to Lake Como, which is supposed to be beautiful. On the train Andrew was reading aloud from Rick Steves, particularly the part about the one hostel in town. Andrew had failed to ever reach the end of the description, where Mr. Steve reminded us that the hostel was closed from December to March. I am sure it would have been without all the rain. We had a good dinner, cheese risotto, and a few beers and then decided to find a place to sleep. We decided upon the fairly dry ground under a trampoline. Believe it or not, trampolines DO let standing water through. After an hour Haffey was sitting in a puddle of standing water while in his sleeping bag, and I could not stop laughing. We moved to the train station and slept in the waiting room, only to be awoken at 7 by the Carbonieri, the really really mean police.

We then took a bus up the lake to Menaggio, a small city on the lake. Our bus driver stopped for neither sharp turns nor narrow roads. The rain prevented anything really great from happening, but it was fun. A few missed trains later we made it back home. It was a great trip. Got to know Haffey and here a great story about him and a former coworker, and just hang out with the guys. Pictures here.

Last night was the first ever inter-pensione calcetto tournament. MFP went 1-1, so we are still in it. I played okay and had lots of fun.

I didn’t really sleep much last night because I stayed up late to have some privacy from my housemates when I called Kathryn, Kay and Jean. It was nice, but I have been operating today on only 2 hours of sleep, and sheer determination.

In less than an hour I leave for Innsbruck and a nice skiing weekend. it is a seven hour buss ride, but I am over coming a fear (skiing) so it should be worth it. I hope that all is well with you!

Video of the day: all right Spokane making CNN!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

well hello. it has been far too long. i am not sorry.
lets start with the biggest news. i got my haircut. it is now shorter than half an inch, which makes it the shortest my hair has been since 8th grade. pictures after the break.
in other news, those who know me the best, in Italy, will note that i have been a much happier and better person since the last time i updated. i certainly feel like a much more enjoyable person since mid-november.
here are pictures that i promised but never delivered: more random pictures from around florence, bologna trip, bosnia and croatia (more to come here), and the vinci trip. wow, lots of photos.
highlights (non christmas) since i last updated
-thanksgiving with the florentine family.
-thanksgiving with the brother. baconed and buttered turkey. lots of wine.
-trash palace (club) with brother and friends
-being a better person that next week.
-november 30 and andrew's magnum challenge and post discussion.
-having the greatest forentine family in the world. i cannot say it enough. andrew, sean, sam, tiffany, maura, lizzy, david, lauren, kristen, alex and dan have been an amazing family to me while here in italy. i could not ask/probably don't deserve as great of friends as all of you are. i love you.
-awkward google chat with manda.
-amazing christmas party for gonzaga
-becoming friends with better friends than i deserve
-becoming addicted to coffee and kicking the habit
-being done with gbikpi and his classes. great guy, and he through a great christmas party, but his classes where of a questionable nature
-late night talks with andrew turning into early morning talks with andrew
-helping some friends out of a sticky situation (a and k, always there for you)
-fake birthday with the siblings, especially dinner at mama gina's
-being done with finals
-finding the greatest beer in the world, called a chimay. briliant.
CHINA TIME highlights of china time.
beijing- arriving, temple of heaven, forbidden city, gigantic square that i refuse to name, breaking censorship laws, summer palace, winnie, "the market for fake things," discovering that we would be eating in restaurants that where attached to factories quite often, university visit, CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!, talking to grandma and the family for the first time in too long, christmas night at a bar with good friends, great wall of china, kung-fu show, best duck ever.
shanghai-more market for fake things, sauna in the hotel, swimming pool, late night club sandwich in a robe, silk market, less pollution in the air, hoover the turtle, blizzard from dq, going up the 4th tallest building in the world, going on a train 431 km/h.
hong kong- learning that it is a special administrative district of china for the next 40 years, krispe kreme, little people racing a camel, awkward noises through a wall, beer that creates true friendship, lunch at cafe deco on victoria hill, abandoning the group and returning to the hotel via tram and ferry rather than bus with the group with andrew and kyler, new year eve!
pictures here, here, here, here, and here.
no video today, not on my own compy. feel free to leave comments or questions. ciao! off to como and milan with andrew, the seans, and lizzy!