Wednesday, March 17

leave your brian outside

funny story: our performance teacher, giorgio rossi, constantly confuses the word "brain" with the spelling of the name "brian". so when he tells us to not think so much and to allow our bodies to move naturally, he tells us, "your brian is in the garden. leave your brian outside," rather than brain.


we had combined classes this week with the theater track. it was taught by a sarah lawrence theater professor, christine terry. the class is called "theater sports", so instinctively i started getting nervous about having to do theater improvisation. dance improv, no problem. but when it comes to voice and acting, i get so nervous about the pressure of being funny or inventive.

the class ended up being so great, and after the first few exercises, i realized i wasn't as nervous as i had anticipated. we played several games, the first one being action and attitude. one person does an action and says a line, and the person across from them comes out with an attitude, and responds with another line. the first person adds a third line, and then the scene is over, and we move on to the next couple. we also played an interview game, where two people sit across and conduct an interview like they're on a talk show. it really surprised me how quickly the nervousness left me as soon as the games started. i think that if it were earlier on in the program and we all weren't so close, the games would have been a little more awkward and people wouldn't have felt so comfortable with playing. whenever i'd get nervous about a scene though i'd just pretend that we weren't in class. like when emily c and i were doing the interview game, i just looked at her and pretended that we were just goofing off and being silly like we do outside of class time.

this weekend ended up being so relaxing and low key. friday night we went to a club in arezzo called Snob. we all got in for free because it was "american decadence" night. to recover from the night out, saturday a bunch of us got up at 7:30am and headed to a town outside of siena to visit La Terme, hot springs and spa. we stayed there all day and lounged around in the hot waters, filled with sulfur, so it smelled like rotting eggs the whole time. i took a nap in the afternoon on one of the long chairs, and ended up not waking up til 4:30. then we stopped at this little bakery where i bought 2 chocolate chip cookies and 2 biscotti for only 97 cents. that night i had a dinner date with my roommate Jessica. our dinner lasted a little over 2 hours (i can't remember the last time i ate that slowly), and we ended it with the most AMAZING desserts: chocolate cake with strawberries, and a chocolate pie with pear filling. after we got home around midnight, i passed out in front of my computer with my contact lenses still in.

this week is only a four day week!! friday we go to naples for a school trip, the train and hotel are paid for by the school, and monica tells us that the pizza in naples is the best in the world, and only costs around 1 euro for an entire pizza. i'm pretty sure that means i'll be having pizza for all 3 meals.

Monday, March 15

from pisa to paris to london and back

SPRING BREAK! kadie, alex, emily, and i (all conn students) went to Paris for 6 nights. saturday morning we took a train to pisa, spent half a day walking around and attempting to photograph ourselves with the leaning tower, and then caught our plain to Paris, landing us in Beauvais around 10pm. after a one hour shuttle bus into paris, we managed to find our way to the champs-elysees to find the marriott. that night we stayed out almost til morning in Marais at this little irish pub. while in paris i ate 2 crepes a day, banana and nutella was my favorite by far. we spent hours in the louvre (home of the mona lisa), the pompidou (amazing modern art), and musee d'orsay (degas and monet!). we climbed to the top of sacre coeur, which had one of the most amazing views i've ever witnessed (next to the top of florence and the eiffel tower). we had the privilege of staying at the marriott champs-elysees, which was mind blowingly beautiful. we were definitely the youngest and poorest ones in that hotel. it seemed like everyone was there on business or some sort of international royalty. a perk of the trip was sleeping in the king size bed, working out in the gym, relaxing in the sauna, and helping ourselves to free coffee and beverages.

all in all, favorite things about paris:


-montmarte and the stuffed red peppers

-free champagne from our waiter

-louvre and pompidou

-eiffel tower at night

least favorite things about paris:

-being followed/creeped on by MANY drunk french men

-lack of a night life

-the freezing cold weather (granted, we were under dressed)

-the metro system (really easy to navigate, but our tickets never worked)

i had 1 major travel crisis en route to london. i left for my flight at 6am, catching the metro to the regional line that would take me to charles de gaulle airport. i get 30 minutes into my trip, and realize that i had left my passport in the safe in our hotel room. i had to turn around and head back to the marriott. by the time i retrieved my passport it was already 7am, and the gate for my flight was to close at 8:30. balls. so i was forced to take a taxi to the airport, which ended up costing me 40 euro, but it got me there in about 20 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to check in and wait in the terminal.

i arrived in london around 9 am (they're an hour behind italy) and spent the whole day killing time until chelsea got out of her internship around 4:30pm. i spent hours upon hours in different starbucks at various train stations. i think i got through at least 200 pages of one of my books, plus an issue of cosmopolitan. and wrote 5 postcards. since i didn't have minutes left on my phone, i was freaking out that chelsea hadn't called me yet and it was nearing 4:30. so i'm wandering aimlessly around south kensington, when bam, walking straight towards me is ms. chelsea rathbun. what an amazing coincidence.

chelsea lives in the most amazing section of london. right across from the natural history museum, and apparently orlando bloom has a flat around the corner from her, and prince william has been spotted at a nearby bar. that night we went out to a noodle bar called Wagamama, i can't tell you how nice it is to take a break from pasta. afterwards we hit up this bar at a nearby university, Imperial. i snuck in telling them that i had lost my I.D. but had been there the other night (all BU kids are able to get in with their IDS). the drinks were cheap, the music was strange, but it ended up being a hilarious night. and we met a bunch of guys from new zealand.

saturday was beyond incredible. i went with chelsea kelsey and deepan to borough and camden markets (sorry chels if i butchered those names). we got to sample free cheese and breads, and i bought a pasty, then some sangria, then wild boar sausage, then mulled wine. so ridiculous. heading over to camden, it's like punk goth central. every kid walking around has a mohawk and piercings. there are tons of outdoor vendors selling clothing and jewelery. i ended up buying three dresses for 27 pounds (roughly $40), pretty decent bargain. we went to happy hour at 5pm at this bar called be@one. then went back to chelseas dorm to make MACARONI AND CHEESE and get ready to go out that night. we went to this arts club called Nottinghill. the DJ that night was this 80 (yes, 80) year old man who played a lot of reggae. he was this tiny little white british man, but he spoke with a jamaican accent. ridiculous.

sunday morning heading to the airport with chelsea, i wanted to cry. london is such an amazing city, if i could go back right now i would. the people there are great. they're like americans, but have cooler accents and drink more.

this weekend, plans are up in the air. i may go back to florence again. the weekend after that though we are taking a 3 day weekend in naples as a school trip, and for easter weekend we're doing a 3 day trip to le cinque terre, 5 gorgeous towns all up on cliffs where apparently we can do a lot of hiking and maybe even jump off the cliffs into the water!

ciao for now.

Thursday, March 4

our weekend with rick

ROMA! when i think about this past weekend, my head wants to explode. with the help of rick steves we managed to hit up every main tourist site in Rome. and on 5 hours of sleep each night, no less.

Michelle, Brittani, and I departed for Rome Friday afternoon, we grabbed a quick lunch and got to the 2:15 train just in time. Three hour train to Rome for only 11 euro. We found our hostel, Sandy Hostel, 5 minutes away from the stazione. The location was completely perfect; we were only 5 minutes away from the Colosseum and the metro. The front desk was also nice enough to put all 5 of us in the same room together. Our 6th roommate was named Martin from Denmark. He was the best roommate, and put up with our noisiness coming in at 3am and waking up at 8am.

We grabbed dinner at a restaurant, Wanted, and then met our two other friends, Jess and Morgan at the stazione. That night we went to a bar/club area called Testaccio. It was a very italian bar scene, I'm sure we were the only Americans there. We went to a couple of bars, one of them was called Coyote. We made friends with a couple of guys who were nice enough to help us get into the bars and keep the other sketchy italian men away from us.

Saturday began at 9am, out the door, grabbed a cappuccino, and we were off to the Vatican. Rome was incredibly easy to navigate. We made it to the Vatican within 20minutes to a half an hour, and didn't wait long to get inside. We were allowed to photograph every part of the museum except for the Sistine Chapel. We spent half our day just in the Vatican museum alone. After lunch, we walked to St. Peters Basilica, which was absolutely breathtaking. The piazza and the fountains alone were incredible.

After wrapping it up at Vatican city, we headed over to the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Both gorgeous. We arrived at the Trevi fountain just before sunset, so we were able to see it during daylight and also when they turned the lights on during sunset.

We headed across the river in search of dinner and found a really great place with cheap wine and relatively inexpensive pasta. One thing I've learned here, there's no such thing as bad food in Italy. No matter where you go there's never an issue of quality. And I haven't had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for my food to arrive. Everything is always fresh and quick. And the wine is usually just as cheap as water. And everywhere you turn you can find gelato or cappuccino.

Saturday night we headed to Campo de Fiori, a large square lined with American bars and lots of college students. There was a rugby match that day against the Scots, so there were a bajillion men running around in kilts all day and night. I think I enjoyed the night atmosphere of Testaccio moreso than Campo, only because at Campo it was impossible to sit down or even get a drink because of the crowds, and there were also many more Americans at Campo. For some reason, I haven't really been too interested in meeting other Americans here. I'd much rather meet Italians.

Sunday we hit up the Spanish steps and the Galleria Borghese. The Borghese was the perfect size, and the Bernini sculptures were my favorite part. After the Borghese, we walked to find a gelateria named Giolitti, that a friend of mine recommended. It was comparable to the atmosphere of Mikes Pastry in the North End. Filled with pastry and lines out the doors. We then walked to the Colosseum, completing our trip around Rome. We grabbed our bags at the hostel and had chinese for dinner. Rice and shrimp platter for only 3 euro. What?! I love this country. Even the Chinese food is better here.