Sunday, September 7, 2008

A good weekend

I had a pretty good day yesterday.  I woke up and went on, what turned out to be, an adventure to Ikea.  I saw online that there was a free shuttle to Ikea, so I figured I would just see a giant Ikea bus.  Nope.  So I asked a man at the station in my horrible Italian how to get there.  He told me to take the #30 bus.  So I bought a ticket and after half an hour of waiting realized I was waiting in the wrong place.  I finally got on the bus and expected to see a giant Ikea wearhouse.  Nope.  I ended up riding the bus to the end of its route.  On the way back however I got a glimpse of Ikea in the distance and got off when I thought we were close to it. 

Anyway, long story short, I found Ikea, got some bedding and bathroom stuff and ....

A little olive tree.  I named it Olea.  Yeah, not very original, but I like the way it sounds.  Anyway, its nice to have a plant in my room again.  

After my Ikea trip, my friend Francesca and her boyfriend picked me up to explore the area outside of Florence.  They both live in neighboring towns and I got see them both.  First was Prato, where we went to a mall that reminded me of the ones in the States to pick up some items I needed.  Then we headed towards Francesca's town of Carmignano.  It is beautiful!

Here's the hills of Tuscany.  We had really weird weather yesterday and there was a blanket of ....something.  It wasn't smog or fog, it was just this blanket of humidity.  Anyway, it didn't make for the most comfortable outdoor experience, but it did make for a nice picture.  The hills are full of vineyards and olive tree orchards and Carmignano is known for their wine and oil.  

Close up shot of some olives.  They were everywhere!

After seeing the amazing sights (and a gelato break) we headed to dinner at this nice restaurant at the top of this hill near Francesca's house.  I was so excited because I haven't been to a restaurant since arriving and if you know me, you know I love food.  This place did not disappoint.  I had the Toscano antipasti which consisted of some prosciutto, salame, polenta and a couple crostini topped with different salsa.  It was just a plate of savory deliciousness.  For my pain dish I had Pizza Gorgonzola e Speck, which is just a pizza topped with gorgonzola and prosciutto.  The crust was perfectly crisp and tasted of a wood burning oven, while the cheese was full and rich and the ham was nice and salty.  Its a good thing food is a bit expensive here otherwise I would be in trouble with overeating.  We ended the meal with a caffe and headed home.  

Yesterday was really nice and gave a me a better idea of Italian culture.  Women sit outside in the courtyard on Saturday afternoons and just chat.  One can see their cousin walking down the street in a small town.  A meal is meant to be savored and enjoyed over conversation, not trudged through in front of a screen.  It was great to see Italian life.

Ok, changing topics, here is a short list of things I like and dislike:

like:  gelato
dislike: mosquitos
like: Nutella
dislike: Sarah Palin
like: beautiful Tuscany

( I know its uneven, but I wanted to end on a good note)
Anyway, I like those things because it makes me happy and satisfies my senses.  I dislike those things because they are annoying and have no purpose.  Ok ok, thats a bit harsh... the purpose of mosquitos is to feed other creatures.  Haha, but really, since hearing and reading about Palin and listening to her speech, she has become one of my least favorite people.  

If you have a chance, check out this site (thanks Kristen for the link) :
You might want to read this too: Enviornmantalists can't Corral Palin

It is disturbing how she thinks and very scary to image her as someone with power, especially as Vice President.


lex said...

Pretty funny snl clip of Palin & Clinton. You say it's scary that Palin can be the next VP... well, if McCain croaks, she'll be the next President which is even scarier!!

Kris said...

Olea is wonderful!! How fitting.