I have been up since 4:50 AM, but it has been 100% worth it because today we had a day off (probably to prepare for our final tomorrow morning) and a bunch of us went on a day trip!! The really cool thing about some of these cities over here, like Florence, is that they are heavily populated with study abroad students. Therefore, there are several travel companies that cater to Americans studying abroad. It really is so great. They have really good deals on trips and especially day trips, like today, when you leave early, spend all day in one place, and then come back that same night. It's been a long day, but completely worth it!
Today we traveled to Cinque Terre and y'all... It was amazingly unreal. Oh yeah, FYI, that's the iconic town with all the cute colored houses. Like imagine that all over Pinterest... Yeah you know what I'm talking about. It is technically 5 small towns on the coast, but they are all so small, yet so colorful. And not to mention the crystal blue water that is all around the town. It's another one of those places that you see all these cool pictures of, but you never imagine you will see it with your own two eyes. I am in love with the town!!
We actually started at one city and did this famous hike from one town to the other. Let me just tell you, what a workout!! It was around 3.5 miles up and down. The beginning was brutal because it was stairs straight up. We all got to laughing and I quickly learned it is impossible to walk up giant stairs, laugh, and breath all at the same time (lol). But after that is was really enjoyable!! So many amazing photos and lookouts. After that we ate at a restaurant on the beach and the rented chairs and umbrellas. It was honestly so nice!! The weather was perfect, not to mention it finally felt like summer as I was laying out there. The beaches are actually rock beaches, not sand, meaning they were a little uncomfortable, but it was well worth it to reach the water. I don't know if I have ever seen water that was so blue and crisp. The color was so amazing!! It was really cold at first, but once you got in and got going it was very relaxing and refreshing! I wish I had more time in this place, but a day trip was honestly perfect! I am now ready for a good warm shower!!
The past couple of days in Florence have been full of fun! My sweet friend Michelle Lowell turned 21 on Friday (yesterday) so there was lots of celebrating! In Italy your 21st birthday isn't as big of a deal, but we sure didn't care! Since we had such an early morning this morning, we decided to go out and celebrate on Thursday night, plus we had a pre station in class that day so there was much needed celebrating to be done. We went to this great restaurant with yummy past and then went to some different places in Florence! At the end of the night we went to the "secret bakery" where they bake fresh croissants and okay goodies. They were still warm and fresh out of the oven! It's a secret because it's technically against the law for them to sell to us at that hour and the location is kind of hidden. So fun!!!
Friday, which was her birthday, we actually had a class scheduled trip to Tuscany (how perfect, right) where we toured a famous American winery and had a spectacular lunch and wine tasting. It was really a great day! We really tried to make it special for sweet Michelle! I can't imagine not being around my family on my special day so we really wanted to make her feel loved!
Michelle and I have the same major and over the past year we have spent a lot of time together in and out of the classroom. So many fun times and memories! I was so excited to celebrate with her in Italy!! Michelle, thanks for putting up with me on a regular basis. I can't imagine my TCU experience without you!! Here's to a future Salata date, lots of grey's and scandal watch parties, study sessions, pop culture chats, and lots more laughs! Happy Happy 21st Birthday my friend!!!
We will spend the final days in Florence and have a final due tomorrow and a couple of projects that are due once I return home. Then I will finally be school free!!
The friends, memories, and sites have been so unforgettable. I can't help but be thankful! I am learning so much on this trip when it comes to proper gratitude. Happy Memorial Day to all you Americans out there! Kind of sad I am not at the Lake, but I guess I'll just have to settle for Cinque Terre (insert eye winking emoji)!
May you be oh so thankful for a long weekend... I am betting you deserve it!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A student at Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!