Sunday, July 3, 2016

Adventure Number 4

Hostel life is completely different than I ever could have imagined. Our rooms were only used for sleeping and everyone just hung out on the porch and played card games until 1 in the morning. Instead of doing our own thing, people would join up with other travelers and go on kayak or boat adventures. It was a broad spectrum of travelers that we met. We met a lady from England who was a banker and a girl from in Australia working as an Au Pere in Milan. Our first adventure in Positano included a boat and eight new friends. Some girls that we met the night before and Mary and I all wanted to go boating and did the math to figure out that for a couple hours in would be only 12 euros each! We packed a couple snacks and a couple bottles of prosecco and headed down to the beach to rent a boat. When we got there, the worker asked the lady who said she would drive the boat if she could drive and she said yes and they handed her the keys. That was it. No license or test drive. So all of us headed out into the Mediterranean Sea after taking a little time to figure out how to run the boat. We found a secluded cove and dropped the anchor and took about a million pictures before jumping in. I decided that the water is the color of a blue jolly rancher. After we tired ourselves out from swimming, we went back in to shore and ate dinner together. The second adventure includes the water and some more new friends that we met. They were another set of sisters, which made the four of us instant friends. We spent almost all the rest of the trip hanging out with them. One of the days we decided to rent kayaks for the day and pack a lunch. We struck out at 11:30 and got hungry almost right away so stopped at a little beach for lunch. We didn’t end up leaving that beach for a couple hours because we found a perfect tanning rock that fit all of us. After the sun burned us to a perfect crisp, we headed back. Mary and I were paddling away and saw some people cliff jumping so of course we went over and tried it out. It only took us 20 minutes to get the guts to jump and the only reason we finally did was because the rocks were so hot from the sun they were giving us blisters. There were so many more adventures that we had in our time there and I will never forget the amazing people with whom we spent our days.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Adventure Number 3

I would not call this one adventure but more just entire days filled with excitement. Everything about Positano is simply perfect and I absolutely love every little detail. It is built on a very steep hill so the walk to the beach is stairs all the way which was a serious struggle coming back. Mary and I went down in the morning after having a delicious breakfast at our hostel and had to stop every five minutes to look out over the water or look at the houses. We finally got there and rented a chair then went for a quick dip in the Mediterranean. We lay out in the sun for a while and saw a lady going around giving people 30 minute massages for only 20 euros so we of course had to get that. This evening we rented a boat with some people that we met at the hostel and went on a boat ride and brought drinks and drove away from Positano for a couple minutes and found an adorable cove where we took a ton of selfies and swam for a glorious hour. It is incredible how after knowing someone for only a couple hours we can decide to go on a fantastic adventure together. The journey to get to Positano was a little more difficult. We took a train from Milan to Naples and that is where it got interesting. The train that took us from Naples to Sorrento was the most dangerous train for pickpockets. We got on the train and prepared ourselves for the hour train ride on a non air conditioned metal car. We were 30 minutes in and some guys asked us if we were going to Sorrento and we were creeped out and didn’t answer but then they said that the train that we were on was not going to Sorrento. So there we were. In a foreign, scary city with no idea where we were. They told us to get on the train going the other direction then get on another train and I looked it up and figured out where we had to go. We waited for the other train for an hour and 2 hours later we were in Positano and checking into our very first hostel. Little did we know the amazing adventure that awaited us the next day.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Adventure Number Two

It is no secret that coffee is not really my thing, but while I have been in Italy, I have made it my mission to make it my thing. Every morning before class I go over to Mama Cake and have a cappuccino along with a very healthy croissant stuffed with chocolate. Italians drink cappuccinos in the morning and espressos in the afternoon but for a non-coffee drinker, an espresso is extremely strong and a little too much to take. For one of our school field trips we went to the Treinnale exhibit, which showcases the latest in modern art and had incredible exhibits that I wish everyone could see. We were all meandering around trying to make sense of the Italian signs when I wandered into a coffee exhibit. I was hesitant at first especially because I had no clue what to look for in coffee or even what good coffee tastes like. I got the run down on how the exhibit worked and learned that I stood in front of a giant coffee bean for specific coffee bean producing countries. The coffee beans would open and show a short video that focused on one characteristic of the flavors of that country; for example, the Ethiopia video was an oil painting that vaguely portrayed a plant with orange and white flowers. After I watched the short video, I marked on a sheet of paper how it affected me on a scale of 1-5. I had and still have no idea how the videos were supposed to affect me and how I was supposed to rate that feeling but I guessed away. When I was done with the ratings, I came into a café type room where some really nice Italians took my card and in rough English tried to teach me about coffee. They made me an espresso that was a combination of each of the countries and the amount of beans they put in for each country varied on how I rated the video. When they gave me the espresso I about had a heart attack. It was the best espresso I had ever had. I was in coffee heaven. The moral of this Maggot Adventure is that even if you have hated something from the minute you were born, you might try it in a museum exhibit in Italy and love it.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Milan is a beautiful, modern city built right at the top of the boot of Italy. There are distinct sections of the city and one of my definite favorites is a little part down by the canal called Navigli. It is only a twenty-minute walk from our place and is quite popular with other university students who go there for a favorite Milanese dinner called Aperitivo. Aperitivo is a wonderful thing where you spend ten euros and get a drink and eat a bunch of little samples of different pasta dishes, cheese, fruit, and dessert. So just a little maggot’s favorite thing in the whole world. Little did I know that I was not Aperitivos favorite thing in the whole entire world. One night, Mary and I took Mom to show her the area where we would be eating for the rest of our time in Milan and stopped at a cute restaurant on the edge of the canal and started eating dinner. We could hear the canal flowing by us covered by the sound of people talking and laughing as the sun went down. Basically it was really pretty out. Later that night it hit me like a train and I was sick. I didn’t get much sleep after that so I waited for everyone to wake up while I thought about how much I didn’t want to go to class. I decided that I was going to brave it and make it through the day and marched right along to class trying not to cry about how crummy I felt. I got barely halfway there when I decided that school was not for me and went straight for Mom. I spent the rest of the day sleeping and had absolutely no appetite, which was something completely bizarre. Mom decided that it was my dear aperitivo the night before that was poisoning me and all I could do was wait it out and by the way Mom was a fabulous nurse. The next morning I woke up and was back to my normal self. The moral of the story is when you are in Milan and decide to go to Navigli and also decide to get aperitivo decide to not get the dish that should be in the fridge but has been in the sun for an hour.