Hey everyone! I hope this past month has been great for you, and for the NaNo-ers, I hope you all reached your 50K goal! Even if you didn’t, that’s completely fine! Any progress in your WIP is a win!
November was a lot of fun. I got to go on a few more trips and field trips with my school group. I’m so excited to share them with you, I’m just going to dive right in!
This month I kicked off the first weekend going to Paris for fall break. I was going to meet up with a tour group, but received an email from the company stating that not enough people signed up, but they still paid for my hostel stay, a tour of the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. So, I headed off to Paris alone, and toured the gorgeous city.
Yeah, it was a little terrifying traveling alone. But it was also nice, too. I could go at my own speed, visit anything I wanted to see without the opinion of a group or be stuck with a group and couldn’t really wander away to explore. I did mess up the tram system a little (getting on the wrong one, multiple times😬), but each stop led me to something new and cool to see. Paris is not a dull city.
But I did miss people, like people I knew. I felt very alone even in a city with thousands of people. I missed my friends and talking to someone and I’m an introvert! What is happening to me…
Anyway, I also had my first hostel experience. It was…interesting. I stayed in an 8-bed bedroom (mixed gender). They provided a sheet and comforter, and honestly the smallest pillow I’ve ever laid my head upon. They didn’t provide toiletries or even a towel (had to rent it but one of the housekeepers lent me one for free). No free breakfast or dinner. Had the worst pizza of my life, like it was just slices of tomato on the crust with tasteless cheese on top and a dab of pesto in the middle. It was so gross. Sticking to Italy’s pizza from now on. But other than that, it was a nice place. Though my last night there I left the room as fast as I could at 3 in the morning because these two guys kept snoring and one of them was sleeping in the bunk above me. When I tried to leave, one of the girls was sleeping on the floor in front of the door… like, there’s a bed. If you’re too hot, sleep without the comforter, not on the floor. But I got out of there and took a cab to the airport and just hung out there till my flight left.
But the trip was amazing overall! And I’ll always cherish it.
Ferrari Museum and Vinegar Tasting
Yeah, we went to the Ferrari Museum! I’m not a car person. I had an ex who was really into cars and I’d listen to him talk about them non stop but the information just went over my head. But honestly, the museum was super cool! We got to see the older and newer models, change the tires of one of the racers, and one could even drive a Ferrari for about 15 minutes but you had to pay about 80€. I didn’t do it even though that would be cool and I could tell people I drove a Ferrari…dammit, should’ve done it.
After, we went out of the city a bit and to this gorgeous vineyard. I don’t remember his name, but the owner was part of a vinegar company. His property was just drop dead gorgeous. He owned swans and ducks, then took us to the cellar and this open windowed room where he talked for a while and then began the tasting. Kind of gross with this awful aftertaste. I ended up giving all of my spoonfuls to a friend. They had a mint flavored one but again, aftertaste😝.
We ended the day in Modena, fast walking to the cathedral to see it before dark, and then hung out in the city until our bus came. It was a very good day, and Modena was a very lovely place.
What? Florence? We took a trip to Florence? Yep! Well, to the main duomo, a couple of museums, and an art gallery. The main hub of Florence centers around the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the most beautiful cathedral I’ve ever seen – yes, I’m being biased – and at long last, our school took us inside and to the top.
We visited a couple of museums, and I’m sorry, I can’t remember the names of them, but we did go into Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall, and an exhibition by Marina Abramovic: The Cleaner. The exhibition was very…interesting. Marina is a unique woman. I honestly don’t know how to describe what we experienced. There was so much to it and what she did. If you’re curious, definitely look her up but some parts of it were definitely very weird.
Three of my friends and I decided to skip two days of school and head up to Brussels the last weekend of the month. We left in the middle of the night and had to stay out in the cold for an hour or so until the airport opened. Then it was more waiting and trying to catch a few cat naps. One of my friends has the skill of being able to sleep anywhere. I wish I did.
We arrived late in the morning, had a bite to eat, and then checked into out kind of Air BnB studio apartment, which was really nice and clean. Really took me be surprise.
Rather then going out, we just all fell onto the comfy beds and knocked out.
The next day we actually headed to the city center. We found a breakfast place that served eggs. EGGS. The thing about Italian culture is that they aren’t big on breakfast. As in, they have only pastries, maybe yogurt, and of course coffee. But no eggs, meat, or typically cereal (though we get it at the cafeteria). I really missed my eggs.
The Christmas market was spectacular. And there was this center with these old, medieval-gothic buildings and at night they played music with lights lighting up the buildings that went along with the music. It was so beautiful! Brussels honestly reminded me a lot of New York City if you took out the skyscrapers. It wasn’t very clean, and there were people from all over the world there. Near sunset, we went out of the city to see the Atomium which was pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie.
Our day there was cold and ultimately a bit rainy at night. We spent our evening counting our stocks of chocolate boxes – which I still can’t believe we got back to the school with our suitcases already being stuffed with clothes. Brussels is nice and it’s a nice place to go for around Christmas time. And of course go there for the waffles and chocolate!
Saturday we were supposed to go up to Amsterdam for the day but someone (me) got the train time wrong and we slept through our train departure. So, instead (recommendation by my sister) we went up to Brugge for the day. Very, very cute town! Everything about it was adorable and beautiful and the palace there…I was dying! It was so gorgeous. We took a canal ride, visited the shops, and just soaked up this place. The rain hit us in the afternoon but we didn’t let that bother us as we visited the windmills and walked more around the town. This town is definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in Belgium.
And that was my November! School has been good, though I got my first C in art history. I’m not doing so good with remembering names and dates. The Italian classes are going well, but still not fluent – far from it. I’m trying to use it as much as possible out in the town. The ceramics class is by far my favorite! When the semester is over, I’ll share my projects! I’m very proud of them and one of them is dragon related.
One minor writing update. I’ve put my book on hold. I just can’t find the time to write and I’m having some plot problems. But I haven’t given up on it or anything. I’m still writing ideas and trying to write a simple plot summary, so that when I get back home, I can write another draft. I’m just going to enjoy my time here and take a writing break.
See you in December!