Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Traveled down the road and back again"

Hey everyone!

     I apologize for not blogging the last few days.  I promise this blog will be entertaining.  We've had some adventures to say the least.  This blog will probably be long, but it's nearly impossible to cram all the excursions into a few words.  Let me paint a picture for I go.

     Friday, we left very early for Florence.  We took a bus to Arezzo and a train from Arezzo to Florence.  It was a fairly short trip (about two hours total) and when I stepped off the train, I knew it was going to be a great day.  Florence was a very busy city, filled with many people.  Our group walked over to the Dumo and took a few pictures.  Then, we had an appointment at a museum and after was time for lunch and shopping.  Kelly, Kayla, and I have become travel buddies.  Those girls keep me going.  We undoubtedly have the best times and I'm so grateful their here with me.  We saw someone with a Hard Rock Cafe bag and we knew if there was American food around, we weren't missing our chance. We found Hard Rock and had a yummy lunch.  I was able to eat chicken tenders (favorite food ever) and fries!
     After lunch, it was time to explore the shopping.  We wanted to shop and see some some of the statues and bridge..and when the three of us make a plan, you better believe we're going to accomplish it.  We went to the market which was the most awesome shopping.  Kelly, Kayla, and I bargained with the vendors and had so many laughs.  Kelly would say, "Sorry, we saw those shoes for 25 back there.  Or, just forget it."  One vendor even offered her five euros of his own money since she found a ring cheaper somewhere else.  I bought a pair of shoes, a purse, a new rolling bag (to get all my shopping items back to America), a painting, a T-Shirt for Eric, a purse for mom, and a tie for Daddy.  I got more than that...but if I listed blog would go on for days.  Finally, we decided we wanted to see the famous bridge and we took a cab to get there.  It was hot and totally worth the seven Euros.  The bridge was beautiful.  We also saw the Neptune and David statues (not the real David) but it was still cool.  Florence was an amazing city and I was so glad we went.
    Saturday, we got to sleep in.  I was excited to sleep until 9:30.  We had class and then lunch.  After lunch, both Kelly's, Kayla, and myself decided to go see the infamous leaning tower of Pisa.  I'm not sure that words can do this adventure justice..but I'll try.  We took the bus Sansepolcro to Arezzo where we boarded a train to Florence. When we got to the train station in Florence, we realized the next train we needed was on the opposite side of the station.  Please picture four Meredith women running across a train station.  The train was boarding and literally as soon as we ran up to it and pressed the button to get took off.  We all laughed so hard and managed to find another train in minutes.  We got on another train and realized it was going to Reggio Emelia (which is four hours away.)  We hopped off the train immediately and thank goodness we did because it was pulling away as we hopped off.  We then found a train to Pisa and had to sit where people get on and off the train because no seats were open.  We finally made it to Pisa and saw the Leaning Tower.  It was totally worth the adventures.  I somehow managed to buy a purse there and a coffee mug for my mom that leans like the tower.  I also got Eric a shot glass.  Kelly had to get ugly with the vendor because he tried to tell her it was 19 euros for her purchase and then he tried to spike it to 23.  She said, "Give me back my twenty."  He just stared...and it was comical.  Kelly was hilarious and walked away with her purchases for 20 euro.
     After we left Pisa, we thought we had a successful day.  Too bad we thought wrong.  We were on the train on the way back (or so we thought) and then the train comes to a stop.  The conductor motions for us to get off.  We're terrified as we literally see we're in no wheresville.  It was a train depot.  This lady speaks minimum English and says over and over, "You've made a mistake."  Well, duh.  Finally, she tells us another train will be coming to get us..that we were going in the opposite direction.  While we are waiting in this sketch train depot, a fight breaks out across the tracks from us.  We heard all this yelling and are watching the whole thing go down from behind an M&M sign.  One of the girls with me looked at me and said, "Lady Gaga, get it together."  They said my face turned completely white and I was shaking.  I thought I was going to die in a train depot.  We kept inching farther away and realized the man who was yelling was bleeding terribly from his arm.  By this point, I considered running down the tracks.  Thank GOD a train came fairly soon and my tail hopped right on.  At that point, I didn't care where I was going as long as it was away from the fight.  We finally got back to Florence and then back to Arezzo.  Arezzo is an hour away from where I stay in Sansepolcro by bus.  Well, we arrived back at approximately 12:40 A.M. (my time) and no buses were going.  No cabs were in sight.
     Imagine four Meredith women standing outside the train station without a cab or bus.  I knew Pat and Charlie weren't walking 38 kilometers back to Sansepolcro.  Kelly and Kayla were calling taxi numbers and I was waiting to flag any cab down I saw.  Finally, I began waving my arms around like a crazy person when I saw a cab.  Thank goodness he stopped and said he would make the drive back.  We literally were going 180 kilometers (90 mph approximately.)  I thought, I've made it through a fight and now I'll die in a taxi cab.  We were laughing so hard.  Kelly kept saying, "I feel like we're flying."  We weren't even in a lane...we were driving down the middle of the road and Tuscany is has VERY curvy roads.  I still can't believe I woke up this morning.  Yesterday was hilarious with all the adventures...but my blood pressure had to be off the charts.  I am so glad I have Kelly and Kayla to experience all the adventures with.  I skyped Eric last night and my mom, daddy, Packer and Diva.  Diva was so excited to see my face and wagged her tail the whole time.  Packer was sleeping...couldn't care less!  I was so happy to see my Mom and Dad's faces!  I've missed them so much.
     I'm going to Rome this coming that is something to look forward to.  I'll leave you all with a few pictures.  I hope my near death experiences give a laugh or two to you all.

Kelly and I in Florence!

Dr. Clark, Kayla, me, and Kelly in Florence.

The famous bridge in Florence.  Totally worth the 7 euros for a cab.

Kelly, me, and Kayla at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  

The train depot where I thought we were going to die.  

<3 Brittany

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