Holy moly, I sincerely apologize for the hiatus. It has been a whirlwind adventure these past couple of weeks! I am now safely back home in Winter Garden but packing up for a summer in North Carolina. Unpack one suitcase, repack the next but excited to spend a summer closer to friends and earning a little money.
I left Florence on the 16th of May. By the way, I had a wonderful post written about my departure, but as it tends to do, time got away from me and then wifi was few and far between on my 13 day adventure. Nonetheless, with 1 seventy pound suitcase (possibly one of the largest suitcases I’ve ever seen, who told me that was a good idea??), 1 thirty pound carry-on and a duffel bag in tow, my 2 friends and I headed to the train station to make our way to Lake Como.
After some delays because of our large bounty, we finally made it and spent the day exploring the beautiful city. Just a few hours later, my roommate and I headed for France at 6am the following morning. 4 trains and 12 hours later, we arrived in St. Etienne, France to spend 2 days with a friend. After a couple of days filled with church festivities (ask me about these details in person!), we met several lovely people and headed to Mulhouse, France on the 18th. We spent our days hiking through the Vosges Mountains and exploring charming French towns before saying goodbye and heading to Paris.
We arrived in Paris after a long day of travel and we were a little shocked by how dirty everything was. I’ve always heard sketchy things about Paris and of course, I couldn’t help but think about the taxi scene in the movie “Taken” as we arrived in this big city. After meeting up with the people we were staying with, we headed out to munch on a couple crepes and explore the city. The next day was full of sightseeing as we stopped by the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and the Arc de Triomphe. This day was my favorite day as we got to truly see the Parisian culture and architecture. The following day we drooled over the beautiful Palace of Versailles and even got caught in a bad (but movie-like) rain storm while bicycling through the gardens. It was the perfect memory to end our stay in Paris even though we rode the metro home soaking wet. Our last night was spent seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle after dark before we headed to London on the Chunnel the next morning.
London, oh London… Where do I begin? Shall I start by saying that I hope to move here after graduation or that the accents were wonderful and I wanted to listen to locals all day? This was one of my absolute favorite cities. The tube was clean, the people were genuinely nice, and the essence of royalty floated through the air. If you know me well, you know that Kate Middleton is my spirit animal and although I never saw her, I just felt lovely being so close. We saw the Tower Bridge, we had tea at Kensington Palace and we ate fish & chips at local pubs. I thought it was the perfect way to end our time abroad… Did I mention we ran through tube stations and rainy conditions to see Katy Perry at the O2 arena before we left?? Her show was AMAZING and a great memory to share with my roommate to finish our semester.
On May 29th, I made my way back to Orlando to fall into the arms of my parents at the airport. It’s great to be home although I am already missing my home in Italy. I have a feeling I’ll be catching cabin fever quite frequently this summer and I can’t wait to plan another trip back to Europe (we’re thinking southern Italy and Malta!). Tomorrow I leave for North Carolina where I’ll be spending my summer working and interning with the March of Dimes. I plan on starting a new blog about the adventures of my senior year so I will keep you updated as that comes along.
Thanks for reading over this past semester, I was so happy to be able to share my adventures with you!