Month: January 2014

Ciao Bella!

I have arrived! After almost having a mental breakdown on hour 5 in the Frankfurt airport because the German language is incredibly intimidating, I finally found a bunch of American students on my flight to Florence. Never have I ever been so grateful to hear the English language spoken! The sweet lady in Chicago ended up putting me in Business Class on my flight to Florence and I had the best buffalo mozzarella and pesto… Yes on THE PLANE! And of course I didn’t turn down the multiple pieces of chocolate they gave me either 🙂

I arrived in Florence to an unfortunately dark sky with pouring rain. I took a taxi from the airport with a couple of other students and boy was that an adventure… I thought Mexican streets were scary but these streets turned sharply in an instant and I swear the one way streets are really 2 ways with the same space allowance. We arrived at Lorenzo de’ Medici, had an orientation and then luckily a man who worked at the school helped me to my room. When I say the elevators are small in our building, I mean it was a struggle for 2 people to fit. With me not liking elevators to begin with, you can imagine my anxiety as it creaked up to the 2nd floor… YIKES! I finally got my 70 pound luggage up the stairs and opened the door to two of my sweet roommates! Because I had an excitement high, I unpacked (I will post pictures later but ultimately a nice apartment!), grabbed some pizza and settled in for the night, excited to finally have WiFi to get in contact with everyone from home!

Come to find out that our apartment is right above a pub and piazza aka my earplugs came in handy (thanks mom)! I had a great nights sleep and we got up in time to grab a cappuccino and croissant then head to orientation. On our way we visited the Ponte Vecchio as well as the higher-end portion of the city. When I say the fashion was phenomenal, I mean that it was incredibly dreamy. Ferragamo on one corner, Roberto Cavalli on the next… PINCH ME PLEASE, would anyone like to donate to my new wardrobe?? Not to mention the native Italian style. The Italians who walk the streets have such an elegantly simple style. The men in particular look fabulous… ALL THE TIME. Makes me fall in love with men’s fashion all over again. The women walk around in gorgeous coats and shoes as well as having an air of confidence that would make any person fall in love with their elegance. Can I stay and become one of them?!

Orientation was boring (except for the cute Italian policeman) but we were in a great theatre with amazing, comfy seats. When that ended, my roommate and I headed out to find a light lunch that ended up at 100 Posti. An old Italian woman came out and said we must stay and eat. Needless to say, we had to speak Italian to order and the margherita pizza was OUT OF THIS WORLD… Fresh, hot and right out of the oven from the short, grey-haired Italian in the back. Even though it was a dreary rainy day, I can’t really complain because I am in the most beautiful city surrounded by incredible views!

Looking forward to spending the weekend finding the best gelato in town!

Until next time…

Molly

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With Chaos, Comes Reward

Good morning or as you Florida/NC people would say at this time, good night! I am successfully in Frankfurt, Germany after a day (or more, who knows with this time change) of airport roaming and unpredictable flights.

The past few days have been a roller coaster of emotion for me as I was trying to keep my cool but seriously freaking out that my dream of studying abroad was actually coming true, as in, I was FINALLY getting on the plane! My morning started peacefully with a pedicure with mom followed by a trip to the Orlando airport. Little did I know that the scale we used to weigh my bag at home was clearly lying to us. You know that rule that states your bag can only be 50 pounds or you pay an ungodly fee? You see, my bag somehow reached 74 pounds… Who put all those clothes in there without me knowing?! So after some readjusting, we got it under 70 pounds and still paid a fee, just a smaller one!

As we checked in, the lady at the United desk kept mentioning my flight to Munich however she wasn’t mentioning anything about my ending destination in Florence. Luckily, my dad being a seasoned traveler, corrected that statement and it turned out that something went a rye and I wasn’t originally booked on a flight… Leading me from peaceful to panic in about 5 seconds. She claimed she fixed it and I said my sad goodbyes to my parents and boarded the plane to Chicago!

After a short 3 hour flight later, I checked in at the Lufthansa desk to find that my flight to Florence really wasn’t happening… Due to an airport strike in Europe (who knew??) many flights to Florence were cancelled. So the sweet German attendant put me on a flight to Frankfurt that left in just 30 minutes… There went my time to mentally prepare myself, as I thought I would originally be having a 6 hour layover in Chicago.

Turns out, I got to board a double decker plane (FINALLY, I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO!) with 3 open seats next to me, flight attendants (all men, who would’ve thought?) who didn’t card me so clearly a little wine was involved, and I settled in to watch The Holiday before sprawling out to sleep for the night.

7.5 hours later I am in the Frankfurt airport sitting in a bakery that smells more amazing than I can even describe, planning on purchasing a wonderful cappuccino and warm croissant from the sweet lady with a lovely accent. Although I have 8 hours until my flight to Florence, I must say the Frankfurt airport is incredibly modern and I cannot wait to explore.

So until next time, I am comfortably situated at the Frankfurt airport, awaiting my flight to my new home for the next four months!

Molly

A for Appreciate

I just got back from a short little trip back to High Point University for a fun-filled week of sorority bid day celebrations, an MLK service day as well as saying my final “See ya laters” (since I refuse to call them goodbyes) to some of my favorite people. Taking that trip back to the place that I had often loathed for its showy marketing tactics and unnecessary parking tickets, truly made me appreciate what I was really leaving. Looking back on my time there, I finally realized how blessed I am to attend such a unified school. Never in my wildest dreams would I have gotten the opportunities I have if I had chosen a large public school. Sure, I didn’t get to experience the weekends of tailgating or having someone actually know what school I was talking about when asked which college I attend. However I did get something that means so much more. I get walks to class filled with tons of waves from sorority sisters, I get opportunities to serve a poverty stricken community and I also made friends with a small group of the best people I have ever encountered.

Saying goodbye to these ladies was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ll be missing my best friends graduation, sorority formals and date parties as well as the chance to bond and make memories. However when I look at what I’ll be experiencing instead, I definitely can’t say that I am making the wrong choice. I know that this experience is going to completely change the person I am currently, in a good way of course! Hopefully I learn to let go of my control issues, welcome vulnerability and stay in a few hostels where my OCD/germophobia is challenged (within reason of course, hehe). Although I expected to be entirely nervous about this journey, I can’t say that the nerves have hit me yet. I know navigating through the German airport will be trying as well as having to force myself not to think about the taxi scene from Taken as I travel from the Florence airport to my apartment, however I am determined to make each of these experiences an adventure. I guess what I am looking forward to most is the memories I’ll be making and the adventures I’ll be taking in a place I have never explored. Oh and I could never forget about the amazing food I will be eating. It is very possible that I may come back as a plate of spaghetti or more likely, a cup of gelato!

Until next time you will find me packing (or rather, overpacking) and trying to accept the fact that I don’t need a closet full of clothes to live for 4 months!

Only 3 more days until my plane leaves for Italia!

Molly