I can’t believe Christmas is nine days away! Time is flying by as usual and I realize it’s been more than a week but I don’t really have a schedule anymore for when I write due to the fact that I’m usually doing something every day but hey, that means my exchange is full of exciting things! And, oh, it really is. The past couple of weeks, as usual, have been packed full of different things but I did have a couple days to relax so that was nice. However, I looked at my calender for December/ beginning of January and I actually have two or three free days in all that time! Don’t take it as stress, I take full joy in the fact that I have some pretty great plans awaiting me every day. Anyone who knows me will agree that I love being busy! Today is a free day though (kind of, because my to-do list is stretching a little bigger every day as my inner clock slowly relaxes to Italian time) which is nice because I’ve been pretty sick for a few days so today means taking it nice and easy, and finally updating my blog. Here goes!
So much has happened since I last left off! Unfortunately there isn’t enough space in my brain to remember two weeks back so thank goodness for journal writing! Anyways, two weeks ago my good friend came in from Rome and I gave her a tour of Milan so that was really nice! The next three days were more relaxed and I finished my university applications (finally!), did some good running, and got to planning some cooking for my host family! Saturday, It SNOWED! It was the first (and only so far) day I’ve seen snow here and it was absolutely beautiful! It snowed for a good five hours which actually surprised me and it didn’t stick but it was gorgeous. Then when I came home I made apple crumble for what I was to do on Sunday, tested it out (to make sure it was safe of course- it was), then headed out to a dinner with my host sister’s softball team to celebrate the end of a great season/ Christmas. It was really nice to be with everyone and get to know them a little bit better. I also tried chocolate salami, which changed my life. If you have not eaten it before, find a true Italian recipe, head to the store, make it and eat it. It is amazing.
The next day, I got up nice and early and headed to Lecco! There, I met with a bunch of the other exchange students and we had a beautiful Thanksgiving meal (hence the apple crumble)! It was an absolutely lovely day ,albeit a bit bittersweet seeing as I wasn’t in Canada with my family, but hey, these people here are my family too. That’s a pretty cool thing about us exchange students- we grow pretty close pretty fast. We ate all the usual suspects which everyone made and brought, as well as a couple exotic treats because obviously not all of us are North American! We played a group basketball game, took lots of pictures, ate too much cake, and laughed so much we cried and our abs were in serious pain. Safe to say it was a successful day!
The next few days consisted of the usual routine, going to my lessons and if not, doing fun things at home. On Wednesday, after my lesson, I headed to “L’Artigiano in Fiera” in a nearby town called Rho and it was insane! It’s basically a homeshow and a farmer’s market in one and multiplied by 1 million. It’s a ginormous fair with booths selling things from all over the world, with one whole floor dedicated to the different regions of Italy. The next was Asia, then South America, and Europe. I started in Sicily, ate dinner in Japan, and ended with some delicious macarons in France. By the end of if we all were so exhausted our legs almost stopped working but it was a really fantastic exhibiton!! Then on Sunday, we had a nice relaxing morning which was great because it was my first day in a few weeks in which I could sleep in! Then we headed to a nearby town called Saronno because it was a holiday so we thought there might be some interesting things going on and the shops would probably be open even though it was Sunday. However, when we got there there weren’t really a lot of people and it was quite cold with an incredibly dense fog in the streets. I thought it was gorgeous and it made for some pretty great pictures! My toes were a bit numb when we got home though but it definitely was a nice day. The next day I made banana bread, and after looking a bit unsure my host family gave it a try and I think they liked it (seeing as it was gone in two days). The next day I went and saw Bling Ring, and on Wednesday after my lesson we went to a concert at the Duomo! It was my first night being in Milan at Christmas time and there was a beautiful gigantic Christmas tree all lit up in front of the Duomo which was truly majestic and gorgeous! there was also another Christmas market around the Duomo which we visited for a bit, then went for dinner and headed to the concert. It was a Christmas concert and it was IN the Duomo and I have to say, it was something I will remember for a long time. How many people can say they’ve done something like that?! Pretty cool.
On Friday I went to Milan with my class and we went to a Rhodin exhibit where we saw some pretty breathtaking sculptures but what really was my favourite part was the next exhibit where we saw tons of different portraits and they had many incredible famous paintings as well as original Picassos, which really took my breath away. Standing in front of an original Picasso was pretty cool. After that, I went out for a great lunch with some other exchange students and we went to our last lesson together! I’m kind of sad they’re over because they helped me a lot but I definitely feel like I’m improving with the language so that’s rewarding. The next day I went back to Milan after school and met my friend to do something called, “Babbo Running”, which was one of the most awesome and crazy things ever! It was basically a 5k run with 11, 000 other people around Milan’s castle and the best part- everyone dresses as Santa Clause. It was so much fun! Then I went back to Lecco and we saw the Hunger Games and the next day we went to Meda for a Christmas lunch. We actually went to a mass first and then the lunch followed, which was four courses in this extroardinary room in a giant mansion- and yes, of course there was an orchestra. Why not?! Then I went home, had a shower, and went out to a Christmas dinner with my local Rotaract club and had some great pizza. Today I get the chance to relax and then the business continues, but it’s safe to say I’m having an amazing time and enjoying every minute. If I don’t get the chance to write again before Christmas, Buon Natale e Buone Feste a tutti!!