I finally got the cheezy picture with the Bologna Centrale sign that I've always wanted. There's something about seeing that marker as I roll into the station that gives me such a sense of peace and homecoming!
This weekend Charlotte, my American roommate in Bologna, was visiting for the last time before she moves back to California after grad school in London. Here we are at Federica's apartment:
Luigi, sporting his fly 3D shades:
One night we thought about going ice skating, but opted for the weather protection of a bowling alley. This was my first experience bowling abroad, and it turned out to be an exact replica of the American bowling experience, so not much to report. Vittorio beat everyone and I came in 3rd from last. Not much of an American sporting ambassador am I.
Occasionally some of us would get a little artistic in our bowling:
All in all, it was a great reunion weekend, especially since I won the lottery.
Alessandro, the man of random ideas, decided we should all go in on a few scratchers together, and the six of us won 200 euro altogether! I put my winnings towards beer and a discounted pair of designer shoes, making my winnings seem to stretch that much further. Free beer and free shoes? Doesn't get much better than that.
Bologna was decorated for Christmas starting this weekend, complete with the beautiful live tree in Piazza Maggiore, and lights lining the majority of lanes and boulevards in town. Here's me and Char getting into the spirit of things:
The lights and the cold (literally, freezing) weather as well as spending the weekend with the Calabrese got me so excited for Christmas! Our students all leave Florence December 16th and so I'm planning on going down the 17th. Azzurra, when asked what plans we might have for Calabria, replied with the most simple (and predictable) response: Eat, what else? I remember when I was there in August, how excited her grandma was at the prospect of having me back there for Christmas dinner at her house. I'm already on the lookout for an extremely loose-fitting dress for that meal.
It's just too bad my favorite foreign country, the one currently providing my livelihood, is on the other side of the world from my home, family, and friends. I try not to think about you guys sipping your peppermint hot chocolates, driving by giant Santa lawn-globes, braving the crowds in lush 10-story department stores, and watching Love Actually in front of the fire. It's too much! Here's to what I hope to be my last Christmas away from home! <3