Saturday, January 29, 2011

Miles from where you are

A couple of weekends ago I inaugurated the Resident Coordinator weekend off. With my history-making freedom, I decided to go back to my Siena apartment and crash with Letizia for a couple days. The air outside was chilling, so we spent a lot of time cooking and napping and watching episodes of Modern Family. One night we fiesta'ed with fajitas (my contribution to the weekend) and another we made Japanese dumplings (uber-creative and totally Leti's doing):

Our big culture outing for the weekend was a trip to Siena's Opera del Duomo, the museum dedicated to artifacts from the cathedral. The museum houses an incredible collection of Senese art, especially masterpieces by Duccio da Buoninsegna, known as Siena's greatest artist. Neither of us had ever been before, and I was so delighted to finally go. Arguably the greatest part of the museum is the panorama up top, where we inhaled crisp air and burnt sienna all around.

Of course it was a perfect opportunity for a photo shoot.

I get tired of smiling sometimes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Villa Sunset

Every evening I look forward to the bodacious sunset Mother Nature has in store for Florence. The Villa is perched up in the hills in the most prime sunset-lovin' position. Last week there was a particularly spectacular sunset specimen (try that three times fast) that I have opted to share with you all here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hereafter Screenshot

And the Oscar for Best Fake-Couple-Who-Are-Really-Bro
ther-And-Sister-Extras-In-A-Matt-Damon-And-Clint-Eastwood-Film goes to...Kelly and Daniel D'Innocenti! *Massive Applause*

At any rate, really awesome proof that I haven't been lying all these months.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Something has gone terribly wrong.

Alright, I'm officially a bad blogger. I can't believe I haven't posted in over a month! I feel like I've wronged you all, and yes, it's a disgrace, but a semi-justified one.

So as you all know by this point, I went to California, not Calabria for Christmas. I tried my best to surprise the mom, but ended up surprising everyone else and just worrying her to death! The surprises were varied, but the reactions of my grandma (constant smothering hugs-I was reminded of "Don't shake the baby!" ads), my aunt (quasi heart-attack, 2-hour jaw drop, and tae bo kicks in the air) and my uncle ("What are you doing here?") were my favorites.

It was quite the journey coming home what with the Europe-wide weather alerts. We got snowed in in Florence for one night, and then I spent two more in Munich. I tried to stay positive and not curse the weather gods, so I made friends with other unfortunates, took advantage of Lufthansa's free hotel/meal/transportation vouchers, and went to the Christmas markets in Munich.

While my trip back was thus shortened by 3 days, I guess it made me appreciate every minute of home that much more! It's amazing how much you forget (read: push out of your mind) just how much you enjoy the comforts of home and all the people who make it that way while you're gone.

Christmas was particularly special because it was the first time in no one remembers how long that grandma was here for Christmas together with all her grandchildren. Here's a cute one of all 7 of us with ava:

After Christmas, there was also my birthday and New Year's Eve. My birthday I just had a simple dinner at home with a few friends. Only Shawn, Gio and Brittany were able to make it. I guess that's what happens when you surprise all your friends with your presence, too! Here's the four of us on our "Let's try to find something interesting in Vacaville to show guests" walk:

New Year's Eve was an outrageous night where I got to see so many friends in San Francisco. It's funny, none of us reside there, but it still seems to be the common meeting place. I say we reconvene there for good. ;) Here's a cute one of me and Jod from that night:

And that more or less catches us up to speed! I've returned to Florence and started my new promotion about a week and a half ago. I'm now the Resident Coordinator of Georgetown's Villa Le Balze program in Fiesole. The students arrived Friday and while I've been super-busy, I'm enjoying getting to know the new students and learn about the villa, whose renovations were finally completed over the holiday break! Things seem to finally be coming together, and I'm excited to be a part of this new phase at the villa.

Emily's sticking around a couple weeks to orient me to the inner-workings of the villa, and I appreciate the company. I'll be sad to see her go, but am looking forward to future Boston/San Francisco exchanges. Here's the two of us out with the students their last week in December:

One on my extensive list of New Year's resolutions is to be better about bloggin', so keep an eye out. Expect tons of gorgeous, jealousy-inflicting pictures of the villa. I apologize in advance.

Happy 2011, everyone!