So, I realize that I left some things out, or rather, my computer died and I didn't get a chance to finish my birthday "day" experience.
After the hair cut, Alicia and I rested for a little bit in our nice, cold, air-conditioned room, thank you Lord. At the appropriate hour, around 8 pm, we went down to dinner. Mom had called ahead of time, sneaky her, and through much confusion, I'm sure, communicated that it was my birthday and she was curious if there could be a cake for me. So I should first say this, at dinner, there are tables with room placards and you are to eat where your room is seated. So every night we have eaten with the same family: Francesca, the mother, Ghera (12) and his sister Flaminia (14). I also befreinded another family in the hotel, Elena and Giovanni, and their kids Simone (1) and Erica (7) and their neice Alicia (9). After becoming friends with all the staff, I was especially taken care of by the main man, Umberto (previously known as "Michelangelo"). We had a lovely meal, and afterward I was surprised with a really really good cake that had filo dough like layers with creme and chocolate. I just realized that we still had like half a cake left, and man was it good, and I didn't get a chance to finish it! ah man...okay, back to the story. So, after dinner we had the really good cake, which i shared with Elena and her family, Alicia, and some people of the staff. But before that Umberto brought out some "Auguri" which is a type of champagne or something, and we had a glass of that with Francesca and her family, as well as Umberto himself, of course. :) After all of that, Alicia and I went out that night in search of a bar to order a fancy drink, for the sake of a picture, haha. We found one with a cute waiter, which is a hilarious story in and of itself, when I have time I'll write about the embarrassing encounter we had the next day. I ordered a "Caprioska" which has strawberries by nature in it and it was very pretty! I got my picture, and as soon as I figure this dilemma out, I'll post some more pictures! Apparently Casey says that alcoholic drinks are "good drinks with something gone wrong" or something along those lines, and I agree. I liked the flavor in that I like the lime and strawberry and sugar, but the vodka just gave it a weird twist. In any case, Alicia also drank some of it with me and she was shocked by how strong it tasted. After seeing her reaction to the fact that I didn't really taste alcohol at all, we pondered the subject. Apparently those with alcoholics as family members are genetically more likely to become alcoholics themselves. So, my thinking was this, (as I have an alcoholic, or many, in my family) was the fact that I couldn't taste the alcohol an indicator of why I would be more likely to become an alcoholic? My physical response after one drink was evident. I wasn't, by any means drunk, but I could tell that there was a slightly different feeling about me. So though I didn't taste it, I still could have, if I had more, have the physical responses of others. In any case, I didn't like it, so no worries to everyone out there. You won't find me in the gutters anytime soon. Just interesting food for thought. After wondering around for like an hour and then getting a drink, we went back to the hotel to sleep.
The next day entailed a day of freedom!! :) The scuola went to Venezia and neither Alicia nor I wanted to go. Instead we went to the local market (a new addiction is to buy sundresses) and searched around for a good buy. We also went to this Ross-like store where I found some more cute clothes! However, my favorite part came when we happened upon a specialty store. Though they aren't that unusual over here, they are the ideal store for Italian dried/canned goods and it is SIMPLY AMAZING to wonder around in them to me. Definitely the highlight of shopping for me. In any case, I met a nice man, the owner of the shop and found out that a certain chutney went really well with a cheese that he had on display, and which I sampled. So naturally, I bought some chutney. Of course, as I was meandering around the store I found some pasta made from pepers, bow-tie pasta with the colors of an Italian flag, saffron, and funghi. But for a lunch that day,I got some good olives, mystery cured something rather (tasted delicious, though i had no idea if i was eating a fish or a vegetable, could have been both), and cheese. Not to forget that I bought, the best drink ever, this EstaThe Pesca, or a peach iced tea that is simply amazing. Of course, what I needed for this lovely meal was some fresh bread and a great pomodoro (tomato). After this store, we meandered down the road to a farmers' market where I bought a pomodoro, ceziege (I think? cherries, in any case), and a peach. In fact, it was from the same vendors as where we earlier had gone. On our way back to the hotel, as it was approaching shut down hours (13:00-16:30ish), we stopped at a little hole in the wall market because we saw watermelon, or anguria. Of course, you can't just buy a little piece of anguria, you have to buy a whole big chunk. We ended up buying a fourth, but cut long ways, of an anguria (about 5 or so lbs.) and they cut it up into pieces for us to eat! It was SO MUCH watermelon, but it was SO GOOD. The couple that owned and operated the store were very friendly and we got to talking, in Italian. We took a picture with them and they gave us their email address, wanting a copy of that picture. Note to self, find pic and email address. After that we bought some bread, or it might have been before, but in any case, we got some fresh baked focaccia with olives in it. Mmm...soooo good. Once we got back to the hotel, we had a LOVELY lunch of our fresh fruits, tomato, and goodies. A lovely nap followed and life was thought of fondly.
I'm actually quite tired, so I will finish catching up later. I promise, I will have consistent access to do so for the next week as I am now in Bologna with Bristin!
-My club experience at Bussola
-The embarrassing waiter
-My train ride/people/sciopero experience
Hope you all enjoy! I promise to also figure out the picture situation. As for now, I think we are off to go eat somewhere. Tonight I am celebrating my birthday with Bristin! :D Man, I am sooooo tired. Ciao ciao!