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Monday, June 21st
Okay, I know it's been several days since I last wrote anything down, but it's okay because not much has happened. Even so, it's hard to remember what all we did when.
Thursday we had classes in the morning--I think--and then went into town as a group. We first visited the Church of San Marco, where we saw lots of paintings by Fra Angelico. It wasn't my favorite style of painting, so it seemed to take forever. Oh yeah, we must have gone in the morning because I remember being ~so~ hungry the entire time because I had missed breakfast. Okay, so that took us maybe two hours or so. Like I said, it was long and kind of dull. But after that we went to the Accademia, where Michaelangelo's David is. That's also about ~all~ there is there, but never mind that. They do also have four of Michaelangelo's unfinished scupltures which were really neat to see. They looked like these people that were trapped in the marble trying to get out. The David was really, really huge. I was kind of surprised at how awesome it was to see, since we've already seen two full-size replicas in other places. So we stayed there for maybe 45 minutes or so before going back to the villa for lunch. Then we had classes in the afternoon (I suppose).
Friday was a normal day of classes and the afternoon off. Greg and I stayed here to work on our travel plans, but we just took a nap. Let me take a moment to scream and rant right now about how LOUD this place is! It's like a big party dorm room that echos. It doesn't help that Greg and I are in a bad place in the villa; we can hear ~everything~ that goes on, right down to individual conversations three rooms away. This does not make for good sleeping, especially when Greg and I are just quiet-type people. I like ~quiet~ and I'm only getting noise. :-( But I suppose I'll survive. Just congratulate me if I make it through the whole summer without killing someone or being really rude.
Saturday we went to the Uffizi in the afternoon (maybe we had classes in the morning). That's a big museum of paintings, including famous works by Botticelli and Leonardo and others. It was interesting, but a bit of an overload in terms of information. The guide was good, but it was so crowded. It was very hard to get pictures because there were lots of inconsiderate people who liked to look at these wall-size paintings from one foot in front of it. Grrr. But I did eventually get some shots that I'm pretty sure will turn out okay. They have this plexi-glass in front of every painting, and the reflections of the lights and stuff may be too visible. After the museum Greg and I went to the internet place for a short while before eating dinner in town. We found a great restaraunt which didn't have a cover charge (which is unusual) and a good variety on the menu. Greg and I both ordered cheese pizzas that were just wonderful. Of course, they were bigger than our plates and the last few bites were cold just because it took that long to eat the thing. But it was ~so~ good! Greg was lamenting that he's spoiled now and won't want to go back to American pizzas. I think the two are really too different to compare, but I agree about missing Italian pizza! We may have to do that at least once a week. There's a lot of places here that sell pizza by the slice that's more like our pizza, but I don't think they're very good at all. Fortunately Greg agrees. Am I rambling? Sorry for that. I think we watched a movie Saturday night (I know we watched a movie but I'm not sure when it was). It was "Roman Holliday" with Audrey Hepburn and some guy I don't remember. I guess it was sort of a girl movie, but it was still pretty good. Oh, it was in black and white which made the Rome scenery harder to apprieciate, but maybe that'll just make the real thing even better.
Sunday we had worship here instead of with the Italian congregation in Florence. I'm not sure if I should feel this way, but I was really glad we stayed here. It's just impossible to enjoy services in a foreign language. We had classes in the afternoon and then went to Pepperdine University's building in town. Pepperdine is a school with the same affilliations as Harding, and they have a larger program than we do here, though it's a bit different. So it was neat to see their place in the middle of town because it helps us apprieciate our place in the middle of nowhere. It may be more inconvienient here, but it's so much prettier. And we may have roosters throughout the night, but they hear city traffic. Anyway, we had dinner and a devotional there with them, which was sort of neat.
Monday we had classes in the morning, and Greg and I both made A's on our Italian test! Yea! Everyone else is going into town now to activate their Eurail Passes, but Greg and I already took care of that Saturday night. Tomorrow--wow, that's soon!--we're going to the Italian Riviera for 2 and a half days. It should be a lot of fun. We'll be in an area called the Cinque Terra, which is five tiny towns all next to each other on the coast. Hopefully, it will be as relaxing and un-stressful as it sounds. Greg and I are planning to call some of the cities we're planning to visit next week to find out about concert reservations and hotels and stuff. Our train schedule books still haven't come in, though, so it's hard to plan all that without knowing what times we'll get in and have to leave.
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