It’s tradition for me to never qualify for any of the final prizes, so I’m honestly not surprised that I have missed the first six days of the challenge. However, this year is my best excuse yet. I was in Paris and Barcelona. I considered putting that all in caps, but I decided to keep it low key and casual even though I screamed it in my head. Here, I’ll just repeat it for extra emphasis–a compromise. Paris. And. Barcelona.
Long story short, they were both incredible. I had never been to Paris before, and around every street corner I found myself even more awestruck. I didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower (cue gasp), but I didn’t really want to- one of the best views of Paris is the Eiffel Tower, and if you climb it, you’re really not going to see much of the Eiffel Tower. Instead, I chose to spend my precious euros on the enormous Ferris Wheel (ever-so-cleverly called the “Paris Wheel” in my instagram caption, if I do say so myself… also if you would like to check out my instagram, it is mostly abroad pictures and can be found right here), and my friends and I were able to watch the sun set from one of the highest views in Paris, Eiffel Tower in plain view. It was, without a doubt, one of the most incredible moments of my 20 years of existence.
Gah I just spent so much time talking about Paris and the ferris wheel I have to dash through Barcelona. But it was also amazing. I actually studied there for four months my junior year of high school (4 years ago!!), so I was able to visit my host family from then. They were incredible, taking in me and my three friends with generous, open arms. I ate incredible food, ate more incredible food, got incredibly horrible food poisoning from aforementioned incredible food, and then got over it and, you guessed it, ate some more incredible food. In between meals, we visited the Sagrada Familia (it never fails to leave me speechless), Park Guëll (the same can be said for the Park… Gaüdi was a freaking genius), and watched the sun set from theMuseu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. I was able to put my Spanish to use, finally feeling somewhat useful communication-wise after helplessly struggling through Italian for the last couple months.
It was the best spring break of my life.
In case you’re all sitting at your computers feeling as though I am living the perfect life, I’ll share a short funny story so you feel slightly less like I’m over here living the European fairy tale (but, to be honest, I kind of am).
So in one of the many videos that was taken from this past week, I was slightly horrified to see that my face was definitely a lot rounder around the chin than it had been two months ago. Weight is one of those things that you don’t really notice in the mirror or in selfies, but then you see yourself on film and it’s like boom. Hello. You didn’t notice me before, but here I am!! So, as might make sense to anyone who is slightly aghast at the extra pound around there chin, I decided to make a point to get back into my workout routine when I arrived back in Florence. Today, after my six hours of class, I walked home in a gentle drizzle. I thought to myself, this isn’t bad at all! I love running in a gentle drizzle! So I put on my leggings and a long sleeved t-shirt, stuck my phone in my boobs, cranked up the Spotify “cardio” playlist, and headed out.
Low and behold, the “gentle drizzle” gradually turned into a steady downpour. I thought about turning around, but I was already across the river and it honestly looked as though it would be the same distance to get to the bridge in front of me than to return to the bridge I had passed around four minutes ago. Three and a half miles, probably around twenty very confused looks from pedestrians under umbrellas, and about 5 very terrifying lightening-closely-followed-by-thunder-claps later, I was safely back home. Or so I thought.
I’m not sure about any of you, but my face gets very red when I run. Very red. So I usually like to cool down after I get home–especially after three and a half miles. Geez Louise I did not realize how far I had gone until there was no turning back. So I’m sitting there on my floor, back against the door, listening to some music and thanking my lucky stars that my boobs kept my phone somewhat dry, and the lights go out. At first, I think that it’s just my room and everything is okay and the bathroom light will turn on and the shower water will be hot, but then I hear crazy whooping from the streets below and, although I cannot speak Italian, I can definitely tell when people are celebrating. I don’t think that I previously mentioned that I have honestly never been wetter. There is not a single part of me that is remotely dry. My hands are prunes. My sneakers are squelching. When I stand up, I have left a significant wet spot on the floor.
So I’m standing there in my dark room, cursing myself for only having my phone at 25%, but still using its flashlight because what the heck else am I going to use, and the lights go back on. The howling outside slowly dies down, replaced with a few grumbles and a couple chants, and then just undecipherable talking. And I take my warm shower, and I plug in my phone, and now I’m sitting here, clean, and writing this blog post. And that is the end.
If you made it through all this, then wow. I am impressed and I am flattered. Until tomorrow, people. It’s been too long.