14 June 2007

Monks and Gilato

Mama mia!!! The past couple of days have been filled with lots and lots of history!! I'm first of all kind of bummed since LIS was cancelled for the rest of the week. Luigi had to go somewhere to do something else that I don't remember...but either way...GONE!!! And LIS is my favorite class as you know so I'm pretty bummed...plus I lost my ipod the first day in Europe and I haven't had my luxury of portable music for two weeks!! UGH!!!

Ok but the good stuff!! Yesterday we didn't have any school at all...we had an all day excursion to Pienza...a little town just outside of Siena...about an hour or so if that matters?! Well I know that I can fly planes and do crazy 8 moves in a pitts and not get sick at all...but when it comes to car rides... if I'm not the one driving I get a little queezy!! Lame I know, but it just the way it goes!! It also doens't help that the two way roads in Italy are about as wide as one lane in America! No joke! They are super narrow and the motorcyclists think they own the road. They will wind in and out of the streets and cars and drive in all the lanes! It's pretty nuts but no one really seems to care...just the way of the Italians and according to Rita, that is why they buy them in the first place! So I jumped into the front seat of Miriams little car that Rita drove to Pienza and prayed that I wouldn't get car sick...I wanted to enjoy the scenery. But wouldn't you know it, I got I little sick anyway and had to be a bum, open the window and let the cool breeze of the Italian air take away the 'queeze.' When we started to come up onto Pienza, I opened my eyes and I can not tell you in very many words how amazing the view was. We were winding in and out of the Tuscan hills and on either side you could see every color on God's palate painted for miles. Endless curves of flawless green grass was complimented by fields of yellow flowers, wheat fields, grape vines, old stone houses that looked like castles from a fairy tale and trees that were grouped perfectly at the bottoms of the hills. Some of them were filled as far as you could see with the textures of trees and bushes, others were simply miles of grassy fields that were cooled by the breeze and a single tree to keep them company. Absolutely breathtaking...I felt as if I was in the middle of perfect story.

We finally arrived to Pienza and I had to get out of the car!! And wouldn't ya know the first thing that we do when we all poured out of the cars was crowd into a coffee shop and 'take a quick shot' of coffee!! It was delicous as usual and I don't know how I will adjust to coffee at Starbucks when I get back to the states. I'm so used to having just a few sips of a coffee and then moving on to the next thing..at Starbucks it takes me forever to finish one!! But starbucks does have Chai and I do love those very much!! Anyway...

Pienza is really cool to put it lightly...apparently it is a very old town that was build way way back in the day...around the 1400's or so. It is very historical and really pretty. It isn't nearly as big as Siena!! It reminded me of going to Madrid for those of you who know where that is, but a lot cooler...ya that's a word!! All of the buildings were made from stone and bricks and a bunch of other things I'm sure. People who lived there have decorated the fronts of their flats with beautiful flowers, petunias, bouganvilla's (I don't know how to spell that), daisies and a bunch of others. It was like the set of a movie, really and it was so warm and welcoming.

We made our way to a little plaza that I cannot recall the name of...that seems to happen alot huh? There was two buildings to really note. On the right was a huge mansion style building that was build back in the 1400's for the Pope at the time. After all the building and moving in of the Pope, he died two years later!!! Well at least they had a nice house to stay in after I guess huh? Next to it was the Pope's church. It was very beautiful and I have noticed that everything in Italy, churched or a store, is very detailed. Everything is so authentic and for the lack of a better word...Amazing. It's nothing like you would find anywhere in Albuquerque. The history lesson on these two buildings, plus the town was really neat but I won't bore you with all that. Just look at the really awesome pictures of them! We walked around Pienza for about and hour and checked out the amazing views. I would describe them but there are no more words. Just take a look at the pictures. Ok I just have to tell you this story. So Martin, Vicki and I are all walking around checking out the town and I was searching for a restroom. Most of the shops wouldn't let me use theirs unless I bought something from them...not gonna happen!! So we went to a bunch of different places. Vicki got the hiccups and I was laughing really hard at here because they were so loud...Martin gave me weird faces and we really just needed to find the bathroom because I was laughing so hard. So finally we found a lady who pointed us in the right direction. What we found were stall like public bathrooms filled with flies and no toilet paper or soap. GROSS!! All the bathrooms but a couple were just holes in the ground that greated you with mocking plastic ring!! UGH!! I was in and out in about 1 minute and when I was opening the door I heard a really loud noise that I choose to believe was just the sound of it flushing but we are not really sure what it was!!! Ok I don't know why I told you that...more for my memories of laughing really hard so I hope you enjoyed it!

After we mosied around and got some more gelato, we piled back into the cars and headed out to learn how to make cheese. I was confused about this excursion from the beginning and it was never cleared up because we first of all couldn't find the place, and then when we did, it was closed!! O well...that's the last thing I need...more cheese!! :)

I'm not sure how long our next car ride but luckily I was distracted by the motion sickness by the crazy antics of Martin and his fabulous signing. Every time I watch him sign I'm enthralled!! I want to just copy everything he does he is amazing!! We arrived at our destination and we stopped the cars on the side of the road next to a bridge...and it seemed as if we were in the middle of nowhere, or just south of it. FMB: Scottie made a very funny joke about this being our survival in Italy portion of the trip...You had to be there....

So we had to walk up this ginormous hill that led up to what appeared to be some sort of church like thing. Vicki told me she was told that it was used to study excorcism...which would have kind of been a fun but creapy experience...but turns out it was a monestary. It was pretty cool...alot of walking down very steep hills which leads me to believe that the monks have very strong calves and a good heartbeat. We got the 411 on the history of the monestary and were able to go inside the church. Again....amazing church artwork, detailes and designs...but the best part was when one of the monks came storming out of the woodworks and yelled at some excited about monks american tourist about crossing the ropes!! It was hilarious!! The guy saw the ropes, chose to ignore it to get a better photo and the monk came out and yelled at him in Italian about how the ropes were there for a reason and if he sees a rope he cannot cross it!! HAHA!! poor tourist!

I'm going to start a new blog for my next story.

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