More Birthday Fun and Exploring Lake Maggiore

Hi world! I haven’t updated in a little bit – sorry about that! Things get really busy when you’re exploring a foreign country. I’ll try to recap what I’ve been up to over the past couple days.

As you can tell from my previous post, we’ve been celebrating this week. And it wasn’t just Sam’s birthday – on Thursday it was Erika’s birthday too. We went out to dinner at a somewhat fancy pizza place to start our celebratory shenanigans. It was really good there, and I actually ate the entire pizza! This is exciting because it’s typically the custom in Italy to eat everything on your plate when you go to a restaurant.  Otherwise, we were told, the chefs would get offended that you didn’t like the food. After cleaning my plate I came to the conclusion that the logic behind that was a little ridiculous: if the chef was sitting and waiting for all the food to be brought back and then judged himself or us by what was left, not only would he have too much time on his hands, he would be offended a little too easily. So from here on out, I’ve decided to eat only what I want to eat. I really don’t want to eat too much and be ten pounds heavier than I was when I got here. Anyways…

After dinner we went on a wild goose chase trying to get into a dance club, which ended with us hopping from bus to bus trying to get back to our apartment without being able to really dance at all. It was all okay though – we stopped at Silvano’s, a really good gelato place, on our way back. Oh, and also, one of the best parts of the restaurant was that we got the waiters to bring Erika a candle for her birthday! And by candle, I mean just a candle – it was attached to a plate with, like, raspberry syrup, and that was it, since she didn’t order dessert. It made me chuckle – it’s funny how it’s so different from home sometimes.

Friday was full of fun as well: we went to Lake Maggiore, which is the second biggest lake in Italy. And boy was it gorgeous! Oh goodness, I don’t even know where to begin to describe it. It was like out of a movie. There was the lake, with three beautiful islands on it, one of which we got to explore. And all around the lake were nice hotels and windy cobblestone typically-Italian streets filled with restaurants and shops. It was amazing. Here, look!

I could make postcards out of these pictures, and my camera isn’t even that good 😛

We got a tour of Isola Bella, one of the islands in the lake that has a huge villa on it. The villa was beautiful – very old-looking but still in great shape. I think my favorite room was one that had a really high ceiling. It looked a lot like the library in Beauty and the Beast (minus the books, that is). It was round and even the same color blue! Our tour guide was funny (and he even said “Baroque” a couple times, like Cogsworth does in the movie… XD ). After we got back from our trip, we went grocery shopping and had dinner together at Katie and Sam’s apartment.

Today I’m planning on having a down-day and spending time in my apartment. Doesn’t sound like much fun, I know, but I think it’s what I need right now, and I’m actually quite excited about it. I’ve been running nonstop this week and sometimes it’s nice just to sit down and catch up with myself. I’m quite excited to be doing laundry and cleaning a bit as well as replying to emails, watching a movie, doing homework, and reading.

I’m really enjoying my time in Italy, and it makes me so happy how good life is right now. I’ll continue to keep you updated on how life across the Atlantic is! 🙂

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