22 September 2007

I am moving...

Moving on up....to WORDPRESS. I need a change of scenery. Here is my new link:

Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino


I hope you like it!!! Ci vediamo!

18 September 2007

I'm the boss!


Since being back in Chicago for only a few weeks these are the things I have done:

-I have found temp job
-learned how to use ebay (thanks Tina)
-started working out again
-from learning about ebay, I acquired tango shoes

I was watching Oprah on the saddest day for our country, September 11th. I started to get into her show and grabbed some kleenex when it hit me, 'I can't be sad today something is out there I need to get it, whatever it is.' So I set off to the temp agency I work with. They were very happy to see me back asking all the questions everyone asks me when I return. I told her what I wanted and low and behold she had a perfect job for me: no stress, just putting numbers into the computer. I will take it please! See being a nanny is a real trying job at times so I decided to go the less stressful route and here I am making more money than my last job. WHOO HOO!!

I have started getting my fat ass back into the gym and I love it. I have energy and I feel great about myself.

I have learned how ebay works. I know it is an auction website, but I didn't actually think I would HAVE to buy something. HAHA! Yeah you can call me an idiot but it is true. The rumors are true. I bought a fancy pair of tango shoes to start my tangoing career. Yes you heard me, I am going to be a Tango Star!!! Well seriously I am going to start taking lessons downtown and meet new people. I want to be around like minds and if my good friend Tina is a tango dancer than I sure as hell want to be like her. The truth, Tina got me hooked on tango since I visited her quaint,picturesque citta of Perugia back in February. I tried taking lessons while living there but it was hard having an actual job. So now I am on my own again I have decided to take on new a hobby:

TANGO!!!

15 September 2007

The Shock is killing me...

I have recently entered the world of my childhood and being away for 8 mos surely changes my outlook on life in the States.

-There is an obesity epidemic(does anyone else notice this?)

-People are loud when sober as well in public places

-There is WAY too much water in the toilet bowl

-My friends say things like, "I'm only free Mondays and Wednesdays". or "How does next month look for you?"

I sat in Panera Bread the other day working my new and improved resume, when I noticed two of the 3 mentioned above. People were way too large and way too loud. People were ordering large coffees(me included), large sandwiches, large everything.

I reminisced earlier this week about the sights and sounds I miss in Firenze.
-the sound of the cobblestones when I ride my bike
-the sound of the ambulance and polizia
-the 7 am bell of the Duomo(it woke me up every morning)
-the feeling when walking through MY citta!
-running into friends in the center
-always having a place to stop and visit
-friends inviting you at a drop of a hat out to dinner

I am glad to be home but these experiences will always be on my mind!

a presto

05 September 2007

Torno sempre!!

Quando tornato a nuovo?

2 Settimane....non ti preoccupare.

This has been my speech to all my friends....I have no words. I am not sad, I'm content. This life has given me the most incredible experiences a 26 year old could ask for. Good friends, good food, and good memories....I know it is a little sappy to say this but I seriously believe that Italia is inside me and I feel I will never leave it.

My heart is always thriving here. I can't be sad.

Tonight the gang and I are hitting up a well known aperitivo hang out si chiama ZOE. I am looking forward to stuffing my face once more. I can't get enough of aperitivos.

This will be my last post overseas. I am not shutting this blog down just cuz I am not in Firenze, so no worries.

Thanks for all the kind words from my favorite blogging friends. A presto, a dopo, ci vediamo a la prossimo, Firenze....io sono sempre qui!

See ya all stateside(whoever is stateside)

31 August 2007

On my own....a Firenze

I am now back in Firenze. It was hard leaving Elena and Piffi, very hard. Elena gave me a note with some money, saying thanks on how much I helped her. I almost started to cry in front of her but I saved that for when I walked around the property, Camporsevoli. Piffi drove me to the Chiusi station on the way(as usual) he told me stories. I thanked him whole-heartedly for the wine, (huge amounts of his wine)his stories, and his kindness.

"I have no words." He said with a great big smile. "All I'm going to say is come back soon and you are always welcome."

Ok, I am tearing up here.

When I was playing with Maria the first days I got back to the country, she likes to play this telephone game, she is always talking to either my mom or Addy. This time she handed the phone to me, I asked:

"Who is it?"
"Tua Mama."
"What is she saying?"
"Non vuole andare a Chicago."
"She doesn't want me to come back to Chicago? I have to stay with you forever?"
"Si!" She said with a smile.

And a few days before I left she was talking to my mom once again on her pretend phone:

"Puoi tornare a Chicago."
"My mom said I can come home?"
"Si." she said with a sad face.

I almost lost it right there. To change subjects of crying I grabbed the little monkey and kissed her all over, just how my Mom kisses me.

It doesn't seem like I'm leaving yet....it will hit me fast.

Last night everyone of my friends asked me about my departure. I said:

"I'm not discussing it."

a presto

19 August 2007

OFF to Campo

I am heading to the country once again.....I will be updating this blog upon my return.....

Buon Vacanza!!!

18 August 2007

Pooped

Is it a good sign or bad sign if you get pooped on by a pigeon while riding your bike?

Let me know what you think.

17 August 2007

Back to Firenze

So after 3 weeks with the family in Bolgheri, I am back in my citta. It was a great 3 weeks, not too stressful. It was a vacation but their vacation, I understood this so I accepted my position. She thanked me whole -heartedly and kissed me goodbye yesterday as Guido drove me to Cecina to catch the train. As I was waiting for the train I was getting a bit sad cuz I know when I finally get back to Firenze at the end of the month I will be packing and getting ready to head back home. I have stopped telling people here I am leaving, if they ask what I am doing after the job, I tell them of course, but other than that, I keep my month shut.

I am happy to go home I miss the life there. I saw my niece walking around on my webcam yesterday and realized that I don't want to miss anything else in her life.

I am heading to Lunch with Simo my friend of almost 6 years. I will be back later and write more.

a presto

02 August 2007

Beachside...See ya at the Seaside

This morning I am off to the small town of Bolgheri to meet up with the fam. I am actually soooo excited to be on the beach. I miss the girls and am ready to get out of the Florentine heat.

So when I am gone for these 15 days or so, I will NOT, repeat WILL NOT have internet connection. When you hear from me again it will be most likely at the end of August. Well I hope all my friends and family have a great August, especially my godchild and niece whose FIRST Birthday is the 18th of August....I LOVE YOU MY ADDY!!!!! UN GRANDE BACIONE!!!!!

Ci vediamo on the flip side......

29 July 2007

Guess what I found?

Do you know what these are??

I have seen these creatures walking about the pool of Camporsevoli but never thought I would find them swimming IN the pool.

I woke up early on Saturday Morning and went for an early swim in the grand pool of Camporsevoli. It was so peaceful and worth waking up for. As I was doing some side stroke laps, I notices these two little guys hanging on for dear life and also basking in the Tuscan Sun. I was entralled by their gold colors. I went back to the days of me chasing them and catching them outside my Boppa's house on Ft. Myers Beach.

When the girls came to the pool later with Elena, I showed Maria and she just loved them.

I see the signs......I am following them.

24 July 2007

Winding down...

I leave on Thursday morning for the country again. I will be happy to out of Firenze for awhile. I am getting sick of the same old scene I see day in and day out. The girls are great and I am glad it will be awhile until I get to be back in Florence alone again. I need to get away.

I spent the day with Maria and Emma(her cugina). Carolina is still with Nonna Elvira and her other cugine, Livia and Vittoria. She keeps telling V, "Domani, Mamma..." Very funny!

We first went to the park this morning with the bike to wait for Emma to arrive. We played with the chalk on the ground, rode the swing, and went down the slide numerous times. Then when Emma arrived her Nonna bought 10 rides for them around the Merry-Go-Round. It was about the 10th time when I'm like "Finalmente, Andiamo a casa."

I made them each a plate of pasta with meat sauce from l'Ada. They ate happily, then for dessert a banana each.

I really didn't have to do much this afternoon because they happily played together. No mush , no fuss.

There is really nothing to do these days. Other than heading to my favorite watering holes and ristorantes, that is getting old. I'm sick of drinking and seeing the same people all the time. I am feeling like Mary Poppins when she feels the wind change, it is time to leave and spread good cheer among new friends. I know I sound a bit dramatic, but I feel when you overstay your welcome you must just phase yourself out or leave as soon as possible, whichever works better. I know my friends don't want me to leave but unless I had another purpose here rather than being a barfly and a nanny all at once, it would be a different story. I would be broke....hahaha!

Anyways, my life here is winding down and going back to Chicago will be very different for me. But it is all for the best. I know Firenze could never leave my soul so I'm not worried.

a presto

20 July 2007

Correction!

Thanks to my friend Tina, who is apparently better with counting than I am, I have actually been 6mos already. I will have lived here for 7 months altogether. CRAZY HUH???!! Thanks again Tina!!!

18 July 2007

I'm Ready for the Beach...

I have been working with the girls for the past 3 days. I am beat. I am off now for 4 days total and I am enjoying it. It is hella hot but I am dealing with it as I usually do. I just except the fact that I will be sweating all day and I can't do anything about it.

I have been trying to reflect a little here and there on my adventure as it is winding down. Very little because if I think too much it leads to stress and frustration. But these days, now that I know I am leaving for home, I am not worrying as much. Having my good-looking Italian friends to distract me is a plus and a great bit of eye candy that helps me think of many other things. :-)

All I'm thinking about is the beach these days. Even though I will be Pee Wee Camp counselor, Katie, I know it will be fun and a relaxing period. For all of us. It has been tension city here with V and I. She and I are just not getting along as well as we used to. But I think it is normal considering how long I have been living here. The last au pair was only here from March to September. I have been here almost 5 months on the 31st of July. WOW! I am so impressed with myself. This is a new record of me, and I have achieved it all on my own. Let it be a stressful transition or challenging move, but I DID IT!!! I did what I wanted to do. With the will and strength that lives inside me. No one else can take credit for this(well my parents can because they were there believing in me when I thought I couldn't finish the goal). But overall it was of my doing, my determination, my dream.

I even went through all the levels of Italian at Giorgia La Pira. What an accomplishment! I am still struggling here and there with speaking but I know if I keep it up I will get better.

I look back now, not even thinking I could accomplish so much, but here I am living in Firenze, speaking the language, and living the life I set out for.

I deserve the beach....I have been so very busy this past year.

a presto

07 July 2007

Italy and me

I have been constantly thinking about family these past few weeks. It makes me me wonder why I keep leaving them.

Italy has made me who I am today, has made me conquer feats I never thought of achieving. A place where I meet people all over the world, old and new, come in and out of my life while I am living here. I find that even if you get annoyed with your parents, family, you will inevitably end up wanting to come home with open arms.

It makes me sad to say that I have chosen a departure date. I know I have many expats here that I still haven't met, I hope to be in touch. These past few posts probably have given you a feeling that I have been wanting to go home. But on the other hand, I have done more than I thought I would being here. I shouldn't be feeling sad about leaving....all I am upset about is my Italian. That is the one thing that I feel I can strive better at. I'm such a perfectionist. So this is going to be long process.

Last night was Coast2Coast at Joshua Tree, it was a blast. I felt comfortable in my surrounding of Italians, friends, and random drunk people. I looked around this bar and looked at my Beer stein full of Wiekse Witte beer, and thought to myself, wow....drinking is getting soooo boring. It is fun to be around friends in a bar atmosphere, but looking at my 5th beer, not being drunk, I was content with the fact that I can not do this much longer.

Another common theme throughout my friends are they all want some sort of transition. Paolo has never thought about taking another job away from the Joshua Tree, and when he was offered a few nights ago to work in the States, he was thinking deeply about it. Antonio wants to travel before he is to old to experience it. Simo wants to travel as well but is afraid he is too old now, being 33. RIGHT!!! Davide believes he can't do anything or try anything new because he is 31, I do not like his attitude.

Then there are my friends working their asses off for a purpose. Carlos is providing for his family and saving for a fantabulous hotel or B&B in Brazil. I admire him that he can work with such heart and drive. Raul made his wife move here with him so he can work on his music career. He works his ass off to make ends meet with his wife.

All these factors I take in account that I am actually quite lucky to be here and be able to be 26 and be in Italia. Not having to work hardcore, not paying rent, not in a job I hate...(ok well I'm almost done), I am lucky!! I have the capabilities to achieve many things.

Today I am going to hang out at Michael Collins, hang out with friends, maybe even speak some italian....hahaha....ok

a presto

03 July 2007

Many Blessings

My friend Joan (above) has arrived in Firenze, this time while I am here as well. Italia is how we connected originally back in 2002. It is great to have her here and show her all the places that connect us.
Yesterday I have Maria all to myself for the afternoon. She is so cute and sweet....my buddy. I am trying desperately to add these videos I took but it is taking so long on Youtube.....I will let you know when I get them up on the Blog.

I have been taking everything in stride this week. Today I took the bike to mended because the brakes were failing. I think went to my favorite tabacchi shop on the Arno, where I always buy my bus tickets and stamps for the states. I walked in and saw a man I have never seen in the shop but I started my request anyways:

"Posso comprare un multi-plo biglietto per l'autobus, e anche cinque francobolli per mandare Stati Uniti?"

"Perfetto Italiana!!" lui detto. I was very happy.

I said in a way I was comfortable and it was natural. WHOO HOOO!!!

"It's all coming back, it's all coming back to me nooowwww...." sorry to break out in Meatloaf.

I am currently in the avanzata classe in Giorgia La Pira. Don't know how but I am....I am learning more and more everyday and I hope to keep it going once I return.

I am blessed to have been involved with such a great family. Everyone let me know of the terror and horror stories that can be had in this type of experience but alas I have totally lucked out.

I know I have sad ill things of the aforementioned family, but that comes with the job. Not that these things are true, but it is a JOB. You can't like everything about any job.

I think knowing I have more contacts here makes me even more excited about coming back. Whenever that may be....this is what is great about life, you can be in one part of world one second and the other back home in your OWN BED! I am going to leave this post with a great quote, one(becuz I have so many) of my favorites...

The way you activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create. When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped. All too often people fail to focus their choices upon results, and therefore their choices are ineffective. If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.
--Robert Fritz

25 June 2007

The Hotness continues...


I am lucky to have the pool of Elena and Pifi at my beck and call. Alas even when I am in the pool these days it is like bath water. So not as refreshing as I hoped. But still I wouldn't give that option away for a second.

These days it seems people have been on edge, perhaps because of the heat. I found out yesterday that Franco, the backbone of Lorenzaccio, passed away on Friday. He had advanced throat cancer and refused to get it treated whatsoever, he just wanted to live. I never got to know him fully but I would always give him a 'Ciao, or Grazie' when I was there. I felt the sadness falling around me when I went over to greet my friends. Guiseppe was by far the saddest of them all.

"Katie, I really miss Franco."

I was so sad.

I went to see my friend Michelangelo he gave me the best smiles. But I knew he was crying inside. He kept saying 'thank you' but I felt I was not of any help. I just stood by him for about 10 minutes in silence, looking onto to his tan face and he kept on smiling. Just as long as he knew I was there, made me feel I somewhat helped.

Above is my friend Michelangelo....that is my favorite picture of us, on my birthday.

I find that the more I stay here the more and more I am embedded in this citta. Among my friends, expats, the family, and Americans there is no way you can keep me away from this place.

a presto

20 June 2007

Yet another cut...quite a bit

Here are the flowers I bought when my Mom was here. They are blooming strong in the Florentine sun. Just like me I am pressing on and enjoying this adventure I call MY LIFE.




Eccomi....A bit shorty short short...ehh it grows back....I am happy with it. Different and Chic!! It feels great, a change, change that I like. It makes me look skinnier. Always a plus. Maria was a little afraid it wasn't really me and wouldn't talk to me when she first saw me. Hopefully they will grow to love it as well.

Such as life there is always need of change, good and bad. All these put together makes you a stronger person in the end. Being open to change is a new concept for me. I am glad I have this spontaneous nature to cut my hair this short. This is the first time I cut it soooo short. Sometimes one needs a boost in life, to pick me up from worrying about stuff that is worthless to worry about. This is my BOOST!!! BUONA GIORNATA!!!!

18 June 2007

Enjoying the Moment

This weekend we bid farewell to our friend Lauren who went back to Texas for a few months. She will be returning in and around August to start school again. Although it was a rather emotional ride of a weekend, I was able to enjoy it with friends.

On Friday I headed to Venezia for the Heineken Jammin' Festival to see Pearl Jam, The Killers...and many more. On my way there I am looking out the train window and I see storm clouds all around me. Thankfully I packed an umbrella but as I arrived there I can see it was a pretty bad storm that ripped thru Mestre. Alessio, mio amico, calls me and says the concert is "beep"!! I'm like WHAT?!?!?!

I arrive at the concert site, Parco San Giovanni, and I see tons of people soaked to the bone, and being escorted out of the park. I wait for about 45 minutes until Ale arrives. We were so upset...Che palle!

We ended up walking to Venezia from Mestre which was not very long becuz of a nice man that let us hitch a ride to the Island. The roads were closed in and out of Venezia because of fallen trees from the storm. We walked until we found the ristorante of choice. It was a crappy situation in which I keep my head up and enjoyed the company of Ale. We talked and laughed and had a grand time out of a crappy one. It was something I wish I could do always. We had a nice dinner and then headed back to catch a rather cramped bus. Thankfully we were the first stop to reach the car. I slept on and off until we arrived in Firenze alle 1.30. I crashed. I slept until 11 the next morning and was very sleepy the rest of the day. I then headed to the river to lay out for a bit. It was divine. I knew it was just a matter of time until I realize I will be home again. The thought of staying here is constantly going thru my head, however it is hard to get myself to be like....YES katie you are staying for x amount of time more. On my own. Key word there.

The thought of being a permanent fixture here, scares me. A person that breezes in and out, yes, I can't stay here forever.

I love the people, my friends, both new and old, they give me tons of reasons to stay and then reasons to leave. I am a person that likes change. Even though a few years before I remember saying how I can't stand when things change. I seem to have a spirit that yes, I enjoy my place here but I constantly want something to inspire me in a different direction. Now that is not just in Italy, I find I am this way at home as well.

I really need to make money. I need to start my career (whatever it may be) and set forth to a life of being in Chicago most of the year and Florence. This is my passion. If I can make it work then damn I need to get on this. I know I have the potential to achieve this goal. All I got to do is believe and such things will happen. I need to keep faith in the choices I make. Nothing is forever. I am not failing if I leave here. I need to drill that into my head.

I am determined to enjoy each and every moment I have here. With friends, family, and Firenze. Firenze has brought me so much joy thru my 20s. I want it to keep bringing my joy onward thru my 30s as well. Let's start the process...

13 June 2007

The Women in my life






I have met incredible, strong, fearless women since this journey began. I have yet to talk about all of the above strong, fearless women in my life. So I thought I should give you all some insight on these acquaintances, long-term friends, connections at first sight, bosses, and teachers.

I would like to start with the most recent encounter I had with Melinda, from Living in Florence. She and I have been trying to meet for up to 3 months now and FINALMENTE we met this past Sunday. She kindly invited me over for a cup of tea and banana bread and good conversation. She is a woman of many backgrounds and many experiences. She makes me want to persevere to the highest peak. Having the recent obstacles to leap over, she still presents herself with a great, big smile on her face. I love that! I can feel her strength and her “you can’t stop me now” attitude. I tried to absorb this vibe. She had a lot of insight on life, love and hardship. I took it all in. It is amazing how meeting a person for the first time can really get you into a mood. Like ‘I can conquer the world if I want to’ attitude, referring to my indecisiveness on staying past September. I let her know I will not stay for a guy, friends, or any job that is only a setback. She applauded that, ‘you need to stay for you.’ I agree. Alas here is my new friend Melinda, tower of strength and powered by determination.

My next friend and/or fabulous lady in my life is Danielle. I met this New Yorker back in February. She and Lauren were frequently attending the infamous Karaoke at Michael Collins where at the time had a reoccurring spot. She and I got to talking one night and I found out she was doing her Masters in Italian Literature and became quite intrigued by this petite lady. She is just 21 and acts very mature and sophisticated. I admire her drive, determination, and passion for life, her studies, and Italy. She is now one of my closest friends here. She is also a fabulous cook. I will never eat chick-peas without thinking of her.

And now onward to Tina. I think you all remember her because I am constantly thanking, referring to her in my posts. I met her in February as well. She came to Florence for a long weekend and met me for a nice casual dinner in San Niccolo. We hit it off from the start. She had this brush of energy when she walked into the room. I could definitely see how we got connected. We both have the same love of Italia, the same independent nature, and the same determination. I enjoyed immensely speaking with her about life, love, etc. She brought warmth to my heart and made me feel completely normal (o abnormal) for what I was doing here. No one has ever conquered this feat, so why not that one be me? Vero? To this day I constantly send her emails asking what she thinks I should do, just to get some feedback. I hope I have another chance in this life to see that fabulous, most helpful, ‘willing to put herself out there’ soul.

Francesca is a lovely girl who I met 2 years ago at a concert of my friend Giulio. She right away caught my eye. She was not like the other Italian women I have met prior. She came up to me and ask me my name. She was very kind, sweet, and very talkative, like me. She is the girlfriend of my other friend Iacopo, whom I love as well, and the two of them together I am in heaven. They are so welcoming and loving.

She is also a kindred spirit of mine. She and I had a nice glass of vino a few months back, and she was saying the exact thing I was thinking. She has the same views on life as me. Saying things like…You need to do what is best for you, no one else. You only live once. She is in this fabulous band leading them to stardom I think. She has such drive, passion for this music. I love her voice, just like her, strong, smooth, and changing always. I have many more years to learn so much from her.

My sisters are among a higher stature of superb greatness. Jen, being a mother, a friend, and a confidant, she knows how I feel about her in my life.

Emmy, a smart, strong, and beautiful woman she is these days. She has a lot coming her way, I hope all her dreams come true in this life that seems to be flying by.

My Nana has been talked about much in this blog. She has a spirit about her that makes me what to do anything. Because I can, I have the power and I have the strength to prevail. Thanks to you.

Last but not least, my Mom. She has been thru a lot with me wanting to constantly leave her. Although I have always returned, it is still hard for both of us. She has yet to tell me to come home….i am the one that keeps saying it. She always let me talk my thoughts out. She has trained me to love your family as much as yourself. There is nothing that substitutes family in this life. I can still be my own person with my family around me. For many years I always thought I had to be far away from home to be successful. I find that this is so untrue. I need constant support around me, always. Why not it be my family? Friends come and go but family is always there, thru thick and thin. How cheesy am I?!?!

I have a great admiration for all these women in my life. I am grateful for all that they share with me and thankful I have them to support me as well.

10 June 2007

Crazy images


Here is my brother with a pope. They got to talking and then headed to a bar outside the Vatican Museum. It was friend at first sight...



Here is my brother after me driving my INCREDIBLE driving to Montalcino...

He never screamed once. I love him.


Here is where you have to park when you pick up your children after a school performance...

Can you get out of that pickle???

04 June 2007

Thoughts that keep you up...

I was in San Casciano this weekend with the fam. It was a rather hectic weekend but I felt I accomplished a lot for V and the other English family that was visiting V and G. It has become more and more homey when I am with them. V definitely has changed her attitude towards me since my parents came. I'm glad it was a success!

Do you ever think of people that you could have been nicer to back in the day? I was tossing and turning last night thinking of a friend I have recently received an email from asking me to meet up with him. Then I haven't thought of him until last night. It was weird but was very much relavent with what I have come across these days. I have just finished the book, A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi...this weekend I came across this passage about love and choosing love:

"...I think that most people who are alone are so by choice as much as they are by fortune and destiny. There's a great humility about love. Before a person can surrender his aloneness, he has to care for someone more than he cares for himself..."

I feel that in this passage, it defines me. I find myself choosing to be alone. Given here I am...in Firenze, by myself, not attached, which I love. But in the sense that I have NEVER felt I should commit myself to anyone in this life thus far. But again this statement holds true in some sense. Allora, back to my thought that kept me up....so I thought maybe one guy here was someone I want to commit to but alas I have found out....that he is not the one for me...solo amico. I found I liked the idea of being with him. But he turned me off in the end. So then came this random thought of the other guy. We left on bad terms due to my blunt and straightforwardness...stating 'I will never be with him' in that way. It was never the same and we lost touch. He never returned my calls and if he did answer he was an ass. Justifiable. Then I finally took his number out of my phone and refused to ever call him again.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago...I received an email asking me to meet up with him in my town,no less. (He never would want to come to CL). I sent an email showing my happiness to hear from him and also the expression I am living my life without him. Comfortably. And here I am today or rather last night....thinking about him and how I was a horrible friend to him.

I also read my horoscope the day my family arrived back on the 18th and it said this:

"Per qualcuno di voi, un'amicizia potrebbe trasformarsi in passione. Farete fatica a entrare in sintonia con chi vi ama, nonostante le sue ottime intenzioni: siete troppo svagati, troppo ansiosi, troppo in cerca...di che cosa?"

It is pretty much saying that a good friendship can turn into a passion of some kind. I immediately thought of amico mio. Because we have gotten closer. And also he started pushing me away (as well as I did) so I thought maybe there was something there. Alas, niente...nulla...oh well.

In life I believe there are people who touch your soul and those who pass by like a breeze. I have seem to have met many people here that have touched my soul, like a friend, a confidant, and a potential(although never has it been reciprical, that I know of). I think that is why I keep myself at a distance to some and sneak away at times. I don't like people, my friends, my family, to know EVERYTHING about me. I would rather leave some parts of my life a mystery. Not to create some sort of secret life but to keep my thoughts, my fears, even my loves to myself. Another reason why I can't commit or see myself with anyone at all. Ever...sometimes.

Like my mom says and I have adapted this expression, 'It will come when you are ready' or 'whatever will be,will be, the futures not ours to seek' or 'Just what makes that little old ant...' and so on and so on.

Sometimes these thoughts keep me up because...well....I am alone. I am in a country full of potential men who would like to be with me and thus not-a-one has stuck. The aforementioned passage from Marlena de Blasi, speaks loudly to me and suggests I DO choose my aloneness. Because I CHOOSE to be writing about this which is boring the hell out of some of my readers.

I'm sorry.

So now we go back to my Mom and her wise words 'Katie your time will come....you have other things to do in your life...It will find you when you least expect it.' Of course how simple is that??? Alas I have been waiting for IT to find me for 26 years!!!!! What exactly is IT?????

My absolute fear is when I ever arrive home is the constant questions if I found someone special....I will answer you all right now....you know who you are...

I have not found anyone special, it isn't my time, I have too much to accomplish in my life, when I least expect it IT will find me....

There......ok well I will keep all of my readers updated on the aforementioned thought in my mind....constantly in my mind....

thanks for listening to my venting and banter....

30 May 2007

Mighty Kites! Forte Dei Marmi and some Englaaashhh...




My parents and my brother are departing Italia as of 1:50pm from Roma. It was a fabulous vacation with my family. They got to meet most if not all of my friends except Simo and Paolo from Joshua. All of them were kind and sweet to my family. Even debbie downer...

I noticed being on this vacation with my parents and my brother, that I LOVE them dearly obviously, but I think I might(if I can find a job) stay. It will help me out in the end if I want to really truly become comfortable with the language. Even though the pain of not being on that plane right now is burning a hole in my heart, I much press on. I must think only that I am here for a time in my life that is precious...I need to find my passion on my own without distractions. Not saying my family is a distraction, but just that time by yourself to think, I suppose. I am sure of myself that I can survive on my own here.

I have decided that I would love to write for a living. I truly enjoy writing. And you can write anywhere...who knows...I could have a home here and in Downtown Chicago. Why not?

We also went to Forte Dei Marmi for 2 lovely days...California Park Hotel. The woman that ran it was just a doll, she was so kind and spoke italian with me....I wanted to live permanently there at the hotel. It was great! The seaside was gorgeous as well. The Sun came and went as our days dwindle at the sea but it was a fantastic time.

Then we came back to Firenze with only a few days to spend with each other. We had a dinner with my professor Bob Connor on Sunday night, which was very fun and a little tipsy. On Monday night, it was Elena's turn to meet my family. We got picked up by Antonella in Porta Romana and we were off. It seemed such a short visit but it was great to have both of these families meet. It was a great dinner and great conversation!

Then there was ONE day left...
We came down a little later around 12 and went to the market and picked out some presents for the loved ones at home. We then headed for our last lunch together at Lorenzaccio. They were all happy to see me and to greet my family. Lapo, Davide, Giuseppe, and of course Pitto. He was very much invited to our home by my mother...."Thank you, you are very kind, are you sure you don't own guns?" He has this image of all Americans carrying guns as they walk down the street.

"I assure you there are no guns in our home." my mom said.

He then gave my mom a hug with a giant kiss....my mom was happy about that. I was too.

The last few hours were hard....they went very fast and were very very very sad.

I kept thinking ok I am just leaving them to go to college. That made me feel less sad for a few seconds. Then I kept thinking of all my friends told her....

"Don't worry, We will take care of her." Carlos said with a warm hug to my mom.

"Just tell her she has to come back and we will have lunch because you will be living here." Simone said over the phone.

"She is doing great, don't worry." Guiseppe hugging my mom.

"Lei sta bene, lei ha tutti amici, sei traquilla...ora sono trieste." Antionette, the maid from Villa Bonelli talking to my mom when she was balling her eyes out....I love her! She started crying a bit too.

How lucky am I to have these people in my life???

My family, my close friends here....really I never thought I would be here at this point in my life. I didn't think I would be in Italia at 26. That is for sure! Here is my life, I am doing everything I ever wanted to pursue. Who can say they have done this? Not many. I am very happy now.

I am currently sitting in Michael Collins writing this, I feel completely content on my life here. I am glad I am not giving into guilt or the sadness I felt earlier today. I hope my sadness will pass. This beer seems to be helping. I must run now. V is not feeling well so I am picking up the girls. BY BUS!!!!

For my bry...."I hate when we miss practice, Mighty KIIITTES!!

love u mom and dad!!!

a presto

17 May 2007

MagicBabyet!!!Check this group out!!



In true fashion, I am going to introduce all my blogging friends, friends back home, and family to amica mia, Francesca and her fabulous band, MagicBabyet.

here is the link to their myspace music page: MagicBabyet MySpace Music

Also this is their website, it is still under construction at the moment: MagicBabyet

On this site, you can hear her piercing, sexy voice and kick ass sound. She sings in English, so don't think you won't understand her. She is a pinnacle of success and determination. Having the ambition to follow her heart with her love of music and language as well, makes me admire her so much. I think (ok I know) we are soul mates of some kind. I have always pushed her to do what she wants and always knew she would succeed. So spread the word, MagicBabyet will become very successful, I know it!! The sound alone will draw you in, so take listen!

Love ya Fra!!

PS: Tomorrow my parents and kick ass brother will be in Italia!!! CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

14 May 2007

My Hot Topic

These days have been extremely warm. Suitable weather for when my parents arrive this Friday. I have also been going to school for the past week trying to absorb as much italian and conversation as possible. And of course, I have been with the girls a lot as well.

I have been enjoying the company of my friend Daniella at the seaside, as well as eating and drinking in Piazza Signoria. More and more I think about how life here(in my mind) was supposed to be different, in reality, it is not. It is the same life here, the only difference I am in Italy. I work hard, I hang out with friends, I go to school, and I have time to go to the beach. The only thing I don't like is that I don't have time to work on stuff I really want to do.

My time is spread out between babysitting, cleaning, italian, friends, emailing, cleaning, babysitting, etc. My life is very much even more busy here than at home. Funny huh?

Anyways, I am very excited to meet my parents in R0ma on Friday. Even though I have a to work a bit when they are here, it is still going to be worth it!!! I hope this visit will help me decide what my next step will be.

Sorry I haven't written in awhile....I will try to write more soon!!!

a presto

30 April 2007

Rainy Day


Today I felt like a kid jumping in the puddles on this rainy day. All of a sudden in the centro of Firenze it started pouring. Good thing I was inside Michael Collins having a beer and a grand ole chicken sandwich. Even though it was raining, and the fact I had to ride my bike home in the pouring rain, I was having a a great time. I was splashing thru puddles and found myself giggling out loud as if I was 7 years old again. Here is a picture of my fun rainy day in Firenze, because I have been off these few days, I feel I have the time to goof off and become childlike again. I was soaked when I arrived home. But it was gosh darn fun!! :-)

28 April 2007

The Importance of Greeting

I have found having a group of guys as my friends my entire life, in every stage of my life has impacted me very much. Let me explain...

My boys from high school were always asking me questions about how to ask out so and so for the homecoming dance, where to take their soon to be gf for dinner, and what kind of present should I get her for her bday/christmas. I always gave them honest answers and helpful advice in going forth to pursue such a catch. On the other hand Katie has rarely been taken out on a proper date in her young life. So the advice I was given was just on what I think should happen.

Fast forward to my guy friends in College. They were more like drinking buddies, we never really talked about each other's love life, if any. Alas my senior year I had a group of guys(whom I'll never forget) that were the greatest. They were, Lucas, Johnny, Beej, and Kugs. They always wanted me around when the MN wild hockey team was playing cuz apparently I was 'good luck'. I loved just going to their place in the New village and just being there. We never had or would talk constantly, I would just sit and talk about the game or about the upcoming weekend. The only time I felt like I was giving advice was when my friend Lucas(who was very conscious about his looks when venturing to Winona Bars) asked me which shirt he should wear when we go out. I'm like, "well sweetie, all look pretty good." Then he asked me what pants will go with the shirt he picked out, "that looks fine." I said feeling as though I was talking with a gf. Anyways, my point is, I rarely have an issue with my guy friends are in tow. They understand me and I understand them. No worries, no feelings are ever hurt, they are just there and comfortable to be around.

And NOW the present, My italian friends are bit the same and a bit different. My boys are older, remains to be seen, but they are. Because they are older, I think they need more attention as if they were the runt in a puppy litter. As I am a believer that all men want/need attention from women, however I do believe as they get older they are lacking that specific attention that they want. Meaning they want to feel attractive, funny, charming, kind, and most of all... available. Alas, I know all this, I still refuse to treat them with as much attention as they seem to want. Why? Well, of course my friends are attractive Italian, Brazilian, and Mexican men, I am still in the stage in my life/mindset that I feel that they don't need it. Of course I let my boys know when I like that shirt or a new haircut, e poi basta.

I guess to get back to the point of my post, The Importance of Greeting. Anyone, I believe likes to be greeted when arriving at any location. For my friends, I lack in greeting them when I arrive at the Ristorante in which they are working. These days they have working very hard and are very tired and crabby when I see them there. So in other words, even though they seem crabby and not happy, why not shoot them a smile and a 'Buona Giornata'. That is all they want. Just to be noticed and maybe for one second your smile can cheer up the rest of their hard-working day.

So try it, when and if you see someone(friend or not) at a store or a place of business, why not shoot them a smile and a Have a nice day'. All anyone wants to is be noticed at any stage of their day and brought back from their routine with a smiling face! It helps make the world go around. Sending SMILES to all my friends in the BLOG WORLD!!!!

:-) :-) :-) :-)
a presto

27 April 2007

Funny thing happened when driving in Firenze...

So yesterday I thought it would be a better idea to pick the girls via l'automobile. BAD IDEA!! In the current mindset I was in it turned out to be a bad idea. The rest should make you all laugh or what to laugh at me(if you know how I am when I am nervous). It's pretty funny.

Anyways, I got them in the car, alas my first mistake, make sure Maria has a chu chou aka pacifier. Couldn't find it while I was driving like a mad woman to get home as soon as possible so she would stop the whining and screaming in the car "CHU CHOU....VOGLIO CHU CHOU!!!!!!!!!"

I went to my happy place and just breathed in and out. When it came to my next challenged to find a parking spot outside the house and park it well. Easier said then done, at least with a manual car it was difficult. I can parallel park at home fine, with an automatic. Dunque, however, I found a parking spot, ECCOLO!!!!!

As I persue the parking spot I realize I am parking horribly. The girls are asking me all these questions and saying "HO FAME, VADO A CASA, DOVE LA MAMMA???"

At this point my head is screaming "AHHHHHHHHHH SHUT UP!!" But alas my face was saying....ok the say, "Che cazzo, Che cazzo facendo katie??" Wait...it gets better....then I realize I am now holding up traffic with a GRANDE bus waiting for me to park. So picture this, I have children in the car, asking me random questions(in italian), I have almost dented the car in front of me and now I have a FUCKIN bus waiting for me to park a normal parking job. I decide to get out of the way and try another one. I first, stall 2 times in front of the bus feeling like I am some sort of a comedic actor on stage. HAHA!!! So I finally get out of the way and make my way around the block to try again. As I am driving this way, Carolina says "You are stupido." WOW.....I just went back to my happy place and ignored them and parked, horribly, but I parked the damn car. Wasn't that hilarious!!!???

I really thought about it as I was coming up the elevator with the child that called me stupid and thought, 'yes katie that was a hilarious situation I just put myself thru. Don't let this ruin the time I am with the kids. I might as well just create it into something HILARIOUS invece something horrible.' So I did.... V said nothing about the horrible park job so I was like, whatever(a common American saying for who the fuck cares). I decided at that moment I will never, ok maybe not never, but not when I return to buy a stick shift car. I feel more comfortable with my 'boring automatic car' as V once said, 'what is this cruise control thing you have, that isn't driving.' Whatever V, that is driving in the States.

26 April 2007

Living instead of Thinking

For me, ora, I need to stop thinking. I need to think about where I am and where I have been to be able to be in this beautiful country. I have found myself way too often in my head instead of in a book, speaking italian, in the citta. I have become the thinker I always turn into when I find I need a change in my life. Although thinking is a good activity to do when you decide which way are you going to drive to work, what will you eat for dinner, should I have a coffee before class AND after to stay awake today. Now these are perfectly normal things to think about throughout ones day. Alas I have become the girl who cried 'home' instead of wolf. HA!

Not that I really think (see I am thinking again) home is where all my problems will be solved, but it is a comfort zone, a place that I can think about ME again, and where (obviously) my family is. Yes, I know what you are all thinking(now you guys are thinking HA) 'Katie what is wrong with you? or You are in Italy, stop thinking about home!' OK one, I understand that this is what I like to call 'crazy talk' but come on, being successful in ones life doesn't mean to run away from the people that are your biggest supporters, your family. Not saying I did, but you know what I mean, I came here to get clarity on if and when I would ever seriously want to live here and make a life for myself. Also speaking and learning more italian is another big goal. So what is next?

Well one step is to start living here and stop thinking about things I can't change or create for myself because I'm not in Chicago. Numero due, sit back and enjoy this ride in which I mean my amazing, self-started life here in Firenze.

Done and done, I am going to live day by day, waking up with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (Laundry time, laundry time, everyone knows how fun laundry is.....). So here I go....

24 April 2007

Fotographia

Here are a few Spring Fotos I have taken these days.
Great nite picture! I always seem to get one of these.
The Duomo peaking thru. I saw this view as I was walking home Sunday afternoon. Gorgeous!
San Minato Chiese sitting high like a nobleman on it's terrace looking down on the Fiorentini.
The green is all around now. Everywhere I look I see flowers and matching green grass and trees.
Did I mention I love taking pictures with Lamposts? I love it!!
The cloud behind the Duomo looks like some kind canvas for it. Bellissimo!
Taken from the north end of the Arno, along the bridge leading to Piazza Donatello. You get a great view of the entire length of the river.

I have heard more than once that I am a pretty good Photographer. I don't always to toot my own horn but I think I am a pretty good one. Another option I can explore while in route to my career.

20 April 2007

Life Lessons

Too many times I have thought about what is wrong with this job and rarely have taken anything good from this job and how it has effected my personality and way of thinking. Here are a few Life lessons I have written down one day on my way to pick up the girls. These are good traits I hope to hang on to once I leave here.

Life Lesson #1
Being able to accept peoples' attitudes around you without letting their attitude impact your own.

Life Lesson #2
Being able to choose my OWN attitude for each day and help impact other's attitudes by my smile and cheerful expression.

Life Lesson #3
Try not to rush through a goal. Understand that their is more to having just ONE goal than many little ones at one time. Try to give it your all whenever in the process of achieving ONE goal at a time.

Life Lesson #4
Make every activity a fun one. As if you were a child playing games with onself.(ok this one is more about how I make doing laundry here a game, IT'S LAUNDRY TIME WHOOOPEEE!!!)

Life Lesson #5
Enjoy each moment you have wherever you are in this world. Who knows if you will ever experience a journey like that again, Savor each moment!

Life Lesson #6
Try something new at least once in your life. If not you will never know what you could have done. Take a chance on your potential of being something completely different.

Life Lesson #7
Compliment the beauty around you. Let it be a friend, a loved one, or a piece of art. Let it be known that they are "exceptionally gorgeous today."

Life Lesson #8
Don't assume you failed to achieve a goal because you didn't achieve it in the allotted time. No goal has a set amount of time to complete it. You set that farce within yourself.

Life Lesson #9
It is funny how much you need family when you are away from it. Even though you think you can be without it, once it's out of reach, you want to have it even more. Call your mom and DAD!

Life Lesson # 10
Realize that everything happens for a reason. Even if it a bad something, it usually all turns out in the end. Everything that has unfolded badly has always made me stronger in the end.

Just a few things I have learned being here and living my life in Crystal Lake, IL.

You may agree or you may not, but in the end, for me, they are definite thoughts that have made me who I am today. I am growing, learning, and understanding my life better each day I am on this earth. I think, in a nutshell, that is what it means to truly find who you are inside and out. I am not saying you should to analyze everything in your life. But just the thoughts that you normally have, I think can impact how you look at the world around you. If you truly know who you are then you need not to worry about what others think or how a goal should change your life. Just Live, I say. The rest will fall into place.

16 April 2007

"The Au pair That Knew Too Much"

This is a story of an young girl who decided to one day open her heart to a family in Italy and help with their adorable little girls. Both were very attached to the mother in which was the plan for the au pair to make them comfortable with the surroundings while in her company. The father was a traveling salesman that worked many hours and was frequently away on trips. Leaving the family of three alone with this young smart girl to assist in the daily living of their Italian life.

The catch phrase of the younger one has become "ecco faccio" after everything she completed in playtime. The older child became more and more comfortable with the young girl in that she spoke more english with her than when the she first arrived in the household. How fabulous! This is exactly what the mother wanted. Yippppeee!!!

Although her primary job was to take care of the girls, teach them english, and play with them. She also cleaned the girls room and kitchen and the main rooms when needed to be tidied up.

This got to be a regular job and the young girl got used to the pressure to keep things tidy. Then the day came when the mother would become frustrated with her own life and take a portion of that out on the young girl who knew too much about life than to be treated in a certain way. That was both rude and without reason. Never uttered an apology once from the treatment given to the young girl who knew too much.

In the end the young girl realizes her life in Italy does not need to contain this family of frustration and pure dissatisfication of the her work. Her work in life is to find happiness in the path she has chosen for herself. The au pair that knew too much lives on in Italy until the time is spent and when she must return to her roots and concentrate again on herself and her goals in life. Please don't worry about the young girl, she knows her role in this play and will play her best part ever to please the audience aforementioned.

To be continued....

Thanks to Tina once again!

13 April 2007

This one is for you Nana

I love this picture!! I took it in the park near our house. Are they cute???
Carolina wearing her normal pjs with Nana's pjs, and of course, her tutu. So cute!!!

10 April 2007

Wish I had my mom's sense of spirit...

V approached me today and told me that she thinks I am "crabby" and was disappointed from my performance on Sunday at her Aunt's house. She thought I could have played tag or ran away with her girls, when they were attached to her hip. Ok yes, I was a bit melancholy but again I hate when she puts this blame on me when she is the one who has a bad attitude at times.

Anyway, that segwayed into my answer to her previous question a few days prior, "speaking of leaving, You can start looking for someone else for September. I have other plans in mind for me."

That sparked the conversation of NYU, and if and when I would start, blah blah blah.

Ok well au pairing isn't for everyone but I am sure I am giving it my all. I do enjoy being with the girls but when they are attached to their mother it is difficult to draw their attention. It so doesn't help to be told on and on again that 'you are disappointing me'. I am going to try to suck it up for 4 more months and have a smile on my face constantly even when being yelled at or scorned. What else can I do? I am who I am, and apparently I need to be happy constantly, like her(sarcastic tone). Which leads me to say, I wish I had my Mom's sense of spirit and love for life. Even when I am down on my luck at home, I have my mom to snap me out of it. Well i still have her but she is speaking thru the computer and/or the phone. It helps, but being around crabby people can not help the situation.

Anyway, so who knows again what will happen. But this weekend I am going to spend it with V and the girls in the country home just to get away from the city and try to be the chipper happy self I can be. No matter what. I am going to push thru these next few months and see where they take me. Like my favorite professor and friend once said:

"I think the royal road to achieving genuine satisfaction in life is going the Bloody hard way."

perche no??

07 April 2007

Clarity

These days have been many times or not, time for reflection. Good reflection, meaning that I have previously let you all know that I have a choice to make about staying with the family I am working for. I have decided that I am going to leave my post as the "best nanny in the world". I feel that my time there has been well overdue. So my clarity in this decision is of all the things I could not do if I want to stay here. I will list them:

1. I could not work in a bar or ristorante.
2. I could not work as a tour guide (a previous goal I thought I could achieve)
3. I could not work as a nanny again
4. I could not not work
5. I could not work in the tourism industry
6. I could not be a dancer of any kind to pay the bills(a tango dancer i could be if they paid well) :-) that was for Tina.
7. I refuse to feel that I need to explain my actions to anyone that thinks I'm insane.

So like my friend Tina explained to me, just because I am leaving her home doesn't mean I am leaving Italy. I can find another place to live if needed to. Sure I have friends that would allow if I want to. But I feel I should find my own place if I could afford it. Anyways, my decision to leave the family I have lived with for over 3mos, for me, doesn't mean I have failed in staying here. It means I know I can't be a nanny, forever. It means I have scratched out another job I will never do again.

In a sense I feel I have found clarity. Because I am not completely clear on my upcoming months, I am sure I am still doing the right thing for me. My life, again, is my life. I wish to stop thinking about this because it is throwing me off when I am around my friends here. All I have been thinking about since my grandparents left, was my family. I have been completely obsessed with going home. But not really wanting to. But just cuz it is an easy way out of this situation, ya know? I feel if I leave as soon as my time is done with this family, then that would make me a failure. Even though being home would be nice, but then I would still have to ask the question "what will I do now?"

04 April 2007

Thinking about the future...

Yesterday V asked me to let her know if I want to stay after September becuz if not she needs to start looking for new au pair from September on. WOW! I haven't thought about leaving since...oh last week...haha. That is because my Nana and Papa were here, brought me back to my roots.

Anyway, I am thinking...well...if I leave in September I will not be achieving my goal of staying here a year OR becoming more comfortable with the Italian language. On the other hand, I still haven't heard from the Professor from NYU about the Master's program. Given the option to go home is always an option I can take or will take. As I found out the last time I was here for only 3 mos and I was ready to change my ticket and come home. Of all the times I wanted to run from my family and my job, I always had the feeling of coming home someday. I love living here in Florence, but in order for me to stay past September I need to find an actual job outside of being an au pair. Been there, done that. I doubt I could do this again. Once is enough. Like all my experiences, I like to try it once and if I don't like it...bye bye. Find something better Katie, or different. That is why getting my Masters sounds good and not, because I know my attention span. But I still want to fulfill my goal of learning and speaking italian fully. That is still a HUGE goal for me.

Anyway, I guess I will finish this thought on a later date.

a presto

01 April 2007

Nana and Papa Visit





The time with my grandparents came and went. Rather fast. It was a chance of a lifetime. I enjoyed myself so much, it seems such a surreal experience.

I arrived in Milano with an anticipating attitude in seeing my nana and papa, and cugina Alina. We planned this whole trip out for them. It was something for Nana.

I met Alina outside the train station and then we were off to Bellano. Bellano is a small little village on the lakeside of Lago di Como. On the way to Bellano, there was incredible scenes that comes from living on a Lake. Gorgeous cliffs, houses way far up that brings you to think, 'How does one get up there?' It was fabulous. Although Alina and i Nonni were very tired from the trip, I tried to keep them all in high spirits until it was bedtime.

As we arrive to Bellano I looked out for my Zio Lorenzo. THERE HE IS!!! We made our way thru the station and up to the platform to greet him. It was a great feeling to see him again. He is a great man!

We drove up to his Flat on the Lake, up a winding curvy road and ended at a gated garage of some kind. Alina and I look at each other with the look of "WOW". We enter into his gorgeous Flat on the lake and I immediately run out to the Terrace. Of course after hugging and meeting for the first time my Uncle Frank and Aunt Rossetta.

The times we had around the dinner, lunch, and breakfast table are memorable and also a little disturbing (ie the lesbian talk) but all in all the trip was once in a lifetime. To have all of those family members in one place reminising on times in the country of Italia and times in Ledbury.

Going to Farneta was an experience that moved me so much. There was so much of Nana's history and our heritage in that little town. Even though there was snow on the ground, I was still sweating with the anticipation of finding Francesco Iori's name on a memorial in the middle of the town. He was Nana's Uncle that died when he was 18 in WWI. I took many videos of our experiences during this trip that I am posting on youtube and will attach a link to this blog. So you all can enjoy the 20 second videos...sorry my camera doesn't have much memory.

I wish I could have brought Nana and Papa to many different places in Florence. But the limited time we had was the downfall, it was still a blast! Papa bought one thing, an Italia hat.
"It was only 6 euro!" Papa said to Nana
"Well that is all you get to buy." Nana said to Papa.

Oh my it was great to have this experience and chance to show Nana and Papa my citta!!

I will post the videos asap. The pictures are all downloaded if you click on my Picasa pictures.

ciao for now, thanks to Alina for getting the car and driving. Thanks to Nana and Papa for being the best Grandparents I could ask for!! Love you all...miss you more!!

a presto

19 March 2007

26....I am ok with it

Friday started my Birthday weekend. I met my good friend Francesca in Bologna and had a fabulous time. She took me around Bologna and went shopping. She is such an inspiration to me. I really love that girl! Her music is fantastica!! I am so proud of my friend and enjoyed talking more deeply with her about life, love, and passions.

I then headed back to Firenze on Saturday afternoon to get to my appointment to get an Amici carte so I can get into most of the museums in Firenze for free. After, I headed home to take a well deserved nap. I woke feeling refreshed and excited about my dinner with my good friends. It turned out to be a fabulous night. My great friend Simone came and sat next to me. We had a great chat with Daniella and her sister Alex. The pizza was very good. I enjoyed it very much!! Then we headed over to this trendy bar across from the ristorante for a drink. Then headed back to Michael Collins. Where Simone came and met us. It was perfect becuz I never see him out besides at his bar. I enjoyed his company and conversation very much! We all headed back to Daniella's house around 2 and stayed up talking, laughing, drinking, til about 4. It was a great nite and the next day was even better. Really low key, walking thru Santo Spirito, stopping at my friend Andrea at Leonardo's shoe shop. We had a great panino for lunch, and then heading back to Daniella's to watch a movie and nap, once again.

Then Daniella made a great dinner for me, eggplant parmigiano, insalata, and sausages, meatballs. YUM YUM!!! It was delicious and fabulous!! We then headed out again, to MC and hung out with Michelangelo. I had 2 drinks and I was done and DONE. Mike then took me home on his fabulous scooter. What a great friend he is....not just cuz he takes me home but he truly is a superb friend. Love ya Pitto!!

14 March 2007

Warms Days are here to stay...Spero

Everyday this week has been bellissimo!!! I love walking about amongst the tourists and enjoying the day as well. I rode my bike to the center this morning. Down the main Viale past Piazza Donatello, past Piazza Beccaria, and along the Arno. Gorgeous!!! Simply Splendid!! Everything I wished it could be for my upcoming Birthday. It is on Domenica, ma I am spending it on Saturday amongst friends at a bella Pizzeria. So to finish my day, I go to the Uffizi early to sign up for my Amici card, so I can enter museums easily and without waiting. E poi I went to make an appointment for a manicure and pedicure at Jean Louis David, where my friend Oliver works. Fabulous!!!

Then I bought myself a nice dress and shoes to go with it for my night out. Yes I splurge a bit. Oh well, you only live once, right? Might as well Live it UP!!! Poi I visited my friends Raul and Enza at MC and had a quick cappucino and I was off to enjoy the rest of the day by bike. As I was riding I noticed something, driving amongst the cars and amongst pedestrians, really didn't phase me. I was completely at ease when a motorino zipped past me. And THEN I thought 'Ummm, Katie, you are an Italian bike rider' Really??

After I had a quick lunch a casa, I was off with the stroller to pick up picolina Maria. Carolina is off in the mountains this week so it is just me, V, and Maria. Very nice! As we were zipping thru the centro of Firenze and turned the corner of Via Pier Capponi, I had another thought, 'I think I can live here. I mean REALLY live here.' I had to stop the stroller to tie my shoe cuz I felt light headed. WOW!

Anyways, Buona Giornata Domani tutti!!!

09 March 2007

My New Cut




Here I am, a week before my 26th Birthday, I wandered over to the Arno river this morning and found the Jean Louis David Hair Salon. I walked in and met Oliver. Spoke rather good inglese and we were off to back of salon. I sat down let him know what I wanted and he continued to tell me he thinks he should do a hair treatment to make my hair more shiny. Why not?

He washed and massaged my head for what seemed like 45 minutes. He kept coming and going because he had other clients. But he kept saying, "I'll be right back, darling, thank you."

Finally it was my turn. He said, "You don't worry, I will make you beautiful." Ok, I said, smiling, kind of nervous.

We talked a lot and all of a sudden, he was done. "Don't move", he said, "one last touch".

He sprayed some kind of hair spray or shine. He asked, "How do you like it?"

"Well it is different," I said, Touching my soft tresses.

"You came to me for something different, that is why people buy new clothes, to be different." He said, smiling and winking.

He kissed me goodbye, saying how beautiful I looked and glad I stopped in.

While I was waiting on the sink in the back of the salon, familiar songs were playing. Like Juanes, La Camisa Negra, and Tiziano Ferro, I forget the name of that one. Both from my friend Tina. They reminded me of her and sitting there I was thinking, "Change is good, why not".

So there I am, a NEW ME for my 26th coming up on 18th Marzo.

a presto

07 March 2007

My Visual DNA





From my friend Cherrye.
I thought it was fun to play. Enjoy. Buona Giornata!!!

Sisterly Love

I spent the whole afternoon with Carolina and Maria. As we were watching Alice in Wonderland, this is what I saw. (Above) Then when Maria got a little fussy, Carolina moved her in this direction. (Below) Because she got 'calda'. "Mamma Mia, Maria, sono troppo calda."


Even when they are screaming their heads off because they miss their Mom or don't want to get dressed, there are times I sit back and look at how sweet they really are. Kids will be kids, people say. But when I thought about this idea of being an au pair, never did I think it was going to be hard. Yes at times, it would be hard, but whenever it is hard I take a deep breath and look at them and ask them, "Perche you are crying?" Calmly mind you. And usually they calm down, if I am calm they are calm. PERFETTO!!!

These next few days I will be going back and forth to the Grandparents which are located right down the street. I will be there from 3ish to about 7:30 every night except thursday. I will be there to put them to bed while the Grandparents go out for the night. NO worries there. That is cinch. Then Saturday we will decide(Nonna and I) when she wants me, morning or afternoon. Hopefully it will be the morning or just the afternoon. I really want my Saturday night to relax. Maybe go out to dinner with friends. Who knows? That is what I love about living here, things just come up, and we meet to eat, drink, or tutta due. I never make a week in advance plans with my friends. They just happen that day.

Anyways, I will update you all later this week.

a presto

06 March 2007

Sunny Days in Marzo


I met a new friend on this past gorgeous Sunday. It was nearly 70 degrees!! So I was walking aroung Firenze in just what you see here in this picture. Her name is Sophia, a new au pair for one of V's friends, she is super sweet and enjoyed me escorting her around the citta. It is her first time in Firenze but she has lived in Germany for 9 years of her life. But now resides in Canada where she recently moved.

She and I enjoyed a day of dining at Lorenzaccio, taking a walk to Piazzale Michelangelo, gelato up to San Minato, and finally shopping.

The best part of this time of year that it is FINALLY getting warmer to wear just a light cardigan. I LOVE IT!!!

02 March 2007

Look at my ADDY



This is what I am missing at home.....look at this precious angel. She can sit up all on her own. Look at her independent statue she gets from her Aunti Kate. I LOVE U ADDY!!!!!!

27 February 2007

Not sick anymore


How can I be sick with a view like this?? Yes this is viewed outside my window. I am very lucky!

25 February 2007

Mio Zio Dave


Mio Zio came to Firenze on Friday. I had him join us for a lovely dinner catered by my lovely friend Michelangelo at his lovely trattoria Lorenzaccio on Piazza della Signoria. My favorite Piazza in Firenze. :-) We started out with meats and cheese plate of proscuitto, salami, spicy salami, and formaggio. Then Giuseppe brought out a plate of bruschetta. THEN we ordered our own main course. Dave had a spaghetti with aglio, olio, and peperocini. I had pizza prosciutto. The wine was overflowing the table with delight and humor. Many stories were told and many friends made closer. Carlos, the Brazilian(i like to call him), chatted with Dave for 25 minutes about his life, his family, and how he was introduced into my life.

"Is she an amazing girl?' Carlos said, looking at me with a hand on my shoulder.

"Yes she is." Dave replied with a smile.

We ended up at Michael Collins later that night to see the band, Last Minute Dirty Band play.
Dave was so excited to hear an band that sings in a perfect English accent, and they were Italian. :-)

By midnight, Dave wanted to head on home so Daniella and I drew him a very badly drawn map. He is like ok...if I get lost I will call. Little did he know(and also because I was drinking) I forgot that I didn't get service down in the basement of MC. Opps.

The next morning I woke up later than I wanted to, and so did Dave. "I woke up at 10, I haven't woken up that late in a long time." He said when I finally arrived at his hotel after 12:30pm. He told me the story of him getting lost finding his hotel over lunch at La Guelfa Grotta. I felt so bad, because he called both Daniella and I.

Over lunch, we talked and connected at a different level, which was great. Being my uncle and godfather I was always strongly connected to him. But after that lunch I felt more connected to my uncle. I enjoyed the walk we took to Piazzale Michelangelo and the thoughts we had once we got the top of Firenze, looking down on the gorgeous site that is my home.

We walked back down having a feeling of triumph that we worked off our lunch and had moments I never thought I would have with him. All in all, it was probably the best time I have EVER had with my Uncle Dave. The Uncle that always made us, cousins, laugh historically about absolutely everything. The Uncle that always brought humor to the dinner table at family occasions. The Uncle who has always been there whenever you needed to chat.

As I walked him to the train station, He kept telling me his thoughts about bringing his family here. I was like please do!! I love to have visitors.
"You should, this is your city and now you can show it off." He said.

I hope to see him again in Italia with my Zia Katie, and cugini, Josh, Tara, and Jordan.

A presto

23 February 2007

Prima volta guidare...

Yesterday was the first time I picked up the girls with V's car. It was a great accomplishment for me. As I turned the corner of the small street where the school lies, a HUGE truck was in reverse trying to get out of the small street and eventually make it to the main road where the stoplight is. I said to myself, ok Katie where is a good place to manuever this car? Ok I wish I was a little more calm, but I was fine. I stalled just once trying to back up and then pull in on the left side of the road where it was clear. I paralleled parked and waited as the huge, ginormous truck backed up behind me. As I pulled out, I thought, well it is just that easy. To be calm, know how to work the car, it was just fine.

As I reached the schools, I found a perfect spot to park, away from the hustle and bustle of the Italian mothers, on the other side of Maria's school. I then sat and waited, read my book, and called my Dad to tell him I made it once again. "So proud of you," he said. Made me feel once again, that I really can conquer anything if I put my mind to it. Nothing can stop me. I truly believe that.

So as I walked the girls to the car, strapped then in, and we were on our way home, approx. 15 minutes. I made the green light at the hill I always stall on so I felt great about that. The hill is very hard to work through but I hope as I drive more and more I will eventually conquer that hill. It is like my Everest, to say the least or the most in my case. That hill consists of 4 different stoplights with 4 different roads that have certain ways to turn and drive through. Each light goes off one at a time for each different direction. It is nothing like Walkup Ave and Rte 176 in Crystal Lake(my town). This is a very complicated intersection. Anyways once I conquer this hill without stalling, I will let you all know.

Ok enough about driving and intersections, sorry to bore you. These past few days I have been under the weather. I think because of the constant change in weather, it is 65 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next. I haven't been out in awhile which is fine with me. I can't go out every night, that is not my style anymore. No longer am I a 21 year old 'let's get drunk all the time' type of woman. I like staying in and going to bed at like 10 and waking up feeling refreshed. It is a great feeling being refreshed for a new day.

Oh I have another visitor this weekend, my Uncle Dave is in town tonight I believe, and is staying until Sunday I believe. We are going to hang out all Saturday, day and night. It will be great to introduce him to all my friends and take him a nice authentic Italian ristorante or trattoria. It shall be a fun fino settimana!!