Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Never say never...

Yup, I just quoted the Biebs. The kid had a point though.

I would sometimes tell myself that I could never get an Italian driver's license. It seemed almost impossible. The whole thing was just too much. Especially for someone who got their license nearly 15 years ago, having to re-study was a pain in the butt. Doing it in Italian was definitely the icing on the cake. Then you have the crazy drivers here to de-motivate you even more; the old woman who drives in the wrong direction in a round-about (which is ONE way), the idiot exiting the parking lot without even looking left to see that you're like 5 feet away, the D bag who tries to surpass you in the opposite lane realizing there's a speed trap then braking so hard while still in the wrong lane....so many stories, so little blog-space.

I'm now officially one step away from getting my full driver's license. Last month I passed my long-awaited theory exam and now have my own "foglio rosa" (pink paper). This allows me to legally drive in the country when accompanied by another driver in the same car. This deserved a special post since it was one of my original list of goals and I'm feeling pretty effing proud of myself. When even Italian people tell you this exam ain't easy, that says something. I personally think it's because of all the aspects of driving they expect you to know (ie. components of the car, insurance policies, first aid, every kind of sign...and they have a crazy amount of signs, etc, etc...).

I was able to prove to myself that if I put my mind to something, I can really do it. Next step, mandatory 6 hours of driving lessons before my practical exam. I've already done 2 which were quite amusing to the instructors who could obviously see I didn't need them (yes, I already drive stick). Love how this country finds ways to make you spend money for no reason.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here comes the...."bride"?

So, I'm not a typical bride. How so? Well, for starters,  I wanted to wear my sister's dress, and my mom was not having that, so she took me out to buy one. When people ask me what my "theme" is, I have a blank look on my face. I guess if I had to pick, it'd be "minimal". The thought of 'bombonieres' make me irritated, remembering all the weddings I've been to where I'm staring at this little piece of junk, wrapped in a bow, on my plate wondering why the anyone in their right mind would waste so much money on this crap. Speeches, dances, floral arrangements....it all gives me a headache!

That's why I'm extremely thankful for Emanuele's friend, who happens to be a wedding planner, who can basically just suggest something and all I have to do is nod. I'm also very thankful for my sister who is the complete opposite and loves all this event planning stuff. She's so detail oriented and on top of her game. So kudos to her for making my Toronto reception happen. Cause if it were up to me, we'd probably be celebrating it at a burger joint.

Don't get me wrong. I'm so excited to marry the best guy I've ever known. I'm excited to start our lives as husband and wife and I really do respect and appreciate the meaning of marriage. I just don't like all the fluffy stuff around weddings. All I care about is celebrating our big day with the people we love. Some of the advantages about doing it here? The food is ridiculously good in Italy, obviously. Also, where we live, people don't do a lot of the unnecessary stuff people do back home (ie. center piece games, speeches, rehearsed dances) which makes me very relieved.....and the best part for me, are the amazing backdrops to choose from. Since we booked our venue, I'll let the visuals speak for themselves.


13th century church in a small village in the mountains nearby

ex-convent turned into small hotel in the country

Deliberately preserved its "Francescano" style

our venue in the fall, naturally picture-perfect


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Driving in Italy

Unfortunately, this is a reoccurring thing here. 

Then you have the a**holes who park so close to your car that you can't get in the driver's side. I've had to climb through the passenger's side numerous times. Or the drivers who never bother to look both ways before racing out of a side street. And one of my favs, the cars who park parallel to parked cards in an actual DRIVING lane to pop into a shop to do their errands.

Sometimes I wonder why I even need to do this dang driving school stuff to get my Italian license. Seems like no one bothers to respect the rules anyway.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

How quickly time flies.

I've been living here in Terni for over a year now and sometimes I can't believe how quickly it's gone by. 2012 has been so challenging, yet rewarding. I've had some of the happiest moments in my life and also some of the most intimidating and stressful. Nonetheless, I really do believe that you can't go on living life without experiencing new things and challenging yourself. Because if you don't, you can't discover all that life has to offer you and that you can offer life!

I'm sorry for the mashed up post, but I've been overwhelmed with things lately. Obviously I haven't had time to update you guys in a very long time, so here's a quick recap of the last few months of 2012:

-After a 5 week trip back home, got right back into working in September
-Had my parents come and visit me in Italy. Travelled around Tuscany and Umbria. FINALLY visited a winery. Something I've always wanted to do and was so happy we could all do it together.
-Been studying for this damn driving exam. When even the Italians tell you it's difficult, you know it's hell studying for this thing.
-Wedding planning. I'm not a typical bride, so this is definitely not fun for me. I'm the laziest bride in the world. No joke. Thank god for my sister who is organizing the Toronto reception.
-Capodanno (NYE) was perfect. A gathering at our friend's taverna, way too much food, lots of games.

Here are some photos from the recap. Until next time!

San Francesco, Assisi. One of the most beautiful places in Umbria.

The Porziuncola inside
Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi 
Future "in laws"!
Streets of Siena

Pops makin' friends in Siena.
Wine tasting, Castello di Verrazzano 
Breathtaking views
This fountain looked like a mirror, beautiful
Caught red-handed. Tryin' to snatch a sexy  piece of
 prosciutto from the winery.
Serene view from our cute little hotel in Radda in Chianti.

La famiglia!

Double birthday dinner for Elisa and I
Lele & Tree

Lentils are a must for NYE
Tutti a tavola!
Unsuccessful magic trick by Daniele

Buon Anno! Wishing everyone the best 2013, don't let it go to waste!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Down time.

With the holiday season here and all, I FINALLY found some down time to update this thing! It's been a whole 2 months since I've posted anything. Yes, I've been busy, but honestly I haven't really had anything super eventful or interesting to write about lately. The majority of my time has been dedicated to working and studying for my driving theory exam (which I hope to do in February). 

I've been going through some ups and downs. Missing home a lot.  Not only 'cause the holidays are here, but I've just been feeling frustrated. I know it's only natural since this isn't my hometown and I'm still not completely fluent in Italian. But man, I have some really bad days where I'm just cursing about everything here and really want to go home. The only thing that really keeps me strong is my wonderful man and our close-knit group of friends and family.

sharing some fun western Christmas gift games with my Ternano people

Learning Napoletano cards ain't easy!
I love game nights
The amazing cousin Fabio in action for Christmas lunch
Alla prossima!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pesto time

When I returned to Italy in the middle of September, I was not surprised and not happy to find the hot and humid temperatures. The mosquitoes that were still lingering around until last week were the worst. Actually, wait a minute....I just killed one yesterday. But now, we finally need jackets for the nights because they are quickly getting cool.

The best part about this transitional season is having an abundance of fresh basil growing on my balcony. Instead of letting all those beautiful aromatic leaves die, my mother-in-law-to-be (whom I already call mamma) suggested we make some good ol' pesto.

A few days ago, I was in a lazy mood. So I cooked up some spaghetti, threw a few small spoons of pesto onto it, mixed it up and enjoyed a simple, yet savoury lunch. It feels good not to let good things go to waste. =)

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