Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Surplus of Embarrassment and Carbs

This weekend was really uneventful but full of little moments that made it worthwhile.

First, a little comment on food.  The food here is great.  I am used to great, and I mean great food at home, so I'd say it's about equal to Mom's cooking.  However compared to ehall, dhall, and any other food I attempt to put together at JMU; Italian food is beyond amazing.  The main downfall is the amount of carbs the Italian diet consists of, which is A LOT. Carbs are a girls worst enemy, Corinne's best friend, and a scales worst nightmare.  For me, there is something so comforting about a big bowl of pasta, hence my love of Italian food and my lack of self control here in Florence.  The diet consists of: a pastry for breakfast, a panino for lunch (of course on thick pieces of focaccia bread), and then a large pasta dish with  a big basket of bread.  Sounds like a lot of carbs? yes. The problem with this is pasta is cheaper than any salad or meat, much cheaper, it's known as primi piatti, the first dish and the cheapest.  I love pasta, but this is creating a bit of road block on my path to healthy living:  which only means longer runs for Corinne, that I can't complain about when I'm running through the beautiful Florence.

So my weekend.  Friday, I woke up late (no classes; which is a beautiful thing for a business major with 8 ams every day last semester).  My roommates and I decided to go a favorite spot of ours for a late brunch, The Dinner.  It's my little America in Florence, and after a messy but delicious BLT with fresh cut fries, I was ready to go on a long run.  Except, I ended up doing the opposite of that and went to the Florentine Chocolate Festival.  It's a chocolate festival, you can't say no to that! The festival was quite close to my house and was full of various chocolate treats: chocolate covered strawberries with whipped cream (which I purchased right away with no guilt or hesitation), chocolates shaped as animals, chocolate wine (questionable), and even chocolate with marijuana (even more questionable).  It was an unreasonably cold day and I was perfectly content sitting on the steel benches warmed by the sun, just people watching.  As I dreamt about swimming in chocolate, I was rudely interrupted by pigeons, and when I say I was interrupted, I really mean I was attacked.  After a minor panic attack and a great deal of screaming on my part, I could hear the laughter of four Italian boys behind me.  As I looked next to me, picking up a piece of bread, I realized they threw their leftovers from lunch at me ON PURPOSE so the disgusting pigeons would fly towards the random person covered in bread aka me lying on a bench.  Glaring at the immature boys, I got up and left the chocolate paradise and headed home.

That night, I was able to actually cook an Italian meal.  A Italian professor from JMU, who came on the trip with us, has an apartment and invites a few students over every Friday night to enjoy a nice meal (aka not pay for a dinner and eat some fresh food: my kind of deal).  We were first treated to delicious salty bread with grape tomatoes and a glass of red wine.  After a few minutes, we helped her prepare pasta (a spaghetti with tomatoes, pork cheek, and onions) and another dish  made with thinly sliced beef, mortadella (which is like bologna but better, much better) and mozzarella cheese.  After the huge meal, a few glasses of wine, and some interesting conversation, I concluded it had been a successful night.  It definitely sparked a little inspiration in me; I WILL cook more at home (after my recent pinterest recipe finds, I have to).

The next day started with a nice walk to the Piazzale Micheangelo, which takes about 30 minutes (up a mountain, wheezing). The view was gorgeous and showed the whole Florentine skyline in all it's glory.  After a small photo shoot (embarrassing and typically American of me) and a small sandwich, we headed back home satisfied will the beautiful view and the minor workout.

That night my host mother invited us to attend a masquerade ball with her (a charity event).  She told us we needed to wear a dress and a mask (this all in broken english) and that's about it.  I was excited to go, and after a large meal of garlic pasta (sensing a theme?) I began to get ready.  I wore a tight blue laced dress with a matching mask.  Slightly regretting the amount of pasta I inhaled just hours before, I zipped up my dress (tighter than I recalled), still happy to be dressing up for something.  After a short drive, we arrived at the venue and entered cautiously, only to find no one there. GREAT I thought.  The interior of the venue resembled a club, all white walls and furniture, a large dance floor with a lot of colored lights (for some reason white is the new black in nightclubs). Finally after 30 minutes of sitting awkwardly on the chic white leather couch, people began to arrive.  All the guests were young italians that were all well dressed, I am assuming most were Italian socialites or well connected college students (I really had no clue why so many young people were at this specific charity event), and to no surprise,  none spoke english and all stared a lot.  I realized this event was going to be interesting to say the least,  but I was still eager to make it a good night. The DJ was only playing American club music (a good sign), and everyone was just sort of standing around.  In my natural American fashion, I got a drink, and danced in the middle of the floor: I knew all the guests knew I was an American and were staring (maybe glaring?), but why not have a little fun?  And after a few minutes, everyone was dancing, drinking and having a good time.  After a few hours of dancing (which began fun but ended painfully thanks to my 4 inch black wedges), we were driven home.  The night officially ended with a my lack of self control aka a late night run to McDonald's (NOM).

After a nice  long run this morning, I am currently procrastinating my studying for mid-terms (which includes writing a six page paper on Italian Art more specifically Giotto? HELP) by blogging.  I am looking forward to Friday aka the beginning of spring break and seeing my favorite twins, Allie and Rachel (Amsterdam, Paris, and London YAY).

I miss everyone at home and hope you all are doing well, I heard we're not getting mail on Saturdays anymore, just another reason for me to stay in Europe (I kid, I need my Chipotle).  

Please enjoy this photo of me embarrassing myself (something I learned I am quite talented at here in Europe).


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