Touchdown in USA

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On August 25, 2016 I wasn’t sure this day would ever come! We had a bit of a struggle getting on the plane in Florence to Rome. The airport was filled with American study abroad students at 4:30 AM! Italy’s inefficiency stood out as we tried to check our bags. They were very strict on the weight of checked luggage and carry-on bags. If you had an extra bag or overweight baggage, you had to get in another line to pay for the baggage before going back to the check in line to receive boarding passes. Nearly everyone had overweight baggage or more than one checked bag! I was so close; Colleen, Krish, and I went through my checked bag at 3 AM, throwing out as much as we could. My checked bag was underweight, but my carry-on was over 😦 I paid the $100 to check it.

The issue with the baggage line is that their credit card machines weren’t working. They had to call each individual person’s credit card company to make the transaction. It was a mess! We were in line for 2 hours, and people’s whose flights were before us (I’m talking 5 minutes before) got to cut the line. It was a bummer, because we spent our last hours in Florence feeling frustrated and impatient when we should’ve been more sentimental about leaving. People who didn’t have baggage dilemmas boarded the plane on time, but we didn’t end up leaving until everyone had squared away their bags.

The plane was empty, and as the wheels left the runway, Carrie Underwood’s “See you Again” played on shuffle while I had one last glimpse of the Duomo (definitely a sign I’ll be back). I won’t forget that image.

We had a short layover in Roma; it was the first time I realized how large the airport is. Before we knew it, we were boarding! The plane was large (3-4-3 set up), and I had an aisle seat for the 8.5 hour long flight. Colleen was right behind me. We both took Advil PM and passed out! It was the first flight of my life that I actually slept decently on.


We landed safely in JFK and all stayed together at baggage claim. We bid our farewells at the pick up area; it was so nice seeing all the families anxiously awaiting to see their kids. I spotted my parents and a smiling Kiara enter the door as I wished Steven a happy birthday! I started crying as soon as I saw her. I knew the tears would come at some point. It was quite the reunion.

My dad did a great job of driving out of the city. We stopped at Panera and Sears on the way home (it was late afternoon), and I dozed with Kiara for the rest of the car ride home.

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My room looks exactly how I left it. Although you can never really go home again, there’s no place like home. xo ~ e.


Last Day in Florence

Friday, May 19, 2017

The day has come; our last day in Florence. It involved eating, walking, and reflecting and not a lot of sleeping. I hit all the piazzas, my favorite places, and Piazzale Michelangelo with Colleen for sunset. Our cab leaves at 4 AM tomorrow, and we’ll watch the sunrise from the airport! What a freshman year. xo ~ e.

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Leaving my heart in Flo

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The Last Supper


What a crew


Arrividerci Freshman Year!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I am officially a sophomore in college! Finished up my last two exams today. They were more challenging than I expected, and I was pretty fried when I sat down to take them, but I gave it my best. Now it’s Summer 2017! It came so quickly and in full force.

Olivia and I had a little photo shoot this evening; we both took our cameras out for a passeggiata. We took some very nice photos of each other in our temporary city. I will post them when I am States bound 🙂 Which is SATURDAY. Yikes!!! The next 72 hours is going to be an absolute whirlwind. With less than 48 hours in Florence, sleep is not a priority!! Soaking in every last moment is! We’re starting to say goodbye to our favorite locals at our favorite places, leaving them with polaroids of us. And the last gelatos are sadly winding down.

For dinner tonight, a big group of us went to Yellow Bar. My gnocchi was stellar!

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After dinner, we went to Kitsch (a really popular aperitivo spot right across from our building we hadn’t checked out all year) for some class Italian Aperol Spritzes. Aperol, prosecco, and soda water isn’t a bad combo!

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Here’s a photo of me refusing that this European adventure is nearly over.

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Final goodbyes and packing touches tomorrow! Can’t wait to see my family and Kiara! xo ~ e.

Hump Day

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hump(h), there’s only 3 days left in Florence 😦 I’m going to miss a lot of things about Florence. The big things and the little things. Like going to La Ménagère with Sasha on Wednesday mornings before our 9 AMs in Piazza Strozzi, eating gelato at My Sugar for lunch (a frequent occurrence this week), snuggling with Hanks and Colleen, listening to the door to my apartment building buzz, waving at the kind workers in Sandwichic, smiling at the Duomo every time I pass it, listening to the soothing sounds of Italian, and hanging laundry on my Florentine terrace.

Two more finals left! Tomorrow all the American study abroad kids will be out drinking wine at Piazzale Michelangelo during golden hour to witness a final sunset and will continue their evenings at Florence’s many bars and clubs and secret bakeries. We just may join them (safely & in moderation), because we will have officially completed our first year of college in Italy! Being able to kick off summer 2017 in Firenze isn’t a regular gig.

Today Julia and I had our last brunch at Le Vespe. We can’t comprehend how fast our time in Florence went. We both know we want to work abroad in our careers! I’m grateful for our friendship and Florence, because we probably wouldn’t have hung out if we didn’t study here together. I always looked forward talking to someone older, from home, and outside of FFE. She’ll be a senior at UVM next year which is hard for her to believe!

We had a little potluck tonight on our RD’s terrace. It was so relaxing and a great study break! Another hot day in Florence, but it made the sky a perfect pink.

Fun fact: When Sasha and I were at La Ménagère this morning, we told one of our favorite waitresses, “We’re leaving on Saturday.” She said, “Oh, no. This is bad news for the middle of the week. *Pouty face*” #thefeels

My article I wrote for Her Campus (interview with Girl in Florence) went live a few days ago!!! Give it a read here. I had fun with this one 🙂

A domani! xo ~ e.

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We love you, La Ménagère

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Have to pack this bad boy!


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Tuesday Ragazze

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lauren, Colleen, and I coined the name ‘Tuesday Ragazze’ in our group chat, because last semester the three of us didn’t have classes on Tuesday, so we spent the day together. This semester we all have classes on Tuesday, but we still hang out together in the afternoon! Today we went to Cascine Park (Krish, our friend from soccer came too) to relax on the lawn and stroll through the huge Cascine Market. We were tempted to buy turtles, fish, kittens, and bunnies, but we didn’t. That was on my list, and I’m glad I got to go! It’s only two stops away via the tram you catch at the train station (10 minute walk from our apartment).

No exams for me today but lots of rest and packing. Transitions are tough. There’s a lot of emotion, stress, fatigue, and anxiety involved. But it’s really starting to feel like summer with the warm breeze and sticky air. We’ll be homebound soon whether we’re ready or not (we aren’t). xo ~ e.

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Bruno the Bulldog


Market passeggiata

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The ‘We should be studying’ selfie at its finest

The Final(s) Week

Monday, May 15, 2017

I feel like I’m in a bit of a lull. It’s very hard to focus on studying, knowing that I will be on a plane in five days that won’t land in Italy or Europe! All of us are in a tizzy, but we are trying our best to prepare and execute these exams while enjoying our last week in Florence. It doesn’t seem real. Fashion and COM were today, and gelato was for lunch! I ordered delivery (for the first time this year) with Colleen and Olivia for dinner tonight, and it was wonderful. The sun’s been shining; tourists are piling in. It’s nearly summer. xo ~ e.

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Pre-exam view at RED

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My favorite gelato shop will be greatly missed


Cheap Chinese delivery always hits the spot

Buona Festa Della Mamma

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful, intelligent, brave, patient, and adventurous mama. I would not be chasing my dreams without her encouragement, role model quality, and support. I have missed my best friend so much this year and cannot wait to reunite next weekend. So here’s to you, Mom. Thank you for everything– the lessons, wisdom, time, motivation, and more. Good luck starting your new job tomorrow, and although I’m not cooking you breakfast in bed this morning, you know I will soon! Here are some of my favorite photos throughout the years. I can only hope I will be a mother, daughter, wife, sister, and worker like you someday. xo ~ e.





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My Athena