Monday, July 21, 2008


I am here on a very VERY slow computer. Like...WAY slow. So I think I won't be posting very many pictures. I think I can use my Aunt's computer when we get to Switzerland. I found an apostrophe on this computer though!

I have a few amusing stories to tell! Two days ago we went to a local town called Certaldo to a fun little market thing. Seriously reminds me of tiny island life near me. Hilarious and wonderfully half-hippie-ish. Love it. I actually didn't buy anything, mostly because I was too cheap and didn't want to spend 22 Euro on a skirt that I didn't really need, and I am looking for a nice ring, but I didn't find one that was just perfect. So, yeah. Anyway, it takes about a half hour to get there. We have a rental car, and the street signs in Italy are either non-existant, or extraordinarily oddly placed. Do you see where this is going? Well, it took us probably 2 hours to get back to where we are staying. Hahahahahahahaha!!! At first it was fun, we went up way steep hills, only to discover that there is nothing but a tiny church on the top of this hill, and that the view is beautiful. Head back down and take another few wrong turns. We ended up WAY out of where we should have been, and my Dad had to go into a Pizzeria and 'talk' to a guy who spoke lovely Italian, I'm sure, but not a word of English. "Lumina, lumina!" He said as he pointed out accross the hills. There in the distance were the lights of the tiny tiny town we are in. (if you can call it a town! It is more like a collection of 14th century buildings!) I was SO tired when we got home, that all I wanted to do was go to bed. And so I did.

The place we are staying, Le Torri, is beautiful. Perhaps if I was planning a vacation, I would be staying in some treehouse in the forest, but it really is lovely here. Very comfortable and pretty. The apartment we have has 2 bedrooms (so I have my own room...yessss!!! Freedom!) and a cute little kitchen and couch. I will post a picture of inside, a picture of outside, and a couple other pictures, if at all possible.

We met lots of lovely people, including a wonderful family from Northern Ireland! Took me a while, but I now understand them. They have 3 girls around my age, all with Irish names that I can barely pronounce, let alone spell. Though I won't complain, my name is Irish too, and the original spelling is crazy (Sile, but the i has a ticky on top like this u: รน). It is nice having someone my own age around, but it is also kind of awkward, because they are a group of 3, and I am a group of 1, and there are two other pairs of sisters around my age, but it is that group versus not group thing. Very awkward to break into. And my sister only exists within the covers of my diary! :(

Yesterday we went to a little medieval town called San Gimignano, which was very cute and medieval (such creative adjectives, I know!) although slightly over-packed with tourists of every shape and size. I did meet a very very interesting person there though! I was wandering through the tiny streets, when I heard something that sounded VERY familiar. I stopped, and sure enough, I heard a flute, so I followed the music to find this incredible guy totally engrossed and moving with his awesome, modern, and extraordinarily flutistic music. I had a nice little chat with him, it turns out he is from Germany and has lived in Italy for the last 22 years. He said "In University I wanted to sound just like James Galway, but that didn't happen, so I made my own sound." My kind of guy. Totally crunchy and out there, but it was wonderful. When we finished talking, he said "You go sit on those steps, I want to play you something!" Which he did, and it was really neat! "I could play Mozart", he said "but I love this!" I video taped both of the pieces he played for me, so I will upload them to YouTube when I get home for any flutey people who are interested. Oh, and he said he is working on a website, so you can Google him sometime if you want: Reno Schultz

Today we went to Florence. Wow! So many people! We went to both the Academia and the Ufizzi galleries, so I got to see lots of amazing art, including the David statue, and paintings like the birth of Venus, and the Primaverra. Incredible stuff. We also went by the big Duomo, but did not go in because of the CRAZY length of the lineup, but it was still amazing from the outside.

AND...We went over the Ponte Vecchio!!! Which is amazing for me because I have sung "O Mio Babbino Caro", and of course it talks about her going to the Ponte Vecchio to throw herself in the Arno if her father won't let her marry the guy she is in love with. Hahaha...just neat to be there. "Andrei sul Ponte Vecchio, ma per buttarmi in Arno!"

Anyway, I can't seem to get this old computer to figure out that it has a camera attached to it (it did at first, but now it doesn't come up even when I go into My Computer) so with my apologies, we will have to skip pictures. We go to Switzerland on Saturday, and see my Aunt on Sunday, and I know she has a computer I can use for sure, so hopefully that will work out smoothly and I can show you some pictures from here.

I really, really, REALLY, REALLY miss home, and everyone there, and the smell of the ocean and the trees and you...whoever you are. So hug yourself for me, because I miss you a lot. I cry a lot. ;) But I do that at home anyway, so it isn't exactly new. Hahahaa!!!

Love you!


Jen Cluff said...

Love your descriptions; how wonderful and truly exploratory. Wow. Don't miss us too much because in the blink of an eye you'll be back in Canada and look around your house and say: "Why was I in a rush to get back?! Everything's the exact same as when I left---oh my gosh, I wish I had stayed in Europe!" Trust me, that's home-sickness for you; it fools you into thinking that you really want your home, but it's just an illusion. When you have your home back you want to go travelling and exploring again. It's nature's way; make you crazy with opposites. :>)
Cool descriptions; really feel like we're there with you. Best, Jen the Hen :>)

Idzie said...

All those places sound so cool!! Sad that you're homesick :-( traveling can be a pain like that... I hope you're still enjoying all the amazing sights! And I'm looking forward to seeing some more pic's soon... ;-P


Mariah said...

Hey Sheila! Sounds like fun! :D I wish I was there with you. Then we could pretend to be sisters. :) I know exactly how you feel about there being a group, and then just feeling like the one person that isn't in it. It's hard sometimes.
Can't wait for the pictures but it was also nice to hear a little more about everything. I can't even imagine how everything must look. Those are only places that I've heard about and seen on tv, movies, etc. I've never even thought that I will be able to see them someday, but seeing you there is just about the next best thing. :D

Nella Camille said...

Hi Sheila!

I'll be praying that you are less homesick so that you can take in every detail about your trip and cherish the memories for years to come :)

Love you!!