Monday, January 7, 2013

2nd week of le vacanze di natale!

Hey everyone! So the Christmas vacation is already over :( It went by way too fast. Today was my first day back at school and it was surprisingly not too bad. The only difficult part was getting up in the morning.. I spent pretty much the entire break sleeping till about noon. My Italian has improved a lot  and at school my friends who I didn't see during the break were were surprised by how good I am now! Yay! (: Before I came everyone told me that one day after Christmas you just wake up and are able to understand everything. I still don't really feel like I've had that moment yet, there's definitely plenty of times when I still can't understand things. I find it really difficult to understand the news on TV, I'm not sure why, they just talk extremely fast! And when I'm with a big group of people and there's like a bunch of people talking at once I can't really understand. If someones speaking with me one on one I understand everything. Yesterday marked 4 months in Italy so far and I know I say this every time but I can not even believe how fast the time is going by. It feels like just yesterday, I was the little American girl starting Italian school and not able to understand anything. I feel like I've grown up so much in these 4 months. I look at old pictures or read my diary from when I first got here and I feel like I used to be so immature and young. It's a bittersweet feeling when I think about the fact that I only have 6 more months left here. Yeah I know, 6 months is a long time, but I'm almost half way through with my time here. It went by in the blink of an eye and I know the 2nd half of the year's going to go by even faster. On one hand, I'm excited to get to see my family and friends back home but on the other I really don't want to leave my new life here. I love it so much, I'm finally adapted to life here and can call Italy my home. 

Anyway, I already wrote about everything that happened the first half of the break with Christmas and everything. 2 days after Christmas, everyone in my host family except Federica (she stayed home to study for her university exams) went to my family's house in the mountains. Their house is in a city called Sauze d'Oulx, a ski town/resort a little west of Torino, very close to the border of France. The freestyle skiing events of the 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Sauze d'Oulx. I guess it's a really popular skiing resort for British people because we heard a lot of people speaking English! Whenever I hear someone speaking English I really just want to run up to them and be like, "I speak English too! Talk to me!!" hahaha but then I realize that would be really weird.. It's going to be so weird when I'm back in the States and everyones speaking English. The first day spent skiing was actually kind of tough for me. Back home in Ohio, I've been skiing since 3rd grade every winter except our ski resort isn't in the mountains, it's like one hill with 7 different ski slopes. Sauze d'Oulx is completely different. I can't even count how many ski slopes there are, and every single one was for sure steeper and longer than any of the hills I've ever skied on before in my life. So the first day spent skiing, I fell pretty much every 5 seconds and I felt so bad because my host dad and little sister kept having to wait for me. It was still fun and it was such a beautiful day out, going up to the very tip top of the alps was unreal, it was unbelievable you looked down and just saw the Alps and snow capped mountains everywhere. At around 2, after skiing and falling for about 2 hours, I kind of had enough. One time I fell pretty bad and kind of twisted my leg a little bit. I walked back to our house and my host dad and sister continued skiing. That's another cool thing about Sauze d'Oulx. All the houses are within walking distance from the bottom of the slopes. Like you literally walk outside your house and there's like ski lifts 5 minutes away. However being blonde of course on the way back to the house I still got lost.. and I was carrying my ski's & ski poles while walking in ski boots on the icy street which was not easy. I forgot my cell phone too so I was about to start crying because I was exhausted, lost and sweating from carrying all the crap. I saw a nice looking couple and asked told them the number of my house and asked if they could help me. They were so sweet, they carried my ski's and ski poles for me and walked with me all the way to my house. It turned out I turned left when I should've turned right on a street. But really thank goodness I can speak decent Italian now or I think I would've been screwed and probably would've ended up crying in a snowy ditch on the side of the street. That night after showering my host parents and I went to Bardonecchia, the city in the mountains where we went to the fashion show about a month ago and visited their friends boutique that had the fashion show. There was a flat screen playing videos from the fashion show and Nini and I were in one of the videos eating some desserts from the after party! Haha I'm famous! Lol jk but it was pretty cool! After Bardonecchia, we all went our for dinner at Nini's favorite pizza restaurant in Sauze d'Oulx. 

Our cute little ski cabin house


I think this was my favorite slope, we were up so high in the mountains!

This is a map with all of the ski slopes..
The second day of skiing was 100000x better than the first! Once again it was a really nice sunny day but I felt a lot more comfortable skiing and only fell once! I'm so amazed by how big skiing here, it's a part Italian lifestyle in the North. I feel like everyone goes skiing and everyone knows how, it's nothing special for them. I was so surprised to see teeny little kids skiing. Once we were on a ski lift and I looked down and saw a little boy all alone in the middle of a really steep hill just stopped. I asked my host dad where the heck was the kids parents or ski instructor or something! He looked about 4 years old! My host dad was like, "Don't worry, look now". Sure enough, I looked back at the kid and he started skiing down the hill like a pro, way better than I could've ever skied. My host dad told me that pretty much all Italian's start ski lessons when they're about 4 in the Alps. I was so worried all day watching all these little babies skiing but they're pros! I think it's so cool. Oh and another difference I noticed is the ski lifts here are way faster and there's a metal bar that you pull over your lap after you get on the lift. I was all surprised when they pulled it down cause all the times I've gone skiing there's no protection, you could just jump off the lift if you wanted! My host dad thought I was insane when I said we don't have the metal bar holding us in. We finished skiing at like 4 and I was sad because I was finally getting the hang of it! 

We got home from the Alps on 30th then the next day was Capodanno (New Years Eve)! Back in Ohio, I've always spent New Years with my cousins and family every year, it's our tradition. This year instead, I went to a sleepover party at my friends house! His parents weren't going to be home so they said he was allowed to have 40 kids over for a party and then everyone slept over. Almost my entire class from school was there and some other people. I'm really so lucky with my host family here that they let me go to the party. My friend's mom sent out an e-mail to everyone saying that there would be no parents or supervision at the party, alcohol and smoking (cause a lot of my friends here smoke). My host parents have never met my friends parents and my host mom was a little bit worried but in the end they let me go to the party and sleepover (: I was so happy! It was seriously so much fun, I'm really starting to love all my classmates and Italian friends here so much. I feel like my class is one big family and I love it. At midnight we watched the Italian countdown, popped bottle of champagne and lit off a bunch of fireworks in the backyard. Everyone brought some food, I made peanut butter nutella cookies and everyone went crazy for them. We didn't end up going to sleep until about 6 am and everyone just passed out on the floor in sleeping bags. I'll never forget this New Years, honestly it was a lot more fun than my usual New Years back home. The next morning, I have no idea why but everyone woke up at like 9 am. The night before I told my friends to wake me up when they did but in the morning I wanted to kill them. Why the heck did we get up so early?? Haha my host dad came to pick me up and laughed at me when I got in the car because I looked like a zombie, my make up from the night before was all screwed up and my hair was a mess because the night before someone dumped a bucket of water on me! I went home that day and slept the entire day only waking up for meals. haha

Last picture of 2012 with my host sisters before we all left for our New Year's Eve parties <3 
I look scary but NYE partyy! 
One of my best Italian friends (:
Okay so after New Year's I still had a week of vacation. I didn't do anything too special. I spent most of the days sleeping in until noon then eating lunch and studying until about 4 (I'm a nerd). I just really want to understand my math class here because I don't want to be behind when I get back next year. I think the studying's paid off though because today at school I understood a lot in Math! (: Anyway then most nights the last week of break I did something with my friends. One night I had dinner at my friend Victoria's house with her host sister and her friends. Then another night I slept over Victoria's house and we pigged out on cookies and watched amici di letto (Friends with Benefits) but it's so funny because if you translate amici di letto directly into English it means, "Friends of bed" hahaha then one day during the day Victoria, Sergio and I went to il Museo Egizio in Torino (the second biggest Egyptian museum in the world!) and walked around Torino. Then one night I went out for dinner at Mac Bun, this Piemontese restaurant with panini's all typical of the Piemonte region, with Federica and her friends. One day Sergio and I went to Torino and we got a huge plate of 50 pieces of sushi from our favorite sushi restaurant in Torino. It was soooo amazing <3 My host family thinks I'm insane because I did the cinnamon challenge a few weeks ago and I told them that now I'm doing the sushi challenge where I have to eat 25 pieces of sushi. They thought I was going to be sick but that's only because they can't stand raw fish. Then that same night I went back to Rivoli and met up with my Italian friends and we went out for pizza. Oh and yesterday was an Italian holiday called Befana. It's really similar to Christmas, basically in Italian folklore there's a witch who brings kids candy of January 6th if they're good and coal if they're bad. My host sisters and I all got candy of course (: 

I love Torino so much <3

Eygptian museum with my favorite exchange students!

My candy from La Befana yesterday! (:
Federica and I drove by this amazing sunset on our way to dinner!
Walking around Torino with Federica and her friends after Mac Bun! 
Okay well I think this is the world's longest blog post but I had so much to update! Wish me luck getting used to the 6 day school weeks again.. Ciao! (:


  1. causa insonnia, finito nn so come sul blog, l ho trovato spassosissimo :=); è anche interessante vedere come viene viene vista l italia da fuori, le nostre abitudini, date x scontate

    1. Aw mi dispiace che tu avessi insonnia ma sono contenta che avessi piaciuto il mio blog! (: anche per me é molto interessante!