Lia's Blog Diaries

Lia's Blog Diaries
This is Me

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jai Ho Francesco!

Hey Everyone...

I am happy to announce that we found the Indian Restaurant!!!! wooohoo! and yes...the entire square busted out in a horribly cheesy bollywood song where I went on to romance the gondolla guy who was feeding me samosas as he seducingly pulled off my scarf. YA RIGHT. I only wish in my mixed up Italian Indian fantasys, but we did really find the restaurant. It turned out to be the one we were looking for orginally. No one told us that the word siestere meant to what we think the left of the church it names. wasn't meant to be until it was. And..thanks to my wonderful brown skin and heritage...we got the BENGALI discount yet again :) our total was 65euro but he knocked it down to 55. After a delicious chicken tikka...still no one cooks better than my mother...we went home for a long needed nap. We spent the rest of the night doing art and waiting for my new life theme song to come on Jai HO! I love it! The song is with Pussycat Dolls and A.R. Rahman from the soundtrack of slumdog millionare. Check it out. My roomate Anna is totally into my chingeneh (gypsy) style and is learning to wear gigantic earrings..and she's opened me up to colors. The combo together makes us perfect for a euro/italian/indian bollywood chingeneh. it's great. Austin prepared to hear this song on broken record.

I have a new Italian interest. He works in the bar downstairs next to our apartment. He is by far the most beautiful Italian I have laid my eyes on yet. Yes..I am shamelessly going in every morning to buy my cappacino to "take away" there. He has now learned my face. When I came in yesterday morning...he was like "why you take a away...I make this cappacino for you. " then he's like "i mix the sugar for you Darling...for your take away." lol!! I was don't worry about my take away...I will be back this afternoon. He got a nice big grin! And as promised I went back with Angie after lunch. When I walked in he said "AHHHH E TU!" meaning ahhh it's you! and gave me a grin :) brought me my cappacino. What a great day. This morning...I went back..and he was like hello Texas! My reaction Whooooooa! He said he had asked my friend where I was from! So now he's asking about me? He said my name is Francesco....and this guy..I gave him the real name of Lia. He said he was born in Venice...lives here, works here...and " I vill Dy in Venezia". My thoughts...awesome...can I join you? lol. Can't wait for my daily dose of Italian waiter flirting. Sorry to my family if you are disappointed in me not finding my Italian husband yet...I am working on it! Hope you can handle tatooed italian waiters WITH beautiful eyes and wonderfully pleasing accents who call me darling. LOL!! :)

I finally got a now has 8 wheels coated. Also, I mailed my 8.52 kg box back to NetQos and it cost me 45 Euro. Lovely. Getting ready to pack up Italy and head to my beloved Paris. I can't wait to see the eiffle lit up at night again. It truely is a magical feeling.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cinese, Gondallas and Chingenehs!

Bon Giorno from Venezia!

Well departing from Roma was sad, as I did enjoy the short time we had there. Arriving Rimini was a nightmare for me! The wheel on my suitcase broke! We started walking about a mile walk to our hotel, I had a 50lbs suitcase to drag, my tote bag and my laptop bag. Talk about sweat dripping down my back and face...I have never had a work out like that. Halfway through the walk I nearly stopped breathing. I told my class mates )Q(#$*)@#$ this. I am catching the next bus. Thank god for the bus system. It saved my life. Rimini, was like every other beach town. Nothing too interesting there other than a beautiful sunset on the water. Our hotel was pretty knarly as well with a big terrace.

The train ride to Venice was very comfortable. I had an entire car to myself :) Listened to some great music and just did some thinking for about 3 hours and more stippling on my self portrait which never seems to end! Finally, we arrive Venice, where again I had to deal with my horrible luggage. This time...we had to lug it up 5 flights of 15 stairs each. I wanted to take a shot gun to my head. I decided, despite the arm and leg it would cost...I am mailing a box back to the US and purchasing a new suitcase here. No choice. I can't deal with this going to Paris, that is FOR SURE!

We finally got to hit up the beach in Lido, just outside of Venice. Might I is every thing Euro Trash Italian beaches are stereotyped to be. We saw this great guy in a red speedo with his belly sticking out and the hairiest back I've ever seen. Another old man had white legs, red arms and a black back. One guy who should be our Purple First Mate ….he was all EXTREME tanned out, gold chain, cigarette in one hand and...tight purple beach shorts. Now that was a sight. The best had to be the over bellied grandmas who seem to think its a wonderful idea to wear two pieces! My favorite though, on the vapporato (water bus), Dewey pointed out “lia...look at that”. It was a grandma, in a gold jump suit sporting huge glasses and showing the world her wrinkly cleavage. I was stunned. (something about mary much!)

Venice is beautiful other than dirty rat pigeons everywhere! Apparently the only legal place to feed them is the San Marco Square. Found the lovely pigeon lady..topins anyone? Venice is very romantic and filled with waterways, bridges and shopping! Cafe galore and of course the infamous GONDOLA GONDOLA GONDALA. For Anna's bday we went looking for an Indian restaurant. Everyone kept saying...”lia where's your people...” I responded...”I don't know?? maybe I should bust out in a bollywood dance with my Chingeneh (Gypsy-Turkish) earrings and everyone will randomly appear in song and dance with samosas in their hands. Too our disappointment of course google maps didn't direct us to that restaurant. No Indian food for us. Instead...we found CINESE. Yes spelled just like that. It was AWESOME. And the waitresses said Plago instead of Prego. Hilarious! Needless to say we stuffed our face and then went back to Giovanni's and threw Anna a surprise bday. It was good times indeed. Lucky bought us some awesome Zorro masks...apparently Masks used to be a big thing back in the day to hide your identity at put on our masks and walked around Venice like this. The reactions were HILAROUS!

I have been drinking the BEST EVER SMOOTHIES of my life. We found a little place near the apartment and its so fresh and absolutely delicious. Smoothie King and Tropical smoothies got nothing on this place! And..turns out the guy selling it was I finally found out where an Indian restaurant is for us to try :) woohoo!

The museums have been pretty incredible. I got lost at the Guggenheim and went on a solo adventure to find my way home. It was pretty great. I found a little cafe and had a pasta, cappuccino and just people watched. Benale Museum was overwhelming with the Modern Art. I'm finding my brain is on SERIOUS overload. I can't even's just so jammed with image after image that I can't seem to get it together for my projects. All my classmates are having similar issues. Its like art overload everywhere. I ended up drawing a cracked out one perspective drawing of the St. Peters with all kinds of colors that looks like a 10 year old drew it. Fits with the art I've seen here.

Our apartment is really nice...but the fact it is 5 flights of stairs, dark and kind of gloomy makes us all very sleepy and lethargic. Good thing we are walking a lot. In the evening we are finding ourselves totally exhausted and just having group drawing sessions while listening too awesome American hip hop lol and sharing life stories as we listen to the words of..... Gotta love Snoop.

Ciao for now.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Stairway to Heaven...Roma

Bon Giorno from Roma!

I love love love Roma! What a gorgeous city. The colors, the flowers, the parks! Amazing. I can't even begin to explain the architecture and things I've seen...over 800 pictures. I walked the stairway to heaven today at the vatican. That alone was so much to take in. Rooms and Rooms of unbelievable work. I'm talking in the millions. Yesterday, I got to expereince the Italian life with the Gabrielle's whom I visited with (family friends). We had an italian a young hang out area side of town and then Stephanie and I hit the night life. I enclosed a picture of my was the most delicious mix of Bruschettas ever! I'm sharing a room in a hostel/dorm with 6 other strangers...and our room smells like nasty funk. Tourists man..we are all the same..turning into dirty, non showering europeans I guess. We visited the Capitolini Musem and Vatican City and the Colisuem of Rome. All incredible. I have experienced too much and seen too much that a blog just does no justice. I have included just a few pics. Our class was having a great time chilling out at the Colisum making donkey faces. We are a pretty light hearted group. I also included a favorite piece of art I saw at the Vatican. For the rest of the have to wait to see me, or view my facebook.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ciao Firenze Bon Giorno Roma

Hey everyone,

Florence has been amazing. Between the sips of morning cappacino and random adventures with my has been an experience to say the least. I will miss my beautiful sunsets and look forward to seeing what they look like in Rome and Venice. My next journey is to Rome, Rimini and Venice. Unfortunatley, I was not able to do the Cinque Terra rounds due to time and convenience. But that just means I have to come back one day and complete what I could not accomplish.
Yesterday, during a crazy shopping spree...a very cute Italian salesman convinced me to buy blue boots. Picture included.. I asked him if I could fit him in my suitcase..he said..."how big is it". I was look just the right size. Giggles...of course. Today, I ran into the waitress I took a picture with today while shopping! She recognized me, approached me with a big hug! My reaction was "whoa". LOL In my head I sounded like Joey on Blossom. She thanked me again and said she put our picture up in her room. How great is that. I have one italian friend whom I don't even know her name.
Lucky and I went on an night. Took a picture with the boar and visited her Romanian buddies. That was an intersting night. Other than that..we've been eating delicious foods thanks to Mother Marym (our roomate who has graciously cooked us delicious meals) and it had nothing to do with Pasta! We are burnt out on Italian food. Yes ...believe it or not. I took a few last narcissistic shots of myself in Florence. If I do say so myself...I feel as though I fit in the portraits so perfectly, as if someone was meant to just paint me in every shot. Think Florence will be a place I love for a while. La Dolce Vida.

Ciao...until Roma.


The sights of Firenze

This blog is dedicated purely to pictures... I spent a lot of alone time in the last day or so just breathing florence in. Took some beautiful shots of the scenary and interesting things I found. Like a store selling a body as a knife holder! Looks like someone getting stabbed. That was psychotic..and interesting. There's a little wall on the bridge artists or people sit on just to hang out or paint. I loved watching people sitting on the that triangle concrete under the bridge. Sometimes you would see a group of friends just enjoying wine and hanging out. Walls here have so much graffitti. Seems as though every person feels as though they have a right to vandalize and leave their mark in Florence. Yup...I ofcourse left my mark somewhere, however I did not take a picture of it. The little thing I enjoyed most was seeing the sun and light peak out of little areas. I tried to capture it on camera.
Sometimes all you need is a little alone time to think and sort out your thoughts. I enjoyed my walk and look forward to what Rome has to bring.
The next blog is my final blog from Firenze, Italia.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Purple Scarf: Check, Italian boyfriend: check...


Last two days have been interesting. I rested one day and cleaned our section of the apartment. Something about sharing a bathroom with 3 other people grosses me out. So..I took it upon myself to go "Heidi crazy." For those of you who know my mother, you know this means I turned into the tilex queen. Needless to say, my roomates appreciated it a lot. I don't care if they never long as they don't stop me from doing it!

Today we had class where I showed my professor my self portrait. If I do say so myself, it is coming out pretty amazing. I have some all I gotta say. You will all see when I get back, what "patience" I am referring to when it comes to my art. For lunch we stopped at the same place I met miss "mama mia" waitress. I called her over to our table and said, look...and I pulled out my journal where I placed her and my picture together. She got so excited! She was like, I thought I met you the other day! Then another waiter came by saying "where is my come you don't take one with me!" I said....wait now.."ofcourse I would love to take one with you." he's perfect to be the italian boyfriend! hahah he was absolutely adorable. He's says "but I am very ugly no?" OH MAN..I was eating this up...I said no are not! you are molto bello!! Let's take a picture. He shamelessly came by the table to flirt and go on about telling me how he has to practice his english. He apparently came to San Diego and knows of "Houston." LOL! Anyway...I decided to go home..and bring back my italian boyfriend and italian waitress a gift.

I went back to the restaurant two hours later with printed pic of me and my italian waiter boyfriend and write on it "Vi รจ molto bello", means you are very handsome! I signed it Rosella :) and wrote it in Gold Glitter. I then made another print out of the waitress and wrote "Vi ringraziamo per aver detto mamma mia," means thank you for saying mamma mia. Wrote hers in gold glitter and decorated it as well. For class we have cannon printers for our it came in handy for these print outs :) I have attached a picture of my italian boyfriend and the italian waitress pic is in my first blog. scroll down. When I went to take it to them....their reaction to this was PRICELESS. I am pretty sure I made two italians day and definitely made them blush. If anything..they gave me a good story as well as I gave them one to tell!

The rest of the day I went shopping!!!! and went and saw the FAKE il David. Tomorrow I will go see the REAL one. Purple scarf....check....Gypsy earrings....check... a version of the David. ..check.....ITALIAN BOYFRIEND! check :)

Bueno Sera!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

The perfect Italian day..

So today was pretty perfect. I woke up, walked around and bought a cappacino and post cards. The weather was crisp and breezy...absolutely perfect. The wind was blowing and I could feel Florence whispering in my ear. We went to the zoological museum today. It was very interesting. It was filled with wax taxidermy of the human body and of animals of all kinds. After that I saw the most amazing crystal collection. When I was a child, I used to LOVE cracking rocks to see if there were crystals inside. Today, I saw every color crystal possible. It was a dream.

Later we walked and grabbed a egg tomatoe sandwich. I passed by an artist who I'm pretty sure is going to be my Italian Husband. His profile was very attractive! lol. Further down, I actually sat with an Albanian artist who drew me as Rosella. He sweet talked me the entire time. It was hilarious. Those italians...they are pretty slick with their words. I told him he had beautiful eyes. Which he did..they were blue with orange..he was like " not tell me this..because then I may fall in love with you." LOL wow..I wanted to roll off my chair in laughter. He even wanted me to come back tomorrow because he was obsessed with my profile. He said if I came back, he'd sketch my perfect profile for free. After all that, we saw an Italian couple who just got married! They were so was pretty perfect. Tonight..I'm staying in and working on postcards, my journal and my self portrait.

Enjoy the pics!

Arrive Derchi.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Self Portrait Rosella

Hey everyone!

Love, love, lovin Firenze! Finally over my cold and jet lag! woohoo! Tomorrow begins my partying :) I have been very productive...have half a journal filled of pictures and stuff...and began my lovely self portrait as Rosella, my italian given name. We have been touring around town and enjoying the sights! Seen Santa Croce, Duomo, Uffizi, Galileo exhibit, Fiesole and many more! The sunsets are incredible..and I was on the bridge when a musician started playing Romeo and Juliet. It was perfect moment. That is the song I still play on the piano! Art vendors everywhere, amazing espressos! The sights of the tuscany were so breathtaking that I could feel a tingle shiver down my back. Ofcourse, that could also be sweat from the miles of hiking I have been doing! I will have buns of steel no doubt. I think I've lost weight too. Eating healthy and walking. Enjoying tasty foods in moderation and watching my need to endulge! If anything, I have finally learned moderation! Also got to see Aunty Emma, whom I have not seen in over 18 years. Same with Stephanie. Today we went to Fiesole...and it was awesome! Unfortunately for my professor Giovanni got pick pocketed on the bus and him and I hiked and retraced his steps. No luck..and burned a lot more calories. Well..that's all for now. Have to save some of the good stuff for when I get back. If you want to see more pics..GET A FACEBOOK or get over it :)



Monday, June 1, 2009

Mama Mia!

Bon Giorno!
Florence is amaaaaazing! So I arrived at the airport in Florence where a very nice Italian taxi driver dropped me off in an alley that was narrower than my left pinky toe! The narrow street I live on is called Via Squazza. We live in an awesome 3 floor apt where all 6 of us girls are in. Let's call it Real World Italy, the ACC version. My professor (Gary) Giovanni, gave us all Italian names which we are required to use while in Italy! He named me Rosella straight out of a Italian phone book. He thought that fit me best. Not sure why..but I'm not arguing. Can you picture this? I think the name ironically is a nice choice. Google it.
First evening..I was trying to walk off my jet lag. Talk about walking for miles. You walk EVERYWHERE! I sooo want a scooter by the way or one of those lovely, tiny little cars you can park the wrong way in between. See picture. I stopped to take a picture in front of the Santa Croce. That is the picture with me in a "here I am in Italy" pose! There's shops everywhere! OMG...if I only had the money for all the leather shoes and purses and make up and art they have to offer. I was kinda going nuts. Had my first yummy pizza...which I took a picture of. I came home to be welcomed by some pretty "patzi" (crazy) neighbors. Just like you see in the movies...I have neighbors upstairs who were giving us a full on concert with their yelling. The wife was yelling at her husband and NO JOKE..throwing plates. In the background we heard a little kid cry, silence..and then more crazy italian yelling. It was AWESOME. I wanted to go upstairs and tell them to yell louder so I could record it! We then left again to hit up the grocery store so we could cook our first meal. I made penne pasta with a little olive oil, garlic and basil. Yumm...and we had italian bread which we dipped in homemade garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegrette. It tasted pretty delizioso. Ended the night early because of all the traveling.
Today we got our Uffizi cards and had the first day of class. Classmates are pretty cool and so is my professor. I lost it in the artstore...I absolutely had no self control and dropped 60 euro right there. We all just couldn't wait to get home and play with our new supplies! Get ready to see a lot of purple is all I gotta say. Might explain this later..for's between me and my class mates:) We had lunch at a great place in one of the Piazza's (squares). Our waitress was very friendly and had some pretty knarly gypsy earrings all us girls appreciated. She got annoyed with something and again..NO JOKE..said "Mama Mia!" I just started laughing and said..can I please take a picture with you, you are the first person in Italy I have met who actually said that! She got excited and said yes! Her picture is up here too. The espresso and hazelnut biscuits...TO DIE FOR.
Everyone here is wearing scarves! WTF..really? It's June people. Thank you Carol for making me prepared. I have worn the scarf you gave me just before leaving! I totally fit in now :) It has been very cold and rainy..but oh well. Rather be enjoying depressing gloomy weather in Italy than Austin any day! We kept walking and saw some very nice Italian Eye Candy...not to mention some very appealing Eye Candy posters. Ladies..I think you know what I'm referring to. What is the deal with the David key chains and all the David shirst with a CLOSE UP. Toooooo funny. Last but not least The Duomo is incredible and breathtaking. Seriously...words can not explain.
Finally got my adaptor so I can blog it up. Tonight...sandwiches for dinner and play time with our supplies. Tomorrow is independence day or something. It's a national holiday so it will be a big celebration in the streets....more to come.