Thessaloniki, Greece – Reading Week

DCIM999GOPRO

Day 51: October 14, 2014
I had absolutely no sleep over 24 hours. We left of flat by 3:45 a.m. to go to the bus stop. We took a coach bus all the way to Pisa Airport. We arrived four hours before departure. The plane was not filled! I guess not man people travel to Greece at this time of the year. It was only a two-hour flight which was nice. We took RyanAir. RyanAir is specially made for flights around Europe. So far Pearson is the nicest airport we have been to. The Greek airport in Thessaloniki is quite small. We took a bus into the city from the airport. It only cost us two euro each, which is still cheaper than bus fares back home. Greece was not what I expected. There are no white buildings with blue rooftops. Apparently those buildings are in the southern part of Greece. Thessaloniki looks a lot like Toronto but slightly more run down. We thought we booked a hostel but when we arrived we found out that we booked a hotel! I’m actually glad that it’s not a hostel. We won’t have to carry all of our stuff around. Another plus to being able to stay in this hotel is the buffet style breakfast. I’m excited for that tomorrow! Our view from our room was not what we thought it was going to be before we arrived. It’s dirty looking. It’s a view of run down buildings. We thought we were going to have a view of the water. Of course we would end up with a bad view but it’s pretty funny. We are making light of the situation. It’s great that we each get out own bed. We ended up taking a nap when we arrived because we were all exhausted. When we woke up we went out for dinner to get some homemade Greek good. The man who served us was from Vancouver and he was super nice. Surprisingly we found Starbucks near our hotel in which we used their wifi. The wifi is only free when you buy something. The username and password are on the receipt, but one can only use it for a limited amount of time unlike the Starbucks back home. After Starbucks we went back to our hotel to hang out and crash. Looking forward to tomorrow’s bus tour!

Day 52: October 15, 2014
My mind is going all over the place right now! I don’t even know where to start. The buffet breakfast was pretty good. I loved the rice pudding and bougatsa! Jen, Alesha and I walked around the city and checked out some of the shops. Thing are so cheap here, especially shoes. There are these really cute sandals that I want and they are only five euros! So much cheaper than the ones in Florence. While wandering around we found the sea and pier. Near the pier we found an art space similar to the Power Plant in Toronto. I am really glad that we were able to see some contemporary art here. I forget the name of the place but I think it’s the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki. We made friends with these two guys named George. Yes, both their names were George. It’s funny how we made Greek friends but no Italian friends yet. At 6:00 p.m. we met Jen’s Great Aunt Stella and Uncle Othon. We first went to a café overlooking the pier/sea. Such a great view of the sunset! I had some Greek iced coffee called frappé. It’s some pretty strong stuff. My heart is currently racing as I write this. After we had coffee we went to get dinner. We had white wine and souvlaki. I was so full from lunch that I could barely eat dinner. For lunch I had fries and calamari. The calamari doesn’t beat Cinque Terre’s.

Day 53: October 16, 2014
We woke up early to meet with Othon at the bus stop at 9:30 a.m. It was so nice of him to bus all the way to our hotel just to show us how to get to his place. He even paid for our bus tickets in advance, He’s really too sweet! When we arrived at his place Stella was inside to welcome us. They gave us a tour of their home. There is so much history in that home. Othon told us that they were the first ones to live there and they watched their neighborhood develop. Othon showed us his collection of photo albums. They are super organized! I believe he has albums from the 60s. They are organized in order and he even has an index for them! He typed up captions for the photos so they could remember. Othon also creates PowerPoints with the images and he is very proud of them. Looking at the images of Jen’s family reminded me very much of my family. It made me miss them and made me more excited to go to the Philippines in December. Othon and Stella were so kind to drive us all the way to Kallikratia Beach. Jen, Alesha and I were actually planning on taking the bus there which probably would have taken us at least two hours to get there. They even gave us a little tour of places they’ve been to and where they used to visit family. Parts of the town looked like Philippines. They had the small tight roads and homes built closely together. It was nice to see Jen interact with the places she remembered being in. I could picture myself in her shoes. The beach was close to being empty. I guess no one goes swimming mid-October. The water was refreshing. I could open my eyes under water with my contacts on and nothing would happen. No burning. No missing contacts. It was awesome! It has been a super long time since the last time I was able to open my eyes underwater. My GoPro is amazing in the water! It was such a great investment. After the three of us swam, we all went out to eat. I’m not sure why I can’t eat much here. It’s really strange because I’m constantly eating in Florence. We were all exhausted after our day was done, especially me since I barely slept the night before/morning of. The coffee and wine really hit me! My heart has never pounded so fast and for so long before. I felt like my heart was going to explode! My body was exhausted but my mind was thinking at a speed that it has never before. I’m so glad that my heart finally went back to its normal speed after we went swimming in the afternoon.

Day 54: October 17, 2014
We spent our entire day outside relaxing and drawing by the pier. I only did one drawing because I spent more of my time enjoying the scene. I actually ended up taking a nap in the sun. Alesha got a really bad tan from rolling up her leggings. It now looks like she was wearing knee-high socks. In the evening we hung out with little and big George. We went to two bars and just walked around. Thessaloniki is a small place that apparently everybody knows each other. The first bar we went to we all shared beer from this large tap. It was so cool! It’s portable and you could watch the beer level decrease as it poured out. The second bar that we went to we just got a shot each of Gin. I only took half of the shot because I wanted to be aware of my surroundings. I didn’t drink much beer at the previous bar.I forget what the beer was called but it was super light.

Day 55: October 18, 2014
Another early morning. We met with Othon for a tour around the city. Othon was so kind to come to the hotel to meet with us at 9:30 a.m. He was a great tour guide! He loves walking around. He told us that he always walks to visit his mom. He said it’s a 20 minute talk to and from her. I think it’s so sweet that he visits her very often. On the tour he showed us many churches. Greek churches are so different from the ones in Florence. We also got the opportunity to watch part of a baptism. Jen said the Greek Baptisms are two hours long! I think the tour lasted about three hours. Jen, Alesha and I were originally going to go on the sightseeing bus tour when we arrived. I’m glad that we didn’t though. It’s a totally different experience walking and seeing things than seeing them on a bus. After our tour, Othon took us to this place where Stella greeted us again. He made us salad with lemon, oil and salt dressing and Pastitsio. It was delicious! I wish I could have eaten more but I couldn’t because I was way too full. For some reason I can’t eat as much as I usually can in Italy. It’s strange. Stella and Othon’s daughter, her husband and their daughter came to visit Stella and Othon. Their daughter was so cute! I love children! She recently turned two. Othon showed Alesha and I how to add animations on PowerPoint. Othon was so kind to pay for our bus tickets ahead of time for us and take the bus all the way to our hotel just to make sure we got back safely.

Day 56: October 19, 2014
Most of the stores were closed so we just stayed in for most of the day and caught up on rest.

Day 57: October 20, 2014
Today, we spent the day shopping. Surprisingly I did not buy much. This is so unusual of me, but I am very picky when it comes to clothing. All the clothing that I liked were way out of my price range. Expensive taste. After shopping, Stella and Othon met us at the hotel. We went out to get bougatsa. They got us a plate each! It was delicious but I couldn’t even finish it :(. After  that we went to eat at this place that reminded me of Burger King. I could not eat much because I was still full. I just had a small portion of salad. I’m really going to miss Stella and Othon. They made our trip! Without them we probably wouldn’t have been able to see half the things we saw. I am so grateful to have met them. They are two of the most generous and selfless people I know. I hope that one day my future husband and I will be like them. I was a complete stranger to them and they treated me like family. It was so comforting. I think I really needed that and I am really looking forward to spending my time in the Philippines with my family! Being with Othon and Stella has made me really want to reconnect with long-lost family members. Jen is so happy that she was able to spend time with them. It was so sad saying bye to them. It felt like I was saying bye to my grandparents. I hope to come back here just so I can visit them. I think they made a positive influence on my life. Being with Stella and Othon also made me want to meet more people and make friends. When I get back home to Canada I’m going to spend more time with Lolo and really get to know him.

Day 58: October 21, 2014
It’s time to say goodbye to Greece :(. We had an early morning as we had to make our way to the airport. In Greece you only have to be there two hours before your flight unlike Toronto where you need to be there three hours ahead. So we were there early and ended up sitting outside for about 45 minutes. Everything went smoothly and as planned and we got home safely. It was a good trip but I am so glad to be back home. I really missed the beautiful architecture, but I’m going to miss not having to cook or clean. Back to reality.

The Week Before The Break

DCIM999GOPRO

Day 43: October 6, 2014
I had the weirdest dream that my roommates took a picture of me while I was on the toilet haha. I researched what butt means and it said laziness. I think that is pretty relevant to me. Anyways, I woke up early because the window repairers came in to take the measurements. After they left I spent a good chunk of time researching places to go for our Reading Week that is coming up next week.

Day 44: October 7, 2014
We booked our flight to…. *drum roll please*… GREECE! Thessaloniki, Greece to be exact. I’m so excited to be going to Greece. It is on my bucketlist and I and hoping that we will be able to go to Athens and Santorini. They are far away from Thessaloniki so I am not sure if we will be able to. I had never even heard of Thessaloniki until Jen told Alesha and I. She told us that it is nice and that she has family over there. Maybe we will get to see them.

Day 45: October 8, 2014
We all had our one-on-one meetings with Jennie. I had a lot of things written down and nothing made. She suggested that I start making things because time is running out. I need to stop thinking and looking into things so deeply haha. It is time for me to get back into the groove of things! In the evening I went to an art dinner co-hosted by my assigned artist, Marisa Garreffa. The studio space was so beautiful! It over looks a garden and it’s a greenhouse. We ate dinner outside under the stars and it was just perfect. I had the chance to meet different people and actually became close to these two ladies who are actually long-time friends. Their names were Sue and Gina and boy, were they ever so down to earth and easy to talk to. They told me to keep in contact with them and I definitely will! Going to this event only made me realize how much more I want to meet new people and get to know them on a more personal level. Another amazing thing from that night was that Marisa gave each of the guest and hand-written letter. She wrote 32 of them! Each letter had a different story in them and I love that! I love how she just put herself out there! I admire that she told us each something personal and she doesn’t know all of us personally. So vulnerable… I love it!! I felt more intimate and connected to her after reading her letter and we barely spoke.

Day 46: October 9, 2014
I can always count on art history to be an early morning to visit another church. We went to the Santa Maria Novella Church. I have to be honest with you and tell you that I am getting a little bored of seeing these churches. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful and so is the history behind them. It’s just that I feel that they are all starting to look the same. I need a change. I think after reading week I’ll be able to enjoy them again or so I hope. At the end of Italian class our teacher, Susana, put on a famous Italian song and had us sing along. It was quite fun! It relieved some of my stress and put me in a better mood. :) Susana is a great teacher. I love how enthusiastic she is!

Day 47: October 10, 2014
Siena on a Friday? Sure, why not? As a class for Art History we went to Siena. It is a bit different from Florence in a sense that it felt less “touristy.” I do prefer Florence over Siena. We went to this massive church! I’m am terrible at names so I couldn’t tell you which one specially. We also checked out artwork as well. I guess I do not have much to say about Siena because I was more fascinated by the environment and architecture, but that is just typical of me. I find that I am in my own world and not paying attention to what Katherina is saying… that will probably bite me in the butt later when it comes to exam time.

Day 48: October 11, 2014
Since all of us are away from our families Jennie decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner pot luck at her place. It was so nice of her and much needed bonding time. I made bruschetta, which people did not eat as bruschetta but that is only because I couldn’t cut up the bread and place the toppings on. Oh well! It was pouring rain when we were walking home! We were drenched!! I wish I had my GoPro on me to capture it!

Day 49: October 12, 2014
Jen woke me up because she thought there was a bird in her room. When I went to help her there was nothing there! I bet she was just dreaming haha. I spent the entire day working on my artist interview paper! I want to get it done before we leave for Greece.

Day 50: October 13, 2014
Interview paper: check.
Packing: check
See you tomorrow Greece!

- E

And The Good Times Keep Rollin’

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Day 36: September 29, 2014
I don’t understand why more people aren’t working at TIM. It’s always busy in there and the wait it super long. I’m just thankful that we were able to get service. I spent the night drawing my last butt before my critique. Note to self: don’t drink two cups of black coffee so close to each other – heart pounds way too quickly.

Day 37: September 30, 2014
Happy 62 Months JP <3
I had my very first critique of the 2014/2015 school year and I felt that it wasn’t the greatest nor was it the worst. Some people could relate to it I guess. I didn’t get too much feedback so I can’t tell you much unfortunately. I think my favourite piece was done by my friend, Amy. she drew these beautiful Mandellas that represented her feelings. Can you believe it was a seven hour critique!? Boy, was I anxious to get out of the studio towards the end!

Day 38: October 1, 2014
Hello October! I had an 8:50 a.m. appointment for my Permesso… they were not running on time at all! But hey, at least we got it done. They had to take our finger prints and I thought they were going to use the good old ink pad. They used a machine. Oh technology, you’re taking over. To be honest, I don’t like how technology is taking over because even though it may help us to a certain degree it also makes us lazy and too dependent on it. When Alesha, Jen and I came home from class there were all these workers working on our roof (damages from the hail storm). Thank goodness they were able to get all the work done within the day.

Day 39: October 2, 2014
Today was not the best day for me. I was not in the mood for anything. We had to wake up early for class. Class is already set for 8:30 a.m. and we had to meet earlier. I was not impressed by that. If anyone knows me, they know that I am not a morning person. Not only was I exhausted, but one of my contacts was irritating me. Anyways, enough complaining. We went to Ognissanti and Santa Croce. Both are very beautiful churches. Check out my YouTube channel for a video of the day! It was so difficult pay attention in Italian class… more rest is needed.

Day 40: October 3, 2014
Happy Birthday Mom!
In the morning Alesha and I went with Jen to visit her artist (we are all assigned one to interview). Vincenzo makes plates and bowls. He also paints them. He doesn’t consider himself an artist but a maker. I found that interesting because I would consider his work art and him an artist. In the afternoon we went to The Florence Studio where we sculpted objects out of clay. I could not get into it at the beginning and wanted to leave but after about a good 15 to 20 minutes I got into it. I didn’t want to leave in the end because I was enjoying myself so much. We had the choice to work with oil based or water based clay. I used water based but I honestly have to reason as to why I picked it other than Jen handed me a slab of it.

Day 41: October 4, 2014
Today was an absolutely AMAZING day!!! Why? We went on a day trip to CINQUE TERRE! Even though I woke up at 3 a.m. for this trip, it was totally worth it! I would love to go back. If you ever want to have the best sea food, you must go to Cinque Terre! So fresh! I had shrimp, fish and calamari in a paper cone for eight Euros. It was the BEST calamari I have ever had! We went on a two hour hike and ended off swimming in the Tyrhenian Sea! The hike was great even though it had a good amount of uphill it was totally worth the view!! I can’t even describe to you have beautiful it was. So much greenery and overlooking the sea was just flat out stunning. As for the beach, it was very rocky… There wasn’t any sand. Just rocks. It was uncomfortable to walk on buy hey, it was still beautiful! The water was so refreshing to swim in, especially after that long hike. I wanted to stay longer but we couldn’t because we had to catch a train back home. Oh, and I can’t forget the lovely dinner we had. The view was gorgeous! We sat outside at a restaurant that overlooked the beautiful sea.

Day 42: October 5, 2014
In the afternoon we all went to the Picasso exhibit. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it. I could not relate to the work and I did not find the majority of it capturing. I found myself trying to force myself to connect to the work and try to enjoy it but i just couldn’t. When a piece of art captures my attention I will spend a good amount of time with it. It’s sad to say that I couldn’t do that with this exhibit. But that’s the thing about art. Not everyone is going to like it. Everyone has their own opinions. I think that’s beautiful. The fact that our minds, our likes and dislikes are all different. It’s unique. We are unique.

Life is an adventure!

- E

September Is Ending

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Day 29: September 22, 2014
Another lazy day = another butt drawing. Butt number four to be exact.

Day 30: September 23, 2014
Two artists came to our class today to talk about their work. I found it difficult to relate to their work because my work is different from theirs; however, I really enjoyed Amanda’s scarf design. She collaborated with a clothing company to have her work on put on scarves. But what is really exciting is that when she searched her name up on Google images, a picture Anne Hathaway wearing her scarf showed up! Nick’s work was more architectural and digital. It reminded me of work that my design friends do. After class was over, my roommates and I went to Gusta Pizza. Gusta Pizza is my favourite pizza so far!! So delicious! I parted ways with my roommates to do a little shopping. When I went to get rain boots from Segue, the lady gave me a discount even though they don’t have student discounts. It was so sweet of her!

Day 31: September 24, 2014
No class = relaxing day.

Day 32: September 25, 2014
For Art History class we were supposed to go to Uffizi but unfortunately we couldn’t go in; however, we went to the Bargello. I loved the Bargello! We didn’t get to see all of it because we didn’t have enough time, but I do plan to go back :). I am so happy that I was able to see Donatello’s David and Michaelangelo’s Bacchus! Crossed those two off of my Bucketlist. I still can’t believe that I’m seeing works in person. I used to see and learn about them via Powerpoints, textbooks and Google images but now I’ve seen the real deal and it’s incredible. It really is a different experience seeing art live than in resources. After the Bargello we went to visit the Church of Orsanmichele. I found it so interesting that back in the day they used to get their grains from the church. The grains would come down these drains. Later in the afternoon, Jen and I had Italian class and I think it’s getting better each time we go. Our teacher, Susana, is great because she is so enthusiastic and makes us want to learn.

Day 33: September 26, 2014
Today marks exactly a month since we arrived in Florence. I can’t believe a month has gone by! It went by so quickly and I can only imagine how fast the next seven months will go by. We visited two Restoration Labs. I was sad that we couldn’t take pictures at the Panting and Ceramics Restoration lab. Obviously we couldn’t because the flash could harm the artwork and the owners don’t want to share the works. The Ivory Restoration lab was sweet! Ivory is so beautiful, but it is no longer used to create art. There was a huge letter opener that looked like a sword that I wanted to keep but I couldn’t :(.

Day 34: September 27, 2014
During breakfast my roommates and I shared stories about our families and it was really nice to get to know more about them and where they come from. I love sharing and listening to stories because it makes me feel closer to them. I spent a good chunk of the day editing and uploading another Vlog and drawing another butt drawing. I was so happy that I was able to Skype with my best friend, Tiffany, because I haven’t talk to her in so long! She was telling me about school and dance. I really hope she gets into the group she wants! Also it was so nice Skyping with JP while I was drawing and he was working on his assignment. It reminded me of home and how we used to Skype and do homework together. :)

Day 35: September 28, 2014
Alesha, Jen and I spent a good chunk of the day talking about art. I actually love the fact that I am able to talk to people on a daily basis about art. When I’m home from school I feel like I can’t talk to a lot of people about art and it sucks because it is a big part of who I am. When I come back home I want to be able to continue to talk about art more with people.

- E

Another Week Goes By

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Day 22: September 15, 2014
It was an early morning for us because we went to Il Bisonte. It is a print studio and for those of you who think it’s like computer printing, it’s not. When I say print I mean this whole printing process. Google lithography and etching :P It’ll give you more of a clear idea of what it is. I’m only saying to do this because I myself do not know much about it.

Day 23: September 16, 2014
We had class as usual and then I just spent the rest of my afternoon and evening drawing… a butt. Yes, a butt. If you want to see a picture check out my Instagram.

Day 24: September 17, 2014
Today’s class woke me up for sure! It finally feels like I’m not on vacation anymore and I’m actually here to study and do work. We were given the rundown of how Thesis works and the whole process of it. If you think I’m talking about a Thesis statement for an essay, you’re wrong. Yes, I will have to write a paper in the end but the Thesis that I will be working on will consist of cohesive bodies of work that all relate to one topic. I’m very excited to start this because I have a general idea of what I want to focus my Thesis on. I won’t give you any details because I want to keep it a secret until it’s all done (I don’t like people who steal my ideas). The class consisted of a lot of self reflection which I really enjoyed because it really made me stop and think about who I am and what I love.

Day 25: September 18, 2014
Another art history class. We had a short lecture then made our way to a nearby church. We also went to the British Institute library. The library is absolutely stunning! Sooo many books! My mom would love it there.

Day 26: September 19, 2014
We had such a crazy hail storm! Apparently there hasn’t been a flood since 1966 so I just witnessed history! My roommates and I were just hanging out in the kitchen and we could see the clouds getting darker and moving very quickly. The Duomo then disappeared and we could see the rain quickly approaching towards us. It was so windy and there was resistance when we were closing the window. Shingles fell from the roof, water leaked in our kitchen, in Jen’s bedroom, and the pipe over the stove and the first layer of my skylight cracked. It was so exciting to witness the storm but also scary. We went to the studio to help our fellow classmates clean up and on our way there we saw a bunch of broken trees and hail on the sides of the streets. People were also sweeping water off the floors of their stores. I think it was the most exciting thing of the week.

Day 27: September 20, 2014
On our way to Mayday Bar, my roommates and I spent a good half hour just listening, dancing and singing along with the live band that is always playing beside the Duomo. It was so fun and so surreal. At that moment I couldn’t help but think and appreciate how much I love my life and how beautiful life is. It was perfect. Alesha actually sang with the band while Jen and I danced for a little bit. Something to look back on and remember with a smile across my face. We got lost going to Mayday but thankfully our neighbour and fellow classmate, Aaron helped us out. It was a fun time hanging out with the other classmates and eating the free food haha.

Day 28: September 21 2014
I spent my entire afternoon and evening drawing another butt and listening to Mariah Carey’s Fantasy and drinking wine. I regret nothing. That song actually helped me focus. My roommates and I went to walk around for a break and had some Venchi’s gelato. I don’t think I will ever get over how beautiful Florence is at night. It is so romantic and it makes me think of JP.

- E

It’s Starting To Feel Like Home

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Day 15: September 8, 2014
Alesha and I did laundry for the first time here (with the washing machine) and it was a bit confusing, but we managed to figure it out. I also hand washed a few things to try to save money. After that was done, Alesha, Jen and I went out to buy art supplies at this art store called Salvini’s. After that we went to the studio to finish setting up our spaces. We were there at the studio for quite some time and decided to go to the market to get some pizza and gelato.

Day 16: September 9, 2014
The roommates and I hung out for a bit in the morning while we had breakfast then went to do groceries. For some reason we were all quite tired after we got back home and I’m pretty sure itis kicked in after we ate lunch. We had planned to go to the studio after our nap but we all overslept and decided not to go to the studio because it was already late. While Jen made dinner (backed chicken and ghonnci with pesto sauce… yummy!) Alesha and I went to this store called Tiger to get some supplies.

Day 17: September 10, 2014
It was a rainy, sad day. My combat boots are not waterproof so my feet were wet. We took a train to visit the Gori Collection in Pistoia and the work was amazing! Some of the work was time based which I find interesting because it is on going work without the artist actually having to be there since nature took over. The property was huge and I could not image the amount of time it must take to maintain the place, but it was beautiful. Very peaceful and surreal with lots of tress. It was a nice change from being in the city where grass barely exists. On our way back home we stopped by this pizza place and I have to say that the pizza slice from there was the best tasting pizza I have ever had and the best part was the fact that it was only two Euros! I was so burnt out from the day that I was having a hard time trying to follow along in a conversation with a couple of my classmates.

Day 18: September 11, 2014
We had our very first in-class lecture and it was hard to follow along because there was a lot of text on the slides and our prof was taking quickly and going through the slides quickly. We had a guest come in a teach us about Fresco. The best part was that we were able to make our very own little Fresco paintings! The first thing we did was create a cartoon which we used to transfer our image with a dabber (red powder in a pouch). After that we painted. Jen and I also had my very first Italian class and it was pretty basic but good because I need to learn the basics haha.  After Italian class was over we went back to the studio where I stretched three canvases. On our way back home we stopped by a store called OVS (similar to H&M) to see if we could find some rain boots but we were out of luck. While the roommates and I were making and eating dinner we watched The Hangover and I edited my fourth Italy Vlog for YouTube.

Day 19: September 12, 2014
We went to visit La Specola Museum and it was awesome!! My favourite part was the bones collection. I did three sketches while I was there but first drawing I did was the best one… it just went downhill from there haha. The museum also had taxidermies. I was disappointment that the human bodies were made out of wax because I wanted to see the real deal. Later on in the day Alesha, Jen and I went to the studio and I finished stretching more canvases. In the evening our neighbours hosted a party and it was a nice time to bond with my classmates. :)

Day 20: September 13, 2014
We had a lazy Saturday and really didn’t do much to be honest. Everyone needs one every now and then.

Day 21: September 14, 2014
Slept in, did the groceries and went to the studio. No need to fluff it. I was originally going to do my first assignment inspired by architecture but that changed after I drew a butt. If you want to see a picture, just check out my Instagram.

- E

Two Weeks But It Feels Like A Month

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I seriously feel as though I have been here for a month and not just two weeks. I think it’s because we have done a lot in the past two weeks.

Day 8: September 1, 2014
For most of the day we just hung out and it was actually the first time I had the chance to sleep in since we arrived. Alesha, Jen and I went for a stroll and ended up in this store called Coin. Coin is what I would consider the Bay of Florence. To end the day we played a couple of games of Scrabble with our neighbours and had some wine. I had to leave the second game mid-way because I was just way too exhausted.

Day 9: September 2, 2014
It’s always nice to have a relaxing morning and just hang out with the roommates. We watched a few old high school videos… embarrassing videos but hey, we had quite the laugh. Of course we had to go to Conad to buy bread (we are addicted). After we came home we tried to come up with a plan for groceries and it just stressed us all out. Dealing with money can be stressful and in this case it is for groceries. That’s not even as stressful as dealing with rent and what not. Us three just got way too overwhelmed and took a nap haha.

Day 10: September 3, 2014
Cheers to a new school year a.k.a. my fourth but not final year. It was our first time in the building. It is quite close to our place which is perfect. We were also able to meet our fellow classmates again (we met them in the summer). After our mini lecture and lunch break we were able to pick our studio space. I am so happy with mine because I am right next to a huge door with lots of natural lighting! I will also be sharing the space with my friend, Crystal. She is super nice and her work is beautiful. She does a lot of landscape and figure paintings in oil so I will be able to learn a lot from her. She also has working habits like myself so I think we are going to get a long just fine. We both are able to critique each others work and have conversations but also know when to be quite and to really zone in and be quiet to focus on our work. After the quick studio set up we had to go to the post office to send in our documents for Permesso Di Soggiorno. I had to pay 16 Euros for a stamp! 16 Euros! Bloody expensive! The most expensive stamp I have ever had to pay for… On a positive note, it was the most beautiful post office I have ever seen with the high ceilings, stained glass and architecture.

Day 11: September 4, 2014
No school. I wrote my first blog post for school (it’s not this blog of course) and it felt odd not posting in my personal account. I couldn’t figure out how to change the time zone because there is no option for Florence. For dinner we went to our Art Historian’s place and it was absolutely stunning! There was a Fresco painting on her ceiling that she discovered. How amazing is that!? It was so sweet of her to welcome us all into her home and that was the very first time she met us. There was so much wine because each of us had to bring a bottle and the food was on point! I also got mulled by her dog towards the end of the night. The dog came out of no were and pushed me over. I did not see that coming but I’m okay! We ended up missing the train to go back home so we took the bus back which was okay.

Day 12: September 5, 2014
We had our very first Art History class and it was not in a lecture hall nor was it in the OCAD building here. It was mainly outdoors. We went on a hike! Who gets to say they went on a hike for their first Art History class of the semester… in FLORENCE!? How awesome is that!? It was not too bad of a hike but it was really hot out. I don’t mind the heat at all. I love the heat! When we got to the top of San Miniato everyone was amazed by the view. At that point we also visited the Basilica, which was also amazing! I seriously felt like I was in a textbook or in a postcard. We also visited the graveyard which was interesting. It was quite beautiful actually. 

Day 13: September 6, 2014
Happy 21st Birthday to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Alysha!
Today was quite a chills day. My roommates and I tried to buy art supplies but when we got there unfortunately the store was closed. In Florence a lot of the stores close for about two to three hours. This is what I call nap time. I wish Toronto had that because I could really use the nap time mid-day. We decided to get our cleaning supplies instead so we wouldn’t waste the day. Along route to go to the Supermarket we stopped by a store called Subdue. I think this may be my favourite store so far. It’s similar to Brandy Melville. I ended up buy a skirt and tube top which I wore that night to an art gallery, Villa Romana. The  gallery was not what I expected. I was a little disappointed to be honest BUT I did really enjoy the band called Above The Tree. There were these three guys that wore bird masks. The drummer was super into it as he had his eyes closed and was just moving to the beat. It’s so great to see someone so passionate about what they are doing. There was a buffet after which we waited a while for but was worth the wait! It was dark outside so every bite was a surprise for the most part. 

Day 14: September 7, 2014
Some of us went with our Prof to see a Joust (Giostra del Saracino) in Arezzo. It was similar to Medieval Times but the crowd was a lot more into it, especially the teens. I was surprised that Jousting is such a big deal. There was tons of cheering and shoving. I was a little scared that it was going to turn into a mosh pit or something. We didn’t stay for the whole event because it was going to go all the way until 8:30 p.m. and we arrive early afternoon. By the end of the day Alesha, Jen and I were way too tired to see the lantern show. It was not the kind of lanterns that you release in the air so that was part of the reason why I didn’t want to go so I don’t think we missed out on too much.   

Cheers to another week!

- E