Monday, August 31, 2009

Arrivederci Amici!

Well, it's almost here! We are leaving tomorrow!!! Seems crazy that this is actually happening. We are leaving Detroit tomorrow at 7:45 pm on a nonstop one way flight to Rome. We are arriving at 10:45 am (Italy is 6 hours ahead of Michigan, 9 hours ahead of California). After arriving in Rome, we are taking a bus to Siena where we will hopefully be finding a beautiful apartment that has been reserved for us. I say hopefully because while I know that we do have an apartment waiting for us, we don't know anything about it. But we will be in Tuscany, so really, how bad can an apartment be? After we get settled in, I will post some pictures of the new place. Also, I'm not exactly sure how the internet access will be, so I'm not sure how often I will be online at first. Since Justin needs the internet to work, I'm sure we will be figuring this out quickly.
The best way to contact us while we are abroad will be online. My email is and Justin's email is Also, feel free to leave comments on here too! :) Actually please leave comments, because I want to know if anyone is actually reading this blog! Another way to contact us will be by phone. Justin has a vonage phone line set up that will be through our internet, so that might take a couple of days to get set up. The phone number will be the same as Justin's current cell phone number (989) 506-3556. So that means that you can call us without calling internationally because it is all through the internet! That means we better be hearing from all of our friends OK?! :) Also, after tomorrow, my cell phone will be turned off and left in Michigan. The line will be discontinued. So I will not be receiving any calls or texts at (989) 506-4599. After we get settled in, I will probably see about getting us cell phones, and will post those numbers when we know what they are. Also, we will let people know what our mailing address will be so you can all send care packages our way! Also, so you all know where to come and visit when you come to Italy!
So, ciao for now and arrivederci amici! Next time you will be hearing from us, we will be in italy!!
I feel like I can't write a blog without some pictures, so here are some from our last week in Michigan with our friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Home to Michigan!

Finally, I have a chance to sit down and write a little bit about the last few weeks of my life. I feel like I have been so busy already and we haven't even left yet! As you can see from the title of this post and the picture above, my mom and I made it home to Michigan in Justin's little Yaris. This little car was PACKED FULL! This car is just a little bigger looking than a smart car to me, only with a backseat. Just to give you an idea of its horsepower, the engine is something like a riding lawn mower. (just kidding, it's probably not quite that big) But this car had trouble going up the 405 to get into the valley in LA. We drove it this full through mountains! It was the little blue engine that could. After a very long 3 days of driving, we made it to Michigan on Tuesday morning at about 2 am. It feels nice to be home but weird to be homeless at the moment. Since getting home, we have been spending time visiting with family and friends around Jackson.

It is hard to believe that we are leaving for Italy in less than 5 days! I think we have just about everything ready that can be at this point. I was nervous about getting my visa in time, but I was woken up early Tuesday morning by the beautiful sound of the fedex man ringing the doorbell with my visa in his hand! On top of getting my visa, I also received a refund for the culinary school in Parma that I originally wanted to attend, but was denied a visa for. I was really not counting on receiving any money back from them, so I am very glad. (I promise to write an entire new post about my visa fiasco, since some of you probably don't know what I am talking about.) Anyways, WHEW!! I am relieved to have that in my hand!

Let's see, what else have I been up to? HAWAII!!! My mom, dad, sister and I spent a week on the big island of Hawaii with the excuse of doing some geology research. We did do a lot of geology research, but also had a lot of fun. It was really neat to see Hawaii from a different perspective than that of a typical tourist. We learned a lot about volcanoes and lava and got to help katie with some research that has never been done before. It was pretty cool, or should I say HOT! We spent 3 days working on a lava flow from 1990. And when I say lava flow it was just miles of pa'hoehoe, (is that right Katie?) a sharp, uncomfortable lava rock. It was probably close to 95 degrees with 90% humidity, no breeze, no shade, working on black rock. Have I mentioned yet that it was hot?!

Besides for the lava, we got to see a lot of scenic beaches, palm trees, mountains, fish, sea turtles, and other things you might think of when you think of Hawaii.

I took a lot of pictures on this trip, and these are only a small portion of them. To see more, check out the Hawaii album on my facebook.

Monday, August 10, 2009

86 Campanile and Aloha Felecia and Hawaii

Ok, so I am still trying to figure out how to upload pictures on here so they will appear where I want them in my narrative, but they're all just together at the top for now, so I guess you will just have to keep scrolling back up to see the photos that I am talking about.

86 Campanile-
Saturday was my last day at Campanile. I am officially unemployed now. It feels kind of weird knowing that I won't go back to that kitchen to work again. we had a lot of good times there over the past 2 years. It is hard for me to believe that it is really over. But I am looking forward to the future and I am moving on to bigger things. :) Campanile and everyone there will always have a special place in my heart.

Aloha Hawaii!
Tomorrow morning I am leaving LA to go to Hawaii for one week to be a geological research assistant to my sister Katie. She is going to drill volcanoes and she needed someone to come and help her. It turns out that everyone wants an excuse to go to Hawaii, so Katie's research trip is turning into a family vacation for my mom, dad, sister and me. It should be fun, and I don't think we will be doing research the entire time. We are also planning on some snorkeling, beaching, relaxing, eating, and general vacationing. :) The only problem is that Hurricane Felecia (well, I think she might be a tropical storm now) is supposed to arrive in Hawaii just a couple of hours before we do. This might cause a lot of delays not to mention I'm sure a lot of turbulence. I have stocked up on Dramamine just in case. I am bringing my computer with me, so hopefully I will be able to download and post some pics of the volcanoes and beaches. I have never been to Hawaii before, so I am very excited!

My car is worth how much?!?!
As you can see from the picture above, there was quite a bit of damage to my car in the accident last week. I was hoping that they would say that it was totaled and that I would get some money from the insurance, but I wasn't expecting too much. I had my car started at $3500 the 3 days that it was for sale before I crashed it. I hadn't gotten any offers. The adjuster from the insurance company called me tonight and told me that yes, my car was totaled. Then she said that they valued my car at $5700!!! I was very surprised to say the least. I think this is about what I paid for it 2 years ago. So in a couple of weeks I should be getting a check in the mail for a nice little bonus to get us started in Italy. I guess crashing my car didn't turn out to be too bad after all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

however depressing this post is, I AM EXCITED FOR ITALY

In less than one month, Justin and I will be in Italy.

This is really beginning to feel very surreal.

I have had a mix of emotions these past couple of weeks. I am of course excited to go, but I am also sad to leave friends behind. I am also nervous. I don't really have an entire plan of what we are going to be doing over there. Actually, I have a very rough mental sketch of a plan. I'm sure everything will come together, but right now, I am kind of freaking out; wondering why I quit a job that I enjoy, why I am leaving a nice apartment in sunny LA, why am I saying goodbye to friends that I care about, to move to Italy. Of course I am excited to go and I think this experience will be just what I need, but right now, it's a little hard.

I bought some plastic tubs today to start packing some of our stuff for storage. I don't want to pack up my cute little apartment yet. I have a lot of stuff to do to get ready and I have really been procrastinating on mostly everything.

Also, I have 3 days of work left. :( BIG SAD FACE :( My wonderful friends at Campanile had a party for Justin and me last Sunday. I will miss everyone there. I know that there are some people that I will probably never see again and that makes me really sad. I am going to do my absolute best at keeping in touch, hence the blog. Here are some pictures from the party.

On a completely different subject, I'm pretty sure that I totaled my car tonight. Yes, the car that I had for sale. I am fine, the old lady that I hit is totally fine, but my poor little Hyundai is not so fine. I am hoping that the body shop will say that it is totaled and then I can just get the money from the insurance company and won't have to worry about finding someone to buy my car. LET'S HOPE! What happened: I was driving down Venice to meet my aunt for dinner when I was stopped at a stop light. The light turned green, and the car in front of me started to move, as did I. All of a sudden, I sneezed. When I looked up from my sneeze, the car in front of me had stopped moving, even though I had continued to accelerate. CRASH! This little old lady was driving a 1987 Honda Accord which I hit hard enough to maybe total my car and smash in my front end. There was hardly a scratch or even a chip of paint the size of a quarter missing from her rear bumper. I'm glad that she wasn't hurt and that she didn't have any damage, but wow, those Hondas! I knew I should have brought that old blue Honda out to California with me!
It's not so pretty anymore.