Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sorry about the obnoxious title, but I couldn't really name this post anything else.

Let's see whats been going on. School wise things are going well I guess. I have to write two papers before I leave and I'm kind of worried about getting them done. There are a limited number of books in English at the school, so its been a bit difficult trying to find enough information to start. I'm sure I'll get them done though. I always do! Last Thursday I had my art class again. The school has been having problems with having classrooms for everyone so we decided to take a field trip. Since we didn't have to be at the school at a certain time, Elena decided to start at 11 am. I was like cool, we'll finish early and I can have the afternoon free to do stuff. Wrong! The class lasted 6 hours! We walked around Santa Maria Gloriosa di Frari and Scuola di San Rocco. It was a fabulous introduction to Venetian painting with each place housing works from Titian and Tintoretto and a whole host of other great people. So I was happy to have Elena there explaining things to me, but it was a little excessive. When it was over I had to walk home in the rain and then I made dinner and went to bed. It was a very long day.

The next day I went to see Harry Potter. OMG! I'm not really that big a fan, but I've seen all the movies and wanted something to anyway. I was super nervous about it being in Italian. I went with the other group of American study abroad students and it was nice to have some people to talk to. A couple of them are huge HP fans and decided to use the Venetian flag as a Gryffindor cape since the flag is gold and red and has a winged lion on it. It was pretty funny. I'm not sure the Venetians would approve lol. The movie was pretty good. I was able to get about 70% of it, so that made me quite happy. The part when Harry and Hermione kissed cracked me up. Sooooo awkward. But yea it was definitely better than the last one which bored the crap out of me.

The next morning I went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum because I'd never been and it was free for Venetians. Yes I know I am not technically a Venetian, but I have my IMOB card and that counts. So I was pretty excited. The place was so cool! There was a whole room filled with pieces by Jackson Pollack! I could live in that room. What I love about his stuff is that it never gets boring. You can stand in front of it for however long you want and still find something interesting to look at. So fantastic.

After the museum, I packed for London. My flight was quite late, but it was at the airport in Treviso, which is about an hour outside of Venice. So I had to take a bus there and then wait some more. The flight went fine and I got to London at like midnight. I had to take another bus to central London which was like another hour. I got to London at like 1:30 am. Then I had to take another bus to get me closer to my hostel. Then I had to walk about 20 minutes to actually get to the hostel. So by the time I got there it was about 3 am. The hostel is considered a "party" hostel, but I booked it because it was super cheap. When I got there the room I was supposed to sleep in was pitch black and I didn't want to wake anyone so I had to find my bed and lock my stuff up only using my cell phone as a light. Ugh it was a bit rough. I also didn't have a pillow so that was pleasant. The next morning I had to get up semi-early to go to Wimbledon. I had to take the tube and then take a bus to the actual park. That took about an hour. It was fantastic to see it for the first time. It was much smaller than I imagined. Its crazy to think that so many people visit the event in the summer. I got to take a tour of the entire place. I got to see Centre Court, "Henman" Hill, the room where the players are interviewed, and the court where John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match ever. It felt great to be in this historic place and learn about how and why the tournament began. After the tour, I was able to go to the museum, which was also very interesting. A lot of the stuff was interactive so that was cool.

After my visit to Wimbledon I took the bus and the tube back to central London and decided to do some sightseeing before my first tennis match. I saw the London Eye, Big Ben, the houses of Parliament, Westminister Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and the National Gallery. The National Gallery was fantastic because I got to see The Arnolfini Double Portrait, a painting I've been obsessed with for years. Its even more amazing in person. The detail that went into it is so crazy. I also go to the see Van Gogh's Sunflowers, which is one of my favorite paintings ever. Soo amazing. Its crazy that the whole museum is free. If I lived in London I would go like everyday.

After my bit of sightseeing, it was time to head to the O2 to watch some tennis! It took about an hour to actually get to the venue cause I took the bus and it the place was in North Greenwich. When I got there I was extremely excited. I knew it was going to be a great event within the first five minutes because I walked right past Justin Gimelstob. He is a former player turned commentator and "journalist." I didn't stop and ask for his autograph because he was in the middle of a conversation, but it was cool anyway to see him out and about. The first thing I did was find something to eat because I hadn't had anything all day. I decided since I was in London that I should try some fish and chips. So I got a cod and chips combo. It was pretty good. I had to put a fair amount of tartar sauce on the fish to make it pleasant, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. After that I made my way to my seat. Now when I bought these tickets, there was a warning about buying them if you have a fear of heights. I was scared to see exactly where they were because of this warning. Turns out they really weren't that bad. I was a little shaky at first, but got used to how high they were fairly quickly. The first match I watched was a doubles match and then I watched Roger Federer play. Live tennis is so different than watching it on TV. It is so silent during play. Like you could hear a pin drop. With TV, you have music and commentators talking through the points. Its quite crazy how different it really is. The Federer/Ferrer match was pretty boring because Federer won really easily. He is so arrogant it kills me. In his post match interview he pissed me off so much. I don't think he realizes how pompous he actually sounds. I guess you get to be that way if you are "the greatest tennis player ever."

The following day was the greatest day ever! After I got up I went straight to O2 because I wanted to walk around the Fan Zone and I didn't want to be late for my matches. When I got there the Fan Zone wasn't open yet so I had to find something to occupy my time. I found a Starbucks and decided to get some coffee. Its Christmas time so they had their special blends going. I saw a thing for an eggnog latte and was like hell yes! It was one of the most fabulous things I've ever tasted. It was like heaven! I got a blueberry muffin as well, which was also quite tasty. After I finished those, it was about time for them to open the Fan Zone. Right when I walked up they removed the barriers and it was a rush to get seats at the practice courts. I didn't know who was practicing, but I had some time to kill and decided to see what happens. Robin Soderling was practicing! Now I've never really liked or disliked this player, but I was excited to get to watch him practice. He is pretty easy on the eyes as well, so that was good. After that I went to watch my first set of matches. When I walked into the arena and found my seat, I realized Novak Djokovic was warming up for his match so that was fun to watch. In the afternoon session, I watched a doubles match and then watched Djokovic play Berdych. It was a pretty easy match for Novak and was over quickly. He is the funniest player on the tour right now. I also love listening to his interviews. After the matches, the players sign the camera lens and instead of signing his name he drew a duck. I thought it was quite amusing. After that I had to leave the arena so they could prepare for the evening session. I decided to go back to the practice courts to see what was up. I sat for a while thinking that nothing was gonna happen but then Jurgen Melzer walked up to practice with his doubles partner. He is becoming one of my favorite players. He is also pretty easy on the eyes lol. So I watched them practice for a while and then it was time to head back into the arena for the last round of matches. As I went up to my seat, these were the worst seats I'd had. I was in row s and the rows only went up to row u. Yea it was pretty high. Anyways, I turned to look and see who was warming up and it was Andy! At first I was content just to sit and watch from my horrible seat, but then I thought maybe they would let me into the lower section to get a closer look. I was right! I was able to go really close and watch the end of his practice. AT this point, my hands were shaking and I was freakin out. I really didn't expect that to happen and I felt really embarrassed. I prepared my sheet of paper and marker to maybe get an autograph. As he finished practice and started walking over to the group of fans, I tried to worm my way through, but by the time I was able to he started walking away. I think at that point I said "please, please" kind of loudly. Not my finest moment, but whatever. I was super sad, but he was being rushed off the court so I understood. I also didn't even expect to be that close to him, so it was fine to leave without his signature. So after that I returned to my seat and calmed myself down a bit. I watched the nights doubles match and then got ready to watch Andy vs. Nadal. Now pretty much everyone thought Roddick was going to get killed. I actually someone behind me saying just this and it made me sad. As the match started, Andy was playing really well. He won the first set, and I was like he could actually win this! I wanted to turn around and yell "you were wrong!" to the person who doubted Andy lol. Then in the second set, as in most Roddick matches, he started to struggle and ended up losing the match in three sets. I guess I wasn't surprised since its becoming a Roddick trademark to get his fan's hopes up and then lose kind of badly. It was still a fantastic match and watching him play live was a great experience. Watching him on tv will never be the same again.

After the matches I was dreading leaving the arena. It meant the end of my tennis extravaganza and it meant that I had to ride the bus for an hour to get back to my hostel. I wanted something warm to drink for the trip and I had some money to get rid of so I decided to get another eggnog latte! Oh so good once again. I got back to my hostel pretty late and only got about four hours of sleep that night. I had to get up to catch the bus to the other bus to the airport. When I got to the airport, I had some more money to spend so what do you think I did? Right, I found the Starbucks and got another eggnog latte. This one was more for the caffeine and the fact that it would probably be the last one I have for a while. I flew home and when I returned to the apartment, I took a shower and went to bed right away. This was at about 5 pm. I slept until 9 am the next day. I definitely needed the rest.

Now I'm back to my normal life, with only memories of Andy Roddick swimming in my brain lol. I have about 20 days to write three papers, so I'm a little pressed for time. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for reading :) Ciao.

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