A Weekend with Zoë

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything. I’ve been side-lined from blogging due to my busy school schedule and getting sick for a whole week. I’ve had so much to blog about, but not the time, that now I’m forgetting where to start. I guess I’ll start with this post, and then hopefully catch up over the next few days.

A couple weekends ago, my wonderful friend, Zoë, came to visit. She took the bus from Southern France, where she is spending this semester. You can follow her blog for updates on her experience.

I went to meet Zoë at the bus station at 7am, so I was blessed to see the sun rise as I walked next to the Arno on my way to the station. After Zoë arrived and we dropped her stuff off, we ventured into Florence as tourists. Because Zoë’s time and budget here were limited, we opted to do only one major touristy thing. We climbed to the top of the Duomo’s bell tower and dome! Without the mountains and my regular hiking that I do back in Tennessee, I’ve been missing what it feels like to climb up hill, but climbing over 800 stairs in one afternoon certainly helped with that bit of homesickness. According to my FitBit, we walked over 23,000 steps that day bewtween our Duomo adventures and wandering the city. We ended that day by going to a Shabbat potluck dinner at the apartment of some of my friends’. Zoë got to know some of my peers from SACI, and we celebrated friendship with food, impromptu hair cuts, and dancing.

Zoë’s second day here, we met up with Olivia, another Fine and Performing Arts Scholar from ETSU studying at SACI. We got lunch at Gusta Pizza, a popular pizza restaurant in Florence, and did some more wandering. In the evening, we found ourselves in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, the 2017 location of Florence’s chocolate festival. The festival was small, but chocolate filled, so who’s complaining. As if life couldn’t get better than chocolate, we ended our Saturday with dancing and a drink or three with more friends.

Ultimately, our weekend was filled with walking the streets of Florence because there’s really no better way to get to know a city than to walk it, especially on a limited budget. More than the walking or the sight seeing, though, the best part of having Zoë here for a weekend was the simplicity of a familiar face and spending time with a close friend. As it was the weekend before Valentine’s day, I can safely say that it was one great Galentine’s day weekend, and I hope that we will be able to meet up again during our time abroad. So even though its a week late, Happy Galentine’s Day, and Happy Valentine’s day. As parts of our lives seem to be shifting in ways we may not like with 2017’s new politics, I hope you’ll seek out the love and company that make your life more joyous and positive.

And on that more positive note, off I go to write my art history midterm paper!

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