May 16, 2012 – Day 8
Today was one of our most busy days we’ve had since we have been here in Italy. We had an early wake up call and had to get to the bottom of the hill to catch our bus to Assisi. As we drove into the valley of our mountain we were able to get a better grasp of the scenery. We drove through tunnels in the mountains and near huge lakes that made us appreciate the diversity that we don’t see in America. An hour later we arrived at a wine museum that highlighted many artifacts that were discovered highlighting early wine making. Since we sped through the early uses of wine in class this gave us a unique opportunity to see how historic primitive methods of wine making have progressed. Our tour guide pointed out that Arthur and myself would consumed great amounts of the delicacies of the older time periods such as pigeons and everyone got a laugh out of that.
We had finished our tour of the museum and walked out to a rainy Italian day. We quickly rushed to the bus escaping the bad weather and road to our final destination Assisi. We arrived to a cloud ridden sky, which prevented us from really seeing the hill the town sat on. We were all starving so Ty and I accompanied the girls to a restaurant nestled in the city. We sat down and figured out what we wanted to eat and were able to eat the most delicious lasagna I’ve ever had in my life. Stuffing our faces we were finally content to go tour the church in the city. We weren’t allowed to take pictures and I didn’t feeling like disobeying the priests so I’ll only be able to supply pictures from the outside. This church was the biggest I’ve seen to date and was impressed with the great works of art on the inside.
We had finished our tour and decided to walk around for a little longer before we go on the bus. We ran into Carly Nash and Stephanie and they told us that they had stopped at a wine store that had some great Balsamic Vinaigrette and since I was trying to find something for my mom that she’d enjoy I thought that would be a good gift so we stopped by the store. They owner spoke English and we chatted with him since he had been born in Chicago. We sampled his Balsamic and I realized not only that I needed to purchase some for my mother, but also that I needed to buy one for myself. After exchanging funds we went back to the bus stop to wait for the group to head back to Cortona.
Back safely in quiet Cortona I had to hustle to work on my class grape project and write the end of this blog. We’ve had a busy week and I had neglected to work on it till the day before. Since my BIRTHDAY is tomorrow I’m looking forward to actually spending it with some close friends for the first time since I’ve been here in college. I’m excited to turn 22 tomorrow and wanted to tell my parents thank you for everything they’ve done for me up to this point making me who I am today as well as allowing me to come on this trip. I know they sacrificed a lot for my sisters and I to allow us to be where we are today and I’m eternally thankful for what they’ve done.
Love you Mom, Dad, Sarah and Caroline.
May 15, 2012 – Day 7
It’s hard to convey just how hard it is to study when you’re in the most beautiful place in the world and studying the art of making wine. I hope to be able to post more pictures of the scenery right outside our room in the next blog, but today began like many other since we’ve been here. We awoke and quickly made our way down to the dining room and grabbed some breakfast and hustled down the hill to class. We went through our lecture and we went back up to the dorm to hang out with our Theta girls Kash, Charlotte and Kristen. We had a group picture on the stairs of the city hall of Cortona and went to our haven Lion’s Well for lunch.
We hiked the hill again to get a little nap before our afternoon lab with Stephanie. Our lab was completely opposite of any lab I’ve had at the University of Georgia. We entered a room filled with tons of wine glasses, breads and cheeses. We were able to taste and sample four wines in the hour and a half. We were being asked as a part of our grade to keep a wine book cataloging the different aspects of each wine we try. Ranging from appearance, aroma, taste and personal perception. Our classes in the morning directly correspond to the items we work through in the lab thus making the whole process really interactive. By the end of the lab we were all in high spirits and ready to join the rest of the group at dinner at Tonino’s
Ty, Arthur and myself were able to stop at Dolce Vita after dinner and try some gelato. Arthur pilled up on the desert since he had been busy running in the afternoon when Ty and me were a little bit more tired. We were having a relaxing evening just talking about the opportunity we’ve had by attending this trip. I wish more student-athletes knew just how amazing these maymesters are. I think most of us are so worn down after a year of grinding day in and day out that at the end of the semester all we want to do is go home and sleep for a month. This whole process has opened my eyes and shown me that we need to utilize this once in a lifetime opportunity more as students.
The day wasn’t as eventful as the past few had been, but it was good to take it easy and rest up for a big trip to Assisi the next day. Till then….Go Dawgs…Chiao.
May 14, 2012 – Day 6
Today was not as an eventful day as many of the previous few. I had got up out of bed feeling really tired mainly from the Tylenol PM I had taken to try and get a full nights rest since I’m still adjusting to this difference in time. I sprinted to class and got in my chair just in time for it to begin. I’m really glad the Athletic department didn’t send class checkers for this study abroad because I definitely would have been assigned a morning run.
We made it through the lecture even though we were really tired and learned a lot of things about wine for our lab in the afternoon. We were hungry again so we went down to the sandwich shop Molesini’s. The ladies in the store had put out a Georgia bulldog figurine on the counter when Ty and I made our way through the line. We were able to chow down and make the trip back up the hill. While walking back up the hill we ran into a Florida couple that was in town for the evening. They were actually really kind too us having been big fans who had attended the school during the Tebow years. I don’t know if they ended up thinking we were nice people or just were scared since we are pretty big guys but they were extremely kind to us. We told them a few good places in town that they needed to try out and told them we might run into them later in the evening if they chose to step out. We said our goodbyes and continued our walk.
Since we had taken the weekend off from working since we had traveled to Florence and we were ready to get back on our regiment. I really believe Coach T would be proud of our dedication to keeping up a continuous workout schedule based on the tools we have which are few. We made our way up to the top of the mountain where there’s a church and a tons of flat space. We found a nice corner and got to work on the workout plan Sherman Armstrong had sent us. We started with curls, sit-ups and push-ups. After that we moved to leg raises, squat jumps and high-pulls. We finished up with dips, single arm pulls and leg kickouts. We were running short on time since class was 30 minutes away and we still had to get showered up for our afternoon lab. We finished the day off by running a few stairs, which were right on the side of the Cathedral. Tired and exhausted we quickly made our way back down the mountain to the dorms to get cleaned up.
Our lab was really interesting simply because we were finally able to start taking a closer look at the different types of wines. We had over 20 different wines that we had to guess the type of fruit or vegetable that was in the wine. It was fun because we were able to learn about how there are so many different combinations of things they can put in. We got out of class and decided to rest back at the dorms till dinner back down at Tonino’s.
Dinner was fun again because we have really created our own little family here as a group. We go and do everything together. We were able to have a great dinner and hung out down at the Lion’s Well in the evening. We ended up seeing our Florida friends again and finished the evening together with another great day in Cortona, Italy in the books.
They were really nice and weren’t wearing jean shorts