So yesterday was my twenty-first birthday, and the only way that it could have gone better would have been if I had gotten a puppy with a big, red bow on its head (Christmas present, anyone?) My day began just like any other Tuesday: rushing out of the house, heading to my Italian class, and scarfing down a cappucino and croissant (thanks, Sarah!). After class was over, my teacher, Roberta, pulled me out of my seat and walked me into the main room of IES Abroad, where I saw all of my friends, my host parents, and a cake! My host parents had been planning a suprise party for weeks, and had baked me a cake at 4am so I wouldn't know. In hindsight I wish that I had taken more photos, but I was so shell-shocked and overwhelmed that all I could do was stand there and try not to cry. And then Kate, my friend of 15 years who is studying abroad in Copenhagen, walked into the building, and the water works were at risk once again. Kate and I had planned this visit, but it was still refreshingly wonderful to have a piece of home with me in Italy to celebrate.
My next class, Dante's Commedia, wasn't until 4pm, so Kate and I spent five hours briefly touring Siena, eating incredible pasta, and walking three miles in the rain to pick up a package from my actual family (BEWARE of missing the postman when he/she comes to IES Abroad. Because then you have to walk long distances in the cold rain). After class we all went to the girls' apartment where I was surprised with a banner, heart shaped balloons, and an array of presents and cards. It was all such an amazing surprise, and I definiely almost cried about 100 times. We then had dinner at Carla e Franca (10/10 recommend), an incredible little place about a seven minute walk from IES Abroad. I had called ahead and made reservations, so we basically had the entire place to ourselves. We were fed endless amounts of brushcetta, meat and cheese plates, bread, and then either a pasta dish or an entire pizza. Since I had already eaten pasta for lunch, I opted for the pizza, and it was definitely the right move to make. It was also Joe's birthday, so we shared in the celebrations. We spent the rest of the night bar hoping and wandering around the city. Even though it was practically freezing, we all had a great time.
Overall, it was an incredible birthday. Although it was weird to be away from family and friends, I'm so glad that I can say that I got to celebrate my 21st birthday in Italy, surrounded by new friends that have now become family.
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<p>I am a current junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian at Sewanee: The University of the South. I am a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, and am a coxswain for Sewanee's crew team. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, reading, going for runs, and playing with my dogs.</p>