Shaffer Girls Take Italy: Venice

Shaffer Girls Take Italy: Venice

Thursday: I can’t believe I’m in Venice with my sisters right now. I have been counting down the days until their arrival for months now. They’ve been in Italy for only a few hours and we’ve already had so much fun. When I first arrived at the train station in Venice, I was giddy with excitement. … Read more

Thursday:

venice

I can’t believe I’m in Venice with my sisters right now. I have been counting down the days until their arrival for months now. They’ve been in Italy for only a few hours and we’ve already had so much fun. When I first arrived at the train station in Venice, I was giddy with excitement. The countdown on my phone was alerting me that the event “SISTERS ARRIVE IN ITALY” was finally here. I had to hop on the water bus in order to get to the hotel. Although the ride to my stop was only a half hour long, it felt like five hours as I was so anxious to see my sisters and Val. I arrived at the hotel to find out that they did not yet arrive, so I did some exploring in the area. I was gone only five minutes when I decided to turn around. I headed back over a bridge that lead to our hotel to find three girls with large suitcases looking incredibly lost. I ran across the bridge and hugged them all at the same time as it was impossible to decide who to hug first.

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Today we went on a gondola ride on the canals! Now I can cross one more thing off my Europe bucket list. It was even better than I imagined it would be. Linds got a chance to steer the gondola herself… or attempt to steer it anyways. Venice is so cute and it is amazing how the entire city is run by the waterways. I am so happy my sisters (and Val!) are here and am so, so excited for the next few days with them.

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Saturday:
Yesterday it was pretty cold and raining non-stop in Venice. We had to walk on high boards to get across the piazzas since the water was so deep! Venice was literally under water. After breakfast we walked around and a bit and warmed up at a cafe with some hot chocolate. Me and Linds got Nutella crepes for lunch (Linds’ first one!). After the girls got caught up on some much needed sleep (I give them props for doing so well since I felt so tired for a week after I first arrived in January), we went to explore a little more of Venice. We came across the cutest bakeries, bridges and waterways. We stopped at a pizzeria along the way for dinner. Despite the cold, we grabbed gelato for dessert before heading back to the hotel for the night. This time I tried frutta di bosco (wildberry). I absolutely loved Venice and am so happy I got to experience it with Laur, Linds and Val. Now we are on our way to our next destination! Next stop: Florence!

The Countdown has Begun

The Countdown has Begun

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Two Sundays ago marked the start of my three-month countdown until studying abroad in Italy! I leave on January 7. I cannot believe in three short months I will be flying half way across the world, making Italy my new home for almost half a year. The thought is so exciting, yet terrifying at the same time.

I have always dreamed of traveling. One of my best friends, Olivia, and I would always talk about how one day we would live in Paris and own our own cafe. We even planned to call it “Alyssa Deann” after our middle names. I always imagined riding a vespa around Rome, like the Olsen twins in When in Rome, and tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, just like Hilary in the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Watching these movies growing up always made me more determined to one day turn those fairytale moments into reality. I am scared to death, but there is no going back now! I am so happy that I am pushing myself to be fearless. I think Taylor Swift would be proud (yes, I am probably T. Swift’s biggest fan)!

While the thought may be scary, if you are at all interested in studying abroad, I suggest that you talk to Dawn Adams at the Center for Global Education in van den Eynden Hall. Even if you are on the fence about traveling abroad, promise that you’ll find out more! You will never regret taking the time to look into such a wonderful opportunity.

As my countdown continues, I created a bucket list of the things that I want to make absolute sure I do while I am in Europe. I am so excited to see what I get to cross off the list!