Weekend fun in Viterbo

Weekend fun in Viterbo

The weather in Viterbo this weekend was beautiful and today did not disappoint either. The sun has been making many appearances lately and I am loving every second of it. They say that February is the worst month in terms of weather here, but I am hoping that we experienced the worst in January. This … Read more

The weather in Viterbo this weekend was beautiful and today did not disappoint either. The sun has been making many appearances lately and I am loving every second of it. They say that February is the worst month in terms of weather here, but I am hoping that we experienced the worst in January.

This past weekend was a lot of fun and I stayed right here in Viterbo. I thought I might get bored not traveling outside of the city, but it was relaxing, fun and proved just how much I have left to discover about this quaint, enchanting city.

Friday I went to the hot springs with a few friends. We missed the bus by about 20 minutes, so instead of waiting another hour we took a taxi ride there, which was only about seven euros for a 10 minute drive. The taxi driver dropped us off at the hot springs, which you have to pay for and we had no idea where the free ones were. Thankfully, we had Nerea with us, a fellow study abroad student from Spain, and she was able to communicate with a local and ask her where the free hot springs were. The lady was so nice and told us to jump in and she would take us! So, the six of us crowded into her little car and she drove us there. It was not at all what I expected. There was nowhere to change and it was literally a huge hole in the ground, in the middle of a field, with steaming water. It was extremely awkward stripping down to our bathing suits since the Italians stare. A lot. We were told when we arrived here not to take any offense to the staring, that Italians are just curious. However, dying my hair brown and getting dark colored contact lenses, in attempt to blend in a little more, is a tempting thought. After getting past the staring, the rotten smell and not questioning the extremely mushy substance at the bottom, the hot springs were so relaxing! We stayed for about two hours and then reluctantly jumped out and changed back into our clothes (imagine six girls holding up towels for eachother, hiding behind small plants, trying to change in front of 20 staring Italians). We were not sure where the bus would pick us up and long story short… I have no doubt that the bus driver was doubled over laughing as he saw us in his rear-view mirror running down the road after the bus, waving as frantically as we could, to get his attention to let us hop on.

Friday and Saturday night my roommates and I went out at night for the first time in Viterbo. Heading out around midnight was a bit difficult for me, since I usually go to bed around 11 p.m., but hey, do as the Italians do, right? While I am not a big party girl, I had so much fun! All of us girls got fruity drinks and danced at the “Book Bar.” A lot of students from our program were there, but we also got to meet many local Italians! I only understood about two sentences that the Italians were saying, but they weren’t at all upset that I couldn’t communicate that easily. They actually taught me some phrases and words that they use.

sarah

Sarah and I walked up to the bar and asked for “a Blossom con no alcoholico” and the bar tender replied, “Oh my heart breaks! Per que no alcoholico?!” When we just laughed, he said “OK, but next time… ALCOHOLICO!” He put bananas and strawberries in the frozen drink and it will most likely be my “go to” drink this semester.

I am so excited for this week because my dad surprised me and told me that he is coming to visit! He was asked to go to Germany for work, so he is going to stop in Italy before heading there. I can’t wait to show him around Viterbo and take him to a few of my favorite places!

Ciao for now!

“Christmas-itis”

“Christmas-itis”

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The first day of December for the year 2011 has finally arrived. Many people look forward to this day each year as it officially marks the first day of the holiday season, the holiday being Christmas of course! On the first day of December, or the first week of December at least, many Christmas trees are cut down and bought, decorations go up and lights are hung around the outside of many homes. Christmas music is finally played repeatedly on the radio and Christmas movies are played each night on many channels, especially ABC Family, which even has its own Christmas movie event called the 25 Days of Christmas. People begin to spend more time shopping and buying the gifts wanted by family members as well as baking festive cookies and desserts, all in preparation for upcoming holiday parties. The first day of December is the beginning of the Christmas festivities and the start of a wonderful month full of holiday cheer and giving!

The first day of December, however, for many college students across America is somewhat different. One the first day of December, 12/1/2011, college students begin counting down the days until the semester is over. It’s one day closer to the day in which they can return home for a long, extended Christmas break full of relaxation, fun and family time with, most importantly, no school work. On the first day of December, the common disease of “Christmas-itis” finally kicks in. Students no longer want to do school work, although these last few weeks is crunch time stuffed with presentations, due dates for important papers and final exams with these ending weeks being some of the most important weeks of the semester. At this point in the semester, college students have much desire to return home as some have only been home once this semester, which was most likely for Thanksgiving a little over a week ago. This very common disease of “Christmas-itis” can be trouble for students as it creates the temptation to procrastinate school work and do something else more exciting in its place.

So how do you tackle “Christmas-itis” and prevent it? Well first off, it’s inevitably unpreventable as almost all students love Christmas and the holiday season. So it happens to be one of those things you just take it as it comes and deal with it! But there are several steps, which can be used to help calm “Christmas-itis” and not allow it to overcome the last few important weeks of the semester. First off, staying organized and having a study game plan is very important. Be sure to be aware of all upcoming assignment due dates, exam schedules and any homework that needs to be done. Allot time to complete all of these assignments and to study. Make a list to help you and be sure to check it twice each day (just like Santa!!). Secondly, invite the Christmas holiday in. Decorate your dorm room, listen to Christmas music and watch a holiday movie. Ignoring the holiday feelings can only increase the effects of “Christmas-itis.” Thirdly, be sure to leave some room for fun or alone time each day to break up all the school work that is due. Have a snow ball fight, go ice skating or see a newly- released movie. Lastly stay focused, as home and Christmas are only a few weeks away!

Mixing Up Some Fun

Mixing Up Some Fun

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All the movies portray college as one big beer fest; frat parties, sorority parties and just plain old parties are the objects of the media most times. Aside from this being a completely inaccurate portrayal of college life, especially here at Mount Union, we as a campus work harder towards the mature management of alcohol instead of hosting the best parties in the United States (like some other schools in Ohio).

GAMMA is a major organization on campus that works toward this common goal. Their acronym stands for Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, which means that members are from the sororities and fraternities on campus, but their influence extends beyond the Greek community. This organization puts on a variety of events throughout the year that do just what their name implies, advocate mature management of alcohol.

One of these events, and arguably one of the largest, is a mocktail competition. This competition took place this past Wednesday and drew quite a crowd. Any organization on campus is encouraged to create a mocktail and compete. The goal is, in the end, to show that alcohol isn’t needed to have a good time and enjoy beverages that are varied and pretty tasty. This year there were a large number of mocktails created, tasted, judged and voted upon. There were trophies awarded for most members in attendance and people’s choice and prizes were awarded for first, second and third place. The group that won most members in attendance was Delta Sigma Tau. The picture to the right is just a few of sisters of DST with their mocktail.

I, along with a friend, headed up the mocktail concoction for Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity that I spoke about in my last blog. Our drink was based around Breast Cancer Awareness since it’s October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). APO decided to make a drink to advocate for this cause because of the sheer amount of cases of breast cancer being diagnosed each day, each month and each year. Did you know that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes? That means, in the time since you began this blog, a woman has been given a diagnosis that will change her life forever. Wow. That’s crazy to think about. THAT’S why there is a whole month dedicated to education about this cancer and THAT’S why APO chose this cause.

The drink we chose to make is called the “Pink Boobie Saver.” It may be a funny name, but people did come over to look and raised awareness on our campus.

Here’s the recipe in case you want to join in on the wholesome, non-alcoholic fun!
2 parts white grape juice
2 parts cranberry juice
1 part frozen pink lemonade
1 part sparkling water
Ice