i never thought this day would come this fast. i was saying goodbye to the place i had called home for the past three months. on our last night as we were sitting in the campo eating frozen yogurt, i came to the sad realization that i was never going to be doing this again with my three new best friends. i was never going to be twenty years old again in siena. i was never going to be living at 50 via del porrione again. but through this experience, i learned so much. i learned a new language. i learned how to be completely independent. i learned so much about myself. i am so grateful for this experience and feel so fortunate to have been able to do something like this at such a young age.
friday morning came and we were saying goodbye to anna and marcello who, strangely, we came to love and were very sad to be leaving. one last hug and kiss on the cheek and we were on our way to piazza gramsci to catch our bus to ravenna. it was a sad morning for us, but we decided we were going to be back one day so it made it a little easier.
we stopped in ravenna for the day to see a few churches and then spent the night in the lovely cheetah print beds. we decided against the bunkbed situation they had going and turned the beds into one giant bed and we stayed in watching the tourist to prepare ourselves for venice!
the next morning we were on our way to venice! i had heard so much about the city and i was very excited to be going there! we went to doge's palace and saint mark's cathedral then wandered around the city for a little while. we met up with the group again where we went on a gondola ride! we enjoyed the most amazing ride down the grand canal with musicians serenading us. it was one of the best experiences i've had yet! after the gondola, we had our farewell group dinner. it was the last time we were all going to be together. after dinner, we wandered around a little more then went back to the hotel where we, once again, changed up the beds and made our own giant bed out of the mattresses on the floor. this was our last night sleeping together so we decided to all fall asleep cuddling and watching house bunny.
today was our last day all together. this was the first timewe were going to be separated in three months. we haven't spent more than an hour apart from each other and now we are suddenly going to be leaving each other for the next two months. we spent the day shopping around venice and ate dinner at the most beautiful restaurant down on the water. we went back to the hotel and hung out for a little longer and postponed our goodbye as long as we could but unfortunately the time had to come eventually...
we just said our goodbye to chels and kenna. it was not quite the goodbye we had expected.. it was more of a "help them get their bags to the water taxi and put them on then almost get taken to the train station with them so hurry and hug and literally jump off the boat and cry and wave" kind of goodbye. not ideal, but it's okay because it's not a real goodbye. we don't like to think of it as a goodbye. we think of it as an "i'll see ya soon then." in a few short months we will be reunited and we will be living together in our sugar house house and it will be like italy all over again, just not quite as cool. one thing is for sure though: the friendship and bond the four of us made is something that will last forever. i know these girls will be some of my best friends for the rest of my life. i feel so lucky to have met them and grown so close to them over the past few months. this study abroad changed my life in the most amazing way and i know the memories i have made are some that i will never forget. so to my three new best friends... thank you for everything you have done for me in italy. i can't wait to see you in january! i love you more than you know and i'll see you soon then.