Thursday, June 12, 2014

Boomer's Day of Traveling

Boomer's Day of Traveling

Boomer started off his day all packed up and sadly leaving Arezzo. We loaded up on a bus and headed to Siena. It was a long trek with our luggage from our B&B, but we made it and got to sit on a nice air conditioned bus! Boomer and I enjoyed the ride! We arrived in Siena and got to go to many wonderful sights as well as see a beautiful view of the entire area. If you would like to learn more about Siena and all of the wonderful things it has to offer, you can visit this website below.

 Boomer Visits the Siena Opera Della Metropolitana
Boomer went with us to the wonderful sights of Siena. We got to visit the cathedral, the museum, and even go up to the top of the building for a panoramic view of the city. It was breathtaking. Boomer enjoyed seeing all of these beautiful sights, and I think him and I both agree that the cathedral in Siena has been our favorite so far. If you would like to see and know more about these sights, you can click on the link below.

 Boomer visits the Museo Civico di Siena

Our last stop in Siena included the Museo Civico. This was a wonderful museum that highlighted many different things. The frescos on the walls were beautiful on many of the walls inside. Boomer enjoyed seeing this beautiful place that was right in the middle of a beautiful piazza in Siena. It was a great end to Boomer and I's trip to Siena. If you would like more information on this museum you can click on the link below.

Off to Rome!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Boomer loves his espresso!

Boomer and I cannot believe that it is our last day in Arezzo! We are so happy to be traveling to Roma tomorrow but we will miss Arezzo so much! Of course, Boomer is not too happy about leaving his favorite coffee shop, so of course we had to make one last pit stop to get his caffeine fix for the day. The place I'm talking about is called Coffee O'Clock! It is right next to our "casa" or house, so we've become regulars there, ordering cappuccinos and doughnuts every morning on our way to class. Coffee O'Clock, however, is a very different coffee shop when it is compared to the other bars of Arezzo. For one, it has a very modern look to it, with very sleek aluminum bars and eclectic colors that are very relaxing. It is the perfect spot to order an espresso or "un caffe" and talk with friends. The next thing that separates Coffee O'Clock from other coffee stops (because there are many!) is the fact that they serve their coffee or espresso with shots of flavors. For example, one could order a vanilla cappuccino or a caramel macchiato. Boomer and I both enjoy a Nutella cappuccino- it tastes just like chocolate milk!

Gotta love that coffee on the go!

We've been noticing how much of a coffee culture Italy has to offer. For instance, did you know that the history of coffee itself is in depth and lengthy?! Click here to read an extensive history of where coffee comes from and how it plays a part in Italy's history. Coffee was once considered taboo or bad! It even was condemned in a sense that it was like alcohol and deemed as a drink that was for lower classes. However, over time, coffee became an acceptable part of society and rose to the rankings of the class systems, changing it's stereotype to that of a luxury item. (Remember that fact next time that you are drinking coffee!) It's popularity has continued to this day, where it can be accessed by anyone at anytime!

Italian coffee, however, is not like the coffee that we Americans think of. For instance, when you order a coffee or "un caffe" at a bar in Italy, you would get a shot of espresso! Espresso is a very dark, rich liquid of pure coffee, with very little water. It can be sweetened with sugar and it is usually offered with a glass of water to cleanse your palette after you are done. If you want to wake up, then enjoy your espresso! This is the most common form of coffee that you will find in Italy, but for many Americans, it is too strong and too bitter (even with sugar!). Americans would instead order what is called a "caffe Americano". This is an espresso with water added. It is like the coffee that we think of in America, but it is also much stronger than some of the coffee that we think of. Check out the differences between American coffee and Italian coffee here!

Click here for a list of different types of coffee that is offered in Italy and how it is made!

Our favorite barista!

Another form of coffee (Boomer's favorite!) is the cappuccino! This glorious drink of caffeine is espresso and steamed milk. (Click here for some more info!) It is generally viewed as a breakfast drink, imbibed before 11:00 in the morning- so do not be surprised by the strange glances you may receive if you ask for one later in the day! However, Boomer recommends that you order a cappuccino, especially with an apricot filled croissant! It is delicious!

One more tip for coffee and bar behavior that is very different from the American coffee experience! Italians do not eat their food on the go or much less order their food "to-go"! Simply, they order their caffe and pastries and stand at the bar to chat and eat. They do not gulp down their drink and they use their napkins to hold their pastries in their hands while they eat (it helps that the portions are very moderate). When they are done they clean their mouth and leave their cups where they had eaten. Then they wave "Ciao, Grazie!" (Goodbye, Thanks!) and go about their day. This is much different than how most American coffee shops are, especially when we view Starbucks. Typically, we tend to grab our coffee and rush out the door, eating and drinking our food on our way to school, or throughout our day.

Boomer and I will definitely miss the experiences that we have been having in Arezzo! It is exciting to see how similar and different the United States and Italy are in even the littlest of details, such as coffee. But then again, that's what makes traveling abroad so exhilarating and worth while!  We will be sure to bring back some of our favorite coffee recipes and orders to see how they taste in the United States!

Ciao for now!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Boomer's Day in Arezzo

Boomer's Day in Arezzo

Boomer started his day off in class at OUA. We were working on our iBook for our technology class. We are learning all about Galileo Galilei and making an iBook for kids about him. We are focusing on his gadgets and many different events that happened to him throughout his life. Boomer was a great help in making our iBook look great! If you would like to learn more about making an iBook, or what all an iBook entails please visit the link below and watch the video on how to make an iBook.

The next part of Boomer's day included a wonderful trip to Futurabile. He had a great time exploring the many different rooms in this facility as well as learning all about their services and what they provided. Boomer thought it seemed like a wonderful place to go for rehabilitation purposes. If you would like to learn more about Futurabile click on the link below to go to their Facebook page. 

Last but certainly not least, Boomer got to enjoy his wonderful evening by watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie with our whole class! It was a great way to get us ready for our adventure in Rome these  next few days. There were many scenes throughout the movie that highlight the wonderful attractions and must sees of Rome. If you would like to know more about Rome and the wonderful things to see there, please click on this link. 

Boomer goes to Croatia!

Boomer on a boat!
On Saturday Boomer and I got to go on a isladn hopping boat tour with all the new friends we meet on our trip with Bus2Alps. We went to 3 different islands, swam in the sea, and tanned in the sun! Boomer was really excited because he had never been on such a big boat before. Here is a link to the Bus2Apls website so you can check out their new upcoming trips and events!

Boomer at da club!
Later that night Boomer and I had out first night club experience together. Club F was incredible! We felt like famous people in the movies. We saw a lot of cool stuff that night and got lots of pictures with the performers! The best part ofcourse was that there was a crepe stand right outside the club. We got crepes after, duh. 

Boomer in a waterfall!

On the way back home, we stopped at the Plitvicka Jezera National Park. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It was like walking through a rain forest. I am a true nature girl and Boomer was really frustrated because I stopped to look at everything along the way. He just wanted to see the waterfalls.

Boomer goes to Futurables

Today Boomer had the opportunity to visit an Italian Rehabilitation center called Futurables. He got to interact with a few students who attended Fututrables. He discovered that in Tuscany, these students are recommended typically by schools or pediatricians. They attend for as long as they need to, which is awesome! He had a blast hanging with the coolest kids in town!

He did some research for the children's rehabilitation center in Norman for when he plans to visit. Here's where he got his information:


Later throughout the day, Boomer was feeling a little homesick. He decided the best way to cure it was by buying his future roommates some gifts. He thought the little espresso cups would be the perfect gifts for his coffee-loving friends. Check out this link for his favorite recipe!

Later, he realized how excited he was to visit Rome! He wanted to get the best tips for a successful trip and what better way to do that than to watch THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE?!?! Have you seen the movie?? If not, watch the trailer here to get a good idea of what it's about.

Overall he had an awesome day!

Boomer goes to a Fortress

Boomer visits a Fortress
On Friday Boomer had the chance to visit the Fortress of Arezzo. The fortress is at the top a large hill called St. Donato. In fact, it’s the highest point in Arezzo.
The fortress was built in the 16th century by Antonio da Sangallo and Nanni Unghero. The Medici family ordered its construction. The fortress was actually built on top of an old medieval cittadella that had been destroyed during a battle years earlier.
(For more information about cittadella click here.) 

 The city of Arezzo is in the process of renovating the fortress, and they discovered something really neat. They found some ancient Roman ruins buried under the dirt. Archeologists think that it might have been a house. So far they’ve discovered three rooms and remains of painted walls and floors in two of the rooms.
A body was also discovered there. They think that he might have been a knight!
To find out more about this archeological discovery click here.

The fortress of Arezzo was like a tiny city. There were churches, stores, and houses. But only the wealthy people could live in the fortress because it cost a lot of money. The poorer people, like farmers, lived outside the fortress walls.

This is a picture of one of the outside walls. From the wall you could see the cemetery.  The spots in the cemetery are rented out to people on a 40 year term. If no one pays the additional rent, then the body is moved to a different location. Only people who have mausoleums, and the ancient tombstones, are permanent editions to the cemetery.

Along the walls of the fortress there are little “windows” that allow you to look outside when you’re inside the fortress walls. There are what the windows look like.

The windows were spots that allowed cannons to stick out of the wall. There were little notches in the wall were people would stand to fire the cannons. This made sure that the people wouldn’t be hit, and that there would be enough space for the cannons. Some cannons were over 10 feet long.
To find more information about cannons, watch this YouTube video about medieval cannons at this link
Boomer tried to climb the fortress wall, but he got too tired and decided to admire the view instead.

Boomer has been busy!

This week has been a busy one for boomer! He started off his weekend in Italy at a pasta making class in Arezzo! 

He learned how to make 3 different kinds of pasta: Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, Tagliatelle noodles, and Gnocchi! They were all so delicious he made a happy plate! Boomer had to have is tummy full for his next adventure to a new country!!

Next stop for Boomer was Paris, France! 

Bonjour! The most challenging thing for Boomer was he had to switch from speaking Italian to French! Boomer had just gotten the Italian language down so he struggled with switching to French! Mine and Boomers most famous quote while in Paris was "grazie, merci, si, oui (we)!" It was a struggle! 

The next day was packed with plans in Paris for Boomer! He saw many different historical monuments and local famous attractions in Paris. First stop was the Arc de Triomphe. Unfortunately it was still under construction but that didn't stop Boomer from taking in all its glory! 

The Arc de Triomphe was built to celebrate Napoleon's victories, which is now a powerful modern icon. The Arc is 164ft high, 147.6ft wide, and is decorated with magnificent sculpted reliefs. 
For more information and history on this magnificent monument follow the link below.

Boomer was really excited about visiting one of Paris' most local famous attractions the Love Lock bridge. Boomer visited the Pont des Arts Bridge which is the section for committed love. 

There is another bridge in Paris, the Pont de l'Archeveche, designed for your lover. The Pont des Arts is for a love that never dies. The Pont des Arts or Paserelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the River Seine. It links the Institute de France and the central square of the Palais du Louvre. Boomer's love with Paris is never going to die!
Find out more about this romantic spot using this link below.

The final stop for boomer of the day, and the one he was most excited for, was the Eiffel Tower! 

The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel, hence the name. When he completed the tower in 1889 it became the tallest building in the world (until 1930) and weighs about 7,000 tons! 
Here is a link to find out more information on the History of the Eiffel Tower!

Au revoir Pairs heading back to Italy Ciao!