<---this is Francesco!
For lunch Francesco took us to his favorite "fast food" place where we were served aracini- this is a famous Sicilian dish consisting of a deep fried breaded rice ball with bits of chicken, seafood or vegetables inside. Very tasty! Not really what I would consider "fast food" but definitely was made fast and definitely was food. We loaded up on carbs to give us enough energy to get us around the city during our two hour walking tour. Let’s just say I saw a bit more of the city than I wanted to and I’m pretty sure we walked the whole city coast line. This Italian professor came along with us and he came up to me explaining that Francesco had told him that I spoke Italian. Well, this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
So the water was quite pleasant and we rocked out to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face and Pitbull's 1-2-3-4 as we laughed and joked around on our way to the cliffs. I felt fine and held onto my camera for dear life while I took pictures off the side of the boat. When we reached our destination a few miles off shore, everyone stripped down to their bathing suits and dove into the water swimming toward the rocks. I, along with a few other fellow group mates (including Francesco and my private tour guide) stayed anchored in the boat to ride out the waves. The end result of cliff jumping was not too fabulous as everyone came back on board with bloody legs and arms that had gotten cut up on the corral. The sun started to burn through me and I could feel some sea sickness creeping up on me. Well, these feelings escalated and I felt like complete crap! I was suffering from heat stroke and sea sickness and hung my head over the side to find some sort of relief, but did not find any. I didn’t know how to take care of the pain. I was in tears by the time I realized that I needed to get off of the boat…that wasn’t in the plans though.
The cost of the trip no longer fazes me because a price can’t be put on the experiences I had, the information that I learned, and the friends that I spent time with. Oh yea. 6:30 am arrival into Florence Monday morning with a 9am class to follow= not so great. But I did it and I survived. The start of a new school week was ahead of me but it won’t be long until it’s over…