Alrighty so the highlight of my week has been new years which basically was the best new years of my life so far. Originally I was supposed to stay at home with my brother while my mama, papa and sister went to the mountains. My brother was planning on inviting a few of our friends over then hitting the disco after midnight. Which sounded totally cool to me but turns out I had a surprise invite to my boyfriend Federico's house in Verona to celebrate the New Year.
Now Im not supposed to see Federico for the first 6 months of my stay. Its a strange AFS rule, but they believe that interaction with friends and family that you knew before your exchange will disrupt your new life. I really dislike this rule and was completely unaware of it before I left Boston. So the last time I had seen Federico was two weeks before Halloween. After I saw him back in October my host parents and AFS made it clear that they didnt want me to see him because they thought he was distracting me and I wasnt settling into my new life properly. So I had to tell Fed that I couldnt see him for a long time and luckily he understood since he had been an AFS exchange student two years ago.
Anyways the 23rd I asked my papa if he could take me to the post office to send Federico's Christmas gift and he said that I could give it to him myself. I was so surprised! I asked if I could really go to Verona after Christmas and he said it wouldnt be a problem. = 0 So my host mama called my advisor who gave my trip a thumbs up. I was wicked shocked that I could see Federico earlier than we had planned and I was allowed to go to Verona for New Years Eve! = )

So on the 31st I took a 10am train from Treviglio and arrived in Verona around 11:30 am where Fed met me right on the platform and gave me the biggest hug. Then we drove in his cute little car to his good friend Umbertos house. I had met Umberto over the summer when he came to Boston with Fed for a couple weeks. Anyways the three of us hit the streets of Verona. We went to the house of Juliet and saw the famous balcony which was really romantic and there was even a couple getting married there! Next we did a little shopping and saw the Arena of Verona and this giant model shooting star. After we went back to Federicos house which is a gorgeous house on top of the hills of Verona so it had an amazing view of the city. Sadly it was supposed to down pour rain the two days I was there. Luckily it didnt rain but was just really cloudy and foggy.
Something I discovered about Federico is that he can cook, really well. Not from a recipe but just naturally throwing in ingredients. So he made some yummy pasta for lunch. I also got to meet his family and they were really kind and loving people = )
After we had to go back to the train station to meet his two friends that were coming in from Torino and Padova. The one from Torino was super fun and crazy but spoke basically no English, he was a rather entertaining character. Him and Fed had been really good friends for a long time since Fed used to live in Torino but moved to Verona when he came back from the US. Then the one from Padova was super kind to me and knew really good English so it was really nice having a decent convos with him. He had met Federico this year since they go to the same University in Padova.
So once they arrived when spent a lot of time walking around in Verona. When night time came we went to happy hour in the center of the city. After we wanted to go bowling but it was closed so we just walked around until our dinner reservation at 10:30. After dinner we joined the hundreds of people gathered in the main square and toasted with champagne the new year. There was tons of fire works going off over the arena. It was so loud and crazy but it was awesome to spend it with Federico = )
After midnight the four of us wanted to go to a disco for a few hours. The first disco had an age limit of 25 so they wouldnt let us in. The second disco you had to buy a ticket before hand so that one was a no go. The third disco was 35 euro a head with an open bar. The disco was really big... with not a lot of people in it. So we decided not to pay a lot of money for a lame place. The fourth and final disco we got in for free since it was 2:30am. It was more of a bar than a disco so we all got drinks, danced a little, and hung out and returned to Feds house around 4am. I was incredibly tired to I hit the hay while the boys played poker until who knows when.
We all slept in late that morning and Feds family had left early to go to the mountains so I really didnt see much of them since we were hardly ever home. But Im sure the next time I go to his house ill hopefully get some quality time to get to know them better. The rest of the day we vedged at the house. Fed made this really good chicken and yummy pasta. Around 5pm we all took our seperate ways. Luckily I didnt have to take the train home alone from Verona because Feds friend was taking the same train to Torino and Treviglio stops on the way there. When I came home I was extremely tired! I dropped into bed at 9:30 and didnt wake up til noon.

When ever I have fun trips with Fed or with my AFS friends I always come home and just feel so tired, sluggish and sad. These expiernces with them are always a lot of fun so when Im with them Im on an emtional high. Then when I come home reality hits and then just sort of crash down. Being an exchange student is exactly like an rollercoaster. There are lots of ups, downs, loops, and eventually you find your smooth sailing. So Im constantly feeling emtionally unstable but I have new friends and a family in Italy who are watching out for me and I have family and friends back home who are there waiting for my return. So overall everything is going a-o-kay for me = )

So apart from my amazing new years in verona ive been doing a lot of hanging out with my exchange student friends during the day like going to Milano, Bergamo or just hanging in Treviglio. And sometimes going out to bars and discos at night with other friends. Im finding that the more I keep busy the less home sick I am esp during the holiday season. Also staying at house I can only do for so long before I feel like Im going to bust out since theres nothing in my town!

Tonight we are all celebrating my brother 19th birthday. My family and me/Ale's friends will all go to a pizzaera together. So it should be fun! Then tomorrow is my last day of vacation so it will be a day of sleeping in and doing my english assignments that I have been pushing off all vacation. So this Christmas vacation has had its ups and downs but overall it was a good Christmas vacation. Very different from my traditional holidays in America but it was interesting to expierence it in a new way! I will post next week about my first ski lesson that is happening this Sunday! So until next time...