Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nothin But Blue Skies, Blue Skies Do I See!

Despite yesterday feeling a little blue, this morning I woke up to a very different kind of blue:
There is nothing in the world like opening the window in an apartment in Italy and letting the breeze and sunshine soak in. Definitely a cure-all for blah moods.

While walking to Italian this morning, I remembered my epiphany from earlier in the semester. Why bother mumbling and grumbling about what isn't perfect in life (now there's an exhaustive list) when you can slow down, take a deep breath and just enjoy where you are in that very moment. No "I'm going to be late", no "if I don't get home right now I'll starve and die", no have-tos or should'ves. It was with that thought in mind that I went to the market right after class. Because I was up, I was out, and because there is no rush. There is something about the personableness, the conviviality of the market that just leaves me feeling more content and calm than when I entered. It should probably be studied or something.

Blue skies calls for more blue, and what better way to do it than with...
Blueberry yogoats! If these don't chill you out, nothing will ;)

I mentioned yesterday being a bit off. I'm never quite sure how to approach "off" days on the blog. I want to be honest, but I don't want to bring everyone down! I was just feeling very...unsatisfied, I suppose. Maybe it was just a bit of homesickness in disguise. Or maybe it was the shopping trip on Monday - there is nothing like walking around an upscale Italian department store to make me feel unstylish, unattractive, and "un" everything else that I "should" be. And that got me a little angry. Why should I let some impersonal hoity-toity store dictate my self-esteem? How stupid. I happen to like my style; it's not hot off the runway, and doesn't fit any stereotype. It just fits me. I don't like jeans, never have, and I think I do a darn good job of making myself presentable. If someone can explain to me why wearing yoga pants everyday is any weirder than wearing leggings that look like they've been sprayed on or wearing low-rise jeans that dip so low you wonder where exactly the "rise" is, then I will happily listen. But I can't be anyone else, and I am determined that no one or thing will tell me otherwise or give me a guilt trip about it. So there.

And yes, I realize that society still judges and there are forces out there that even the greatest self-esteem can't conquer, but in my experience, being comfortable in your own skin gives a kind of confidence that makes other people look past, or even not see, the outside. Easier said than done, of course. But it can be!

I tried to turn my day around:
Chocolate-raspberry yogoats. Not sure they helped my mood, but my tastebuds sure were grateful :)
Ethnic Tuesday: Sushi, take-2
tuna roll + seaweed salad
Quite depressing sushi, actually. The tuna was unimpressive and the salad was too sweet and too spicy. And it was overpriced in general. BUT, this place delivered and the rumored "good" sushi places here are sit-down restaurants and a little pricey, so subpar sushi it was.

Ok, no more crappy Tuesday talk, let's get back to the present!
 I've been meaning to check out the San' Ambrogio market, another big food market in Florence. It is not quite as old or big as Mercato Centrale, but you know, variety is the spice of life and all. And it's such a beauuuuutiful day!!!

Funky angles, no?
This market had all of their produce stands outside - it went on forever!
Beautiful South African pears. I had to get some. I loved it! Very nice cinnamony-sweet taste. And so perty!

This market was fun; the old man at one of the cheese stands liked me and gave us lots of samples :) I also bought this monster:
This pepper was 1,50 euro. That's like 2 dollars of BELL. PEPPER. Did NOT see that coming. Whoops.

I liked this market a lot, but Mercato Centrale remains my favorite. More to see there, I think. Either way, it's hard to go wrong with markets in Italy!

We did a bit of shopping in San Lorenzo and stopped for what remains to be the best cappuccino I've ever had before lunch at Sergios! My Wednesdays will be just a little empty when I can't come here for lunch.
Although I woke up thinking about their wonderful soups, I ended going a different route once I took a look a the daily menu...
Melanzane alla parmigiana - Eggplant parm!
What I love about the eggplant parm I've had here is that it is nothing like the breaded, buttered, deep-fried, cheap-cheese-covered American version. The eggplant has a melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside, but the skin gets crispy and crunchy in the oven, and paired with wonderful parmeggiano and provolone cheese and fresh tomato sauce, it tastes like nothing you'd ever expect to come from just an eggplant and some cheese. It's really a toss-up between my first eggplant parm  at Dino and today', yummylicious. And it was a perfect little lunch portion too. Cute food is more fun to eat ;)

Because of the gorgeous weather, the roomies and I grabbed a blanket and headed to a piazza nearby to do some much-needed sunbathing. I took my book...but ended up napping in the sun instead. I almost wish everyday were this wonderful, but then that would make it less special, and what's the fun in that?
Taking pictures lying down is fun!

[That would be Alaina's foot.]
Spring has sprung!

I came home on sunshine and nap high, fixed myself an enormous salad...and that's about when my lovely day in the sun got cloudy. But this is such a happy post, I'm not bringing it down! Let's just say - to be continued.

Wonderful food, warm spring weather, and a nap in the middle of a piazza. Life is good.



  1. Yes- sunbathing on the grass on a gorgeous spring day- throw in some great food and drink and life doesn't get much better. As I sit here staring out the window at the next office building eating greasy potato chips and working on my next bit of paperwork to keep the paper- pushers in Washington happy - I am jealous.

  2. we have to go back to that little strip of junk stores. also, my personal vote is that our next non-ethnic tuesday dinner be at the cibreo trattoria.