An Ending Afternoon in Udine
Alicia and I took the midnight train so that we could save a couple euro on train tickets. We did make a little mistake though. Instead of buying tickets from Florence to directly to Udine we bought tickets from Florence to Venice and then Venice to Udine. We weren't quite thinking correctly so we paid a little bit more.
We arrived in Udine, which is two hours away from Venice by train, at about 8am this morning. My friend Michela, who did a foreign exchange program my senior year of high school, lives in Udine and her and her family hosted us for two nights and three days. It was really nice for them to take us in and I was so glad to meet Michela again.
I had told Michela that we would arrive in Udine in the afternoon, but I didn't have a chance to tell her that we were coming in earlier. Since it was 8am, I waited to call Michela until 10am just so I wouldn't wake her. Alicia and I walked around for about two hours and I finally had enough of lugging my luggage around so I finally called. I told Michela that we were at the Tourism Office, but she didn't know where that was, so Alicia and I had to find our way back to the train station.
We finally reached the train station and I easily found Michela standing there wearing yellow sweatpants. We walked to her apartment building and she then showed us around her flat. It was huge. They had a large living room, three bedrooms, and a gigantic bathroom. There kitchen was also well sized, but there wasn't really a separate dining room. I asked Michela if her parents were in and she said that her mom was at the grocery store and her dad at work. I asked them what languages they spoke and French was on their list of languages. So for the rest of our stay with Michela, Alica and I were able to practice our French.
After a while Michela's mom came back from the grocery store and she apologized for such the mess that their house was since they came home really late last night. She said they just got back from Luxembourg after a very long car ride. We sat in the living for a while and Michela's mom spoke to us and asked us basic things such as family, what we were studying, etc.
Later I took a shower and got ready for the day. Michela's mom fed us lunch and we had no meat since today was Ash Wednesday. Michela's family was a bit conernced about feeding us meat because they were Catholic and could not eat meat today. I told them that I was Catholic too and then there were no problems. Alicia on the other hand does not practice any religion, so Michela's mom still made her some meat.
In the afternoon, Michela gave us a little tour of Udine. We went to the center and saw all the old buildings. We saw the castle, went up the hill, and then saw the farmer's building which can be rented out for speical occasions and the Alps. Michela's mom would later tell us that Austria was just a few hours away. Next we went down the hill and went in the church. We went into the bell tower museum, which Michela did not know existed, and then inside the church. We saw the bodies of two very old religious people. One I think was a nun and the other the cardinal (or something) of the church back in the day.
Then we went to Michela's old high school, so that she could return a book to her cousin. We were there for about a half hour. Afterwards, we went to visit Michela's "grandma" who was actually Michela's friend's grandma, but for simplicity she was just grandma. Grandma was really nice and she was super excited to see us. She kept on touching Alicia and she kept on looking at me. She even persuaded us to have something to eat. She gave us some chocolates and some gingerlinos. If was fun to see an Italian grandmother. :)
We went home for about an hour and then me and Michela went to church. Michela's mom was going to come with us, but since Alicia wanted to stay home, Michela's mom just stayed home to make dinner. Church was interesting since it was in Italian. There was the bishop and all the other high priests. When it came time to get ashes, the priests just sprinkled ashes on our heads which gave us a little white spot on our heads.
When that ended, we went home and had dinner. I met Michela's dad and we then went to the kitchen. I gifted my last bottle of Bordeaux wine and Michela's mom said that I shouldn't have. She at first said that I should save my money and I asked her to take it and so she did. For dinner, we had salmon, some salad, and for dessert a fruit cocktail with kiwis, strawberries, and other fruits. My aunt called right at the beginning of the dessert course and I asked to be excused. She was just checking up on me if I had arrived in Udine safely.
I returned the kitchen and apologized for leaving the dinner table. Michela's mom waited for me to finish my dessert and then we went off to bed. Dinner was absolutely delicious and then we rested for tomorrow's big day.