rocco’s rosemary potato pizza recipe

otherwise known as: the best pizza i ever ate

the dough recipe is a slight variation from cristina’s (from vetriceto) recipe.

you’ll need:

– 1 cup of luke warm water

– 1/2 block of bread yeast (i don’t know if these blocks are available in canada…)… or about 12.5g of bread yeast

– pinch of sugar

– about 2 cups, maybe 2.5 cups of white flour.  basically, enough flour that it stops sticking to your fingers when you knead it.

– 3 or 4 medium-sized potatoes

– some extra virgin olive oil

– 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed with knife

– a few sprigs of rosemary, chopped

– some sicilian sea salt.  the “sicilian” part is optional.

step one:  desolve the yeast in the water in a ceramic bowl.  add a pinch of sugar.  gradually add the flour.  mix with a wooden spoon until you can knead with your fingers.  leave the dough in the bowl with a tea towel covering it for 30 minutes to 2 hours for the dough to rise.

step two: preheat oven to 220 C.

step three: cut the potatoes into thin slices.  put in a plate and mix with olive oil, rosemary and garlic

step four: when the dough is ready, spread onto a pizza tray.  spread the potatoes onto the dough.  drizzle some more olive oil.  sprinkle some sea salt on top.  pop into the oven for twenty minutes or until it’s ready.

the result: the most delicious pizza i ate in italy, possibly in my life, made by an australian.  figures.

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Lolmaia in review

Thinking back at Lolmaia gives me a headache.

the boss. Dario had me working longer hours than any other farm this summer.  I eventually did talk to him about only working six hours a day.  To him, I wasn’t being efficient with my time and I wasn’t working fast enough.  He figured that if he could do a job in ten minutes, but it took me fifty, he only counted ten minutes, not fifty, towards my six hours.  Like I mentioned before, Dario always underestimated the time required to get the job done.  I’d like to see him clean the boiler in under ten minutes.  Photo: Rocco.

the accommodation. or the “lesbian love cave”. or the jail cell.  Three brick walls.  No windows.  No door.  Two semi-transparent curtains hardly covering the opening where the forth wall should be.  Two single mattresses, not beds: mattresses; five feet apart.  No drawer or wardrobe.  No room for our bags.  Absolutely no privacy.

the food. This is Rocco’s tuna tomato pizza that he made for our last supper.  On the nights Rocco cooked, it was heavenly.  For the rest of the time, it was rice or chick peas.  Just what you want after spending seven hours washing chick peas and rice.

the lab. On the left, Rocco and Dario having a little chat.  Dario’s lab spills into the house.  So much so, you feel like you’re living in a garage rather than a house.  Our sleeping quarters were adjacent to piles of rice sacks and mixing machines.

the workload: it was one cubic f*** pile after another.  Here, Rocco is “helping” me pick out the bad grapes in the vineyard.

the location. Lolmaia is located in the beautiful Tuscan province of Arezzo.  Like the province of Firenze, Arezzo has lots of mountains and rolling hills.  Just getting to Monte San Savino from Lolmaia required an approximate thirty cliff-clinging turns.  When Judy, Dario’s ex-wife, gave me a ride into town one day, I was terrified.  It’s one thing to be in the car when you have a mad driver at the wheel.  It’s a whole other story when you’re speeding around tight turns and the road is only a foot from the edge of a cliff.  Photo:  Rocco.

the wwoofers. Me with Barbara and Rocco.  If it weren’t for these two, I would’ve left within the first three or four days.  Barbara worked eight hours everyday without a single day off.  If Dario was knowingly taking advantage of any of us, it was Barbara.  All he offered her in compensation was fifty euros.  She’s a real trooper. Rocco has this bizarre gift of always looking on the bright side.  Fifty percent of whatever comes out of his mouth is sarcasm.  Given the accommodation, the workload, the food; you have to be able to laugh at this kind of situation rather than curse it.

Each farm I’ve wwoofed has been different from the last, but Lolmaia definitely stands out.  I have no desire to return there anytime soon.  Just thinking about it stresses me out.

I’m in Firenze right now.  It’s raining here, but that’s okay.  Up to now, I’ve come to Firenze three times.  There are two cities in Europe where I feel at home.  Paris is one; Firenze is the other.

I’ll be heading to Certaldo in Siena in a few days.  In Certaldo, there is a hostel/hotel that used to be a monastery.  There is a pool and an olive grove.  It is 1km from the nearest town.  I’m really excited.  Three days of absolutely nothing!  Can’t wait!

🙂 Julie

Arezzo

The average day on Lolmaia starts at 10AM.  We usually work in the lab, boiling rice or beans, mixing them, etc.  We’re supposed to stop for lunch at 1PM, but we usually stop at 2AM.  Depending on if we have enough energy, we resume work at 4PM or 5PM.  We finish work around 8PM or 9PM.  You do the math.  Or if you’re too lazy, that’s 6 to 9 hours of work.

The most I’ve worked is 8 hours.  The most any of us has worked is Barbara who worked 9.5 hours one day.  And she didn’t get the day off the next day.  Barbara works, on average, 8.5 hours a day.  Like me, she’s too shy to tell Dario that her hours have gone over.

WWOOF enforces a six-hour work day, six days a week.  Up to now, we’ve worked seven days straight, 7.5 hours a day on average.  After a week, I finally managed to figure out why we keep going over.  After a week of working here, I finally figured out why we keep working over the limit: Dario always underestimates how long a job will take.

Because Dario wants at least one wwoofer working everyday, I decided I would work Sunday so Barbara and Rocco could have the day off.  Surprise surprise: both ended up working.  Rocco 5.5 hours; Barbara 8 hours.

To avoid being pulled into washing soya beans or mixing rice, I decided to take a day trip to Arezzo for my day off.

Me, on our way to the train station.

Il Ampiteatro di Arezzo. Built during the height of the Roman Empire’s rule.  It’s of a very similar style to what you’d find in Rome.  This is one of the oldest parts of Arezzo.  There were blue chairs and a stage set up for a concert later that week.

In la Piazza Grande. La Piazza Grande isn’t geographically the centre of Arezzo, but all of the old Arezzo gravitates around the Piazza.

La Cattedrale di Arezzo from across the park.

La Cattedrale di Arezzo. There are so many churches in Arezzo!  I visited la Chiesa di San Dominico, la Cattedrale di Arezzo, and la Chiesa di San Agostino.  We sat for a gelato in front of la Chiesa di San Michele.

Inside la Cattedrale di Arezzo.  There are some amazing stained glass windows.  They’re really quite impressive.  Right before we left, this kid, about 15 years or so, started playing the organ.  The priest was very excited to have someone play the organ.  You wouldn’t normally see this in big cities.  Usually, the organ is off-limits.

Il Palazzo Comune.

Arezzo is completely surround by Tuscan countryside, like most Tuscan cities.  Factoid of the day: each Tuscan province is named after its capital.  For instance, Arezzo is the capital of Arezzo and Firenze is the capital of Firenze.  In about a week’s time, I’ll be visiting Siena, the capital of Siena.

La Piazza Grande before sunset.  It’s really cool how much the city plays up its Medieval roots, like decorating the palaces with crests of the local communes.  Arezzo’s glory days were during the 14th Century when artists and poets such as Francesco Patrarca, and Giorgio Vasari put Arezzo on the cultural map.

In La Piazza Grande. Twice a year, Arezzo hosts a traditional jousting tournament in la Piazza, but I missed both.  Still, it’s proof that Arezzo is proud about its history.

I think I’m going to leave Lolmaia this Friday instead of Sunday.  I was sick this morning so I didn’t work, but somehow I’m still going to work at least six hours.  The work load here is always way over the six-hour limit. I think I’m going to talk to Dario about it, because it’s not right that we keep working seven or eight-hour days.

🙂 Julie

Palazzuolo

Saturday morning, we waited for the soya beans to finish boiling so we could mix them into miso.  This would take a few hours so we didn’t have anything to do.  So, Rocco and I decided to go for a walk to the nearest town, Palazzuolo about forty-five minutes away.

The neighbour’s house is about 100 metres up the road and it’s abandoned.  Apparently, the owners are away for the summer.  The property, with the exception of the vineyard which I think Dario looks after, isn’t care for at all.  There are weeds growing everywhere and the windows are boarded up.

From behind the town, you have a view of le Crete.  While the Chianti Hills are what people first think of when they think of Tuscany, le Crete is usually the second thing they think of.   The Chianti Hills are fertile, so there are lots of sunflowers, olive groves and vineyards, whereas the le Crete Hills aren’t fertile.  It’s kind of like rolling desert hills.

Rocco, taking a picture of Gargonza, the local cat.

Scoreboard for lawn bowling.  Pretty much the only sport the old folks can play, so it’s super popular in Europe.  All of the small towns have a little court to play.

Small lemon tree that was growing in someone’s front yard.

Looking North from Palazzuolo.  If you look closely, there’s a biker way in the distance.  Biking is huge in Europe, but why wouldn’t it be?  Super amazing views, clean fresh air, hills that aren’t too hilly.

Right by Lolmaia’s 500m -driveway is a cemetery.  What we found really interesting is that there are fresh flowers next to every grave and every tomb.  Someone comes everyday with fresh cut flowers.  Respect for the dead.  Never really seen that before, other than Remembrance Day.

One guy even has lavender growing on his grave…

Me on the road back to Lolmaia.  I can’t smile on cue.  Photo: Rocco.

We are being worked like non other here on Lolmaia.  It’s really hard to hit six hours on the dot.  What usually happens is, at 5.5 hours when I’m almost done a job, Dario comes along with something else for me to do.  I end up working something like 7 to 8 hours.  I’ve worked seven days straight, working on average 7 hours a day.

Barbara and Rocco are looking up farms for their next wwoof.  Apparently, there is a nudist farm in Grossetto and it is not a tourist nor an agritourist farm.  Weird.

Anyhow, tomorrow I’m going to Arezzo for my day off.

🙂 Julie

Monte San Savino

Friday, Dario brought me and Rocco into Monte San Savino to explore, while he went to Arezzo to buy a few things.  We sat down at the Internet Cafe for a little under an hour.  After we walked around.

Monte San Savino is one of those gem towns where it isn’t mentioned in any guidebook, but, if you saw it, you’d think it should be.  It’s typical little Italy, totally unknown to tourists unless you’re driving through Tuscany and decided to stop.  Monte San Savino used to be a fortified city with tall, thick brick walls, hundreds of years old, to defend its inhabitants from foreign armies.  Cars are not allowed inside the walled city which make it quiet , yet so much more full of life.

The walls of the outer edge of the city.  If you stand your tippy toes, you get an awesome view of the Tuscan countryside.

Someone’s porch in Monte San Savino

A fortress in the walled city

Looking outwards from the city

Rocco and I stumbled upon what we think is City Hall.  Inside, there is a inside courtyard.  All of Monte San Savino is one big music hall/school.  Everywhere you go there are twenty-something students with instruments on their backs.  We imagine that, later that day, there is to be a small private concert.

If you walk through the City Hall, you walk out onto the terrace courtyard, which looks out over the Tuscan countryside.  Wouldn’t be bad to be a mayor here, would it?

The terrace courtyard.  I think the church is abandoned.  It’s not the main church in town.  The main church, la Chiesa di San Savino, was built in 1467.

On the other side of the wall, there is another courtyard.  Here, they were setting up for an outdoor concert.  Not a bad spot for a concert, eh?!  Right next to the City Hall is another music school.  When we were walking through the courtyard, they were rehearsing.  Music everywhere.

It started to rain later that day.  This is my attempt at an artistic photo.  I think I’ll leave that to Rocco; he’s a cinematographer.  Cool fact of the day: Rocco shoots for Lonely Planet. He also claims to be best buds with Matt Damon.

I couldn’t resist.  Attempt at being artistic #2.

View form Lolmaia at sunset

Things are beginning to pick up.  We’re able to work individually now, without Dario worrying that we’re going to screw up.  This means we’re more productive and Dario isn’t running around too much.  We still work long hours, but at least now we see results.  That’s very satisfying.

🙂 Julie

que chesino!

I’ll be honest, when I first arrived at Lolmaia, I thought about only staying a week, not two.  I had a bit of a problem with my “room”, but I got over that.  I then had a problem with the fact that, on me and Barbara’s second and third days of work, we worked 7.5 hours to 8 hours.  WWOOFers are only supposed to work a maximum of six hours.  Otherwise, it’s considered being taken advantage of.  Believe me, I wasn’t too thrilled about working overtime.  And then there’s the whole story about me being the only one here who doesn’t speak a word of Italian.  I speak a little, but I understand maybe only 30%, thanks to my French skills.  And then I got the impression that Dario, the farmer, didn’t like me because I didn’t speak Italian.

I was hoping the problem was just my negative outlook and not the situation itself.  Sometimes, I overdramatize things in my head.  Things aren’t as bad as I make them out to be, so I need to step back and take a second look.

In fact, Dario was in over his head.  Dario has three wwoofers and two teenagers to keep busy.  He’s running behind in his soya product preparations.  He also spent four days locked up in his office filing paperwork.  He sat us down today and told us it was not his intention to work us so hard.  He doesn’t want to work us to death.  While I peeling potatoes for dinner, he said things will slow down.  We did the big load, so the days will go back to five to six hours of work.

Plums that Barbara and I picked the morning before Rocko, an Australian wwoofer, arrived.  We soak them in water and then pick out the bad ones.  Later that day, Dario had me cut them in half and pit them.  Took me about two hours.  But I sat outside and had a pretty awesome view of the Tuscan countryside right before sunset.  Can’t complain.

Me stirring soya sauce.  Not a bad tan, eh?!

Dario’s got about five of these giant barrels.  We have to stir them each everyday.  The soya sauce looks like crap, literally.

Rocko made a pie for my belated birthday.  I can’t remember how he found out it was my birthday.  He used plums we picked and cut and a marmalade Barbara made.  Super cool coincidence:  Rocko wwoofed on Vetriceto with Pierangelo and Cristina right before coming to Lolmaia. He got the recipe from Cristina.

I know I don’t have that many pictures, but it’s because we haven’t had much free time.  From now on, we should have more time to go wander and take pictures.  Lately it’s been work, work, work.

Tomorrow, Dario is going into Arezzo.  He’s dropping me and Rocko off in Monte San Savino to explore.  Can’t wait!

🙂 Julie

Lolmiai

A lot has happened since my last post.  I last left off after my second day in Rome with the five Aussies.  Not much happened after that.  William bought a Zippo lighter, but it ran out of fuel less than 24 hours later.  We met three Canadian girls from Toronto, who turned out to be awesome fun.  I had 100 euros stolen from my purse on my last night in Rome.  To be honest, I’m not really sure if I would have done Rome differently.  Because I was with the guys, accommodation was much cheaper and more accessible.  (Rome only has a few hostels with dorms, but they’re expensive and they’re always full.  There are well over a dozen one or two star hotels that cost much less per person and they usually have room).  But because I was with a group, no one wanted to be the one to make the decisions for the rest. Be the bossy one, so to speak.  As a result, we hung around the hotel and the station for the last two days.  We did go out at night, but we didn’t see any of Rome’s Ruins or attractions.  Live and learn, I guess.

I left Rome and spent two nights in Florence.  Florence is my go-to city in Italy.  It’s small, beautiful, affordable and two to three hours from all the major italian cities by train.

I am now on Lolmaia, a farm in Arezzo, one of the six tuscan provinces.  Arezzo, the capital, is 32 km.  Monte San Savino, the nearest town, a little gem in itself, is 10 km, but those 10 km cannot be easily walked.

I’ll admit: this is not my first draft.  My first draft was more a rant about the house in which I’m staying.  Mostly, I was ranting about my so-called “room,” but I won’t get into that.  I’m slowly, very slowly getting used to this crib.

Here, on Lolmaia, Dario has me and Barbara, another wwoofer, picking plums, cleaning them, sorting them and cutting them.  In the afternoon, we work with Martina, 17, and Michele, 14, dario’s children, in the lab.  Working in the lab is nice.  We’ll generally pull out my MAC and gets some music pumping.  Well, not pumping.  More like filling the room while we work away with the soya beans.  Dario makes miso, soya sauce, tofu and other soya products.

The house.  It looks big on the outside, but it feels tiny from the inside (I could go on about the illusion that is the size and beauty of the house from just looking at it from the outside.  Never judge a book by its cover).  The second floor is rented out.    I wish I knew what those trees are called.  They’re typical to Tuscany.  Any postcard will tell you that.

Looking down an isle in the vineyard.  Dario says the wine is very good.  We have yet to try any.

Sunset.  Tripping, eh?!

I’m sorry for not having updated earlier.  There is no internet here on Lolmaia.  In Monte San Savino, there is a cafe with wifi.  Not free, of course.  In Europe, there is no such thing as free internet.

More pictures coming in a few days.  Tune in then!

🙂 Julie

Rome, again.

Spontaneity.  I think that has been the theme of my trip for the last two weeks.  The most recent example: I am supposed to be in Croatia right now, but, on my way there, I spontaneously decided to join four Australian guys to Rome for “the time of my life” instead.  Now, sometimes spontaneity can be bad, like the last time I popped up in Rome with no hostel reservations and ended up sleeping in the airport.  Other times, spontaneity can be good.

I met Simon, William, Tommy and Harry on my way to Bologna, where I was planning on staying the night before catching a ferry to Split the next day.  We first met during a two-hour layover in Chambéry at 5 in the morning, and then again during a four-hour layover in Modane, in the French Alpes.  There, in a cafe, I booked my ferry reservation and hostel for Bologna.  It was also there, two hours later, where the guys asked me to come to Rome with them.   In a matter of four hours, I had booked and unbooked my trip to Croatia and had invested all my money and wit into going to Rome with these four Aussies.

A few hours later, I met the guys in Rome.  At the hotel, we met up with Ed, another Aussie.  Ed doesn’t have a Eurail pass, so he bought a ticket direct from Paris to Rome, while the rest of us took at least four trains in 22 hours to get there.  FYI:  Rome is far more accessible and affordable when traveling there in a group, not solo.

We arrived in Rome at around 7PM on our first day, so we didn’t do much.  Instead, we had some showers, bought some food and drinks, and chilled out for a bit.  Later that night, a little tipsy and extremely tired, we met up with Tara, Harry’s mother, who was also on a little Eurotrip of her own with her boyfriend Jeff.  We all went for dinner and drinks near the Spanish Steps.

Part of the gang.  From left: Tara, Jeff, Tommy, Simon and me.

The next morning, we got up a little late… say 14h30.  We wrote it off considering we had spent the day before in trains and had gone to bed at maybe 4AM the night before.  We hit up a little restaurant near the hotel and got some pasta.  Pasta and pizza in Rome are amazing:  they’re delicious and cheap.  You really can’t go wrong.  After, we caught a bus and went to Collosseo.

The Collosseo.

The Collosseo.  What I find most impressive about the Collosseo is its size, but I think that’s a given.  It’s also kind of interesting because you need to piece the place together in your mind.  It obviously wasn’t meant to look like this when it was built.  It’s almost intimidating.  Thousands of people came here to watch other fight to the death.

In the Collosseo.  From left: William, Tommy, Ed, me and Simon.

After the Collosseo, we went back to the hotel and booked another few nights.  We met Tara and Jeff again, this time for gelato.  We all went down to the Trevi Fountain.

The Trevi Fountain.

At the Trevi Fountain, we said goodbye to Tara and Jeff, who were heading back to Australia the next day.  After, we hit up a local hole-in-the-wall bar.  It was pretty neat.  I also had the chance to practice my Italian!  Also: do not try the Absinthe shot.  It burns.  Like non other.

Today, we hit up the Vatican.  We got there too late to see the Pope, but we did see the Sixtene Chapel and St-Peter’s Square and St-Peter’s Basilica.

A hallway inside the Vatican, on our way to the Sistene Chapel.  It is insane the amount of effort they put into every little detail.  Not one part of the ceiling is just plain white.  Each painting has a story to tell.

In the courtyard.  The boys wanted an A&F ad picture.

The dome in St-Peter’s Basilica.  Again, the details are nuts!

Inside St-Peter’s Basilica.

St-Peter’s Square. This is where the Pope does Mass.

In St-Peter’s Square. I think we took ten pictures.  This is the best.

I’m not a religious person, but I love visiting churches and cathedrals.  I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow… We may go to Pompei and visit the ruins, or go to Pisa and check out the Tower.  We may just stay in Rome.  Who knows!

Until next time,

🙂 Julie

one day and one night in paris

I’ll admit it: the last week has been one giant mess.  I had decided to go up to Amsterdam because Rome had no beds.  In Amsterdam, I got lazy and didn’t reserve seats back down to Rome.  Consequently, getting from Amsterdam to Rome would prove a long and difficult journey.  When I arrived at the ticket counter in Paris, it became clear that going back to Rome wasn’t an option.  (Apparently, if you hold a Eurail pass and are planning on leaving Paris, you need to reserve a seat at least one week in advance).  Plan B: Croatia via somewhere other than Rome.

Regardless of what my plans were, one thing was for sure: it could not be done in a day or two.  I would need to spend the night in Paris.

I arrived in Paris late Saturday afternoon.  Because the hostel I booked wasn’t really a hostel, but beds in an apartment, James from Manchester from the “hostel” met me at the station.  Manchester showed me to the apartment.  There, I met Irish, South Africa, Holland, Australia and Australia.  Everyone was a solo traveller and was leaving in a day or two.  For some reason, we all hit it off.

Paris’ nightlife is pretty much nonexistent.  Instead of clubs, people generally cram themselves into tiny local bars.  Tourists tend to just wander the streets or roam the parks with a few cheap bottles of wine and beer.  We wanted to go to the club, but didn’t know where to go.  We met some Estonian girls, who turned out to be a little nuts; and a Parisian lady who lives in the same apartment complex.  She told us of some great club by the Eiffel Tower.  Off we were, then.

When we arrived at the Eiffel Tower, we couldn’t find the club.  Didn’t matter, though;  the light show for the Tower kept us busy.

Surprisingly, hanging out by the Eiffel Tower in the park is the place to be on a Saturday night in Paris.  We met some locals in the park right in front of the Tower and shared some beers and wine.  Australia (Andy) and Irish were hopping from one group to the next, playing other people’s guitars and making complete idiots of themselves.  I won’t lie, the looks on the locals’ faces were priceless. Eventually, we split two cabs and called it a night.

Tour de France

Turns out, I picked the right day to get stuck in Paris: the Tour de France was wrapping up in Paris on the Champs Éllysées on the very day I was taking a night train out of Paris.

The morning after our Eiffel Tower adventure, no one was in a good place.  Luckily, the Tour starts (or ends, rather) at 3h.  We grabbed some breakfast and headed out.  We said cheers to Holland who was catching a train at 1h.

We arrived at Champs Éllysées around 10h.  Already, there were people lined up along the barricades from top to bottom, but nothing too crazy.  We eventually found a spot near the turning bit, right in front of l’Arc de Triomphe.  Like a concert, if you have a good spot, you guard it.  So when we wanted food, some had to stay behind to watch our spot.

Irish and Australia with some Norwegian fans.

Australia, Australia and I decided to have a little trip to the Eiffel Tower while waiting for the Tour to start.  South Africa and Irish stayed behind to guard our spot.  Well, South Africa did.  Irish was feeling queazy; he stayed because he was in no condition to go hike up a tower.

At Trocadéro.  Australia taking a panoramic.  Not the best weather.. but it cleared up.

This would be the third time I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower.  Being broke and tight on time, we only went up to the second floor.  We took the stairs, obviously. Let’s face it: besides this, we weren’t going to be getting any exercise that day.

When Australia, Australia and I returned to Champs Éllysées, we had almost lost our spot.  Mother Goose, aka South Africa, didn’t care.  She had guarded our spot aggressively for the last hour and a half.  Eventually, people were nice enough to let us back in.  While waiting, we got to know the people around us. We met a Dutch family and a Texan family.  Both were super chill.

When the Tour finally arrived, everyone went nuts.  If you weren’t in the first two rows, you weren’t going to see much.  Luckily, they do a few laps up and down Champs Éllysées so you have time to shift your view a little.  We were at the turning point of the track, so we got to see come up, turn, and go back down.

Alberto Contador, the winner of this year’s Tour de France, in yellow.

Can you see Lance? He’s wearing the red and black Radio Shack get-up with the silver helmet.  He’s wearing a yellow band around his arm and thigh.

The crowd.  It was mostly americans were we were standing.  When the riders come around, we’ll all look like the guy in the yellow shirt.

At the end, each team did a little victory lap and had pictures taken in front of l’Arc de Triomple.

When you think about it, it would be really cool to be up there.  Right behind them is l’Arc de Triomple.  I mean think about it: you’re riding across beautiful France for about a month, with some of the coolest people in the World, and this is how you end it.  Must be a really cool feeling.

Lance Armstrong.  This was his last Tour de France, fyi.

After the whole thing was over, we went back to apartment.  While I scrambled to pack my things and get out of there asap to catch my train, the others were prepping for a power nap.  Not fair.  The good news was, they all offered to let me in for the night, let me crash on the floor if I missed my train.  That thought was very comforting.  Since we had all met, we had become this weird little multi-national family.  I had the most amazing time with Irish, Australia, South Africa, Holland and Australia.  Sometimes, my cheeks would hurt so much from laughing.  It’s corny, I know, but I will miss these guys.  If I had missed my train and was forced to stay in Paris for another night, I wouldn’t care one bit, even if it meant sleeping on the floor, because that would mean hanging out with the gang for at least one more day.

I said goodbye and headed for the train.  I made my train just in time.

I had such an amazing time in Paris.  I met some awesome people and saw the Tour de France.  The coolest part: none of it was planned.  Definitely a highlight of my trip.  I’m heading back to Croatia for a week or two.  There, I’ll email a few wwoof farms in Italy and in France, write my resumé, get my budget sorted out and properly plan my trip to Rome so I can avoid another disaster.

Until next time,

🙂 Julie