Hello Winter, goodbye Amsterdam (for a little while)

Today is cold, windy, and rainy. Awful. The first real awful day of the season, and holy shit there is so much left to the winter. I mean we aren’t even officially IN winter yet. Scary.

However, I came up with a plan to escape some of the cold, windy, rainy months. I’m going to go to Florence for eight weeks (January/February 2011) to study Italian! This is something I’ve wanted to do for a really, really long time and everything is aligned for actually doing it during this time period. I’ve been to Florence before but barely saw anything, so this will be a totally new city for me to explore! “City” is a bit of an exaggeration, I think it’s around 325,000 people, but that’s a perfect size for a two-month city. I’m going to take intensive classes for four hours a day and look into volunteer work while I’m there. In the meantime, I’m still taking Italian classes twice a week in Amsterdam and trying my best to keep up.

But work has been so busy lately, it’s been impossible to maintain a decent social life or study Italian that much. I generally just take on everything that is thrown at me in terms of jobs, but there were a few weeks there where I would work from 10am-3am every day, 7 days a week. I really need to get a hang of this whole freelancing thing, and how to not over-extend myself.

I’m moving out of my little canal apartment at the end of the year, which is great, because I am totally over my apartment. I have grown dependent on having such an amazingly central location, but my neighbors/landlords (they are the same thing) have gotten on my nerves so much lately. So I’ll go away for two months, not pay rent in A’dam during that time, and when I return in March, it looks like my boyfriend and I will move in together. Which is pretty big, I guess. We went to see a place together this afternoon and it felt more real than it has in the past when we’ve talked about it. We’ll see.

My Italian classes start on Jan 3 in Florence, so I have to be there on the 2nd. Luckily, my boyfriend loved Italy when we went there recently (he had never been!) and is supper supportive of my plans and will (fingers crossed) be able to visit me twice while I’m there, once in Jan and once in Feb. It’s not as though Florence is warm and tropical during the winter months, but one thing is for sure, the weather will be better there than in Amsterdam. And there are mountains AND oh my god the food AND I have good friends that live in Siena, which is about 40 minutes away. I can’t wait!

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