You guys are all just waking up, and I'm about to go to dinner.
Crazy, this planet of ours.
Last night, Dad and Alex picked a restaurant across the river, which turned out to be awesome. We sat in a huge outdoor tent, packed with heaters and Christmas lights. Our waiter was adoreable, stopping periodically to do New Year's shots with his compatriots. At one point, he brought over these metallic bags, filled with fabulous Eurotrash t-shirts from our restaurant. Free apparel? Hells yeah!
Dinner was exceptional, with me even diving into Dad's caviar ravioli, it looked so good. I had gnocci in a cream sauce, then covered in cheese and baked. My jeans will never fit again, but it was definitely worth it.
After dinner, we strolled around looking for action. We came across some piazza, which is actually the piazza where The Bonfire of the Vanities took place. Apparently, a billion years ago, this Florentine guy got all riled up, feeling that Italians were too hedonistic and obsessed with themselves. He took it upon himself to gather all of the art and books he found offensive and burned them all in the piazza. Finally, the Florentines got fed up with his constant need to judge, and, in turn, burned him.
The piazza was packed with revelers, partiers, and vendors selling champagne, beer, and wine on card tables along the sidewalk. You could literally buy a bottle of wine for like, 10 Euros, and then walk around drinkning it from the bottle. Mom, Dad, Alex and I headed into some fancy bar, where the most stunning man I've ever encountered mixed our drinks. In the background, a band played "Volare", as we sipped on Grappa and wine and toasted the New Year.
Mom and Dad decided to shove off, only after attempting to point Alex and I in, what I felt, was the wrong direction. I decided to ask my new boyfriend, our waiter.
"Mi scusi. Where's the Piazza de la Croce?" I asked, batting my eyelashes and pointing left.
"No, signora. That is America." He smiled and then pointed right. "Go right for Piazza de la Croce."
I couldn't help myself. I was drunk and in love. "Well, aren't you just the most adorable thing I've ever seen."
Frightened, the love of my life ran off to help someone more attractive, and Alex and I were left to wander the streets of Florence alone, looking for a cool bar with ample seating and a bathroom. We stumbled around in the cold, until suddenly, there it was before us. At our feet, mere blocks from the apartment, was the most adorable, low lit, little Irish Bar, called Angie's Pub. We went inside, and ordered drinks.
There are tons of really good looking young people in Florence, and Alex and I were anxious to make it clear we were siblings, open to chatting with anyone hot and charming. In the line for the bathroom, I met Maurizzio, you taught me my new favorite word, "Fratello." I'm going to have a t-shirt made that says, "I'm with fratello" and an arrow pointing towards Alex.
We moved to the back room, packed with a mix of foreign students and hot Italian girls, all eyeing Alex. Lex and I drank and talked, amazed at where we actually were. I mean, really. Sure I could be dressed to the nines in San Francisco, downing Claret, and forgetting all that I did by the next morning. But, last night, I found myself in Italy, in a great little bar, with my fabulous brother and nothing to do but eat and shop for two weeks. We toasted ourselves as the hot girls counted down to midnight.
"Cinque, Quatro, Tre, Duo, Uno... Buon Anno!!!"
With that, they all came and piled into our table, and essentially, onto Alex. There were probably seven of them, all stunning, all 19, and all drunk.
"You brother so handsome. He look a like Hollywood."
"Well, ladies. I believe he's single."
They were all adorrable, taking turns chatting us up. The leaders, Julietta and Elisabetta were fascinated by American culture, particularly celebrities. Ladies, ladies. You've come to the right American. At one point Maurizzo came over and sat with us, but was perhaps intimidated by the raucous vibe at our table and thus left. We were having so much fun, it was suddenly 1:30am. The Italian supermodel troupe had to go, but not before giving me all of their e-mail addresses. Then each of them lined up to Euro-kiss Alex goodbye. It was hilarious, and I don't know if Alex will ever recover.
We stumbled out onto the cobblestone streets, so trashed and thrilled with our circumstances, we could barely stay upright. Horribly lost, yet finding it hilarious, we stopped a gay couple from Maryland who pointed us in the right direction. Finally home, we threw off our scarves and mittens and dove into the fridge. I passed out pretty quickly, only to shoot out of bed wide awake at 4am. Alex found himself in the same predicament, and we decided to give up and watch the ever present tsunami coverage on CNN and BBC.
Today, I did absolutely nothing but read and sleep, worsening my jet lag and feeling like ass. It was well worth it, though, as I could not imagine a better time.
I hope you all partied safe and fabulously, as I thought of each and every one of you.
Happy New Year, gang! I love and miss you...