30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 9

Hello! Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far. Personally, I feel like this week is flying by, and I’m making a concerted effort to enjoy these last days of summer while we have them. (Thank goodness I live in San Diego where he sun is always shining!).

Today I am grateful for:

  • The return of fall TV! I know I just said I’m treasuring these last days of summer, but I am all to happy to see my DVR filling back up with The New Girl, The Mindy Project and the League. (Bottle of red wine optional….but highly encouraged).
  • 8 years in San Diego. Today I realized that I have now lived in San Diego for 8 years! 8 years ago I packed my Civic with all the clothes and dishes I could squeeze in and drove from Arizona to go to Law School here. I didn’t know anyone, and had no furniture. Thank goodness for Ikea and school to keep me busy (and allow me to make new, amazing friends!). Now,  all these years later, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
  • Pepperoncini. Yep. Today I am grateful for pepperoncini. I’m currently snacking on a plate filled with almonds, cheese, olives and pepperoncini. I’ve got to tell you, those bright green, spicy little peppers are clutch! I go through a few jars a month. No joke.

Phew! Halfway through the week, hope the next few days continue to fly by as quickly.

Namaste!

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280

That would be the total amount of payments I have left across all of my student loans before I can say I’m debt-free.

To put this into perspective I’m 29 years old and 4 year out of law school. (Where has the time gone?!) Age of estimated pay-off puts me in my 50’s.

And you wonder why I drink so much wine.

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La Vita e Bella

Ever since I started reading ‘A Room With a View‘, I’ve been waxing nostalgic about my time spent in Florence, Italy. In 2006 during the summer between my first and second year of law school, I decided to forego the typical summer clerkship and instead I studied art and international law in Florence. Best. decision. of. my. law. school. career.

And although it wasn’t my first time in Italy, or Europe for that matter, I had some of the most wonderful experiences of my life in those short few weeks.

The Arno river, with the Ponte Vecchio in the past

Can you blame a girl for wanting to go back? The wine, the food, the PEOPLE! It was a magical summer. I think I fell in love no less than 4 times that summer. Italian men? Fuggedaboutit! And even though San Diego is great and I love it with all my heart, summers in Italy put our little beach town to shame. Yah, I said it.

That last picture ? That would be the view from my apartment.  The apartment that cost me less than half of what I have ever paid rent for in San Diego. I was literally steps away from the Arno. Not to mention that said apartment was about 100 yds from a fantastic little Irish pub – the James Joyce (you can’t get more Irish than that!) and a stone’s through from the Piazza Michelangelo.

To be honest, I don’t know how I got any studying in (I actually got some pretty great grades). I think I can truly thank this little exercise in living la vita bella in sparking my love for simple, unprocessed, good food. Okay, that’s a lie, my mother was the BEST cook growing up and I was extremely spoiled…how many 8 yearolds do you know that bring homemade biscotti in their lunches? But this was the first time I embraced it on my own, without my dear mother’s guiding hand.

That spread above would be an example of a typical night’s worth of gli antipasti (the appetizers). Most fortunately for me, my roommate and neighbors all shared my love and enthusiasm for food (my roommate John was known to walk around town with 1/2 a Kilo of prosciutto [that’s about a 1lb] to snack on…). And although we loved our occasional nights out, our favorite past-time was inviting all of friends over for a dinner party with whatever we had grabbed at the market on the way home from class. I should mention class was only held from 8-11 AM leaving us with plenty of time to explore the city (and shop! The Zara’s in Florence? AMAZING!).

Hungry yet?

Between all of us, we could put back some serious food.

My face might be mostly obscured in the above photo (I’m the gal on the right side) but do not fear – my plate and tummy were always full! It’s a miracle I didn’t come back to the state weighing 200 lbs. Seriously. I may be 5 feet tall, but I can eat with the best of them!

We even had professors join in (above center, in brown) on some of our dinners! You haven’t had a party until you’ve partied with a professor of law. Seriously. She brought  handle of Jack Daniels to dinner.

I wish I could say the above bottles were the accumulation of several week’s worth of imbibing…but I think we all know it wasn’t. Hours. We’re talking hours, folks.

I think I better stop for now as I am *this* close to packing a bag and heading to the airport. But lest you think my time in Florence was all booze and food (there was a lot), I did a great deal of traveling and museum-gawking. Perhaps for another post?

Alas, for now I’m stuck in La Jolla (heehee)….but I’m determined to make it back soon. It’s been a good 6 years since I’ve been to Italy and the itch to go back is getting unbearably strong.

I want to know, where is the place that makes your heart sing? I’m always looking for an excuse to travel….

Why?!?!?

Why wasn’t this site around when I was in law school?

The law is sexy, man.