Well, the four days spent in Italy were fantastic! We swam in the Mediterannean *never thought I'd say that*, went snorkling, there were fresh figs in arms reach *I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming*, wonderful seafood, gelato, foccacia, espresso, and exploration..... I could have stayed and continued this gluteny indefinitely and lived a wonderful life of sin. Saturday came, our day to head off on our adventure, map in hand.... but we started off on the wrong foot, with a missed boat to Montorosso, the day continued to reveal that our plan was not fool proof. Turns out we had decided to backpack down the Cinqua Terre on the wrong week - the Italian National Holiday. The Cinqua Terre is on the Italian Riviera, in the Liguria region including five breathtaking villages, mountains dropping off into the sea, we had planned to set up camp at a hotel or hostel and do the backpacking during the day. After visiting every hotel, inn, and hostel in Montorosso (I'm being dramatic - there aren't THAT many, but still, it was really hot) we threw up our hands, ordered a few drinks and decided we would train it back to Switzerland, in a few hours.....


Gruetzi! Bonjour! Cioa!

I AM IN SWITZERLAND! And eating as much Gruyere and yogoz as is humanly possible! Glorious!

Despite having my gums cut open for the third time due to a second post-op infection after my wisdom tooth extraction - I looked less than ideal upon arrival. It looked as if I had a tennis ball in my cheek - they couldn't be "conservative" with the cutting because I was leaving the country and they needed to be sure they got "everything". It was mortifying and frustrating, after spending weeks in and out of the oral surgeons office, here I was the day before departing for Switzerland and I was getting cut open by a 12 year old with a knife, again (exaggeration, he's not 12 but he looks like it). With a mouthful of stitches, I was still hopeful. My boyfriend assured me the clean swiss air would remedy my ailments.

Even though I had trouble talking, smiling, and eating, I did quite a bit of both. I knew it was going to be a successful trip when the flight over was practically turbulent free, and they sat me next to an adorable musician from Amsterdam *thank you SwissAir. We talked about traveling, about food, about Texas (he played at South by Southwest and decided Austin was the best that Texas had to offer - obviously I agreed), our mutual distaste for techno and about life. I explained I didn't speak German *yet! and despite any gaps in translation, it was such a lovely conversation. He looked down at my book and said "Oh, you read about food? You like food?" *just imagine that in an adorable accent, it could make knees weak -- he was referring to my "In Defense of Food" reading materials - and I explained to him my interest in local produce, the paradox of "nutritionism", the American obsession with dieting and their increasing waist size and consequential chronic disease. He was interested, and said that they have similar problems when it comes to mass production of food stuffs. We walked off the plane together and if I hadn't been so incredibly excited to reunite with my boyfriend, I would have grabbed a latte with him during his layover so our conversation wouldn't have to end. Though at the end of the flight I was certainly over due to ice my cheek, the laughing and talking had consequences....

I went back to the apartment in Zurich and looked him up, since we exchanged information and I promised to spread the word (under the condition that his music was any good) and that is an understatement. Their music is AMAZING. A combination of jazz and R&B - I've already listened to every song on their multiple albums. Here is some information on these two talented artists:
http://www.myspace.com/perquisite (adorable, as promised!)

I would like to continue this post and document my experience at the Zurich street parade (oh my!) and my evening that led me to a DJ's booth with some very sweaty dudes. But it will have to wait. Because I am catching the tram to Zurich (boyfriend in tow) and hopping a train to Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy to visit his family in Prelo. After that we will either travel to Rome or Tuscany, in hopes to explore more of Italy.... I suppose when we can't afford any more pasta, gelato or sleeping accommodations we will return to Zurich. Will post whenever I can! Cioa!