For No Reason At All

Hello All,

Last night I went to bed shortly after posting my update. I then had a dream that Brandon Crawford told me that he loves his wife but he is in love with me and wanted to take me out. He told me he was reading my blog and just knows I’m the one for him. However, Timmy Lincecum and that stash of his that just does it for me, BURST into the Giants clubhouse (where BCraw found me), and told me that he had been waiting for me since January to come home.

Normally I dream about hamburgers talking to me (my mother actually gets worried when I tell her that), so hunky baseball players fighting over me was a lovely change.

Just before I woke up I told Brandon that I was in love with him too, but had too much pride to be his second wife (just blushed as I typed that). Subsequently, Timmy and I enjoyed a nice date in the Marina. He was very talkative, but ate off my plate (I don’t share food). Can’t have it all I guess.

Why am I sharing this? Well because if that dream doesn’t explain how PUMPED I am to be going home…and more importantly going to AT&T park all summer long…then I don’t know what does.

Go Giants,

FP

Long Overdue Update

Hi everyone! Not that anyone actually really, and truly cares, I still apologize for my lack of blog updates. Since my last post I’ve traveled to…. -Portugal -Cinque Terre -Acuto (again) & surrounding towns -Norway -Turkey And I’m currently in … Continue reading

Spring Break

Hi y’all! I’m writing from the Star Alliance lounge in the Munich airport. Shoutout to Mario and his frequent flyer number. Holla.

Spring break was 10 days of nonstop travel and unlimited amounts of chaos. I loved it.

I started out in Galway, Ireland. I mentioned in my last post how I toured the Mercy International Centre, cried with happiness, and the headed to Galway. In Galway I was very graciously hosted by the lovely Annie Mullahy. We snuggled for 4 nights. It was magical. My first day in Galway, I was out for a run and wondered a little to far off the path. I came across a shaggy (but cute!) dog in a fairly desolate area. I approached the dog, started talking to it (him?), and reached out to pet him right as he started growling. The dog then proceeded to charge at me, causing me to run like Bradley Cooper was waiting for me with In-N-Out. I was already 3 miles into my run when I had stopped to pet the K9, but thanks to this dog I got a solid 5 miles in that day. Clearly I do not have my mother’s way with animals.

While in Ireland I traveled to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. To say one feels insignificant while there is an understatement. The cliffs were absolutely breathtaking. With no railing or fences, it’s just you walking on the edge of God’s creation. What a beautiful artist He is.

Of course I enjoyed a few pints here and there with my girl Annie and her twins sister Katherine who was visiting, along with some of the lovely friends Annie has made at school. It was foamy fun.

It was sad to say bye to little Annie, as I have dearly missed her. She is so in her element in Galway and her most wonderful qualities truly shine in her homeland. I’m so happy for the brilliant experience she is having!

On St. Patty’s day, Mary and I headed to Amsterdam (cheap flights okay?!?). We met up with our roommate Meghan and a few other friends at our super cool hostel, the Flying Pig. We hung out at the hostel bar and somehow managed to be social.

The highlights of Amsterdam included visiting the house of Anne Frank, vintage shoppe shopping, the fries, and the Heineken brewery tour. My favorite was easily the house of Anne Frank. They museum did a wonderful job of taking visitors back in time. The most sobering part of the tour was walking into Anne’s actual bedroom. The windows had blackout curtains and she only had one wall with posters and magazine clips that her father brought her to make it feel more like “home”. Otto Frank was an incredibly courageous and selfless man, something I never truly appreciated until after this tour. May none of us ever forget the Frank family and all the other victims of that horrendous time.

Overall, Amsterdam was an interesting place. People are very curious, but kind. There is really no rhyme or reason to the city, yet it all functions harmoniously. Despite there not being a whole lot to see, it’s very pretty and the canal streets are adorable. Also there are fries and hotdogs EVERYWHERE. Blissful.

After the Netherlands, my 3 roommates and I made our way to one of my new favorite cities, Prague. We took a 16 hour bus, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and arrived in the Czech Republic at sunrise. Prague is absolutely stunning. The architecture was so unique and interesting. Some of the buildings where light pink with terre cotta roofs, yet they were visually appealing. Food was so darn good, and the beer was plentiful. The beauty of Eastern Europe is that it’s cheap. Cheap is wonderful when one’s ballin’ on a budget like yours truly. I was able to purchase a few pairs of beautiful handmade earrings and watercolor art, AND I didn’t have to sacrifice a meal to do so!

Highlights from Prague were walking around stunning old town, visiting the Palace, buying art on the bridge, and the showers at our awesome hostel (water pressure!!!!). Oh and a pub crawl the roomies and I did one night. Why we did a pub crawl in Prague, I’m unsure, but let me tell you it was quite eventual. Despite myself being the only one to emerge untouched, others in the group had a blast (although they were not so lucky the next morning.) Aside from dignity being nowhere to be found, a piccell phone (Mary) was also missing the next morning. Long live Mary’s super cool European cell phone.

On Sunday morning, we all sleepily made our way to the airport to begin the journey back to Rome. We all had a blast on spring break, but we were all ready to be back at our apartment. Our feet hurt and our wallets were painfully light.

As usual, with all this travel I am reminded how deeply blessed I am to be experiencing the many different places and cultures the world has to offer. Although I sometimes feel guilty traveling so much during the Lenten season – given that it is a time of sacrifice and minimalism, I am reminded to seek Christ in the different places I visit.

That’s all for now! Like I said before I am currently in the Munich airport. I am waiting for a group of my Kappa Delta sisters to arrive from Madrid! I am SO excited to finally see them all, especially my redheaded big – the Sarah O’Connell. It’s been far too long since she and I tried to feign a like for affection. Eeekk!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Prost,
FP

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Cheers

Hi y’all,

For whatever reason my Morocco post I wrote a while back refuses to upload. It’s probably the Man Upstairs telling me to check my grammar and delete the part explaining to my parents that I’m now engaged to my camel’s (handsome) keeper. Nevertheless, I will continue to try and post it.

Since my last post I’ve traveled to Orvieto (a small, historically Etruscan town), Acuto again to spend the weekend with my wonderful great Zio Paolo and great Zia Elizabetta (and other family), and have continued to explore Rome.

Currently I am sitting on a bus from Dublin to Galway….because ITS SPRING BREAK!!! For the next ten days I will be in Ireland, Amsterdam, and Prague. Life really is so difficult.

This morning I toured the International Mercy Centre in Dublin, which is the original Sister’s of Mercy House opened by the incredible Catherine McCauley. If you know me (and that I peaked in high school), then I’m sure you can imagine how ecstatic I was the entire tour. My roommate Julia is also a loyal Mercy girl, and we were in awe for the 2 hours we were there. We walked on the same (original) floors as Catherine, touched her grave, and had tea with the sassiest nun ever. Bliss, my friends, pure bliss.

In Galway I will stay with my best friend Anne Mullahy, as she is studying there for the semester. I am incredibly excited to hug my little Annie and have our first (legal) drink together! Eeekkk!!

That’s all for now from this vagabond! Time to go for a run (training for a 1/2 marathon abroad was a questionable idea), and then go find some old men in a pub to drink with! Kidding, mom. Mary and I will do no such thing. Who am I kidding I am overjoyed to be back in this country and Guinness is my favorite beer. Yayayay!!

Cheers y’all,
FP

It’s Been Awhile

Hello my friends!

I have been so bad about updating the blog on weekends. I am sure that literally no one is anxiously awaiting for me to post something, therefore I don’t feel too bad about my delayed entries. Since my last post, I’ve seen my parents and gone to Acuto (the town where my grandparents were from), had SLU friends visit from Madrid, and traveled to Morocco. So yeah, it’s been fairly boring lately….

Tomorrow I plan on posting some photos from Acuto, and writing about my wonderful weekend in Morocco. It was easily the coolest culture I’ve ever been exposed to. Ah, I miss it already.

I apologize for how scattered this brief update is, I am currently taking a break from trying to memorize my lines for my oral Italian presentation (sometimes I forget I’m here to go to school…kidding Mario!)

In other news, I registered for the San Francisco half marathon today. Basically that means that I will (hopefully) not come back from the land of carbs that is Italy 15+ pounds heavier. In all seriousness, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I figure now is as good a time as any. It will be this July. I’m very excited!

Also, one of the families that I nanny for had a beautiful baby girl a few days ago! Congratulations to the Polly family on the birth of the adorable Eve Marion. Wish I was home to visit and drool over those cheeks! I am so excited to see Eve, and the rest of the gang this summer!

Well, I think that’s about it. Tomorrow after my presentation (unless I wither away in shame after forgetting all of my lines), I will share with you all (aka Kathy Pompili) my glorious time in Morocco. I’ll also give the details of the beautiful wedding I had there with Ahmed, my camel’s keeper. It was like a dream, or was it a dream? You’ll soon find out.

May you all have a wonderful Monday evening while this vagabond curses her parents for not speaking to her in Italian as a child.

Ciao!

XO,
FP

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A sneak peak into the wedding album.

Free Toilet Paper

ATTENTION ALL:

In just 30 short minutes THE Kathy and Mario Pompili will be touching down in Rome. Mario has informed me that he has many activities planned (fingers crossed that they all include food), and Kathy is hand delivering me a fresh bottle of Siracha. Subsequently, we will venture out to the grocery store where my beloved givers of life will generously provide me with endless amounts of toilet paper. Who knew that stuff was so darn pricey when you’re paying for it yourself! I’m telling you friends, it’s the little things in life.

Oh of course I’m also excited to spend quality time with two of the best people in a beautiful country. It will be quite strange though, being in Italy with my parents but not my brothers. But something tells me that I’ll get over it, seeing as how Stephen and Edward are working and Joseph is being buried in snow. Yeah, come to think of it, I’m fine.

Now it’s 26 minutes people! 26! YAYAYAY!!!!!

I’m so giddy that the two tests I have this evening aren’t even on my mind….
Kidding Mom&Dad, my study break is over.

Happy Hump Day,
FP

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I Do Not Belong in Art Class

Hello, friends!

Since traveling to Rome I, surprisingly, have had many people (Mom&Dad) ask me how classes are going. I respond with the usual, “they’re good it’s too early to tell” response. However there is one class that I am struggling with quite a bit. My figure drawing class.

I, unartistic Francesca Pompili, am in a figure drawing class. Why? Well because I attend a liberal arts university, and therefore am required to take a fine arts course. I specifically saved this requirement for my semester abroad. I figured, what better place than Rome to study art. Right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. I signed up a little too late for classes. The only art course left which fit into my schedule was, yes you guessed it, figure drawing.

For those of you who don’t understand why I am making such a big deal about this, I will explain in quite simple terms. Every Monday, for 3 long hours and 15 tedious minutes, I have to draw a nude model.

Despite sometimes having the maturity level of a 13 year old boy (I blame Stephen Pompili), it is not the nudity that I have the issue with. I mean, do I want to stare at a naked stranger for 3 hours? No. But, can I sit in class without snickering for 90+ minutes? Obviously. So then what is the issue?

The issue is that I cannot draw. I would like to think that I am creative and quite crafty, but I am not artistic. I wish I were, but I’m not.

The first day of class the teacher went around the room, asking us what level of experience we have with art. I am one of 2 non-art majors in the class, and I responded by saying, “I’m a nanny, so I am very familiar with stick figure art”. The teacher was incredibly amused, but my peers all looked at me with pity. It’s hard being the non-artsy kid in the very artsy, art class.

I digress. I am sharing this because, 1.) I’m waiting for my laundry to be done (3 hour cycles, seriously Rome?!?) and, 2.) to hopefully provide you all with a good laugh.

With that said, let me finally get to the actual story.

It was on the second class that the nude model was present. We had to sketch her in two different positions. I struggled for all 3 hours and 15 minutes. Ferociously erasing, trying to figure out how to draw an arm that didn’t look like a flag pole, my angst made me stick out like a non-hipster sore thumb.

At the end of the class, the teacher asked us all to turn our giant sketch books around so he could critique, and so the model could look at our work. And that’s when it happened. The laugh. The model was approaching my easel when I, already cringing with shame due to my lack of talent, hear it. A soft, but distinct sound: a giggle. And then it grew a little bit louder, until it was obvious to just about everyone that the model, who I had just seen every nook and cranny of, was laughing…AT ME. I was too mortified at this point to get upset (and in retrospect, the situation was fairly comical), so I said, “Don’t worry you’re much prettier in person!”  And then she abruptly stopped laughing, because apparently now she didn’t find me oh so amusing, and walked away. Talk about awkward.

Oh the art world, a place where I will never have a place.

I would post my sketches, but I wouldn’t want to be laughed at, AGAIN.

I hope you all have a blessed day filled with people laughing with you, not at you.

Peace, Love, Art,
FP

Firenze e Pisa

Note: This post was written last Thursday – I did not get a chance to post it over the weekend.

Hi All!

As I sit at my gate, waiting to board my flight to Stockholm, I realize it’s been quite some time since my last post.

The weekend before last, I traveled to Florence and Pisa with my roommates and some other friends. Despite having already visited both of these cities before, I was eager to rediscover the beauty and history both cities had to offer.

Florence was quite fun. The leather market was sprawling with 10 versions of roughly the same 100 purses and scarves, mostly being sold by men who thought the line, “discount for the beautiful girl” would work. Nevertheless, my friends and I have some fun bartering for gifts and goodies to bring home. I walked away empty handed for a few reasons. The first being that nothing really stuck out to me. There were many beautiful bags and wallets, but nothing that I felt was worth the money. The second, I refuse to give any vender the satisfaction of turning a profit after being disrespectful (which sadly, most were). And third, I’m fairly certain that 99% of the purses were stolen, and as someone who feels too guilty to even download music illegally, I just couldn’t do it. So yes, (Mario Pompili), I did not spend a single Euro shopping in Florence. Miracles really do happen.

Of course we also went to see the inspiring pieces of art, sculptures, and churches that Florence has to offer. Similar to almost every other person who has ever visited the city, both David and the Duomo were two of my favorites.

While in the leather market on the second day of our trip, we met some people from Georgetown. They had arrived a few days before, and were studying in Florence for the semester. One thing led to another, and we ended up relaxing at John D. Rockefeller’s (where these kids live/go to school) villa later that night before going out. To say the place was unbelievably beautiful, is quite an understatement. Cheers to Standard Oil!

Later that night we had a little too much fun, and then hoped on a 4:30 a.m. train from Florence to Pisa. Oh, I probably should mention that my roommates and I decided to break away from the pack (the other 6 girls we were traveling with), and stayed in Florence for an extra night. We feel as though we hadn’t quite experienced enough of the city yet. OK, I lied. We didn’t get a chance the go a specific bar the night before, and we really, REALLY, wanted to. When in Florence, right?

We arrived in Pisa at around 6 a.m. and sleepily made our way to our B&B to sleep for about 3 hours before having to wake up, and check out.  A few hours later we (unwillingly) got up to start what would be a peculiar day. If you ask any Italian, you don’t go to Pisa. You just don’t. All that’s there is the leaning tower. You can see that in about .5 seconds. Add that to the 15 seconds it takes to snap an embarrassing and cliche photo of you “holding” the tower up, and you’ve conquered Pisa. With that said, as someone who had already seen the tower before, I could’ve done without going back. It was POURING rain all day, everything was over priced, the food was lousy, and I was nursing one bad hangover. I am very aware of how much of a brat I sound like, complaining about getting to travel all over Italy. However, I cannot lie. It just was not the most exciting thing I’ll experience this semester. Side note: I sincerely apologize if anyone reading this is from Pisa and if I offended them. Despite being Pisa’s biggest critic, the roomies and I were so sleep deprived that just about every single thing was hilarious and we were in fits of laughter nonstop. Albeit, mostly at the expense of Pisa, but smiles nonetheless. I am a horrible, overly privileged, snot…I know.

The day (Sunday) felt like it was dragging on, taking forever for our 3:45 p.m. train tome to roll around. Again, I’m very aware of how dramatic I sound. We happily hopped on our 4 hour train back to Rome, sleeping for almost all of it.

All in all, Florence was a trip that I will always look back on with even more admiration for Rockefeller. And Michaelagelo, I guess. (I’m totally kidding, Mom&Dad). Pisa will most likely be that story that every parent tries to avoid sharing with their child, because then they have to explain why they felt like a boulder was sitting on their head.

All joking aside, I had a wonderful weekend and continue to be amazed by how very lucky I am to be having these experiences!

Cheers,

FP

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Facade of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

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The Duomo.

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 Meggy and I looking insignificant at the doors of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.

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 David – or as I call this one, “Davy got back”.

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 My special intentions (inside the Duomo).

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 Rockefeller’s study.

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Inside the villa.

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Pisa.

Making New Friends (Somehow)

Hello everyone!

It had been a few days since my last post, and because of that I have much to report!

On Tuesday Mary and I went to campus to find out where we are living and to begin the orientation process.  We were ecstatic when we found out that we are in fact living together. We have 5 other roommates, but as of right now only 3 have arrived.  Our roommates smell, are rude, and are no fun.  KIDDING. Mary and I could not be happier with Julia, Meghan, and Sarah.  They all go to school in the Midwest, are incredibly sweet, and best of all….NORMAL!!! Yay!!

Even more exciting, our apartment is literally right next to the Vatican.  Ugh, such a rough life I live.   Needless to say there will be many more selfies being taken with the Pope. I believe the additional years in purgatory count is now up to 7.  But hey, when in Rome right?

On Wednesday we reported to campus again, but this time for a full day of orientation.  I would like to think of myself as a social person, but my self-deprecating humor isn’t as charming as I think it is most of the time.  With that said, I suggested to Mary that we lightly pre-game orientation, to which she responded. “Francesca its 8:30 in the morning.” And so instead of having wine with my biscotto, I had milk.

Shockingly, I was able to be social and make new friends without liquid courage. I am very happy to say that John Cabot University is a beautiful school, filled with nice students from across the United States and world.  I am not sure how challenging I anticipate the curriculum being (I’ll let you know after my first day of classes), but regardless I am certain that I chose the right school.

On Wednesday night a large group of us went out to Campo di Firori.  I discovered that if you order drinks in Italian, you get free ones.  Can’t say that I was mad about it.

Yesterday was a fairly lazy day.  Mary and I enjoyed a panini and pizza a few doors down from our apartment at this lovely little bakery.  Buona, buona!

That’s all for now, again I’m pretty sure it is only my mother reading – so if your name isn’t Kathy Pompili, I greatly appreciate you taking a look at what this vagabond has been up to!

Ciao,

FP

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Princess Maria outside of our apartment.

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The faces of two girls who just found out that they aren’t homeless.

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Pranzo.

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Campus AKA why I will be going to class.

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 She offers me friendship out of pity.

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Order your scotch&soda in Italian…

Papa Francis

Hello friends!

Today I had the great privilege of spending the holiest day of the week with one of America’s holiest families, the Yadgirs.  As if I wasn’t already overwhelmed enough by the presence of the Holy Spirit, we went to the Vatican to the listen to the angelus of the beloved Pope Francis.  

The weather was absolutely horrendous, as it was POURING rain.  And then it hailed. And then rained some more, this time harder than I ever thought imaginable. And then some more hail. But true to form, Dr. Yadgir had a punny joke about the “Hail” Mary. He then proceeded to say a few Hail Mary’s and wait for it…the rain instantly stopped and the clouds parted.  I can imagine how giddy all the Catholics reading this (mom) just got.

Shortly thereafter Pope Francis appeared in the window to give his talk.  The highlights were his announcement of a trip to the Middle East where he will help collaborate with political leaders and try and facilitate moves toward peace in Palestine and Israel.

I was lucky enough in 2009 to be in St. Peter’s Basilica where Pope Benedict was saying Christmas Eve mass.  It is difficult to put into words how moving it was to participate in a mass being said by the Pope.  It was easily one of the most profound faith experiences I have ever had.

I digress…back to Papa Francis.  I was able to snap a few great pictures of him, my personal favorite is the one where he is waving to the people. Mary and I also had shameless fun taking selfies with the Pope in the background.  That blasphemous behavior likely gave us a few extra years in purgatory.

Thats all for now! I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday! I am off to try and watch the 49ers beat the Packers on a very illegal website that is destined to be shutdown by the American government at any moment.  Peace and love y’all.

Thank you for reading!

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Mary and I were thrilled about the rain, clearly.

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PAPA FRANCIS!

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THE GANGS ALL BACK TOGETHER!!!! PAPA!!!!

XO,

FP