No, you didn't read that title wrong. This past Friday I went on a class field trip to the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia, Italy. It's been held since 1993 and draws nearly one million Italians and tourists alike every year. It's a 9 day event and many well known chocolate brands (Perugina, owned by Nestle, Lindt, Caffarel, just to name a few) are represented with booths, free samples, and products to buy. For 5 euro, visitors get a chococard, which gets you free samples of chocolate and oher products from specific vendors (I got chocolate vitamins and a hammer made of chocolate, for example). And of course travelers are welcome to buy their own treats as well. I came home with a chunk of crispy chocolate and a chocolate covered apple, and also enjoyed chocolate cake and a chocolate dipped banana while at the festival (who needs lunch).
The festival also had some fun activities at the Milka and Chiobar tents, among others. We raced each other in potato sacks and had "pancake" flipping contests for free chocolate and fun hats. At Chiobar, an Italian hot chocolate brand, we even filmed for a fun add campaign/commercial where we got to dance and sing and wear funny costumes. By the way, like many many manyyyy things here, hot chocolate is a bit different. I've been describing it as more like hot chocolate pudding. It's thick and should be eaten with a spoon because it's better that way. I'm not complaining, by any means, because it's delicious, it's just different.
By the end of the day our little bellies were so full of chocolate that it was time to go home. Since then it's been a pretty chill weekend. We're looking into the details of our fall break trip (It's 5 days away!!!!) and simultaneously studying for midterms. Meanwhile, the temperature has started to warm back up (it was freezing here last week) and the entire weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. We're hoping it stays this way for this week because Florence, as a city, doesn't turn it's heat on until November 1st. It's one way they conserve energy, in addition to having some showers on a "push button" system so water doesn't constantly run (like when you're soaping up your hair) or having "off" buttons on toilet flushes, or options for a little flush when you need it. These things were weird at first, but now we're used to them and I'm starting to think they're a good idea.
In other news my training's been going pretty much as planned. Every so often I feel sick and don't run, or it's raining and I don't run so I don't get sick, but other than that I still run 4 days a week, following my normal training plan. I've gotten up to 16 miles already. I have only 4 or 5 weeks left until the marathon, which I can't believe, but that's exciting because my family is coming to visit me then too. My cousin is actually coming to visit tomorrow and I'm SO EXCITED! My time here is already half over, which is crazy and shocking. I'm not sure where all the time went but I know I'm loving it, and learning so much! (even though nobody thinks you learn anything while abroad).
So I'm not sure if I'll be able to update again before I leave for my adventures in Ireland, Spain, and France, but I hope I am. I've got an idea planned to keep everyone company while I'm gone too, so hopefully that works out. Remember, you can always check up on me on facebook (I'll have limited access to internet while traveling) and as always, check out my albums there too. I'll leave you with some pictures from Eurochocolate and talk to you soon!