Friday, January 27, 2012

Chapter 6.3 - New Look & Good Ideas

  When i got home on Friday I slept pretty much all day, except to use the bathroom and to grab a quick bite to eat. I was so tired from the extremely long trip.

  I still had two days before classes started up again so the first thing I took care of Saturday morning was the yard work. My garden needed some major TLC since I was gone on vacation.

  After an hour I was finally done with the garden, I washed up, threw some clothes in the washing machine and decided to put my bathing suit on and lay in the sun. It was unusually warm out today and I was not about to lay inside and waste a perfect day like this.

  Just when I thought I was about to fall asleep in the sun my phone began ringin, which caused me to jump since I wasn't expecting it.


"Hi Haley, how are you?"

"I am doing good Luca, just a little tired."

"I know how you feel. I just got home myself and want to pass out."

"Well. welcome back"

"Thank you. I was actually calling to see if...uh..." He said with a slight nervousness in his voice "you might want to meet again for lunch tomorrow around 2 again?"

"That sounds great," I said surprised "I will meet you there."

  I hung up the phone, went back inside, and took a nap on the couch in my room after putting my comfortable workout clothes back on. Jet lag was defiantly catching up with me.

  The next morning, after working in the garden some more, I took a long shower and spent ages trying to figure out what to wear. I then spent just as long doing my hair and make-up before driving to the Koffi Cafe.

  As I walked up to the restaurant I didn't see Luca but I did see a clean shaving man. I walked past him and waited near the restaurants front door.

"Haley, there you are." Luca said

  As I turned towards his voice I noticed the same man standing near me. After looking at him closer I noticed this man was in deed Luca. he looked so different without his glasses and no facial hair. He looked more like my age and he could have just stepped out of a photo shoot for a magazine.

"Wow, Luca, you look so different!"

"Is that a good thing or..."

"Defiantly a good thing," I said with a smile.

  We ordered our food, took it outside, and sat at one of the tables to enjoy our meal.

"So," Luca said as the waiter took our empty plates 'how are you?"

"I am doing pretty good," I said still distracted by the odd dreams I had been having and of course how handsome Luca looked.

"Are you sure? You seem so distracted lately."

"Yea, I have had a lot on my mind lately. Not a big deal though."

"What's going on? maybe I can help somehow."

"I don't know, it's going to sound silly," I said then noticed the encouraging look on his face "Okay, see I don't really remember anything that happened before I moved here. Then after I moved here I had this strange dream that had my Great Great Nonna in it, telling me that I needed to figure something out now that I was here."

  I paused to evaluate the look on his face before continuing.

"Then after you hired me i was working on notes the next day for class and was drawn to the name of a city, Venice. i didn't know why but it sounded so familiar. When I went to sleep that night I had another strange dream. First I was standing in front of this amazing house and then I was through a window at a family, pretty much perfect looking family. It's been like this since I moves here and it seems like whatever I need to figure out might have something to do with this family. But I have no idea where to start looking."

  Luca didn't say anything for at least 5 minutes and I immediately regretted saying anything at all.

"That is really strange Haley but still I wonder what it could all mean" Luca said before adding "I know what you can do! Have your students make their final reports be about Venice and tell them to try to get any information they can about any important families out there. Maybe this is just what you need to jump start your research."

"Oh my gosh! Luca that is an excellent idea!" I said and then gave him a hug without even thinking twice. "'m sorry, I shouldn't have done that.  that was very unprofessional."

"It's okay, don't apologize," He said with a grin.

  A few minutes later we said our goodbyes. I went home, got some notes together for the next day and then went to bed.

  In class the next morning I handed out the guidelines and worksheets after my students sat down and then went over what was required for this report, which was closely followed by a bit of groaning.

"I know that this sounds like a huge project but you have until the first week of May to finish it. With Spring Break and Prom coming up before and after this is due I suggest getting your rough draft completed before break and then type up your final draft before class resumes. that way you guys will have fun during break and not have to worry about it when you are preparing for prom."

Chapter 6.2 - Winter Break

  I arrived in Shang Simla, China at 8 a.m., took a taxi to the hotel i was going to be staying at (they called it a basecamp) and checked in at the front desk before going up to my room. My room was beautiful but as soon as I saw the big king size bed I decided to take a nap because i was so tired from the long plane trip.

  I ended up not waking up until 1 that afternoon. I decided to walk down to the market and grab some lunch before I wasted any more of the day. I chose to have Dim Sum and tea, which was amazingly good.

  After lunch I headed to the bookstore, bought a bunch of books, and headed back to basecamp. When I put most of my new books away I curled up on the bed and read for awhile.

  Even though relaxing would have been great to do all day since my trip took so long I got bored of reading after awhile. I changed into my workout clothes and headed to the Phoenix Martial Arts Academy and worked out for awhile before heading back to basecamp.

  I ended up sleeping like a baby all night, which was uncommon for me.

  The next morning I got up early, changed, did my hair, and then had some eggs and watermelon for breakfast.

After checking the adventure board I went to Li Yuan's house.

"Thank you for responding to my notice. I need you to go explore the basement of the Hall of The Lost Army and bring me back a very rare relic for the museum."

"Not a problem, I will be back with your relic as soon as I can."

  I stopped by the market first to buy a bunch of supplies I needed and then went to the hall. I eventually found a strange switch on the floor and when I stepped on it, it revealed a staircase that led to the hidden basement.

  After clearing rubble, pushing/pulling statues, opening random treasure chests, digging in holes for switches and going in dive wells (and taking pictures of everything) I found an odd glowing treasure chest.

"This has to be it!" I thought to myself

  When I opened it I found the relic that Li had given me a picture of. By the time I got back outside I was tired and dirty but I headed to Li's house and turned over the relic. In return he gave me 35 Visa points, $500, and 10 Ancient Coins.

  Once again I headed back to basecamp and went straight to bed. I had no idea these adventures would be so tiring.

  The next morning I decided to head back to Phoenix Martial Arts Academy and workout some more. When I walked into the workout room I saw a very handsome, muscular man. It was hard to not stare at him and when he sat up I noticed he was....

"Oh my gosh!!" I thought to myself before saying "Mr Gerini!"

  Startled he looked over at me, eyes widened, and then jumped up.

"Miss Abruzzi, what are you doing here?'

"Um, I am on vacation. I have had this trip planned for a couple months now," I said as I stared at Mr Gerini. "What are you doing here?"

"I come here during Winter Break almost every year," He said "I am about to leave to go do an adventure but...would you like to meet me for lunch around 2?"

"Sure," I said getting flutters in my stomach "That would be great."

  When I got back to basecamp I relaxed for a little bit then showered, did my hair in a nice up-do, put my make-up on and then picked out the nicest outfit I had brought with me. I couldn't figure out why I was getting nervous, I mean Mr Gerini was my boss. But today he looked so different and he defiantly didn't give off that snotty up tight vibe he had when I first met him.

  I walked across the street to the market and waited for Mr Gerini at the restaurant. Just a few minutes later I saw him walking towards me.

"Sorry for being late, my adventure took a little longer than I thought it would."

"It's alright, I only got here a few minutes ago myself," I said with a smile.

  As we walked towards the restaurant door Mr Gerini held the door open for me, such a gentleman. We ordered our food and then took it to a table outside. I ordered an Olive Platter and Egg Rolls and Mr Gerini ordered a Shrimp Cocktail and Stir Fry. The food was delicious, the setting was amazing, and I couldn't have asked for better company.

"So Mr Gerini, how has your vacation been so far?"

"Please Miss Abruzzi, call me Luca."

"Okay Luca, please call me Haley," I said with a little laugh.

"Vacation has been going really good, I love coming here. How has it been for you Haley?"

"It has been fantastic. The adventures have been a lot of fun and this food is wonderful, not to mention the beautiful scenery."

  We talked for a long time before we said goodbye and headed back to basecamp and I slept up until I had to leave for the airport.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chapter 6 - Turn Arounds

 I spent half of the next day getting all of the notes together for class, flipping through the books, looking at the map, and then back to writing more notes. As I was looking at my map again I did a double take. A name jumped out a me, the name of a city, Venice. I got a sudden feeling of deja vu like I had been to this city at some point in my life. Wanting to look into this later I wrote the name of the city down and circled it on my map. What could it be about this place that made me get little flutters in my stomach?

 Suddenly feeling restless I put everything away and went for a hike to clear my head. During the hike I came across a few odd uncommon seeds. I gathered all of them up, deciding to plant them in my new garden over the weekend, and then I went home to make steak and potatoes for dinner.

 When I took dinner out of the oven it looked and smelled so good that I ate quicker than normal. After doing the dishes i decided to head to bed, tomorrow was going to be a long day.

 As i opened my eyes I realized that I was not in my bed anymore but outside standing on the patio of, what i could tell, was a very beautiful home.

"1845," I said to myself as I read the numbers next to the front door of the house, "Whose house is this?  Where am I?"

Suddenly I was standing in front of a first story window. Looking through the window I noticed a man sitting on a couch facing away from the window and a beautiful Doberman Pincher sitting closely behind the man, almost like the dog was guarding the family. In front of them was a woman dressed in a pristine white suit knelt down, arms outstretched, waiting for a beautiful little girl to walk towards her.

"Why am I here?" I thought to myself, "Why does this house and this family seem so familiar?"

  I suddenyl opened my eyes and noticed that i was in my bed, in my room, in my own house.

"What just happened?" I thought to myself.

It was a dream but it felt so real, almost as if it was a memory. But it couldn't be that, I don't remember ever seeing those people before (even though i could not see their faces in the dream.)

 I glanced over at the clock next to my bed and realized that I had just over an hour before I needed to be at the school. I showered, changed, and had a quick bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. Then I grabbed my things, got in my car, and left for my first day of work.

After putting my map up, books on each of the desks, and organized all of my supplies on my desk, I wrote my name and notes on the chalkboard.

 At exactly 8 a.m. the bell rang and I nervously watched my students walk in. The students came in, looked at, and  whispered to each other before quickly sitting down.

"Good morning students. I am Miss Abruzzi, your new Geography teacher. It is my understanding that your grades have been less than ideal in this class. Well, that is all about to change. I can guarantee that by winter break your grades will be much better. We will be working hard in this class but I think you will find that we will still have fun."

 We worked our way through the teaching plan I had for the day, making sure they wrote everything down. Just a few minutes before class ended I handed out homework.


4 months later it was the last day of class before Winter Break and class was going fantastic. The students grades had already gone from F's to C's and all of my students kept telling me that they loved having me as a teacher so far.

 Throughout these past few months I had been doing research on Venice but I really didn't know where to start and I didn't know what to look for.

I decided to let my students have a free day today, which they were excited about. During that time Mr Gerini stopped by our class.

"Hello Mr Gerini."

"Hello Miss Abruzzi, how are you?"

"I am doing fine, just letting the kids have a free day today."

"Yes, I see that. I just wanted to come by and let you know we are all proud of the way you are getting these kids to turn their grades around."

"Thank you, we have been working hard but still having a good time."

"Well you are doing fantastic. I hope you have a good break and I will see you in January."

Once class let out I picked up my check and hurried to the bank to cash it. I had been planning a trip to Shang Simla, China for a couple months now and today was the day i leave. After picking up my luggage I headed to the airport. While on the plane I thought about the great adventures I would get to do, learning Karate, all of the yummy food I would get to try, and all of the beautiful pictures I would get to take.