Roma: Day 1

6 Jun

Ciao! I clearly have not had time to update my blog as often as I would like. But ah, what can I say..I love Roma. I however do not like the time difference. Sunday night (our first night here), I had set my alarm for the following morning for my first day of class. On mistake, I had set the time on my clock an hour earlier than the actual time was (go figure). This presented a lovely problem Monday morning. My art class had a plan to meet at 7:30 a.m. to embark on our exploration of Rome, and I was sound asleep in my little pleasantly uncomfortable twin bed thinking it was 6:30 a.m. Let’s just say after the knock on the door, I had a set a new personal record for getting dressed and looking presentable in under 5 minutes.

We rode the metro for the first time to become acclimated with different forms of transportation as well as learn which stops would take us to certain locations. For our first art class we traveled by bus and by foot around the city. Unfortunately, the buses had gone on strike so finding one was a bit of a challenge. We traveled to Piazza Navona where we all gathered at a local cafe for espresso, spremuta (freshly squeezed orange juice) and pastries. The cafe was across from the most gorgeous church. I took so many pictures, but even pictures could not portray how the sight of it all was in person. It was enough to make even the most cynical person cry. The ceiling was so ornate and painted in the most beautiful dark, rich colors of green, red and gold. The natural light that came in through the windows made the entire interior glow. I have never been an art buff, but just imagining the detail and the true talent that went into beautifying the church, I had gained a new-found appreciation for all art.

After spending time in the church, we traveled to the Villa Farnesina. The Villa  was built along the Tiber river, at the foot of the Gianicolo, by Baldessare Peruzzi (1508-11), to serve as the Roman residence for the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi.  The entrance leads to the loggia, with its rich marbles, attributed to Rafael, Giulio Romano, as well as the collaborators of ‘La Favola di Psiche’ (the tale of Psyche). It was amazing to see how well preserved the frescas (painting on plaster) were preserved. Everything looked like it was just painted yesterday. You could see the brush strokes, the rich colors and the different sections that each piece was painted in.

Lastly, we traveled to my favorite spot so far–Campo dei Fiori. The area was younger and so lively. At night, apparently it’s a prime hangout spot for American college students because of the atmosphere and the bar scene. I had the best panini with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. Delicioso!

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Rome, Sweet Rome

30 May

 

Enjoying a glass of vina rossa (red wine) at the Cubby Hole

As expected, I did not sleep nearly as well as I anticipated last night, mainly because my excitement and anxiety for my upcoming travel day took over.

I woke up at 4:45 am, gathered some last minute things together and headed to the airport with the fam (Ruby included). Upon arriving, my mom walked with me to check in my bag. My bag weighed in at an increasingly close but astonishingly under 50lbs, at 49.5 pounds (it’s a good thing I took the candy out). After an emotional goodbye from my mother (mind you, she did not even cry when I moved into college), I embarked on my long day of traveling.

Little did I know how long of a travel day it was going to be. My flight departed Cincinnati and landed in Philly where I was supposed to connect to Boston. After meeting up with Dr. Colella, Dr. Brownlee and Natalie, we waited at the terminal ready and anxious to board our next flight. Much to our surprise, the flight attendant announced our connecting flight was canceled. Did they give us a reason? Nope. It was almost like throwing a child into a swimming pool and telling him or her, “You’re on your own, now SWIM!” So here we were, stranded in the Philadelphia airport, flightless, bagless and annoyed. After talking with a customer service representative who mastered the skill of rolling her eyes for 45 minutes, we had reached a solution—well sortof. In order for all of us to make our connecting flight to Rome, we needed to split up. Dr. Colella and Dr. Brownlee were placed on the next flight out of Boston at 1:30 p.m., Natalie and Bridget went to DC and then flew to Boston and I was stuck on a flight by myself to LaGuardia where I would then connect to Boston. The best part about this flight was getting to see New York City from the sky. I’ve never been to New York and I was excited to see the view looked exactly like a postcard.

When we all finally reconnected at the Boston airport, it was time to board our final flight (my number 5 of the day). The flight was extremely smooth, large and filled with extremely good-looking Italian flight attendants, both men and women. Becca, Bridget and I all ordered vina rossa (red wine), which we were extremely excited about not getting carded for (love international laws). I didn’t sleep at all on the plane and it amazes me how I am functioning after being awake for more than 24 hours.

And then, after 8 hours, we made it. We were finally in Italy after 5 flights, luggage mishaps, flight cancelations and a missing bus at the airport. Life was good. We took a bus to our final destination, where we would be living for the next 5 weeks. Loyola’s campus is absolutely beautiful and completely exceeded my expectations. There were marble busts atop columns lining the walkway and the smell of roses greeted me as I walked to the entrance. I was really excited to be staying here. The only problem…I wasn’t. Me and 5 other girls along with the professors were put in an off-campus site because of limited space on Loyola’s campus. The off-site location is a good fifteen minutes from campus and walking back alone at night isn’t exactly something I am looking forward to. The place we are staying at is beautiful, but painstakingly quiet. So quiet, you could hear a pin drop. The rooms are tiny and barren except for a metallic painting of Jesus on the wall. The nice thing is however, each room is equipped with a bathroom and shower. Because this trip is mainly girls, getting ready to go out at night with two community showers would have been a problem. So having my own shower is something I can’t complain about. The bad thing, we are completely isolated from everyone else. As much as I would have liked to be around the rest of the group, I am going to make the best of it. I mean, I am in Rome after all.

Tonight we are going to visit the Vatican before sitting down to a nice, authentic Italian meal. After that, I am definitely planning on crashing. Until next time.

At first I did not know it was your diary… I thought it was a very sad, handwritten book.

20 May

Bridal Party Meets Bridal Boutique...And Food Poisoning

So for the record, I saw Bridesmaids tonight which was probably the most hilarious movie I have seen in a long time. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I was crying, and in a good way. Kristen Wiig is my new idol. After I saw the “Judy Grimes” and “Sisters” SNL skits, I knew she was funny, but that movie just took the cake and catapulted her into a whole new realm of funny.

In honor of Judy Grimes and her extremely helpful travel tips which she never once provided, I decided this blog will be used to document my entire trip to Rome–mainly because I know I’m going to get tired of sending millions of emails to friends and family about my day-to-day experiences. So this will be it, sort of like an online diary. But not as personal. Obviously.

And so the countdown begins. I still have 9 more days and I am getting even more excited. I have a shopping trip planned with my mom tomorrow to get all of the necessary stuff. Knowing me, the shopping will probably last longer than the trip itself, so I probably should make a list first. Probably…maybe…not.

Quote of the Day:

Officer Rhodes: “Running a wedding should be fun. You know if I ever had a wedding I would want everyone to be stress free. You know I would like it to be a carnival. Like people win prizes guessing the bride’s weight.”
Annie: “You know you could have elephants and bride and groom can walk on a little tight rope.”
Officer Rhodes: “Well what you are talking about there is a circus wedding. That is totally different, you missed it.”

Bridesmaids

First is the worst…

9 May

First blog entry…here I go. Today is Monday. It is approximately 12:37 p.m. The sun is shining on me through the window over my desk.  The piles of completed work lay in front of me, neatly stacked and labeled. The tab key on this lap top is broken, so I am trying to avoid using it. Now…what to talk about…

Thinking of a topic for a blog is almost as difficult as putting together an outfit. When I pick out an outfit for the day, my closet can sometimes turn into a disaster area, complete with hazard cones and flashing emergency lights. I put on one thing, decide I don’t like it and throw it on the floor, the table, my desk, etc. With story ideas, I think of one idea and then find myself realizing it’s stupid or “isn’t me.” So this first blog entry will be all about my reasoning for starting a blog. Hopefully inspiration for new topic ideas will strike. Hopefully…

Until then, I’ll just ramble.

As a public relations major, I decided having a blog would be just another accessory to complement my writing abilities. Kind of like a fun piece of costume jewelry. You don’t necessarily need it, but it helps add some fun and quirkiness to the whole ensemble.

I don’t care if over 1,000 people read my blog, or if no one does. I am simply compiling my daily thoughts into an online journal for the sole purpose that has yet to be determined. Maybe I’ll help answer questions like: Is Chipotle better than Qdoba? (The answer is yes, by the way), or is it going to rain tomorrow (with the rate things are going, chances are that’s a yes)?

What’s fun about starting my own blog is there is no one there telling me what to write or how to write, or to even sit up straight while I’m writing. It’s all up to me. I’m my own boss. So if you are one of the lucky few (or the only one) to ever read this, I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

Quote of the day:

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

-Sex and the City