Day 31

Today was my last full day in Rome. That feels incredibly strange to say. Or type. Whichever you prefer. As of tomorrow at this time, I’ll be in Ireland and then another five days later, I’ll be home. It’s totally crazy to think about. While I can’t wait to be home, I’m really going to miss this place. I’ve realized this more and more  as my hours here have become fewer. Today for class we went to the Quirinal’s palace, which is where the “president” (I don’t know his official term…) of Rome resides. It was really cool, but the tour went longer than it was supposed to, so we didn’t really get to have a final day of class. After class was done, my family came to my apartment and helped me pack up my things. When we finished, we brought my suitcase to their hotel to make it easier to leave tomorrow evening and then treated ourselves to some gelato from my favorite place–La Romana. From there we went for a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Our tour guide was a friend of Becca’s who was very sweet and made the tours enjoyable. When we finished with those, we headed to Campo de Fiori for dinner because I had a place I really wanted to bring my family because it’s delicious, but when we got there, it was closed. I could not have been more disappointed because I wanted to eat there for my last night. Instead we went to La Carbonara, which is a well known restaurant on the other end of Camp de Fiori. I had my favorite dish, Cacia e Pepe and everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals as well. We came back in the direction of my apartment, but first stopped at Hard Rock Rome to look around and I bought a shirt. When we got back to my apartment, I sent my paper to my teacher so I wouldn’t have to think about it, tidied up a bit and then we left one more time for the night. I really wanted to bring my family to the Vatican at night and tonight was the only chance I had. Though it was getting late, it didn’t matter. We got to the Vatican and got to see it all lit up and how gorgeous it looked. We went to one more well known gelato place around the corner from it called Old Bridge and then called it a night. I came back to my apartment, showered and reviewed a bit for my final that I have in the morning. I can’t believe my study abroad experience is really over once I take my final. It’s been a crazy, but awesome experience for me and I wouldn’t trade it.Thanks for following along with my blog and reading about my happenings in Rome!  I’ll possibly still post a bit while we travel in Ireland, but until then–for the last time from Italy–arrivederci! 🙂


Day 30

Hey everyone! Today marks day 30 of being abroad! So that’s a solid month that I’ve been away from the states! Pretty crazy that it’s already gone by so fast, but I think being home in just a week is going to be a lovely thing. There are most definitely aspects of this place I’m going to miss, but just the same, there are a few things I won’t quite miss. Like the buses here. Or the lack of air conditioning. Especially because my fan is broken. But, I only have two more days in Rome and this point and it’s really kind of sad. It just really hit me that I’ll be leaving and won’t be returning any time soon. Hopefully eventually, but no time soon. Today I had class in the morning and we went to Capitoline Hill and visited the museum there. When I finished class, I caught a bus back to my apartment and then met up with my family. Today I got to play tour guide in my city. 🙂 I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping they did too. I might have worn them out a little bit though. I showed them the Pantheon, Via del Corso (including the Disney Store), the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori. I basically ran them into the ground now that I look back on it. Oops, sorry family! I just wanted to make sure they saw all they could since we only have the next two days and we’ll be at the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Vatican those days. I really think between today and the next two days, we’ll have covered the majority of the things you want to see in the city. For dinner I brought them to one of my favorite places down the street from me and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meals. By the time we were done with dinner and headed back in the direction of my apartment and their hotel it was already getting late, so we went our separate ways. I came back, finished my paper and I’m sure they went back to the hotel and crashed. But all in all, it was a good day if I do say so myself. I kind of shocked myself with how well I actually know how to get around this city. It was a very surprising, but satisfying thing for me. Too bad I have to leave soon. I’m starting to pack and it’s become pretty depressing, but home and Ireland sound like a nice little thought to me. 2 more days…I’ll keep you all posted. Until then–arrivederci!

Day 29

Hello everyone! This morning I woke up to check my family’s flight and then had to go to class and sit through it as if I wasn’t completely antsy. I made it through, but then when I got back to my apartment I sat and checked again and saw that they still had a bit of time until they landed, but that didn’t keep me from checking the computer screen every few minutes while I was making my lunch. When I finished my lunch I had a little time to take a nap since my family hadn’t even landed yet and they’d still have to get their luggage, get a taxi and get to their hotel, so I did that. When I woke up I had a text saying they had landed! I waited until I heard from them again to meet up with them at their hotel, but it wasn’t too much longer. After all, after a month, it felt like no time at all. I headed toward their hotel and found it, but had to wait at a crosswalk for what felt like a lifetime, but amidst my waiting my mom walked out of the hotel and was waiting on the other side of the street. I made sure no cars were coming and ran to hug her. We walked inside and then met up with my dad and Becca and it was wonderful. We sat in their hotel room and talked a little, but then they started to get a little hungry so I brought them to a little pizza place across the street from my apartment and brought it back to my apartment so they could see it. From there I gave them the little tour of the place and we decided we would just do something close by tonight because jetlag was getting to everyone. We walked to a little park down the street from my apartment and walked around a little bit, but then we headed back to their hotel. My dad and sister crashed pretty fast when we got back, but my mom and I went out on the little balcony they have and chatted for a while. When she started to get tired, she and my dad walked me back to the tram I catch to get back to my apartment (which literally couldn’t be easier) and I said goodbye to them for the night. When I got back to my apartment I just hung out, but I was in the best mood, so I don’t even care I didn’t really do anything. I’m just so happy my family is here and I can’t wait to show them Rome. I’ll report back to y’all tomorrow about what we discover. Until then–arrivederci!

Day 28

Hi everyone! I’m back in Rome now, but I’ll tell you all about my last day in Germany! This morning we woke up and had breakfast together and then went to an in-line hockey game because Fiona’s boyfriend was on one of the teams. We met up with him for a little bit after the game and then we got picked up so I could get ready for the airport. It didn’t take me much to get ready since I only brought a backpack with me. Once I was ready we sat and hung out for a little bit, but then after about half an hour we had to leave. We picked up one of my other friends, Simon, on the way because he wanted to see me off as well. We got to the airport a bit too soon for my liking, but Fiona and Simon came inside with me and helped me check into my flight and send me in the right direction. I didn’t seem very sad when I said goodbye, but once I got into the security area and I turned around and they weren’t there anymore, I got significantly more sad because I don’t know the next time I’ll see them. I’m so glad I got to visit them at all though. I got through security pretty fast so I had about an hour and a half to just sit around before we boarded the flight. Once I was on the plane I closed my eyes for a little bit, but then woke up and continued on the reading I started on the way to Germany. (Which was To Kill A Mockingbird because it’s a fantastic book and I want to reread it) I got back and took a taxi back to my apartment and then talked to my family a little bit before they left for the airport BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW. 🙂 Other than that I’ve just been kind of hanging out until my roommates got back from their weekend and then once they did, we shared stories about our different adventures. But now, it’s off to bed for me because I have class in the morning. But I don’t mind because after class I’ll get to see my family for the first time in a month and I’ll get to show them my city. 🙂 But until then–arrivederci!

Day 27

Guten tag! Today was my only full day in Germany and I think we definitely used our time wisely. We woke up kind of late in the morning, took our time showering and getting ready and eating breakfast. We hung around the house for a little while and then come afternoon we left to take a train to Dusseldorf. We met up with a few others and we just kind of wandered around the city a bit. We stopped at a restaurant for a little bit for drinks and then we got döners. If you aren’t aware of what a döner is, google image search it and you’ll be informed! They’re huge and they’re delicious and that’s all that matters. After our döners, we went shopping to a store called Primark for me because it’s very chilly here and I didn’t really have the proper clothes. I borrowed a jacket, but I brought dresses, so I was bound to be freezing. (I wasn’t expecting the temperature in Germany to be so different from Italy, but I should have thought about it a little more.) Once I bought a few things it was already getting late, so we headed back to the train and went back to Krefeld. When we got back to Krefeld, we had dinner at Fiona’s and then got ready for the evening. Our evening plan was to go back to Dusseldorf with some friends and sit along the Rhine river. And we did just that, but it was very chilly and it started to drizzle a little bit. We sat a while longer because we were having a nice time, but everyone was getting cold and it was getting late anyway. We took the train back to Krefeld, but by that time, we were hungry again, so what did we get to eat you ask? Döners, of course! What else? After our second round of döners, we caught our bus to go home. It doesn’t sound like a very eventful day, but I’m exhausted. It was a very enjoyable day though, so I’d say it was worth it. The next time I blog, I’ll be back in my apartment in Italy, so until then–Auf Wiedersehen!

Day 26: GERMANY :)

Hi all! Today has been very long, but very good. I woke up far earlier than I was hoping to, so I had a lot of time to kill before I got ready to leave for the airport. I just kind of hung out and listened to music in my apartment and made sure I had everything I needed before traveling this weekend. I left my apartment with plenty of extra time to go wait for my taxi that I had set up through my student advisor at school. I waited and waited and waited and no one showed up for me, so I started to get nervous and had someone else call me a taxi. That taxi got there, but I had lost a ton of time I thought I was going to need at the airport. While I was in the taxi I got a bunch of phone calls from a number I didn’t know, but wasn’t going to answer because they would have cost a ton of money…turns out (I found this out through an email way later) that they were my student advisor  telling me my taxi was waiting for me, so it must have shown up JUST after I left in the other taxi. I feel bad for having had it set up and leaving, but I waited for at least 20 minutes after it said it was going to be there and I didn’t want to sell myself short any time in a foreign airport. It turns out it would have been absolutely fine if I had, because I ended up sitting around the airport for about 2 hours with no wifi because security was a breeze and I had already done online check in and printed my boarding pass. So I sat around the airport for a while and then when we finally got on the plane, even a little while longer then because for whatever reason, we ended up leaving about an hour later than we were supposed to. Having had no wifi, I couldn’t relay that message to my host in Germany, so I’m hoping they didn’t wait for me too long to arrive. When I did finally make it to Germany, it was so nice to see a familiar face! I met up with Fiona (my host, who I hosted my senior year as an exchange student) and her dad and we drove to Krefeld from Dusseldorf. We met up with one of her friends, ate a little something and then went to a play at her school where I got to see a few other of my friends from exchanges over the years. Speaking of exchanges, the Americans from my high school that came as exchange students this summer, were at the school having a farewell dinner together, so I stopped in and saw my German teacher from high school (who was their chaperone) and the two teachers that always come to America for the exchange. Everyone was shocked to see me, but it was so nice to say hi! After the play we went to McDonald’s because we were hungry and then headed to a bar. I met more of Fiona’s friends and a few of the people I know from past exchanges came with us. I had a lot of fun with everyone. After a few hours we left because it was getting late and now I’m back at Fiona’s in my room here. I’m excited for tomorrow as well, but will share what happens then tomorrow evening. Until then–arrivederci! Or should I say–Auf Wiedersehen! 😉

Day 25

Ciao! It’s pretty late right now and I’m a little bothered with myself that I waited this long to write this, so I’ll either be brief or type really fast. But you wouldn’t really know if I’m typing fast or not…that’s really just information I have…that’s okay…whatever. This morning in class we had presentations on the subject of our paper, which to be completely honest, I basically winged it because we had little to no guidelines at all, so I just hoped for the best. All went well though and I got a 94%. After we finished presentations, we went to see Palazzo Barberini, which while we didn’t get to see much, it was very pretty! The Barberini family uses bees to represent themselves and so all over their property there are little bees carved into the pillars and it’s kind of adorable. As one of the guys in my class said to me “it’s almost a little Disney-esque”. (He knows how much I like Disney so he knew that would appeal to me.) We left Palazzo Barberini and I headed back to my apartment. I made lunch and worked a bit more on my paper, which is nearly done and now we have one more day to work on it, which is always nice. After just hanging around a little while after that, I went to the school to print my boarding pass for tomorrow and then came back and worked on my paper a little more. My roommates and I decided to go out to dinner tonight and it was a wonderful decision. We went to a little place about 20 minutes down the street from us that had a cute little rooftop terrace and DELICIOUS food. I had Pinot Grigio, bruschetta and a homemade pasta and it was one of the best meals I’ve had here without a doubt. When we came back to our apartment, I packed, talked to my mom for a little and showered. Now tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and head to the airport a few hours later because I’m going to Germany! 🙂 But, before that happens, I need some sleep, so I’m gonna call it quits here and report back more tomorrow! Until then–arrivederci!

Day 24

Hi everyone! Today has been an interesting day to say the least. Not bad, but really not so great either. The morning started out early, as we had to get to the Vatican museum for class which is on the other side of the city. While getting ready this morning our power went out, so that was fun for a little while. We still ended up arriving a little late to class, which we got in a little bit of trouble for, though it couldn’t have been controlled unfortunately. We toured part of the museum and saw the Sistine chapel and it was very cool. While the Sistine chapel was very impressive, I expected it to be different. It seemed a bit smaller than I would have guessed, but there were also a ton of people in there, so they could have very possibly made it just feel smaller than it actually was. When we were done there a few of us wanted to get lunch because we were starving. We decided McDonald’s was a good option because it was a little fix of home. (Which, how unfortunate it is that the only fix of home here is McDonald’s…) We left there and headed back to our apartments. When I got back I was hoping that the power would be back, but was sorely mistaken. I went to my school to drop off a form for my travels this weekend and mentioned the power being out to my student advisor who said she would make a call about it. I came back to still no power, meaning no lights, wifi, working stove/fridge, so there wasn’t much for me to do around here. I decided a nap sounded like a good idea since I was exhausted from an early morning and it was either that or sit around until someone comes to take care of the power. When I woke up, I headed back to the school with a few of the girls downstairs because we had one of our last “extracurricular” activities: gelato tasting! I was very excited about this one to say the least. We met at the school and then left for “the best gelato in Rome”, La Romana. I would have to agree, it truly is the best and I’ve had my share of gelato. For our tasting we each got to try five small scoops in a cone and it was FANTASTIC. I couldn’t tell you what flavors I had, but they were all delicious. And the best part about La Romana is before they load up your cone you get to pick if you want white chocolate or milk chocolate in the bottom of your cone for the last bite. It’s SO GOOD. If you’re ever in Rome, you HAVE to make La Romana a destination on your checklist. After that we came back to the apartment…and had power….yay! For whatever reason though, my computer struggled with connecting to wifi and keeping it the entire evening, so I couldn’t really do anything with my paper and kinda just had to bum around. I did a load of laundry, made dinner and showered though, so I wasn’t a total lump all evening. So like I said, it wasn’t the worst day, but it definitely wasn’t the best, BUT that gelato certainly moved it up from the ranking I would have given the day without it. Now it’s time for bed for me, but I’ll post again tomorrow–until then–arrivederci!

(I go to Germany on Friday and my family will be here in 4 days! 🙂 SO excited!)

Day…I literally have no clue anymore

Hi all! I’m probably going to make this pretty quit considering what time it is here, but I couldn’t miss a day! Not this far into my adventure! This morning started out as an early one because I had an on site class I had to get to, but it started out surprisingly pleasant because a friend from home was still awake and so we chatted a bit while I got ready to leave for class. Once I left I had to wait for the bus with some of my classmates. As I’ve mentioned in a prior post, the Italian transportation system is great and all, but they really like to take their time. We ended up waiting probably close to half an hour for a bus and then still had about a half hour to spend on the bus. We were going to be late, it was inevitable. So we spent our time on the bus and got to Castel Sant’Angelo only a few minutes late surprisingly enough. Castel Sant’Angelo was awesome and had a fantastic view that looked over the entire city of Rome. And today was a BEAUTIFUL blue sky as a backdrop, so it made it even more pleasing to look at. Once we left class, I wandered through the nearby neighborhood with my two fellow Roamin Redbirds, who happen to be in my class, and looked for a bus stop that could take us back to our neighborhood. While wandering, we were a little hungry so we stopped at a pizza place called VIP (Very Italian Pizza), which sounds like it’s a super touristy place, but it really isn’t and it was very good! We got our pizza, caught a bus and headed back towards our side of town. From there we went our separate ways. I came back to my apartment to work on my paper because it’s taking me forever and a half to get through. I’ve been hanging around my apartment since, but I’ve been either just hanging around or napping or something of the sort. I got an adorable and wonderful snapchat of my puppy from Mary Kate earlier and it totally made my day. I talked to my parents and one of my friends tonight for a little bit as well. All in all it’s been a good day, but I should really go to bed now. That’s all for now–until tomorrow–arrivederci!

Day 22

Hey all! Today I had my midterm in my class because my time here is officially halfway through! It’s crazy to think about! The midterm didn’t seem too bad, but it’s over with now, so we’ll see how I did. I got out of class early after we finished our midterm, so I headed back toward my apartment and stopped at the grocery store to get a few things I was running low on and then came back home. I relaxed for a little while and then made lunch and worked a little more on my paper, though it’s moving along pretty slowly. Then I headed back to school for one of our “extracurriculars” that was offered to us. Today was Italian folk dancing. We did the Tarantella and a few other dances, but needless to say, none of us were very good. That being said, we still enjoyed ourselves. On the way back we decided to break up our walk with a little bit of gelato and I think we can all agree it was a lovely decision. When we got back, my roommates and I all basically did our own homework and made our own dinners and have just been relaxing the rest of the evening. So today was a pretty laid back day, but a good one regardless. T-4 days until I’m in Krefeld to see my German friends and T-6 days until my family leaves the states to get here! This week should be a good one…once I get through my paper…! I’ll post again tomorrow–until then–arrivederci!