Sunday, July 27, 2008

rome

got up exceedingly too early on thursday morning to catch our train to rome, ate a lovely breakfast of train station food (which i've learned to get used to). got into rome around 1030am, and off we went. we dropped our bags in the train station at the storage place as we have been doing for the past few weeks- it really is less fun if you have to carry those bags every where you go... our first day was pretty much a whirl-wind tour of rome, hitting a few highlights on the way. we did fountains- bernini's triton, and trevi, and the older bernini's boat. about 8 miles later, it was time for dinner- which was VERY yummy. hard rock cafe- roma. i had a cheeseburger. it made my day. free ketchup. crunchy french fries. free refills on water. and best of all... air conditioning and ice. : ) after hard rock we decided to do the spanish steps- backwards. we did the hill from behind to not have to walk up the steps, but only down when we were done. it was sunset by the time we got there, and it was stunning. the next day proved to be worth it's weight in gold. around 8am we were entering the vatican museum... AMAZING. my friend hagen (who just happens to be catholic) and i kind of set our selves apart from the group and wandered around the museum together. we enjoy each other's company. we got to the end of the museum, and were on our way to the sistine chapel- unfortunately we learned that we could not take pictures of it (bummer)... but, none the less, it was astonishing to be in there... although, it was smaller than i had pictured it. when you have your back turned to the last judgement, there are 2 doors past the gate, one going right, the other going left... the left door was wide and lead to a hall way- the one to the right was a little smaller, and lead to a stair well- hagen and i not knowing which way to go, chose the smaller door- taking the narrow path. we ended up having gone through the "restricted" areas of the vatican with an asian tourist group... we blended right in... we ended up breaking off from them and landed out side by a drinking fountain with 2 options of where to go from it... the coupla (the dome) or the tombs of the popes... we of course chose the tombs of the popes. after meandering through the maze of the tombs, and watching people pray to the dead popes- we ended up in a very small and dark stair well- when we got out on the other end of the stairwell we were standing in the middle of st. peter's- looking up at the baldaccino... i nearly wet my pants. it was wonderful. there was some kind of italian diplomat there that day- and i was unable to see the pieta... almost cried. but, the day went on- had some good pizza and good water at the pope's house- and he had a clean and free bathroom, with toilet seats. so- after the vatican we went to the arch of constantine and the colosseum- very awesome. then, there was a little bit of time left in our day, and i went back to st. peter's- and saw the pieta. the next day was the borgese and the capitoline museums- got to see some really awesome stuff- the colosal head of constantine, the dying gaul, the she-wolf and romulus and remus, and mrs. borgese as venus... i know most of this means nothing to you, but that's ok, i like telling you about it. we also went to the pantheon, and did the forum, and i got to walk on the via appia- which was in mine and aaron's high school latin text book- it was neat. original roman road. i also drank water from the roman aquaducts. it was cold, clean, and free. 
today, being sunday, is our day of rest. so, we went to italian church, had lunch, and have come home for naps, laundry, and whatever our little hearts desire. i love sundays. 

we leave for our last group trip this week- we go to assisi. then back here for a few days of recouping and packing before our journeys to other parts of the world begin. to inform you if you don't know- in the next 20 days i'll go to switzerland, germany, prauge, france, and the uk.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

venice...

was in padua, venice, and ravenna from sunday to tuesday. it was good. i'm tired. i'll update more later. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

fun fun fun

got back yesterday from cinque terre- most beautiful thing, ever. it rocked. good trip.

Friday, July 04, 2008

i finally made it.

after 24 hours of being in airplanes, airports, and buses yesterday we got to the avanti- it's great... just no air conditioner- any where in italy for that matter. we were just exactly on time for all of our flights- the one from amsterdam to rome was close, we ran through the airport from the a concourse all the way to the end of the d. we arrived just as the final call was made... lucky us. i was one of 2 of us not to get luggage lost. i feel very fortunate. most girls didn't think to pack extra clothing for an emergency, and i'm really glad i did- even though i didn't need it. today we had an amazing breakfast around nine- cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt(which is way more better than the american stuff), milk, juice, and toast. we had a little devo and powerpoint with dr. keller then went walking all over scandicci. we found the italian version of walmart (superal) and gallo's pizza. we had gilato---YUM! we met some very nice gentlemen at the gilato place, andrea and johnny. they gave us free italian ices after we finished our ice cream. : ) we hiked back to the avanti and are lounging around trying to get over jet lag... we're going to the HUF party at the villa in about an hour to celebrate the 4th of july. it's been great so far, i'm sure it's just going to get better.