Monday, January 31, 2011 not sleep too late.

So the first week in Rome has already gone by. Kind of depressing...but I was really excited to start my classes. That's a lie. But once I went to them I got more excited. It was a lot of fun being able to go out in Rome every night and go to some of the coolest clubs and bars I've ever been to. Wine is amazing. I never really liked it back home, but it's so much better here.'s Rome. However, I felt like I wasted a few days because we would wake up late and have to do stuff at school, so I didn't really get to go around Rome that much. Luckily I found out that one of my friends from Gonzaga is also studying abroad in Rome which is so awesome. He's so sweet and it's really nice having someone I know here from high school and not just UMD. He lives in Trastevere which is SUCH a pretty area. He showed us around on Thursday night and it was a really pretty tour.

I also forgot that one night last week we went to Piazza Navona so here's a picture of that:

However, I still hadn't seen much of the touristy things yet, so on Saturday we got up at 9am, went to a BBQ at school, and headed to the Spanish Steps. It was a group of six of us, don't worry Mom and Dad, I've been staying in big groups! It was me, my awesome roommate Melissa, my friend Jamie from UMD, this girl Blair from Michigan State that I already know is going to be my bff here, her roommate Diane who is from San Diego and I envy her (she's really cool too), and Dom who goes to Michigan State with Blair (haha he had to hang out with all the girls that day. He loved it).

It took us a while to go from one bus to the other to get there, and some weird creepy man was doing some really inappropriate stuff on the bus that I do not feel comfortable sharing on my blog, but we finally made it. At first I was like okay...this is cool, it's really crowded, it smells like horse poop, what's the big deal...and then we got closer and saw the fountain and actually went up the steps and I changed my mind. The Spanish Steps are awesome. The view was so cool, uh! was beautiful! I can't wait to go back in the Spring and see it with all the flowers.

So after we took a bunch of pictures and walked up the Spanish Steps, when went and got some gelato! What I got was the craziest looking thing ever. It looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book.

I definitely did not get a normal gelato. Not exactlty sure what I ordered...but it was a LOT of gelato with colorful cookie sticks sticking out of it and waffle cone triangle pieces just stuck to it. It looked so cool. However, I'm never getting that again because it was humongous and cost 15 euro. Absurd. But it was so good and a few of us could split it. I know Lita thought I was crazy when I told her I split gelato. But the thing fed four of us really well. It was huge. Anyway...moving on, to my favorite part of the day.

Well before I say what my favorite was, I have to add that we stopped off at McDonald's because we all wanted to see what it looked like. One of my friends here said he hated it because it put American McDonald's to shame. So true. There was a McCafe that was so nice, and then there was the McDonald's part behind it that was really cool. They had pillars in there, and nice tables with weird lights. It was crazy. So much nicer than any other McDonald's I have ever seen. So I ate some great french fries that taste just like they do in America, and my friend Blair ate two cheeseburgers faster than I've ever seen anyone eat. She's awesome. I can tell we're going to be great friends. She's such a riot. So we got McDonald's, went to some other shops, and THEN we went to my favorite spot.

The Trevi Fountain. It is by far the prettiest fountain ever. It has to be. I could have looked at that thing all day. The water was so clear, the architecture was amazing. I was just in awe. We all were. So we took a lot of pictures of that. And of course, we all made our wishes! I can't tell you mine though or else it won't come don't ask! But yes, it's about a boy, of course.

So that was Saturday. Then Saturday night we all went out to dinner and like 9pm (21:00) and I had some amazing lasagna. Everyone's food was so good. One guy got pizza that was amazing. Another guy got just plain chicken (haha it was funny because he was expecting to have a chicken marsala dish and ended up getting just chicken with a few tomatoes and some lettuce type stuff). But it was the best chicken ever. A couple girls got spaghetti, another guy got some other pasta that was delicious, but the meal of the evening went to Diane who had some great pasta. I can't even remember what it was called but I'll find out from her and write it on here. It was delicious. So that was our first real sit down Italian meal. I'm really excited to try more places.

I think right now I'm going to explore a little bit more around here with a few friends, and if not I'm going to go grocery shopping. I really need food in my apartment. Mom, those peanut M&Ms are keeping me alive at times when I'm too lazy to go find food. But I'm going to the market today for sure so don't worry.

Anyway, time to go! Ciao!

p.s.- Love you Mom and Dad :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 as much as you can in one day.

So I've now been in Rome for almost 36hrs. It's awesome. We got to the airport early in the morning and it took a while to get out luggage. Then we went to meet up with the rest of the students from Maryland (22 of us) and the greeters from AUR. Some of us got split up and taken on vans that took us to our apartments, the rest went on a bus. Getting into the van reminded me a lot of me packing my suitcase. One bag stuffed with as much as humanly possible. This van was packed way more than I'd ever like a car to be packed while driving. There were a total of 8 of us in the van: the driver, a teacher from AUR, and 6 students with luggage. Most of us had two huge 50lb suitcases, we all had big carry-on bags, and personal bags. So we opened the trunk and that fit about...hmm not even two girls' stuff? We all just looked at each other like where is the next van? There is no way this little Italian man thinks we can fit all of this stuff in one van. But oh no...there was no second van. Just one. With one little Italian man stuffing our bags into the van anyway he possibly could. So we got into the car and had luggage under our legs, on top of our seats, jammed into our ribs, and yet, we were laughing the entire time, amazed that we were able to fit everything. Here's what is looked like...

It was pretty ridiculous...but oh well! When in Rome, right? Si.

Then we got to our apartment. The kitchen looked brand new which was amazing considering all the stories my sister had told me about her experience in Rome. The apartment over all is very nice. The rooms are big, there are two bathrooms: one big one and one small one. The TV in the family room next to the kitchen is the tiniest TV ever but its a nice flat screen one. Probably a little smaller than the one in my room at maybe like 18inches? Everything here is very VERY minimal. We got huge closets (not that huge but pretty big, bigger than I had sophomore year at Maryland) and inside the closet we each got 5 hangers. Really...? Five hangers...? That was a joke. So we need to buy some more of those because we only have one dresser with four drawers and a tiny bed side table with two drawers. So we each get three drawers haha. Definitely not enough room. Right now all my clothes are just folded and piled on top of each other in the closet and some in drawers.

There is no mircowave, no dishwasher (just like last semester so luckily I'm used to it), no dryer (can't wait to do laundry), and the water doesn't really drain well in the bath tub. The internet and computer and phone for our apartment haven't really been set up yet so I'm using the WiFi from this other girl's apartment. She goes to school at AUR and is a senior so she was also one of our tour guides, and luckily lives right above us!

Right so she was our tour guide. We took a tour yesterday of some parts of Rome. It started at 6 so it was already after sunset and it was awesome to see the city lit up! We walked up past the school to this beautiful fountain.

Then we continued along the city through cobblestone narrow streets. We saw a bunch of stuff including more beautiful fountains, a bunch of cats, and...drum roll please...the coliseum. Nbd.

After that, we headed home and we all were so tired. It was an awesome day one. Day two was a little uneventful, got lost a bunch, and rested a lot. But I can't wait for what tonight brings me. :)

I'll be posting again soon.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011 as the Romans do!

Six days left until I leave for ROMA! About a million things left to do...including packing...I should probably get on that. I'm sure we have suitcases somewhere...

I still need to figure out my cell phone situation (fingers crossed Mom gets me a blackberry), go to Costco (stocking up on Reese's), go to the mall, go to Harris Teeter (yeah Harry Teets!), call the credit card company, and I'm working all this week and have plans for the entire weekend. Doesn't really leave that much time for other stuff. Hmm...Might not be able to go to both UMD basketball games this week. Oh mio Dio! I just remembered I need to go get a shot at the doctor's office. Perfect. I guess that's one way to start the morning...

I mentioned going to the mall, that's because I need a new wardrobe. Or at least a little bit of a change. Goal numero uno while in Rome: pass as an Italian. As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do! So far I've gotten a new pair of boots that will hopefully help me pass. I'm leaving the UGGs and sneakers behind. Arrivederci Nikes! Some of you might know about my hat collection. Leaving that behind, too (except for my red Maryland cap, gotta keep that one with me). That whole wardrobe dilemma is a whole other problem that I'm sure I will be able to better figure out when I get to Italy. However, I'm sure Joy can appreciate me stressing about what to wear over there. She changes outfits ten times a day and ask my opinion on all of them. God love her...(I'll miss you little one!) <--no pun intended

So it looks like these next six days are going to be filled with a lot of stuff. I feel like I've been waiting for months and months and months to go to Rome. Oh wait, that's because I have been, ha ha silly me. This last week is taking forever to get through. So worth it though. Next week--ITALIA! ROMA! VINO! PASTA! VINO! PANE! VINO! I'm almost positive my diet next semester will consist only of bread, wine, and pasta. And I am completely fine with that! My dad is terrified I'm going to fall in love with some hot, sexy, romantic Italian man and then never come home. What's more likely to occur? I fall in love with the food and can't leave Italy for fear of dying of starvation when I come back and face the terrible food American's are forced to eat. Che sarĂ  sarĂ . Don't worry, Daddy, I SWEAR I will come home by June.

Alright, grazie to those who have read this. I promise there will be more interesting and exciting posts in the future.

Oh and one more thing...Debbie I'll let you know as soon as your request has been filled. :)