Sunday, September 9, 2012

week two in roma

week two in rome is coming to a close! this week was much better than the first week and not nearly as busy! it was nice to kind of have a break and have half days to ourself so we got to explore what we wanted to!

monday: today we went to two churches. we went to st. peter in chains and san luigi dei francesi. they were cool, but the ones we went to last week were much cooler. it's just hard to compare anything to st. peter's basilica because that one is on a whole other level. we went to a yummy local restaurant for lunch then went and got cannolis at a place our waiter recommended! i've never been a huge cannoli person, but these were delicious!! mckenna and i got a few pairs of genie pants.. seriously they are the most comfortable things ever!! yes i wear them every day, judge me. tonight was our last night eating dinner at the hotel.. FINALLY! our waiter (we call him haymitch because he looks like the character in hunger games) is sad we won't be there anymore and still says hi every time he sees us in the hotel! after dinner, we just went to the room and hung out and went to bed!

tuesday: so the plan for today was to cram a bunch of things in in the morning then go to the catacombs in the afternoon, but at the last minute our director changed his mind on the order. we jumped on the metro and went and waited at a bus stop that we thought was right to get picked up for the catacombs. well... we waited there for 45 minutes in the pouring rain only to find out our teacher had looked up the bus schedule in his guidebook from 10 years ago... why he trusted that information, i don't know. but we decided to leave and go make one of our stops we were originally supposed to do before the catacombs - st. paul outside the walls. i might have liked this church better than st. peter's basilica. the layout and all the details were incredible! not only was the church itself beautiful, there was an amazing garden outside where monks go to meditate. it was so peaceful and beautiful! there was also a room where we saw important artifacts from catholic history and we even saw bones of saints that had been preserved from hundreds and hundreds of years ago! pretty incredible! we went and grabbed lunch at a little sandwich place then met up with the group again and found the real bus stop for the catacombs. we finally got up there and they were as cool as i remember! it was actually better this time now that i understood some of the history behind it. i could go back there over and over and never get sick of it! when it came time to leave, we went out and waited for the bus again. we waited and waited and rain kept coming down harder and harder and the bus just wasn't coming. while we waited, we saw probably at least 30 police cars drive by in a row escorting someone. those were only the ones in front of whoever they were escorting. there were tons more after and a helicopter flying overhead. we know it was obviously someone very important, but we aren't sure who. we are all telling people it was the pope cause let's be honest, who else needs that much security? as we waited, we kept getting DRENCHED by cars driving past us really fast and driving through the puddles. good thing i had my rain boots! :) we were supposed to go to a museum but decided to postpone it since it was getting so late and we were soaking wet. for dinner, we went to a little pizza restaurant based on spencer ford's recommendation. he lived here for seven months so we trusted that he'd know the best places to go! he told us to go to pizzeria florida and get the pumpkin pizza. i wasn't quite daring enough to get the pumpkin, but I did try it and it was good! we all loved the pizzas we got and it hit the spot after a long day in the rain! we had been craving a crepe the whole time we'd been here, so we asked the pizza people if they knew where a creperie was. only problem though is that chelsea asked "dov'e e crepi?" which basically means "where can i drop dead?" i went and explained that we wanted a crepe and they said they didn't know where one was. we searched for a while and finally found a creperie. however, on the way there we found ourselves in the middle of a palestinian riot. there were these giant heads that people had made and were carrying around and a giant pink tank they had made with things they were shooting out of it (don't worry mom - it wasn't a real tank and they weren't shooting anything real. they had made paper missiles and were shooting those out). they had cymbals and were making it sound like a machine gun being shot and they had men on stilts that were supposed to look like jesus on the cross. we had to get across the street but that meant passing in front of them. we put on our hoods and turned our heads and ran past and into the creperie. we got our crepes and waited for the riot to die down. of course we couldn't go another day without gelato so we went to the same gelato place we went to on saturday (the one with the merengue gelato) and walked up the street a little ways to sit and eat it. while we were sitting there, some middle aged men kept yelling at us out their car window as they drove by but then they started to reverse so we got up and ran away but it was scary! we're used to the attention but we've never had someone act on it. we walked back to the hotel and hung out in the room for a while then went to sleep.

wednesday: my roommates and i have been making tons of "mean girls" jokes, so we decided that every wednesday we are going to wear pink. (get it? the plastics in the movie always say "on wednesdays we wear pink.") we thought it was a great idea and super funny but no one even noticed. maybe they will catch on eventually!but today we walked to the borghese gardens which was basically a big park. we walked to the borghese galleries which is a museum with borghese statues. they were so detailed and perfect - by far the best statues we've seen the whole time. after the museum, we walked to the galleria nazionale d'arte moderna or the national modern art gallery. this was my favorite museum we've been to. aside from the vatican, all the others kind of blended together but this one definitely stood out! it was very different from the others and more the style i like to see. we went and got some dinner then went back to the hotel and relaxed.

dr. mckenna and patient chelsea at the modern art museum giftshop

thursday: today we went to three churches, all that were pretty basic in comparison to the others we've been to. after the churches, we went to the museo nazionale romeo which is the national museum of rome. it wasn't what i expected - it was lots of film stuff and costumes and then a few sculptures and paintings. we didn't end up staying too long and went to find a place to eat! we found a cute little tea shop by the spanish steps and decided to eat there! it was decorated so cute and the food was great! i was starting to get sick today so when we got back from lunch, i took a long nap until dinner. we went and grabbed some pizza near our hotel and found the most delicious gelato shop in all of rome.  it literally is a hole in the wall and is in the ghetto but it was amazing!! by far my favorite gelato we've had the entire time, and by now i'm pretty sure we know our gelato, so if that says anything about it, you should definitely stop there if you ever go to rome. we went back to the hotel and hung out for a bit then went to sleep!

friday: when i went to bed thursday night, i was starting to get a migraine but i figured it would go away if i just went to bed. when I woke up friday, i'd never had a worse migraine in my entire life. i couldn't even sit up without wanting to cry and scream so i decided to stay at the hotel and try to sleep it off again. i took a bunch of advil and went to sleep for a few hours. when i woke up, my head sti hurt but felt much better. the problem now though was that i was sick in every other way. i had a fever, sore and swollen throat, cough, stuffy nose, horrible stomach ache, and i was a little nauseous. i tried to sleep it off a little more and waited for everyone to get back. by the time they got home, i still felt awful, but i knew i needed to get up to eat so we decided to get some gelato from our newfound favorite place to sooth my throat and then got chinese take out (we were a little sick of italian food and had been craving chinese for a while). it was surprisingly pretty good! we ate our food and watched a movie then went to bed.

saturday: today was a full free day! we didn't have any plans with the group so we got to wander and do whatever we wanted. we decided to get some gelato from our favorite place then go shopping. on the metro on our way to go shopping, we saw the craziest thing! there were three young girls (probably between like 9-15 years old) and we heard a little scream and looked over and two of the girls were stuck in the doors of the metro. a man shoved them out and they ran to the other side. we went over to see if they were crying or anything and they were totally fine. we were so confused! a man stopped us and told us not to go over there. we asked if they were okay and he tried to explain to us that they were trying to pickpocket the man on the metro. we had totally thought they were being kidnapped by the man or that they just didn't make it on the train in time. it really goes to show that you can't judge a situation or a person without knowing what is going on. we thought the middle-aged man was bad and the very young girls were in a bad situation, but it turns out it was the opposite. we were so lucky that man stopped us and warned us or we could've had our things stolen! we left the metro station and started walking along all the shops and we stumbled upon this amazing vintage store! all along we'd we'd been talking about finding a vintage store and we finally did! i made my second purchase of the trip (don't worry mom, i haven't been blowing money on clothes! I've learned self control!) and it was this super cute green skirt! it describes me perfectly in a skirt and i am so excited to wear it to fashion week, because yes we are going to milan fashion week in a few weeks!! you'll hear plenty more about that later! we kept walking around for a while then went to a little restaurant based on a local's recommendation.  it's a little pasta restaurant where an older woman makes fresh, homemade pasta all day right in front of you! we had the most delicious and unique pasta and it was a perfect last meal in rome! we got some fruit from the market to eat for the next few days then went back to the hotel and went to bed.

sunday: today we just have church and possibly a fireside. we are at church right now and it's a cool experience, but we can't understand anything so it makes it a little hard. we will probably go back to the hotel after to pack and take a nap then come back here for a fireside later. my roommates and i have been wanting to film a cheesy music video the whole time we've been here so we might go do that and we want to go to the trevi fountain one more time before we leave!

rome has been great, but i am so excited to finally be leaving. i can't wait to be in siena and actually be living in europe and have our own space rather than living out of a suitcase in a tiny hotel room. tomorrow we are stopping at the rome temple site to see the progress they are making then we are going to be heading to siena! i can't wait to finally be there and start school!! i couldn't be more excited to get away from hotel pacific and the vinegar infested towels. i've never had a breakout in my life and the vinegar in the towels and sheets and pillows and EVERYTHING is just not doing wonders for my skin. peace out forever hotel pacific. you won't be missed!

mine and rachael's skin was getting so bad that we bought face masks and had them on all last night. they worked wonders cause our skin is decently clear now and super smooth! ciao!

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