Monday, December 9, 2013

Rome: Day 1

as flynn rider says in tangled, "i could get used to a view like this. yep, i'm used to it. guys, i want a castle!" that's my thoughts about italy! i never wanted to leave. love at first sight.

while in rome we were to stay in a convent. with nuns. This is our view from my room. we slept with the windows open and woke up to the noises of cars, people, and vespas. is this real life?!

 we started the day with the  church. this is where the moses statue by michelanglo is housed. if he were to stand he would stand 13 feet. he as huge! here we also met up with our amazing  tour guide francesca. if anyone is in rome and want a tour guide, i highly recommend her!

she then took us to our next venue, the colosseum!

the colosseum took four years to build. the emperor paid for all the tickets and food, everything was free. it was built in an oval because if it was a circle everyone would be equal and the emperor didn't want that.

afterwards, we walked over to the forum, where it contains several ruins of several important ancient government buildings in the center of the city. our tour guide was telling us that over 2,000 years ago rome was completely built up with these old buildings. She said that more than 80% of Rome's city is underneath the ground because things were either built on top of or buried and people didn't even know it was there.

francesca later took us to san clemente that had a home several feet beneath it that went back to the 1st century. And there were more architecture underneath that! I love the roman's history, it is just so mind blowing and fascinating to me. francesca said that their history is so extensive that they were doing a good job in the schools if they got to Napoleon to be considered "up to date."

Google Images
Image from San Clemente website. One of the 1st century rooms. 
for lunch, marissa and i shared a pizza which was phenomenal. It had mushrooms, sausage, and cheese on it. perfecto! and then we headed over to the san giovanni in laterano church, which holds statues of all the twelve apostles. this church was huge! the details in these churches are unfathomable 

for dinner, a huge group of us went to this cafe that was seated outside a block or so from piazza navona. I was finally going to get a plate of spaghetti to share with Marisa, but what we got was from from it! it was a white based sauce with bacon and eggs in it. i knew once i saw the eggs on the menu that i should stay clear, but we didn't. it was too salty and the cream was not good. i was disappointed because here i was in rome wanting a good pasta meal and i didn't get it. 

before dinner we ended up at piazza novena which has resturants, bakeries, and art work. so after dinner we went to find a painting. you can't go to italy and not buy a painting, that would just be a sin. as we were walking around trying to find the perfect one, one of the artists stopped us and literally flirted with us for 45 minutes. he was an older gentlemen and was the epitome of an italian man. giovanni (he is on the right) told mariah to kiss him on the cheek, so as she was leaning to kiss him on his cheek he turned his head and KISSED HER right smack dab on the mouth!!! Me and Marisa just about peed our pants!! 

so naturally, i had to buy one of giovanni's paintings, it was a beautiful piece of  the st. peter's. he wrapped it up there and i didn't look at it until the night before we left for the states, so i totally forgot what i even got. at first i was upset with myself i didn't get a street view or a building with flowers and ivy hanging from the window, but none the less i have an amazing masterpiece of rome. we had him mark it down to €25 from 50. and that's as low as he would go, which was totally fine. we had an even better experience just being there.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let the Adventure Begin!

before we could leave our tour group had to conquer a longgggg week of tour classes. these classes would help us prepare for everything that we were going to see and learn about. this was to ensure us that we didn't have to do any school work while traveling. we learned about the reformers, some of the religious history of the cities we were going to visit, as well as how our own faith intertwined with it all. (latter-day saints).

when the day to depart came, i couldn't believe it was time to fly halfway across the world! before we arrived in rome we had an 8 hour layover in paris where we were to go exploring!

the major thing we were going to see on this brief stop was the arc de triomphe. the arc was incredible!

a few facts about arc de triomphe

 in 1806, napoleon 1 declared to his soldiers, "you will march home through arches of victory."

napoleon wanted the arch to to be on the site of the bastille to the east of paris, the side from which his armies would return from the war.

 it took 30 years to build, making it completed in 1836.

we then hiked to the top of the arc. this was just the beginning of stair climbing on this trip. so. many. stairs!! 
the statue was at the top floor and that is exactly how i felt from after climbing., but as always the view at the top is always so incredibly rewarding. 

at the top we also found elder missionaries from our church! the one on the left was from utah and the one on the right was from hawaii. when we found them you would of thought we saw someone famous, that's how excited we were to see them. 

once we left the arc we were free to do what ever we liked. first on the list was finding food! we walked around for a while until we found this little cafe outside. sadly, i do not have what my friend marissa and i ate because i think she has it on her camera (we shared the lunch). but let me paint you a little picture...a baguette split in half, with a slice of ham and maybe cheese and that was it. and then we order water, i don't know why because i'm pretty sure we had our water bottles filled. rookie mistake. we quickly  learned not to ever do that again! the water was so expensive and it was the sparkling water. so so so gross. blah. 

after we had walked around for a while i wasn't overly impressed with paris. it just didn't wow me like i thought it would. but i also here the exact same thing from other people about paris too. towards the end of the trip we would be coming back to paris for a couple of days and wanted to see if my opinion would change. but until then.

after our six our little excursion in paris we had to head back to the airport to board another plane and head over to rome! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

6 different countries. 1 month. dream come true.

so, i've been wanting to blog about my amazing trip to europe for quite some time, but little things have gotten in the way...mainly i was too lazy to do it and the pictures just intimidated me.

slowly, but surely i will get these posts up! because i want to share these stories with some of my family who hasn't been able to hear about certain experiences i had. and trust me there are plenty to go around. of course my life wouldn't be complete with my fair shares of awkward/ neville longbottom (why me) moments. they find me!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Growing Up

i have done a lot of reflecting lately. over my past school years, experiences, memories, and just life in general. i have also pondered on the future. i tend to get carried away sometimes. i have to remind myself to live in the now. i'm weird i know!

so much has changed in the last 3 years. friends are married or engaged. finding what i want in life, traveling the world, and making big life decisions. craziness. if someone were to tell me my senior year of high school what the next three years would lead me i probably wouldn't believe you.

i recently had lunch with a close friend. she always knew what she wanted in life, even though she might tell you other wise. she wants to have kids and to be a mother,  to bring people up, and to make someone's life better. she was telling me how she wants to open up a coffee shop and hire women who need help to get off the streets. she wants to help a struggling area of jacksonville and make it a better place. she also wanted this coffee shop to be a place where the kids and teenagers could come in to hang out to get them out off the streets too. i was actually kind of surprised that in this area that there are not any parks or recreation centers they could go to. i somewhat joked with her that she can have the coffee house and then i would form a recreation center or park and we could sponsor each other. (i am currently in school pursuing a recreation management degree, in hopes to become an event planner for a resort or for a city's park and recs department.) with this degree i could help those in rough areas of a community and bring them up. in all reality, i truly hope her dream comes true because hello...there needs to be more people like that in the world!

it then got me thinking to what i want to do in life. my biggest desire is to help people and to make a difference in their lives. i've gone back and forth on so many major and career decisions that it has probably made those around me and myself included go crazy! slowly but surely i can see what i can be happy with for the rest of my life. so here is to a hopeful future.

follow your heart and dreams.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Coming Soon!

So...I've been bitten by the blogging bug again, and this time I hope it will last a little bit longer! Fingers Crossed.

As soon as I finish up a few projects I am hoping to get this blog really up and going. In the mean time just be patient because I'm going to post about my trip aboard. And what an experience that was!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bon Voyage!

Well the time has finally come!

I thought the day would never come! It really hasn't hit me yet, but best believe when I get on that plane that heads to Rome, it will.

I decided that I would post what works best for when I get back.

So tomorrow, I head out to Idaho for a week and a half of on campus classes and then we leave for Rome on the 22nd!



Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh Heyyyyy!

Guys. What is up with me and not being able to blog very well.
I'm not sure but all I do know is that now that I am out of school, I will try to be better.

PLUS, Europe is just around the corner so I will be posting my findings and what I will be doing for that.

For the time being though I am in North Carolina enjoying some fresh mountain air! One day I will live in one of the Carolinas, because it's just so beautiful!