“Spring break! No parents no rules. No showers no regrets!” (city #1)

Greetings loved ones! I’ts been a while, but I promise this one is worth the read!
I apologize for the gap between posts. I’ve been a pretty busy girl over the past few weeks and just got a solid 12 hours of sleep last night. I’m rested and ready to share 😀 From April 2nd to the 22nd, I was on spring break. Just as I was starting to jive with a semi-set schedule, my school-BOKU, (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences) gave its students a “holiday.” That’s right. No school, no homework, no real responsibility for 20 days! With that, my roommates and I decided to take on Italy, Sicily and Malta.
I’m going to break up my holiday into a few separate posts. Here’s to Roma! (March 31st-April 2nd)
First stop: ROME! My first April Fool’s Day spent outside the US-When in Rome, eh? After a 12-ish hour train ride from Vienna to Rome, we arrived feeling a bit restless and crabby. Rome was not my favorite place. The streets were smelly (a combination of urine and garbage). I don’t know if I can say this as a tourist, but there were too many tourists. Groups of 30 sporting matching caps all over the place. Guess it’s just the small-town girl in me #scandinaviaforever. Jojo (current roommate in Vienna/fellow Badger) and I started our tour of Rome at the Pantheon. Pretty cool. Some of the original ceiling remains. Lots of neat decorations because it was Psalm Sunday.

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Second stop: Then, we ventured over to the Trevi Fountain. This was cool. It was packed, but we managed to find a place to throw in our loose change. The story goes something like toss in 1 coin=you’ll return to Rome, 2 coins=you’ll meet an Italian, and 3 coins=you’ll marry an Italian. Now, I threw in 3 coins. The funny thing about stereotypes is that there’s occasionally a little bit of truth under them-Italian men are in fact slimy. Simple. As a woman, I would normally appreciate the persistence–after all, I play hard to get. But the whistling, shouting and outward pig-ness did not sit well with me. Needless to say, I gave them a few words—there was no need for a translation :D. Fun fact about the Trevi: approximately 3,000 euro are thrown in each day-all of which is donated to charity.

Third stop: Just a normal statue, eh? Interestingly, all of the male statues in the city revealing their private areas were covered up once the church came to town.
Fourth stop: Giardino Del Quirinale: a park surrounded by orange trees. Sat and watched a really cool green bird for a while. I took a HUGE digger while walking through it. HAHAHAHAHA, it was hilarious. Similar to the fall of the model in the youtube video “Model takes a Tumble.” It is indeed 1 minute and 11 seconds of your life you’ll never get back, but if you haven’t laughed today, this will do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0DZXeHgdUc.
 (just to the right of this statue is where I took a massive stumble)
(Jojo and the wonderful smelling lilacs)
(just in the center is the little green guy I was watching)
Fifth stop: Somehow my will power wilted and we ended up in a gelato shop! My goodness gracious, it was awesome. I had 1 scoop of Rasberry and 1 scoop of Nutella (which they eat in the same volume as I eat peanut butter back home–shout out to Dad cleaning off the table after a spaghetti dinner BUT not before sticking his knife in the peanut butter jar for a final lickin’) This was the first of MANY gelato stops while in Italy. No regrets.
(Jojo had it all over her face, just like a little kid)
Sixth stop: Dinner at Tony’s: a local favorite of Jojo’s friends who showed us around for the day. Ate delicious lasagna (enormous portion) served by Tony himself–a cute old man. He even gave us a complementary chunk of chocolate which was the perfect touch to my food baby.
After a long day of sight-seeing, we ventured back to our hostel anxious to change clothes and get to bed. Because the line in the ladies room was from Scandinavia to Milwaukee, we decided to do a quick change in the storage room. NBD. We were quick and successful–at least I thought we were until we went to the front desk to ask for an extra pillow. Jojo nudges me in the side. I look up. CAN YOU BELIEVE THERE WAS A SECURITY CAMERA IN THE LUGGAGE ROOM? Actually, Anne-duh, people leave their luggage there. We gave a free show. Whoops.
Seventh stop: The Colesseum was incredible. We had numerous photoshoots re-enacting battle scenes from the Gladiator. It felt so neat to be in a place so old. Much of the original rock actually remains. Aside from ripping my pants in the worst possible spot, it was a good day. (Don’t worry Ma, as I licensed sewer, I had no problems with the repair).
Eighth stop: The Roman Ruins was an area of really old rock architecture.
Ninth stop: The Vatican. I met up with a Madison buddy of mine, Nicole! Together, we caught up over a massive cone of gelato from Rome’s infamous “Old Bridge”  cafe. When in Rome, go there. Because the tour of the Vatican cost 20 euro, we skipped it. We did go into St. Peter’s Basilica–lots of ooh and ah moments there because the artist’s detail was unbelievable.
(prepping for Easter Sunday!)
(Nicole and me!)
(Jojo and me–pure happiness)
In an effort to save some cash, we spent our last night in Rome without a hostel. Went to 2 bars. Turns out, I didn’t save as much money as I thought I would have…The second bar killed it with the tuneage. Needless to say, Jojo, Kate and I were belting our little American hearts out when “Shook me all Night Long” came on.
I won’t go back to Rome, but I did enjoy it. The food was fantastic and my traveling buddies rocked.
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