Rome Journal
LMK 01 - 05 - 2010

Rome! This city has been different in many regards. First, Rome is a large OLD city versus Barcelona's more modern feel. Second, we have spent more nights here than anywhere else thus far. And last but not least, Becky!!!! Our first day in Rome began with a guided tour of the ancient ruins. The guide was great about engaging us in the tour, but I had a lot of trouble staying focused (as you can tell by the self-portrait in Tyler's sunglasses...). These past few weeks have been an information overload! Taking notes during the tour will help, but they are definitely a bit distjointed... As for after the tour, Dand and Michelle joined Brandon Hoop, Ryan and me on our ambitions first free afternoon. I think my favorite stops were the baths and the Traian Markets. A personal moment was taken to stare at the middle-aged track club that was practicing next door to the baths--oh to be running workouts and hurdles again... I later recounted this gaping moment to Becky because she understands my love for track and field. She laughed:). Anyway, we made our rounds and got back to the Coliseum for some cool night shots. We took the metro back to the hotel with plenty of time before Becky showed up to the hotel. She arrived about an hour later. Most of the 4th year LA's went off to an Irish pub to watch the Colts' game while Becky, Dane, Michelle, and I stayed behind. We ate at a place next to the hotel and just enjoyed chatting and catching up. Seeing Becky was so refreshing not only because hers was a new face but the face of a close friend! Yesterday we toured the Vatican with the same guide. We had individual headphone sets tuned into her speaker, which made listening MUCH easier. I could wander away to look closer waht whever caught my eye while still clearly hearing her information! After the tour we made our way to the Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, which were not being used really because the weather wasn't too great. Bummer... We headed back early. My roommates came in shortly there after and proceeded to nap for 3 hours while I finally caught up on some e-mailing and previous journal entries. Eventually we contacted Becky and made plants to go out to her apartment. She met Dane, Lindsey and me at the metro station; we stopped at a market; and then we made dinner at her place. We had this potato balls called gnocchi (nyoki is sort of the pronunciation) with a tomato sauce, an Italian style bacon, and cooked leafy greens. Everything taseted wonderful, and meeting Becky's roommates was a lot of fun. Today we took the metro and a bus (about an hour total) out to the Villa d'Este. The fountains were running by the time we arrived. Everything was gorgeous. I loved all the different uses of water throughout the grounds. The gardens were actuatlly a lot more concentrated than I had understood. My favorite area was a smaller space with several statues including one of the She-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus. The weather was constant and eventually the edges of my clothing were getting wet--not fun. We went straight back to the hotel with plans to go elsewhere, but I decided instead to enjoy the dark corners of the hotel. The power was out when we got back, and apparently the desk staff stopped letting people into their rooms for safety reasons. Instead, they were directed to antoher hotel where they were served complimentary cappuccionos! I still think I would have preferred my nap! Tonight is our last in Rome, and tomorrow we will be heading out of the city and off toward a ferry that will carry us to Greece!

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