ROME! Its here, we are finally in Rome and I don't know how I feel. Originally Elyse and I were going to split from the group after Florence and make our way to Venice and then Rome since we both flew out a day apart but after traveling around for 5 weeks we decided that lets just go to Rome with the group and end the trip there. Since this was decided late we had to get a different hostel which we ended up going for this cute new bed and breakfast right next to the Colosseum. Once we got to the train station I was warn out so Elyse and I took a taxi. I think I am glad we did. It was a little confusing with the streets at first and being warn out and tired from traveling I didn't want to deal with finding our place, especially when we had such a full day planned. We booked a tour with the Colosseum, forum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, and after the tour we headed to the spanish steps and got dinner. There will be lots of pictures with this one since the day was jam packed.
Today we decided to do our own things. Some people wanted to go to museums, some people like me that was desperate for a shopping day and kinda sick of museums (sad to say but it happened) we went our different ways. Elyse and I decided to do a few site seeing and do some shopping at the same time and since we met a friend that wanted to tag along the 3 of us went on our way. I had found this store that reminded me of Anthropologie and was dying to stop in. I loved the store but actually walked away with fewer items then I thought I would. I think a also felt like I needed to buy stuff, I don't know why. I guess its one of those end of the trip sudden omg I need to buy stuff and spend money moments. We found the boar which has a story behind it, shopped the markets, made a stop in Tiffanys and wondered around. Here are the photos of the day!
I've gone every single day having a gelato since I have been in Italy. Don't judge me til you try the real thing!!
We tried to make it to the outlook for the sunrise, we didn't make it, but it was still beautiful.
The group at the outlook.
The city at night, gorgeous
Candlelit dinner in a Jazz cafe. Can you beat that, I don't know.
We had 2 rooms in the hostel in Florence and for some reason our room had this gorgeous painting and the other room had nothing. We also met a friend and her room had nothing as well. We often would try to figure out the story behind this painting and who candy is. That is what we named her, candy. We were going to tape a leaf over a few parts of this artwork but decided that it might not be much appreciated after we left. Being an art student we are use to nudity but for some reason this just seemed disturbing. You can decide for yourself.
I am having a weird obsession with cats since I have been gone. I believe its because I miss Chloe so much. I am not a cat person but I guess I have become one. We had left the kitchen door open to the patio and this friendly cat wondered in. Clark shared with us that he hasn't had the best track record with animals but this cat was drawn to him. I have never seen a cat cuddle into someone like it did Clark. Clark tried to share the love but the cat wasn't having it. I think it was all for Clark and didn't want attention from anyone else, not even me. Oh well there are plenty of cats to be pet while in Italy.
Florence is finally here and I am torn how I feel. I am ready for a new city but at the same time loved the simplicity of Cinque Terre. I more think that I am starting to get sick of all the traveling and lugging my bags around. Yes, I admit it, after mailing a huge box home in Spain my bag is still so heavy, I blame the photo gear, haha. We decided that since we got to Florence early enough we needed to take advantage of the city and start exploring right away. We got lots accomplished too!
Ponte Vecchio, has padlocks on the bridge as well. Also the old gold district, the whole bridge is full of jewelry stores.
Like I mentioned earlier that we all went our separate ways today we all agreed to meet back at the girls room at 7 and we would have our little family dinner like we often did. Like usual Clark was late, haha but luckily we are all getting use to it. With the storm moving in all day he got caught in it on the way home and was soaking. So we all headed out in the storm and tried to find some food. We originally thought we would enjoy the terrace and get take away but since it was raining that wasn't an option. We then decided to go to the restaurant up on the cliffs and have an amazing view, well I guess they have all outside seating so they were closed. We walked around pretty much in circles for awhile until we decided to head into a take away place and all eat on the beds and then watch a movie, (Arthur). So we all ventured back to our place, ate our food, the yummy tiramisu that Rick bought. We wanted 3 but luckily we got the last one because it was the best tiramisu that we had the entire time in Italy.
After that we realized that we needed to get gelato from our favorite place. Yes it was the best gelato in the entire cinque terre and we luckily had it in our town. We would know too cuz we tried it in every town. There was even a local that agreed with us in line. So its called gelato 1 and gelato 2. Its owned by the same guy in the same last town. Best ever. We did our little GELATO break and enjoyed licking off everyones cones and trying each flavor. Yes thats right we shared our gelato with each other. I did mention earlier that we were a family. The E-unit to be exact. We had all gone off to the ocean after our gelato and everyone was kind of playing with the stormy water. Elyse and I headed back up to watch from a far where it was warmer but of course people had other plans in mind.
Clark rushed up and gathered us all together down by the ocean. He had stumbled upon all this random rope on the side of the trail when he was coming home and decided it was perfect for everyone to have bracelets. We decided it had to all be made using the earth so Clark cut the rope using the brick wall and we each got bracelets that connect us for life. I am the cry baby of the group and of course broke down. You have to think we all have been together for 6 weeks straight doing almost everything together and no one wants it to come to an end. We all hugged and I cried and then we headed back to the house and finally watched our movie and all fell asleep.
Our little gelato family break!
The e-unit bracelets. It was a total team effort here to get these bracelets on.
The E-Unit. I will honestly never forget this group and love them all to death.
Today I just wanted to be lazy and not do a thing. I was hoping the weather was going to be a lot nicer then it was. It was sunny outside for half the day but windy. You could see the storm working its way towards us throughout the day. Clark went off on one of his adventures, Rick did errands for the group buying our train passes and looking out for us all like normal, Kayla went off to shop around the town and the twins went and bought a bunch of yummy food. Luckily a few people had in mind what I did. Elyse and I headed out and decided it was finally time to email people and make contact to the outside world. I am not going to lie, it has been nice escaping everyone for awhile and just loose yourself in these small towns. As we came home we decided to get some cheese, tons of fruit, and crackers. With our mixture of food and the twins combination of food we came up with some amazing snacks.
The ocean was getting rough today from the storm moving in.
This is the girls room and it honestly reminds me of Mama Mia. I am in love with it.
The color palette here is breathtaking.
Elyse reading a book. Clark was nice enough to loan Elyse and I each a book. Usually one of the first things I pack when going on vacation or anywhere is books but since this was a school trip I figured I would be too busy to have a chance to read. I didn't even think about the time after when we were traveling around Italy. Good thing I am traveling with people that have many similarities to myself.
Very random but amazing snack. I couldn't stop myself from eating everything and trying every variety of mixtures.
After getting food in Vernazza we realized that the day had flown by and we didn't have much time left, along with some storm clouds heading in it looked like. We figured that we shouldn't waste much time and head off to the last city by train. Good call as well since after the last hike I thought I might die. What a change in temperature from when we were hiking the last cities though, I thought I was going to melt and now I was freezing a long with the other girls. Luckily we made it to the town and got distracted by skipping rocks in the ocean for a long time. The twins were adventurous enough to jump into the ocean. I didn't want to be shown up since I was the brave one yesterday but it was too cold and my gelato craving won me over. We had still set the goal of getting gelato in every city that day and you never know if they will close early or not.
In the meantime Clark created his own little changing area made out of umbrellas, wall, and a random hut, too bad after he changed no one wanted to get in anymore. Gelato won everyone over. So Elyse, Rick, and I headed off to find a place. The first place was closed so we got pretty nervous but luckily found one open. After a long time of talking about everything under the sun and people slowly leaving us. Kayla headed back early, then the twins. We decided to stop wondering the hills and head into the city. We came across a cool church with music going on inside which was interesting because the music wasn't soothing, more along the lines of vampire goth. Honestly it made me feel like a scary sacrifice was going to happen, but at the same time it made it kind of excited. We decided we better head back to our city, especially because technically we hadn't gotten ice cream from there yet today. HAHA good excuse right. Yes judge us, we had 5 gelatos in 1 day and some of us went for seconds at a few of the towns. NO NAMES MENTIONED.
I was very lazy in this city and honestly didn't take many pictures if any at all. I had gelato and ocean on my mind. Plus it was getting dark and I didn't have a tripod so why bother right.
Funny story about this picture. Our professor John (the photography professor) was giving everyone side projects to work on. He picks out 3 words and we need to find pictures that describe the 3 words, (BAD, LUCK, GIRL). This was a hard project to do, you would witness the best moment but couldn't capture it, it was too late. He said that was part of the challenge. Outside one of the museums while I was snacking on gelato (judge me yes, I have eaten a ton of gelato on this trip but who knows when you'll be back to enjoy it huh) and we are people watching, one of my favorite things to do, and a dog literally ran chasing a ball and hit the back of this poor ladies legs completely knocking her over and her falling on her back and butt, it was the perfect photo op and we missed it. Yes I felt terrible for the lady don't think I just felt bad that we missed a picture.
Well luckily for Sarah she was able to capture my moment of BAD, LUCK, GIRL. As we were leaving Pere Lachaise cemetery Alexis and I ran into Sara and Carlos. We were chatting it up not paying attention and bam my BAD LUCK GIRL moment happened. Which its been the joke that we all keep having it happen. Well in Paris there are vents all over the city side walks, huge vents and sometimes they are blowing air out and sometimes not, stepping onto the vent not even paying attention to what I'm walking on the vent blows air like crazy and I am wearing my flowing skirt, running and trying to hold it down I know I gave the people at the stop light quite the show. Luckily they captured a reenactment of the moment. Yes I did it again for Sarah after everyone told me I had to take one for the team, but I also put my hands in the right places already prepared. The first time caught me off guard and I know the boys lined up the vest bas at the stop light got quite the show.
This is the hike to the 4th city. I thought I was going to die during this hike. This was from Corniglia to Vernazza. After a month of walking everywhere in Europe and hiking up thousands of stairs in a day (Eiffel Tower and Cathedrals), you would think we could handle this and we thought we could as well. I think a lot of it had to do with the timing. We were starving when we were in Corniglia but we had heard that the best restaurants were in Vernazza so we thought we would venture off and wait to eat there. I think that was our first mistake, but of course we thought with the gelato in our tummies we would be ok. If this hike wouldn't have been straight up I think I wouldn't have dreaded it so much. We passed through a small village in the middle that had maybe 3 houses. I got so excited when I saw the homes ahead thinking we had finally made it, nope, it was the half way point. Glad I had good company and we got some good conversations going to distract us from our growling tummies. The hike says its 2.5 miles, but remember most of it is going up hill, I think thats what the worst part was.
San Bernardino, Clark made the adventure up here the following day and hung out with the locals while they played cards behind a bar. The rest of us needed a day of laziness and our own adventure, I'm glad I didn't follow him because he got poured on while heading home. Clark always seems to have a blast no matter what the outcome is with his adventures though.
Gorgeous, I love this place.
Once we saw this I almost ran down the trail. We finally made it and it was beautiful.
As happy as I can be after I got food in my tummy.