Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two Worlds Collide

Finally. FINALLY. It happened y'all. My life in the states finally collided with my life in Italy. Last Monday, my dearest Momsie and Popsie arrived in Rome!! Can I get a WOOT WOOT?! They had flown in the Wednesday before and spent their first few days in Florence before taking a train to Roma! Needless to say, I was SO STOKED that they were here. I've been lucky enough to dodge the homesickness bullet while I've been here, but just because I'm not homesick doesn't mean I wouldn't love to see my Mom and Dad! I picked them up from the train station on Monday afternoon, introduced them to Rome's oh-so-wonderful (that's sarcasm) public transportation system and navigated to their precious hotel/B&B in Trastevere. After my second class for the day, I met them back at their hotel and we went to dinner at the beloved Carlo Menta (remember that place?). It was wonderful. I don't know if it was the restaurant, the company, or the fact that the pizzas were 3 and the bread was free, but it was just so good.

Tuesday morning, since I didn't have class until 2, we got up and got going and traversed the town to land at the Colosseum. And let me tell you, it was a kick. Dad had downloaded Rick Steves' 30 minute audio tour onto his iPhone and he brought an earphone splitter. Sadly, we only had two pairs of earphones, so Mom and I split a pair and shuffled around the Colosseum shoulder to shoulder.

I know, we can't get much cooler, right?

on our way to the Colosseum

 Dad: "Turn around and smile!"

showing off his sweet audio tour and earphone splitter. 

matchy-matchy for the Colosseum

Wednesday morning, Mom and Dad came to see my school, after which we grabbed a cappuccino at my regular bar. Always good. Then, they scampered off to tour the Vatican until later that evening when I would be done with class. We ate dinner that night at a highly rated pizzeria on Via di Trastevere, just a few blocks from their hotel. 

And then, Thursday. What a day. I went to the Vatican that morning with my art class, and it was great, but it was unbelievably crowded. Mary Catherine landed around 8 am and took a train to Rome, where Dad met her and brought her back to the hotel until I got there around 2. Once we woke Mary Catherine up from her nap, we went and grabbed lunch at a bakery/cafe around the corner, then took the tram to the other side of the river to see the Trevi, get gelato, see the Pantheon and eat dinner in Campo di Fuori. After dinner, Mary Catherine found a turquoise necklace at a street stand, then we grabbed her stuff from the hotel and went back to my apartment to pack for Venice the next morning. 

my dear Flat Colleen in the Vatican Museum!

at the Trevi


Friday morning we left for Venice. Oh. My. Word. It was wonderful. All the things you think Venice will be, it is. The train ride was great, train rides are always great, but they're even more great when you're with some pretty cool people. When we arrived, we took a water bus to our hotel, just next to San Marcos square. We stayed in a little apartment owned by the hotel looking over a small canal. When we walked up to the apartment, there were a couple of gondolas on the canal and one of them was singing. It was just too perfect.  The apartment had three beds in one room, and then one bed in the kitchen. Soooo, later that night, MC and I moved one of the beds into the kitchen with the other. And boy, that was fun. That night we walked around Venice, and window shopped, then grabbed dinner, played some cards and turned in for the night. 

Saturday morning, we got a late start. Before going too far, we stopped at a bar for a cappuccino. We sat inside, along with the pigeons that were wandering through the bar. Quite entertaining. Mary Catherine was not a fan. Then we went to San Marcos square, walked around and did a little shopping. It started to rain while we were in the square, so we grabbed some sandwiches from sandwich row and went back to our apartment to eat lunch. I don't really know why, but that really was one of the best parts of the trip. After the rain stopped for the most part, we went out and took a water bus to Murano in the hopes of seeing some Murano glass factories. We arrived too late for the factory demonstration, but we still got to shop and watched one glass maker who was working in the back of his shop. Every store in both Murano in Venice had shop windows brimming with glass figures, jewelry, and so many other enticing things. I think Venice was one of the most enjoyable places to shop, and not necessarily buy, but just look! Once we were back in Venice, we grabbed dinner again, then took some dessert back to the apartment to eat while playing a good and much overdue game of Onze. 

the Wake Forest house on the Grand Canal!

MC and her pigeon friend

oh Venice 

on the Grand Canal


view from our apartment

On our last day, we wandered around San Marcos Square a little bit more, then took some time to shop the Rialto Bridge and the surrounding area before getting on our train back to Rome.

Rialto Bridge shopping

When we got back to Rome, Mom and Dad grabbed a cab to take them out to their hotel near their airport and then they left the next morning. MC and I went back to my apartment, then out to dinner at Carlo Menta, which (as always) was delicious! Then Monday morning, once I got back from class, MC and I decided to go shopping. Oh shopping. So good. But first, I took her to see my school, then we grabbed a sandwich and had ourselves a little picnic in a park, followed by some gelato from my favorite gelateria. After lunch, we went to Via del Corso and shopped the whole street. The WHOLE. STREET. It was so much fun, and each of us had just one or two good finds. Once we reached the end of the street, we took a break and rested our feet by sitting on the Spanish Steps. After the shopping, we headed to Trastevere to shop at some vendors in the hopes of finding a purse for MC. When we got their though, it started to pour. Absolutely pour. So we donned our raincoats and umbrellas and sought shelter in a little back-street store, where MC did find a purse! Yay! Finally, we went to Le Fate for dinner and it was just wonderful. We were in the restaurant for the better part of the storm, and the place is so cozy and warm that it was just a really nice night. 

loving her gelato. struggling to not get chocolate everywhere

on the Spanish Steps

Via del Corso

After dinner, we knocked out some homework, packed up all her stuff, then hit the hay. The next morning, she got on a train to the airport and that was it! I can't believe they've all come and gone so quickly! Talk about a whirlwind! No doubt though, it was so good that they came. They're all just such a hoot.

And MARY CATHERINE. She spent the day before her birthday on an 11 hour flight. Talk about a good sister. So today she's celebrating her 22nd birthday! Yay! 

The weather is changing here in Rome and I'm soaking up every minute. It's really getting chilly and crisp and fall is setting in! Finally!!

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