Saturday, November 28, 2009

European Adventure: Rome



When in Rome… such a motto carried out by many tourists, myself included. I've never eatten more Gelato in a 5 day span than my time in Rome. And so the Roman adventure began. We arrived by train in the late afternoon and hopped on a crowded city bus the stop that would take us near our hotel. We navigated the streets and quickly found out that our hotel sat on the corner of Piazza Nuovona, one of the best squares for local artists of all kinds (more about that later). Our hotel, being on the corner of the piazza was also smack dab in the middle of the best kept antique stores of Italy. A gem of a location if my opinion is allowed. The place was perfect as our last stop of our trip. Conveniently the only television station that came in clearly was Italian MTV. They played the same 10 songs on repeat pretty much the entire time so we got a good laugh about a few of the songs (Specifically: Tocco No No and When Love Takes Over were some favorites, Theresa didn't understand the Nelly Furtado video concept and kept watching it and saying "I don't get it", I kept trying to convince everyone that Robbie Williams had a hit song in the USA in the early 2000's, and we all were fascinated by the Italians love for Lady Gaga. She's crazy even translated in Italian).
Our first evening out we didn’t venture to far from our hotel and ate right off of the Piazza. The joke of the evening was regarding the waiter at the restaurant next to ours. He was pretty dreamy in that Italian sort of way. I was half tempted to ask our waiter if there was "Italian beefcake on the menu?" I'll take one of those! The piazza was really great during the day but it really livened up at night. Many local musicians, artists, B-Boys, break dancers, etc made their way to the piazza to showcase their talent. One night a guy made these spray painted pictures and to watch him make them was really amazing! Cindy and Melissa both ended up buying one. There were also some musicians that should definitely have record deals.
Our first full day in Rome we decided to take a tour bus around the city to see as many sites as possible. Our first stop: The Colliseum. W.O.W. Talk about stepping in to history. Its big, its old, and its brilliant. We spent a majority of the morning touring the colliseum and the surrounding grounds which included old houses, court yards, gymnasiums, and gardens. Another high point were the Roman Ruins and the Roman Forum. The history that we walked through really made me stop and stare. I always thought the coliseum and the ruins were in the middle of an open field, away from everything. I was so amazed that Rome was just built right around it... right on top of it! That afternoon we climbed the Spanish Steps, tossed some coins into the Trevi Fountain while wishing for love, and did a little more sight seeing. Our waiter that night was hilarious. He kept trying to speak English and he gave us all "typical" American names. We laughed a ton! That night I saw the preview for New Moon. I was jumping up and down on the bed. I think Melissa was a little worried! :)
Second Full day in Rome: We spent all morning touring the Vatican and Vatican city. Incredible. The amount of paintings and collections that are held within the walls of the Vatican and the worth of it all is unimaginable. Sculptures, maps, paintings, entire rooms crafted by famed artists. Dali paintings, Michelangelo paintings, the Sistine Chapel, etc etc etc. You could spend a month touring and still not see everything. The afternoon we toured the government building and the Pantheon. I know Rome wasn't built in a day but seriously, how long did it take to build this city? These buildings are incredible and HUGE!!
Our last full day in Rome was spent shopping!! I found this great jewelry store a couple blocks from our hotel that I spent a good chunk of cash in. Melissa and I also ventured to a local grocery store to get some snacks and PARMESAN cheese! We spent the night eating our favorite meal from Italy, eating our 40th helping of gelato, and people watching in the piazza. Rome was really really great. I would love to tour the city again and spend more time researching the history.

This trip has been amazing. I love the USA but there's just something about Europe. The lifestyle and pace is so different from the USA, it's got its own charm. If you can get past the smoke, the lack of blacktop roads, the modern convenience of America (thanks in part to our instant gratification complex), Europe will grab ahold of you and keep drawing you back. Everyone fits in, they take their time to enjoy life, and the best part... you can't walk 2 blocks without seeing a gelateria!

Trevi Fountain


Our sweet ride


Roman Ruins


The Coliseum


The Vatican


Our last day in ROME!


In the airport... awake for about 26 hours so far...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NEW MOON Premiere TONIGHT!


The day is finally here! I'll be sure to post a recap of this entire day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day of Ray... here I come

Finally, I'm taking a day off. I've been going in super speed since I've returned from Europe and it doesn't seem like I've been able to stop. Finally, tomorrow, I'm spending the day at the Mall of America (missing the New Moon cast by a few short days… tear) shopping until I drop and then it’s the Ray Lamontagne concert!! I've been looking forward to this for some time but it's unfortunately been overshadowed by work and the excitement over the upcoming release of New Moon.

Today however, I can honestly say I'm relieved that I can just spend tomorrow with friends at a mall (whether I buy anything or not) and cap off the evening with some great music. Ray's pretty mellow which is exactly what I need. I'll try to post some pictures after the event (if I have time) The Day of Ray… here I come.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

This Is It

I saw the MJ flick "This Is It" tonight and there was definitely a 60 year old woman dancing up and down the aisle to Thriller. It was pretty much life changing!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thankful

My life right now is nothing short of crazy…. And I'm mostly referring work. At times I really enjoy the extra work (strange, I know) but I've really learned a lot about myself in corporate america over this past year. Working for the company that I do, I've seen a lot and I've learned even more. I've put in long hours… and then even longer hours on top of that. The term "workhorse" has been thrown around my vocabulary as of late. I've had to push myself and really be confident in my abilities. My coworker Christie and I have become the "co-captains of the sea of hell" we like to say. I am so grateful for her, everything she's taught me and helped me with, I wouldn’t be sane without her (and the fact that she's willing to talk about Rob Pattinson any time of the day helps. We're becoming so much alike, its hilarious). A lot of my "awake" hours have been devoted to work and with that, I've had to let some things go. I've let some people down and haven't spent the time with them that they deserve. I know they're understanding but it's still hard for me to find that balance. Thankfully, I've got a group of friends who love me no matter what. As I sit here, typing away, there's a beautiful bouquet of flowers on my desk thanks to a few of my favorite friends. I had a big meeting today and when I came back to my desk, there they were. It took everything in me not to cry. They are so wonderful (my friends and the flowers) I couldn't thank them enough. This week has been especially hard with the passing of one of my coworkers as well and I'm so thankful to know I have the friends that I do and to know where my eternity is. While work is just temporary, I'm encouraged to live my life with an eternal perspective and to put my hope in Christ. Thanks buddies for the flowers…. You know who you are.

And in case you don't know, one's bff who's a school teacher who likes basically the exact same things I do, one's a WF bff who has the best jeans and music selection ever, another is a WF bff who can seriously make me laugh.. And has the longest legs ever, and the last is a bff for a long time who once saved my life and loves a good mustache. :)