Sunday, May 23, 2004

My last day in Italy. I am heading over to Pompeii to check out the ruins. I saved Pompeii for last since it has spurred my dreams of Italy since age 10 when I wanted to be an archaeologist. Appropriate, I think.

My flight leaves at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. However, the trains do not start running until about 6 a.m. to the airport from the train station so that isn't enough time to be there for two hours check in.

Therefore, I have to leave my luggage at the hotel all day and take the last train of the day at 11:30 p.m. into the airport. So I will be sitting all night in the airport, alone. I am not looking forward to it. However, I finally found a bookstore with some English-language books so I have a Nick Hornby, High Fidelity and a Jonathon Froer, Everything is Illuminated. I have started the former and love it, so hopefully staying awake will not be difficult.

I sat on the Trevi fountain yesterday as the sun was setting, debating on whether I actually wanted to throw coins into the fountain. I love just sitting there. I have been several times, and it is such a great people-watching spot. So I sat there, and I just decided to do it. I looked around (I was afraid I might get arrested for throwing coins in because there didn't seem to be many in the water), and I made my three wishes and tossed. It was such a cliche thing to do, but really, it was great. I felt young, adventurous, confident, and happy.

And then I realized, I am young, adventurous, confident, and happy.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Well, I have updated twice since my last actual post, but I guess my blog isn't working properly.

I am currently back in Rome after a whirlwind through the Cinque Terre, Florence, Milan, Venice, Florence again, and Cortona.

Cortona was by far the best. The views were astounding. Cortona is a Tuscan hill town, and everything just keeps going up. The town itself doesn't allow cars, and it is charming.

There was definitely a sense of community there, and I stood out as a stranger. I met a girl from South Dakota, Courtney, in Venice, and we continued to Cortona together. She traveled with an enormous backpack, and I had a rolling duffel, two shopping bags, a purse, and my two carry ons. Imagine the image the two of us made, curly hair flying. The two odd strangers in town.

Anyway, the entire community seemed to be in the square, and they were all laughing. They asked if we needed help, which we did, and they were so great.

Charming town, charming wine. It was great.

Now I am on the last leg of my trip, and I have mixed feelings. What a time. I have learned so much, been exposed to so much, and still know so little.

I cannot wait to come back.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

This was my second day in Rome. Rome is big. Rome is dirty. Rome is busy. I have seen most of the sights. I went to the Vatican today in a pair of miserable shoes. Then I came back to my room and took a well-deserved nap. Rome is strange in that there is so much to see. It is amazing, and yet, at the same time, I am ready for the slow-paced Italian life I had prepared myself for. I think tomorrow I will visit Tivoli and then leave Rome behind. If I haven't seen anything I can always see it on my last day here.

Also, there is a really cool international photo exhibit here. I am going to check that out right now.

I was kissed in front of the Colliseum. Just a random Roman who thought I was beautiful. These men are overwhelmingly bold. In this instance, the movies prove true.

I don't have much time so I am going to leave this for now. Ciao!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Great advice from a really great guy:

"Unsolicited advice for your extravaganza...

get up early

take lots of photographs

have a picnic by a river

and on occasion...fuck art and go dance."

I need not say more.