Sunday, December 18, 2016
Juliana and I had a not so typical reunion outside of Roma Termini at bus stop 38 at noon today! I saw her strutting towards me and of course ran to her before embracing in a big hug. She looks great, and seeing her made me feel as though time hadn’t passed. Her mom, Michelle, drove us around Rome in her green and white Fiat. Bless her for driving in Rome/Italy. It’s a mess! Almost as bad as China. There’s no organization whatsoever; people just go where they want to. I surely would not want to drive!
We ate lunch at a pasta place close to Michelle’s apartment. I got cacio e pepe– a must in Rome!
Michelle’s apartment is absolutely adorable. It’s small yet spacious with a living room, kitchen, two half baths, and two bedrooms. It’d be my ideal apartment! She also decorated it for the holidays. It’s very cozy!
Juli and I went for a walk in the late afternoon. We went to Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseo. Rome was packed; there was barely room to move on the streets. It was so nice just chatting about life and catching up after so many years! The views weren’t too bad either. We took the metro and bus back to Michelle’s apartment. I really didn’t think we would make it back via public transportation, but we did! We almost got the doors closed on us on the bus, and we almost got separated in the packed metro, but we made it.
We watched two movies (“The Pink Panther 2” & “Something Borrowed) and ordered Chinese food tonight. Juli loves watching movies, and we had many inside jokes about “The Pink Panther 2.” It felt exactly like old times on Kellas 3 Short, and it was great. Tomorrow we are going shopping! xo ~e.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Today we spent six hours at the Villamontone Outlets outside of Rome. It was a 40 minute drive, and I enjoyed sitting in the backseat. For the first time in months, I felt like I was back in the United States shopping at the Lee Outlets in Mass.. Juli and her mom LOVE to shop. They got gifts for Ella (Juli’s niece) and John (Juli’s boyfriend). I was along for the trip and bought myself a pair of black tights. I really haven’t done a lot of clothes shopping since I’ve been in Italy (I have grown to dislike it over the years), but it was more bearable being with people who have good taste and like to shop.
For dinner, we went to the Mercato Centrale in Rome that just opened a few months ago. It’s very nice, but I’m partial to the one in Firenze since it’s temporarily home and the first Mercato Centrale. Juli and I had pizza, and it was very yummy. We watched “Hitch” in the living room before crashing at 11. Juli is a bit jet lagged from Illinois! xo ~e.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Juliana mixed up the dates, so I’m home a day early! Her and her mom took a road trip to a small town in Tuscany, and they dropped me at the train station at 11 AM. Juli generously paid for my ticket since she got confused. This morning she cooked us scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. They were yummy! We also sipped on black coffee.
I was surprised by how literate Juli is in Italian. Her mom is practically fluent after living in Rome for over a year, and Juli took some classes over the summer in Rome. They spoke in Italian at all the places we ate and when we were shopping! It was the most Italian I’ve been exposed to, and it was good for me. A big part of me wishes I was exposed to that much Italian all the time because then I would learn the language better. They also switched back and forth between Italian and Spanish a lot, so it was hard to keep up!
Amelia picked me up at the train station at 1:30 PM, and we picked up my packages at the courier. I celebrated an early Christmas with gifts I got from my parents, Leslie and Howard, and Nana and Pop! What a lovely surprise. It’s a special Christmas in many ways.
It feels nice to be back in Florence before my next adventure to Budapest on Friday. It’s coming up! I have some new sweaters to keep me warm since it’s going to be quite chilly there.
Rome was a success even though it was shortened and rainy for most of the time I was there. I think it’s so funny Juli is spending more time in the U.S. this year than I am! She’s a lifelong friend, and I wouldn’t be here in Italy without her because she got me through my freshman year at Emma Willard which led to my next three years at Emma before coming to Marist. I can’t wait to see her again wherever that may be! xo ~e.