I am in love!

What a day! What an incredible day!!

Our orientation for classes started at 10a this morning, so we hit the road at 9 (just to play it safe). We had compared the tram times to walking and decided to explore the city and walk. It was supposed to take 40 minutes [key word: supposed to].

That 40 turned into an hour and a half.... We took a few wrong turns, didn't have a map, and non parlo Italiano. After walking down busy streets with no sidewalks and wreckless speedy Italian drivers and walking by law enforcements that were holding machine guns (okay, I don't really know if they were machine guns but they were big!) we decided to ask for help. Car approached a women and after saying "scusi," and getting a weird look quickly switched to English to ask if she knew where Trastevere (pronounced Trest-ev-ray) was. The lady chuckled and immediately began pointing out things and helping us. She was wonderful!

This nice lady turned out to be from Minnesota- where all of my extended family is from!- and her husband is the U.S. Ambassador for Holy Seas (I think I got that right...). She resigned her position at St. Benedicts and St. Johns (where, ironically, my mom went to school her freshmen year). They just moved to Rome last Thursday and will be here for at least the next 4 years or maybe longer if Obama is re-elected. She gave us her map and sent us on her way.... soo nice of her! We followed her directions and found ourselves walking in to our studio just as our orientation was finishing up. ha! at least we tried!

Our fountain and entrance (directly behind the fountain) to our studios where all of our classes are held. Joelle, me, and Carolyn on the right.

The group of girls we traveled with in Dublin live in the opposite direction as we do from the studio, so we were going to spend the afternoon checking out their apartmentand area. Buuut on the way we came across something pretty amazing.... as we turned the corner to we saw these and then THIS! The Pantheon!!

It is in the 90s here every day and humid, but when I saw this I had chills. It took my breath away. The immense size and intricate detail was amazing.......

The rest of the day was incredible too. We strolled through the streets and woooow I am in love with all of the colors that create this city!! Pumpkiny oranges, mustards, tawny and rusty golds, olives and charcoals, ohhh I am loving this city and its colors! After gawking at the Pantheon we stumbled upon the cutest little pizzeria just meters away from the Pantheon. It was here that I had my first Italian pizza. Thin, crispy, and chewy... how do they do it!?
I'm not sure, but I am a

Walking to and from school or the market or anywhere, for that matter, is an adventure. (I need my bandana, right Jon!? haha) It was a bit overwhelming at first because things are so beautiful, extravagent, and each and every building has unique characteristics and history, but it is already becoming second nature to be walking the streets and just take it in stride. Gorgeous. I'm in love!

Once we made it home, we freshened up and grabbed the others girls and headed back out to find H&M! First, none of us brought a lot with us; secondly, it is hot-hot-hot and sUHweaty every day; and lastly, our washers leave our clothing sopping wet and there are no dryers! Needless to say, we were in search of light dresses and tanks. On the way we ran into something for the second time that day.....

Amazing. I live in the most beautiful city. I am sooo blessed.

We found the mall...nothing is ordinary or small or plain, as you can see... €24 later I walked out with an adorable cream top and an airy shirt dress. As we were leaving the mall we ran into this... Trajan's Column.

We continued to stroll down the small alleyways and streets that are lined with shops, ristorantes, and small cafes. Its so quaint but large and so lovely....

Speaking of lovely... we turned the corner and ran into the Trevi Fountain. (Literally, you turn the corner and see these amazing monuments... all of the apartments are so tall and beautiful and the monuments are tucked tightly in between.) It was breathtaking! The immense size, detail, extravagance... wow. Mom, you will be amazed. It is breathtaking!

On our way home we walked by the Piazzo Venezia... in the past 2 days we have walked by this palace many many times. It is located on Via del Corso, which is a very busy and popular street with great shops! The monument in the front is the Victor Emmanuel Monument; made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Italy's first king.

If you're still reading this.... wow, grazie! You must have a lot of time on your hands... just a couple more photos.... :)

Ohhh I am so in love! I'm off to the produce market! ciao ciao!

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