"Tomorrow is April"

Trip Start Jan 03, 2007
Trip End Apr 21, 2007

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Hi everybody!  I hope this entry finds you all well.  It is amazing how much I miss you guys and think about you all the time!  So much has happened in the little over two weeks that I have been here that it is hard to believe.  Tme is flying by which is captured in a popular phrase over here - "Tomorrow is April"  it'll be time to go home before we know it!
So classes have started and I am trying to find some way to balance homework and studying with traveling every weekend and living with friends-schoolwork always seems such an inconvenience.  Here are the classes that I am enrolled in this semester:
Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of History, Modern Democracies, European-US Relations After WWII, and Interreligious Dialogue: Communication in A Globalized World.
They're all really interesting and I like my teachers.
My first weekend here a group of my friends and I took a daytrip to the small town of Siena, Italy, and it is beautiful there.  We had salami sandwiches at some place well-known for the good food and walked around town taking in the sights and soaking up the sun! 
The next weekend we went to Roma!  What an amazing city-they have sun and grass...we were so excited to just lie out in the sun in a park!  The Colosseum is unimaginable in its sheer magnitude.  It was just so unexpected to, we literally walked out of the tube stop and "hey, would you look at that...the big old thing in all of the postcards...huh, look at that.  and if you think the outside is impressive I just spent an hour gaping at the inside of it.  We walked around the forum of all the old ruins, Church St. Ignatious where Saint Alyosius Gonzaga is buried (our school was named after him) and it has this dome that is painted on but it looks so real!  We visited several piazzas including Navona and Campa di Fiore, and the Pantheon (there is a McDonald's right across the street!)  it's so weird when the old meets new.  Inside the Pantheon I got to visit Dante's tomb!  that was cool.  We also went to the Monument to Victorio Manuel (which is beautiful but the Romans hate it and call it the wedding cake of Rome because it is new and pretend Roman but beautiful nonetheless).
After all that we went back to the hostel for dinner and after that a guy brought out a guitar and we sang songs by Oasis but sadly no Journey.  We met a really nice guy named Charlie who had lived in Spokane and staying in our room at the hostel!  crazy small world.  So our group plus Charlie spent that night at the gorgeous Trevi Fountain eating gelato and toasting to good fortune, good friends, and creating memories on the steps.  We threw in a coin over our left shoulder which fortune dictates that we will return to Roma.  Then we walked over to the Spanish Steps in front of the Medici Palace where we played Truth or Dare.  What a busy day!
The next day we headed out to the Vatican; it's really cool to think you're in a different country.  The church is breathtakingly gorgeous of course and there was a wedding going on and we walked out of the church right behind the bridal party.  I'm pretty sure we're going to be in some of the wedding photos!  Then Sarah and I saw a gay-pride demonstration right outside the gates and made a beeline to go show our support.  So we were out there with them smiling and being all excited when someone handed us a flier...apparently it was an anti-church, anti-Vatican protest.  lovely.  i'm at the vatican protesting the vatican.  i'm sure pictures will come back to haunt me in my career years down the road.  We had a nice lunch outside that some cute old man walked us to, walked through a park where we randomly ran into Charlie again, and went to the Mouth of Truth!  I've seen that thing in my history books since elementary school!  exciting.
And we just got back this weekend from Vienna, Austria, but I think I will have to update that later because school tomorrow and it's really late. 
Thanks guys!
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