A provoked mind & a relaxed spirit

Trip Start Aug 19, 2013
Trip End Dec 13, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear friends and family,
LIFE IS CRAZY! In two days, I'll have been away from the U.S. for a whole month. In less than 3 months, I'll be back in the U.S. It seems like every day is jam-packed and exhausting. On the plus side, I easily fall asleep every night because I'm so tired!
So...what has happened since my last entry? On Thursday, it was one of my floor-mates' (Renee) 21st birthday. The whole day was dedicated to celebrating her and we had an awesome party that night. Everyone went out and had lots of fun!!! Not gonna lie, it's pretty fun to go to the bar and order drinks.
On Friday I went shopping with my friend Kayla and bought a skirt from an adorable store called "From Rome with Love". That night we went out to dinner and I got a delicious lasagna at an adorable restaurant in my neighborhood. Perfection.
The real reason I wanted to write is because of our awesome weekend though! We took an overnight excursion to the Campania region of Italy. It holds some pretty famous towns: Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, and Naples. So Saturday morning, we all got on a bus with our backpacks and drove down to Pompeii. We got a guided tour of the forgotten city and it was incredible. You may all know the story, but I'll recap a bit. In about 10 B.C. (2000 years ago) there was a thriving town that Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano, put to rest. Pompeii is about 10 miles from the actual mountain, so no lava actually hit the city. The heat and ash was so extreme it mummified the city, preserving it almost perfectly. In the 1700's it was discovered, and 200 years later completely excavated and restored to the way it looks today. A whole city!! We walked around a tiny portion of it, hitting most of the important buildings from the day. I was floored at how advanced the civilization was at that point in history. We saw theaters, streets, houses, stores, bath-houses, and even some bodies! Seeing it all made me wonder what exactly these people's lives were about. How did they dress? What did they look like? What did they talk about? It's all so fascinating. The most important archeological discovery ever! It's something you just have to do during life!
After Pompeii, we drove into Sorrento, a beautiful coastal town. The city is raised high above the coast because it's perched on some rocks. It's classic Italy: colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, with flowers and balconies and tourists! It was sooo nice to get away from the loudness of Rome. I could just feel the calmer atmosphere in the small town. We checked into our really nice hotel, a step up from our apartment. Then we had a cocktail on the roof overlooking the Mediterranean and city. So prettttty! We had a 4 course meal at the hotel then got to explore the city and shop around. It was fun to simply take it all in, with no worries. We even got to stop and listen to a man playing an accordion at a restaurant, which screams Italy to me! After that we went back to the hotel and sat on our balcony talking. It was beautiful watching the sparkling city across the bay (Naples??).
The next morning, we got up at the crack of dawn and had a huge breakfast at the hotel. Then we left Sorrento :/ No worries, it only gets better! We got on a ferry boat, which on the inside looks a lot like an airplane, and the boat rocked me to sleep. 45 minutes later we arrived at the island of Capri!! I was really looking forward to this part of our excursion and was not disappointed!! It was rocky and hilly like Sorrento, but with even more character! We immediately got off the ferry and onto a tiny boat for the 30 of us. I've never been on such a small boat on the ocean! We got a tour of the island on this boat, and it was my favorite part of the trip. Being on a boat on the water is such a homey feeling to me, even if I'm 5000 miles away from Whitefish lake! The water is so beautiful! It's every shade of blue: from royal blue to indigo to turquoise. We jumped off the boat a couple times and the water is the perfect temp. Not to mention easy to float in :) Speaking of jumping off to swim though...we all got up on the ledges, which were slippery, and jumped in. But I slipped. We apparently hit a wave and my feet were unsteady to begin with, so I fell off head first into the water. My leg hit the boat! Spoiler alert: I am alive, so I did not drown. I recovered and made it to fresh air with no problems but my leg definitely took a blow. In all my years of jumping off boats, it's never happened, but of course it happens here. Now I have a huge, nasty bruise to show for my swim in the Mediterranean. All is well. Don't worry mom and dad!!! :)
After our awesome boat tour, we had free time to explore the island. I got a Caprese sandwich (mozzarella, tomato, and basil, perhaps named for the island?!). Then I shopped around with Hannah and ended up buying a lacey coral dress. Then we lounged on the beach until it was time to go. We did actually go to Naples, but were there for about 5 minutes--between getting of the ferry and onto the bus. So I can't say I've had pizza there. Disappointing :/ Oh well. Another time! Coming "home" to Rome after our "vacation" is quite a fun feeling. :)
Now I'm back in the swing of classes and homework for the week. Today we walked ALL over Rome for Art History, and then went to a Basilica called San Clemente for Theology. The 13th century church was built over a 4th century church, over a 1st century building. We got to see all of it and I was amazed! I can't complain about daily life in Rome :) It is fun to be taking classes here becuase not only do I get insider access to many things that would be impossible to see if only here for a couple days, I learn so much!!! There is really so much richness in places that I would never think to look. It's wonderful being exposed to the passion of my professors.

That's all for now! Talk to you later!
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