RAWWWR-IO is Italian for RAWR

WE WENT TO THE ZOO. ANIMALS IN ITALY SPEAK ITALIAN. THE END. 

AHAHA. But we really had a blast. We walked to the zoo (it was HUGE), walked through the Borghese gardens (beautiful), enjoyed a little lunch, and walked down Via del Corso. What a fun day!

Don’t Mess With Me

Hey y’all. So i’ve had some interesting fiascos…..

To begin. The gang all had visitors coming in to Roma (loved them). So, that meant a WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY kinda weekend. GAHHH. Anyways.. we had a blast. We ate, went out, ate, and went out. YUMMYYY. It was more than fun… but let me just tell you… I will not be drinking vodka for a really long time. OMG.

ANYWAYS–> the brawl happened on Saturday. OK.. so I have come to the conclusion that I may not (not at all) be the biggest fan of Italian men. AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY. First off… DO NOT FOLLOW US. (WHEN WE SAY GO.. GO!) But anyways the real reason is this.

We were headed off to the Tesaccio area to do some clubbing (WOOT WOOT). Now, I may have gotten a little excited to get my dance on. (DANCING SARAH… remember?) So we waited in line for IL CLUB.  BUT.. in the meantime.. some of my fellow clubbers had to use the bathroom. So.. we chose NOT THE SMARTEST THING TO DO… and went in through the back door.

NOW HERE IS WHEN ALL CAOS BREAKS LOOSE

(1) A BIG MAN GRABS ME, THROWS ME OUTSIDE (ok.. acceptable) (2) THEN SOMEONE HOLLARS “WE WILL PAY” (3) THE GAURDS DON’T LIKE THIS (4) BIG OL’ 45 YEAR OLD MACHO ITALIANO MAN STARTS SCREAMING AT ME… GRABS ME BY THE NECK AND THROWS ME BACKWARDS. –> I DIDN’T LIKE THIS. (5) I HIT BACK. (BAD CHOICE). (6) MACHO GRANDPA THROWS MY PHONE AGAINST THE WALL. (7)  I CHARGE AT HIM TO GET MY PHONE AND HE GOES IN FOR THE TACKLE.

IT WAS A BRAWL. A FULL ON SCENE. I WAS LIKE A LITTLE CRAZY CHIHUAHUA–> I NEVER KNEW I HAD THAT IN ME. HA. BUT THEN I WAS HYSTERICAL. (I actually cried) ASSULT. ok. so that is why I don’t like Italian men.

THEN, AFTER MY CRAY WEEKEND, I GOT STREP THROAT. MY IMMUNE SYSTEM HAS GONE DOWN THE TOILET.

POPE & PROBLEMS

On Sunday, we saw the Pope. He resigns on Thursday and we were able to watch him outside of his windowsill one last time before he goes. I LOVED IT. He was adorable. We gathered around the Vatican along with hundreds of other people and watched as he gave his speech. I tried understanding his Italian and was able to a little. HE EVEN SANG and spoke about 10 different languages. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE and I was really happy to witness a special moment in history!

However after seeing the pope my life crumbled a bit. While studying for the 2 midterms that I had the next day, MY HEADPHONES BROKE INSIDE OF MY COMPUTER= NO SOUND.  I tried everything to get the nub out but was UNSUCCESSFUL. SO, after that waste of time… I tried studying with no music. HA. AND THEN… WAIT FOR IT………. MY STUDY GUIDE DELETED RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES. AS KATHRYN TELLS ME, “It’s always darkest before the dawn….” I think she has repeated that to me a bit too much lately….

Anyways, today I decided to take a cab to the Apple store (WASTED 100 EURO TODAY). Basically, my computer is over 400 euro to fix. The guy told me that the quick solution would be to try super-gluing it out. WELL THAT DIDN’T WORK. SO, the end result is a headset that looks like one of those “WELCOME TO MCDONALD’S” type things that plugs into the usb. So after wasting a ton of money on a trip to the apple store, all I get out of it is a 40 euro headset….. BUT IT WILL DO.

I TRIED UPLOADING THE VIDEO OF HIM SINGING… BUT IT WON’T LET ME.

Pari holds the key to my heart <3

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Let me just tell you, Paris was a BLAST. It started with the airport. Kathryn, Alex, Steph, and I all arrived at the airport at 5am to a closed and locked doors…so we waited outside for about half and hour. AHAHA (if O’hare was like that I would think that some terrible thing happened). Seriously though.. the airport was practically abandoned. AND GET THIS… The minute you get on the plane… YOU GET TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN SEETS. SO, naturally Kathryn and I sat next to each other and chatted with each other the whole way and got yelled at by the two weirdos in front of us (they were cray. and making out the whole time). Anyways, after a plane ride, a bus ride, and a cab ride… WE WERE IN PARIS.

DAY 1: Now let me tell you, the minute we arrived in Paris… there was NO TIME TO WASTE. We met Hannah and Michelle and all of Hannah’s friends from high school–> her friend is studying abroad in Paris, so she knew ALL THE HOTTTT SPOTS. The first day we saw Sacre Coeur, the outside of the Louvre, Moulin Rouge, went to lunch at “Angelina” a well known Parisian cafe, and Love lock Bridge. The love lock bridge was so cool. Unfortunatley, Kathryn and I forgot a lock and we wanted to buy one and write TO FIND OUR PRINCE on it <– It never happened. EVERYTHING WAS BE-AU-TIFUL. And everything was traveled by tram (for some reason the tram doesn’t click for me. SO CONFUSING).

ON OUR FIRST TRAM RIDE, one of Hannah’s friend WAS PICK-POCKETED. IN FRONT OF MY EYES. AND THEN THE PICK-POCKETER DROPPED THE WALLET. IT WAS TERRIFYING. SO–> ALL Y’ALL STUDYING ABROAD MAKE SURE TO HIDE YO PURSE AND HIDE YO WALLETS. (HIDE YO KIDS AND HIDE YO WIVES).

I was inspired by the street art. On every corner or little square there were street artists and paintings. I took so many pictures of the art. THEY WERE PRICY… SO I JUST THOUGHT THAT WHEN I RETURN, I WILL CREATE MY OWN PARISIAN ART MYSELF! ARTSY GRANDE IS BACK.

For dinner the first night in PARIIII we went to a Foundu place. It WAS SO MUCH FUN. OUR MEAL WAS SERVED LIKE DIS: 1) a little alcoholic fruity drink with a lemon in it. 2) meat plates before the fondu. 3) CHEESE FONDU (scary… especially for all y’all out there that know my stomach situation) 4) MEAT FONDU. 5) BABY BOTTLE’S SERVED WITH YOUR CHOICE OF RED OR WHITE WINE.

After the restaurant we decided to go to a little bar. AND whoever said that Paris people are mean was wrong. The people in Paris were so nice to us!! Especially the people at the bar. We sat and chatted with the bar tender and his friend and they told us everywhere to go in Paris to get the best views and have a great time. WE LOVED THEM. But we were soon sad when we realized that we would never see them again.

Day 2: EARLY RISE. We started off the day with a little brioche (OMG SO YUMMY), and made our way to THE EIFFEL TOWER. It was unreal. I do kind of wish that there wasn’t a construction looking site around it. But, seriously… IT WAS GIGANTIC. After that, we went to the Lourve. NOW, I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE MA GIRL MONA. BUT FORGET MONA, NAPOLEON’S SUITES WERE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. They were beautiful and made me wish that I lived in a palace with chandeliers everywhere (aint gonna happen…). ANYWAYS, we had a blast exploring the museum. After the Lourve we went to Notre Dame church and LAUDREE MACAROON PLACE. Idk why I have never tried macaroons before this, but macaroons ARE SO GOOD –> I naturally picked raspberry, my fave.

The rest of the day we spent shopping and eating. I THINK I BLACKED OUT WHILE SHOPPING. IT WAS DANGEROUS. I just wanted to buy everything. But thankfully I only ended up with a sweater and dress… and not shoes, a bag, and a jacket. WOAH.

LASTLY, we bought some wine, GOT ALL CUTE, and made our way to the light show at the Eiffel Tower and sat and watched all the ADORABLE couples walk past on their way to eat at the top of the tower. We also may have indulged in the most delicious crepes ever (STRAWBERRIES, BANANAS, NUTELLA, WHIPPED CREAM).  We ended the night at a GAY club. it was a blast.

Overall, Paris was a beautiful city. However, it was extremely expensive and the language barrier was a bit difficult (I missed being able to understand Italian). I also was a little sad we didn’t get to see the Palace of Versailles. But I had a complete blast and snapped some wonderful pictures.  I can’t wait to go back one day!!

Enjoying a lil Italia

Festivities Throughout the Week:

1) Found the military-boots I wanted! (must have if you want to look ITALIAN)

2) Hooookah bar at a Pizza place–> zzzzzO fun! We relaxed and people watched!

3)Midterm exams: ok. I think that my teachers are smart people… I really do. But the language barrier makes them seem special….

4)HIVES. WHAT. MY BODY WAS COVERED IN HIVES FOR 2 DAYS. WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. allergic reaction. I just don’t understand.

5) My favorite thing to do: enjoy a little cappuccino and brioche at the local bar. ❤

6) We went to Piazza Navona for our photography class. THE TEACHER IS ADORBZ. (I will never be a model again.. especially when my hair is dirty and I have makeup on from the night before… Iv’e never looked scarier. 😦 NO JOKE. )

7)Workout Class–> THE MOST FLEXIBLE OLD WEIRDO MAN. AND I COULDN’T MOVE THE NEXT DAY.

8) VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER. we all made a little something to bring. SO MUCH FUN. and so yummy. I have never been so full.

Il Carnevale di Venezia!

Venice Carnival was one of the most anticipated trips so far. At Madison, I did a project on the carnival for JELENA (hate her) in my Italiano class. Soooo, I was super excited to see all the excitement and crazZZZiness. The night before, Christine xxxx and Sofija came to visit from Florence! I was so excited to see some TINA and show her a little of my world. BUT of course we ran into a little problem0 (christine has a pay-as- you go phone AND OF COURSE DIDN’T HAVE MINUTES LEFT). OH CHRISTINE. But I managed to find this little lost puppy and enjoy a quality meal with my biff. I was planning on ending the night early.. considering we had a 5am bus to Venice in the morning, HOWEVER, I decided to go out with them to the barzzz in campo. We had a blast and I’m so happy they were able to come. HOPEFULLY SHE WILL COME BACK FOR A LONGER STAY.

Waking up wasn’t too bad…. and the bus ride there wasn’t either (the way back is a different story).  We had a bigger group than usual (kathryn’s friends were visiting) and Hannah, Michelle, and John and his roomie tagged along. Our first stop was Murano Island. We managed to see a free glass blowing show.. IT WAS KIND OF CRAY/ amazing. But, there wasn’t much to do on the island so we decided to go where the center of the carnevale was. I was so excited to get a mask.. but I was NOT ABOUT TO SETTLE. (it took me a while to figure out which one was perfetttoooo).

The Venetian people’s outfits were unreal. Now, scratch the thought of a usual carnival–CAUSE THIS IS NOTHING LIKE ONE. The costumes are based on historical and art figures of Italy.. and the masks are nothing but normal (I snapped some cool pictures). We ventured around… it was kind of stressful at first because of the 1204120398120 people roaming the streets–> But we caught on quickly. We stopped at a cool bar and got a sangria special which was DELISH but the customer service was TERRIBLE (she made us leave with both drinks in our hands SAY WHA?).

We made our way to the main square and had a FABULOUS time the rest of the night. We danced (DUH) and sang a lil, and enjoyed the carnival festivities. It was definitely an amazing experience.

THE BUS RIDE BACK WAS TERRIBLE. 7 hours OF MISERY. FIRST OF ALL…. EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND BUS MANNERS–> DO NOT PUT YOUR SEAT BACK ALL THE WAY. I THINK I HAD TWO INCHES. (i EVEN asked the dumb girl to put her seat up … SHE SAID NO!) NUMBER 2: SHOUT OUT TO THE DRIVER FOR CRANKING THE HEAT UP TO 100 DEGREES–> EVERYONE WAS SWEATING PROFUSELY. NUMBER 3: SOMEONE WAS EATING MY CANDY. LASLTY, I HATE BUS RIDES.

We arrived at 5:30 in the morning. THE END. The Carnival was great.

CIAO. I’TS BEEN A WHILE.

I’M BAAAACKKKK. YOU’RE WELCOME (SHARON). Anyways, it’s been a while only because I have been slowly decaying from the ITALIAN FLU. But it’s all good!! Anyways, I’ll fill you in a little bit.

1) Firenze. In Florence, we had an absolute blast. We woke up at 6am and headed on a bus to the FAB city. We went with Bus2Alps, which is a tour group full of young kids that sets up great trips! Once we got to Florence, our guides showed us all the major historical sites of the city and we were able to snap some great pictures. They brought us to an AMAZING panini shop…. (if I lived in Florence, I would for sure balloon) THE PANINIS WERE SOOOO GOOD AND THE OWNERS WERE HOTTAYYSS (lololol). After that, we decided to walk around the city and get a feel on our own. EXCEPT, there was one thing missing, CHRISTINE. Haha, SO, I thought that the whole day Christine wasn’t texting me and I was furious–> if I didn’t end up seeing X in the city the she was studying in, I would have FREAKED. Turns out it was my fault!! OOPS (I gave her my wrong number), and Christine waited alone in a piazza and looked for me for quite a while. Luckily I had wifi for a second and was able to get in touch with her!!! ME AND TINA WERE REUNITED AT LAST. 

To continue, we walked around the city and did a little leather shopping. “ANYTHING FOR YOU BEAUTIFUL” –> that’s what all the vendors on the street scream to us American Gals. HA in fact, Kathryn was hounded down by the most hilarious man. “Jennifer Lopez and Pamela Anderson” (HAHA that’s what he called her). He had the perfect jacket for her. It really was cute. Finally, we rounded up troops again and joined everyone for the most DELICIOUS DINNER and finished it off with a shot of lemon cello!! loves it. Lastly, on the bus ride home, I got really into the movie Gladiator. MAXIMUS!! MAXIMUS!! MAXIMUS!!

2) THE ITALIAN FLU. This week. That’s all i’ve done. THE ITALIAN FLU. HA. Kathryn and I went to the doctor, who THANK GOD took us–only because I spoke some italian. OMG i’m so Italian. But anyways, this week has been miserable and all I have done is laid in my bed and nothing else. I really haven’t eaten or seen the sun. BUT I FEEL BETTER TODAY! WOOOHOOO!

3) Yesterday, I decided to leave the house for a little roomie dinner. We went for indian food– probs wasn’t the best decision considering I don’t have the best stomach. But turns out, it was super fun! I ordered Naan and Samosas. YAYA. Also, my new Fashionista of the week was Hilary (her post will be up on friday)! 

GAHH I don’t want to go back to school–> The school here is pretty annoying. I have no idea what is going on in school, and I’m pretty sure i’m not the only one that thinks this way! haha. But as long as I manage to do well. HOPEFULLY! 

This weekend we are off to IL CARNEVALE! –> I did a project on the carnevale in Jelena’s class (omg i hate her). I CAN’T WAIT TO GO!

until next time, keep dancing.

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Duomo!

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there were so many things I wanted to buy… $$$

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There was a parade!

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JEWELRY HEAVEN on that bridge!

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Jennifer Lopezzz… Pamela Anderson…

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My Leather Purchase.

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idk why we didn’t take a better picture than this, but XXXX!

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LEMON CELLO SHOTZZZZ

 

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Image INDIAN SAMOSAS / NAAN

Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Italia’s elite. I’m welcoming you to the semester, when JCU students, who flew overseas, begin to try to “study” and plan trips to travel like VIP’s. Which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Word is, Sarah Grande is enjoying her adventures abroad as she dances in the new semester on cobblestone streets. Although Dancing Sarah may be far away, she leaves Madison behind hopefully not to be forgotten. Guess that means Lonely Girl has to keep on posting to fill you all in. Rumor is she’s trading hallways for airways. So long badgers, say hello to this new traveler.

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SG spotted.

This just in: Sarah Grande having a bit of a dilemma. Will she be stuck in this dome all day? All lonely girl wanted was a little fur. This Tourista wants to fluff up her life to become a new Fashionista.

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Spotted: Sarah Grande and Kitty enjoying a little Cappuccino and brioche at the local bar in between photography class. Looks like these two have quite the appetite, for photography that is.

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SG is a new Style Guru.

Spotted: Dancing Sarah trades in her ballet slippers for ballet flats. Word is she scored an internship with College Fashionista. Looks like Lonely Girl is now Lucky Girl.

And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. Xoxo, GossipGirl

I’m Becoming SOOO Italian.

After a whirlwind of just a first week abroad, it feels as if a month has already passed. Classes are NOT as big of a joke as I thought (oops!) and I might actually pick up some valuable information from them–who would have thought?! Also, the weather has been brutal. Rain, rain, and more rain. But despite the weather, we have still managed to walk around and explore.

Most of the nights we have eaten out because the grocery store we were told to go to ACTUALLY has no food! (apparently it’s shutting down today). So, we are in dire need of finding a new one. On Thursday night, Kitty and I got pizza at midnight and we were graciously accommodated for at a candle lit table, next to a fire with little blankets. (Che Romantica!! If only it was with a boy… HA.)

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Apparently, according to Kathryn, “leopards used to roam around cat sanctuary in Ancient Rome”……..

Friday during the day was super FUN! We decided to do a bookstore tour (we were slightly incapable of doing that ourselves), so we signed up! There were about 20 of us and I was more than excited when John Burke, from Loyola, was on the tour too! (there are soooo many Loyola and Madison people here. omg) Kathryn, Medina, Hannah (from my italiano classes at Wisco), Michelle, John, and I,  followed the tour and LAUGHED hysterically all day. It was an interesting trip, especially when they told us that we had to pack into a bus the size of a barbie jeep (jk, but not really). We were all sweating as well as uncomfortably close to each other, and the little italian ladies were COMPLAINING about us in italian. (Erano Scortesi!) Furthermore, our tour guide was A LITTLE LOST… BUT we were able to take a scenic route and walk down the spanish steps (Sooo Lizzie McGuire Movie)! It was an absolute bonding experience. 

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Spanish Steps!

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Che Bello!

Last night we decided to have a little roomie dinner! We made pasta and pizza–it was DELISH. Afterwards we decided to go CLUBBING (sayyy whaaa?). Everything was perfect until I tried to get into the club. APPARENTLY I LOOK 12 BECAUSE THEY ASKED TO SEE MY ID. (you have to be 18 or older to get in). IM 21!!!! ughhh lololol. But il cluuub experience was a success all because of ALFREDO, the club promoter and our new best friend. He gave us VIP access and hooked all of us sistas UP.

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Mini Truck–I still don’t understand it.

Oh, and note to self: use the bathroom before leaving the apartment–COMMUNAL BATHROOMS ARE TERRIBLE AND SO AWKWARD. (I did make a new friend though LOLZ.)

The d-ROME-atic First Week.

THE FIRST POST. Well, here it goes. Unfortunately, if I had written my first post a few days ago, it might have been a little FRANTIC, DEPRESSING, or complete CHAOS, considering I have been doomed the title of “the series of unfortunate events.” However, today I can slightly laugh to myself and say that things CAN ONLY flourish from here.

To begin, everything seemed terrific from the start. The plane ride was smooth and I had met a couple of girls that were also attending the university abroad on the flight. Yet, upon the arrival in Rome, the first bump in the road made its way. Kathryn’s luggage was lost and nowhere to be found. Now, I can’t even explain to you HOW HAPPY I WAS THAT IT WAS NOT MINE, and was especially surprised that I had escaped the first setback. However, unfortunately for me, the major BLOWS were headed my way.

Now, before I arrived at my apartment, I was well aware that I was on the opposite side of the campus from Kathryn a.k.a. (kitty), and her BFF’S ❤ Medina, Christine, and Steph. BUT LITTLE DID I KNOW that it REALLY WAS on the other side of campus. More importantly though, I promised myself I would keep an open mind and try to accept this as my fate.

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uhhh. THIS WAS MY FIRST APARTMENT. not kidding

Unfortunately though, the minute I had arrived to the apartment, everything I had told myself disappeared and a bad feeling set into my stomach. OK, I’m sorry to sound like a brat, BUT I was not expecting a GHETTOLICIOUS apartment that was a 45-minute walk away from my friends, with no cell phone or communication, and an interesting bunch of roomies. And I’m sorry that I was expecting to be near cobblestones and beautiful colored building with TONZ of delightful little Italian people near me. OMG. But the minute I walked in my door, I greeted everyone with respect and glee (lalalala) as my usual FAB self, and then later slowly lost it and proceeded to have several mini heart and panic attacks. (I wanted to provide you with more of my frantic texts to my father, however; UNFORTUNATELY I restored my phone and lost all texts, pictures, and apps—Just my luck!!)

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Slightly Dramatic?

IN A NUTSHELL, throughout the week, I pouted and felt bad for myself when I discovered that the trastevere apartments were not working out for me and neither was the distance. FOMO (fear of missing out. for all ya old folks). I finally was able to reach my biff, but I was kicked out of their dorms by ITALIAN LAW at 11:30 and had to WALK BACK MYSELF! (Dangerous) wah.  SO, I cried to the housing office and my parents multiple times until they let me into the residence. I was then granted a spot in the Gianicolo Dorms.

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Now thats more like it!

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THINGS WERE WORKING OUT, I walked into my NEW apartment in the dorms. Now, I’m just going to describe this as an utter and complete AMBUSH. The minute I walked in, the girls asked me TO MOVE OUT. (What?!?!) AND I AM NOT JOKING. One by one, each girl, from Notre Dame (eh. they sure gave themselves a good name) tried to kindly ask me if I could move to the apartment below. SO, I kindly told them NO, and told them that I was going to stay. THIS DID NOT GO WELL. The girl had already moved their stuff into my room! Long story short, they completely bombarded me and were not taking no for an answer. They cried to the housing and were extremely rude and obnoxious. The rudest bunch of girls I have ever met! (Trastevere apartments looked wonderful when compared to these girls.) SO, sadly on my birthday, I slept on a couch and had no time to beautify myself up, and nowhere to put my suitcases or shower, thus I decided to move out and move down a floor.

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Cobblestone Streets! Yay!

Finally, I am now the floor below and can I say it is definitely a diverse group of gals who seem really nice! But for the mean time, and for the rest of the trip, THIS IS WHERE I WILL STAY.

On the bright side :), I have already had some great times throughout the week. The dinner has been BOMB (miss ya Emily) and the going out life is CRAY. I have also had some spare time to ROAM around ROME lolzzz and take it all in. My birthday was a success (sorry to say those pictures are un-postable). HA. We have also booked our first trip to the Almalfi Coast! I can’t wait. Things are looking up from here! Consequently, I have come up with some goals for the trip: 1) To meet some great, new, genuine people. 2) To take as many pictures as I can. 3) No more pouting. 4) TO BUY AN ITALIAN GOOD LUCK NECKLACE (essential). 5) TO HAVE A MARVELOUS TIME! 

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Gnocchi, My Fave!

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Im Lovin It.

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Cat Sanctuary! meow.

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MONKEY in Italy! 😉

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Besties in Italy!

Until next time, stay absolutely fabulous.