Saturday, June 16, 2007


Today was my day to shop. OY! And not for what you think. When I eventually left the house at 11:30 yes, I got a dress...but i ALSO bought TONS of stuff for school. Like kitchen supplies. You may ask...did I need them? I actually did need them. So it was money well spent. And it was fun. I think I went to 3 kitchen stores and they all gave me a discount for being a student. Made up for the price of the dress ;) Which was also worth it. I tried it on yesterday but didn't purchase it. I thought about it all night and HAD to go get it today :) That's how you know you HAVE to have something. I also indulged in magazines at the store today. I was feeling homesick for some pictures and US crap :) I eventually came home at 5 pm after my walking excursion through Paris and shopping til I dropped. I did a bunch of stuff on my computer and eventually made myself Kraft Macaroni and cheese without milk (ONLY thing in my fridge! because my lettuce went bad!). It wasn't what I wanted to eat...but I suffered. Eventually I left my house to walk to the movie theatre to meet Trephene. We saw Shrek 3 at 10:20. It was hilarious. Good movie :) At 12 am I walked home. Went to bed at 1:30. Overall, good day.

June 15, 2007

Once again, 8:30 class. We had a PD and learned Tarte Normande and Tarte Creole. Both DELICIOUS! No other word about that! I wish we were making BOTH of them in class...THAT'S how good they were! Then went to sit with my friends for coffee at 11:30 and at 12:30 we had a CD. Kaili took a personal day while Katie and Melissa and I worked our butts off! It was a LONG practical. We were amongst the last people in there. At one point we all had to leave the room because of the toxins that were coming from (which I found out at the END of practical) MY recipe in plastic that blew onto someone's hot plate! It was BAD! ooops. Anyway, Chef gave great criticism today. Ok...not great...but better than usual. My sauce was very good. However it didn't start out that way. He helped me tweak it and eventually he liked it. I, personally, would have added more salt. My veggies were usual. My aubergines had great flavor but he said I could have put some more garlic in it. And my fish was over cooked by 1/2 a second. WHAT?!?! I mean that's the worst criticism ever. 1/2 second. I could have timed that better! And last...he said my plating was very pretty. So overall good day...although I was running SO late!

At 3:30 I walked home and good think because it started to downpour. When it stopped raining, Liz and I went to BHV to pick up some stuff, but they didn't have the ONE thing i needed so I have to go somewhere else! Then around 7ish I went to Kaili's to shower. I picked up beer, bread, cheese and cherries. Lauren came over and eventually we ordered Pizza's and watched 2 episodes of House. Thrilling!!!! Then at 12:30 I came home. I am about to go to bed peacefully having finished my first week in french classes ;)

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 14, 2007

I could not sleep today and I had a late class, so i went with it. I needed groceries anyway. So first I went to my market and got a few things. Then I walked over to monoprix but they were closed for inventory! So annoying! So i just went to a regular grocery store which doesn't have everything i want, nor is it good! Then i came home and did a whole bunch of nothing but quickly left and ran a ton of errands. At 11:30 I got to school and saw katie there so I sat with her for a while as she drank some coffee. Then at 12:30 we had a PP. We made the baba rhum. It was rather easy. Plus we got to work together for one part. It was very laid back as well. As we neared the end I did a simple decoration. This was the only think chef said was wrong about my cake. He said there weren't enough raspberries on it. However, I am a firm believer if we aren't making a raspberry cake, why put them on there? But we had to, so I put a small amount. Anyway, I thought my piping was good as well.

At 3:30 we had a CD. We learned foie gras flan with morel mushrooms, hake wrapped in bacon with aubergines, and bananas baked in their own skin with banana sorbet (OUTSTANDING!). I loved the foie gras flan! After class, Kaili, Trephene and I met up with Lauren at PDG, which is supposed to be the best burger joint in Paris! The book didn't lie! We had some damn good burgers. Kaili and I got two and split them :) Then two singers came and played beatles tunes. I left around 9 while the girls stayed, but I had to wash my hair (atleast) in the cold water at home. Got home at 9:30 and did just that! I survived...but froze my tushy off! I went to bed around 10:30.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13, 2007

These 8:30 classes and I don't get along right after long breaks ;) i am exhausted still and not in the swing of things! Anyway...8:30 demo. We learned frog legs with a garlic puree and a herb sauce (outstanding!), Lamb chops with a tasty farce on top, green beens w/ bacons and artichoke chips which were deep fried...amazing! and for dessert it was a fruity goodness with kirsch (YUM) and a chiboust cream ontop inside of an orange. Today was a good tasting day! They saved all the good food for superior :) Anyway, at 11:30 we had a break. Boo for long breaks. Kaili and I went to H and M cause i had to return something then to Erik Kayser and we had a picnic in the park! It was lovely out today so it was nice to just relax and not have anything to do! Eventually we went back to school. Then at 3:30 we cooked those chops!!!! It was a longer class than we expected and it was BOILING in the kitchen. But things turned out well. I wasn't pleased with my plating (as most days!) but my jus was "super" as chef said! he said it was seasoned perfectly and a good consistency! So that was good. However I needed to plate it at the last second right before he came to try it because it got cold. And my meat was a little overcooked...but i could tell that before he tried it. My chops were so small that I shouldn't have even put them in the oven...but i had to so i could brown the top...and it didn't even brown! annoying! Anyway...i was so glad to be done with class because i was boiling today!

It was also raining outside so it was nice to walk home in the rain. When I got home I just sat. It was one of those days where I was SO just done with the day. I talked on the phone to my best friend sara for a while which was nice cause we caught up and then i did some banking stuff so I could see how much I could travel this trimester. Now I think i'm gonna read a little before i go to bed. I could use some r and r and some alone time :) and since no one is's perfect timing :) have a lovely nite!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

Back on track with my schedule. However I can't start going to the gym yet because i have SUCH BAD blisters on my feet from italy that I can barely walk/stand at school. So I'm waiting for those to heal and hopefully monday I will be able to start again! Anyway...8:30 class and I had CP. We made the John Dory. It went by quick. 3 of us shared the fish so we combined duties today. Also, I didn't mention yesterday, they are getting strict with my lip ring had to be taken out, my nose pierce has to be taken out (i left it in and got yelled at going to get a clear one...or else...bye bye sad!), earring had to be taken out...ALL OF IT. they are cracking down on all of the students now. Which i guess is a good thing and should have been done a LONG time ago. continue...class went fine. I am really concentrating on plating this trimester and sauces. Once again my sauce was too thick and he said I needed a little more lime juice. But he didn't go into much detail about anything else. This is the chef that I don't get along with very well, so I pretty much keep to myself and don't ask question about anything because he doesn't like to speak english and he gets annoyed easily. So he didn't give much feedback. I was pleased with my presentation and the flavor of my sauce.

We finished at 10:30 so we had coffee and then went to my baguette place to get some bread. AT 12:30 we had our first pastry demo with a chef who also isn't the friendliest! At the beginning of class he was speaking so quickly even if we wanted to understand we couldn't! Luckily we had a fire drill so we talked to admin about it and they spoke to the chef right before we went back into class, so he toned it down. He was also very understandable that most of us don't speak french so he said if we have questions ask them in english in class and he will answer in french, but we need to understand it in demo before we get to practical. SO that a little bit of a compromise (since english is allowed!) Anyway...we made kugelholpf and baba rhum! Then after class at 6 I went to Kaili's to shower because I still have no hot water and prolly wont have any for another week or two! fabulous huh? Then I came home and went straight to the laundr-o-mat for the FIRST time in my life. (washing machine won't work either because of the water!) I had so many loads it was a joke. Now I know those places are expensive...but 8.50 euros for one load...thats almost 10 bucks for a load of laundry! and that's just the wash! WHAT THE F!?!?!? anyway...i read while i waited. Got home by 7:30 and actually did some homework on my 2nd day of class. Im such a good student :) Now im about to go to bed because i was up way too late last nite and I have an early day tomorrow. Au revoir!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Premier Jour de Superior!!!

Well I'm back and better than before :) Ok...maybe not that part! But...I'm back and ready to attack....french that is! I woke up at 8 am and finished my blogging. So you may ask why it wasn't posted til tonite. Well I have some readers (SALT!!) who like to correct my errors so I wanted to read over them before publishing them...and i KNOW there are prolly still some, but atleast I eliminated a few ;) Anyway...I ran to the post office around 11ish and then went to school around noon to get lockers for all of my friends. Got the same ones as last trimester and the one before :) So that's good. Then I went to run errands and grab lunch. At 2:30 I met my friends for coffee. It was nice to be back! At 3:30 it was my first Superior demo! FYI- Blogs are going to be a little different because I can't inform you of much because I can't understand much! Class was very difficult today! I could understand what he was doing...but as far as what he was saying....HA! So i watched VERY closely :) I guess that's what I'm going to have to do! So we learned asparagus with clams and oysters, John Dory with wild rice and Tandoori spices, and some dessert I've never heard of that I can't even remember the name of because it was in french and it wasn't to my liking :) And BOY does the class go quicker when you have no translator! We were done by 5:10! Normally class ends at 6:30! Crazy! I sat and talked to my friends for a while and at 6 I walked home. Still no water. At 6:45 my friend from camp called and asked if I wanted to go to dinner. My first visitor! yah! Chotty- Or Jamie- was a delight to see! I was also with her friends and Liz, my new roomie, came with too! We went for falafel! A blast. Then it started raining so we parted ways! It was a pleasure to spend time with someone from home though and catching up!

Now, I'm getting stuff ready for school and going to bed soon! Ready to start my new school session! I'll blog more about school tomorrow because I actually have some stuff to say! Au revoir.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I woke up at 6:30 b/c Liz told me the water was STILL broken at my house so I made sure I showered and blow dried my hair! I wanted to be clean. I went downstairs and had breakfast and the hotel but the guy serving kept coughing up a lung and sneezing and hacking and it was so disturbing that I could barely eat! SO i left very early. I sat there for a long time and bought some food for my 7 hr train ride! The entire ride I slept. No joke. I woke up for periods of 10 min maybe 3 times to eat. But otherwise I was sleeping...very uncomfortably i might add. When I got to the Gare...i was so ready to be home I took a cab! hahahah. And pretty much ever since I've been unpacking and blogging so all my friends could enjoy! And starting tomorrow, Superior Cuisine and Pastry ALL IN FRENCH! please read on for more excitement. Till then....


Woke up at 7 and had continental breakfast and my fancy hotel :) This was the most I spent the whole trip as far as hotels. I met some lady on the bus back to the train station who was speaking italian to me and i seemed to manage. It was funny! Anyway, I got on the 8:18 train and arrived in Milan at 10 am. Went straight to my hotel which was right near the station (finally!). He wouldn't check me in, but I stored my luggage there. I took a map and left. I went straight into town and started to shop! I started with the expensive street incase I blew my wad early! Well i didn't blow any wad! At 1ish I went to see the last supper. it was pretty cool. I was so lucky because I made a reservation and they were booked til July! It was really neat. Then I went to Chocolat for Gelato. This was my second favorite place. I had White Chocolate, some kind of nutella and then a creme caramel with chunks of caramel. Very smooth. Then I went to the middle of nowhere china town to the Harley Davidson store for my daddy! I got there and there were so many shirts I was overwhelmed! I got one though :) I left there and tried to go on a mad shopping spree. In between I went to La Scala Opera House and their museum. That's when I decided to go the Opera and skip dinner :) I finished my shopping (and I bought myself one present--a furla wallet--not as expensive as you think!) and went back to La Scala at 5:30 to wait in line. I met Nicholas and Kaitlin from LA. They were nice company as we waited for our 12 Euro tickets to the Opera!!!! At 6:20 I went to the Hotel to check in and then left to go back to the Opera. I had time for a small dinner...and I'm embarassed to say where I ate. I'll leave it to your imagination :) At 8 pm I saw the Opera. The first 2 acts I was in the LAST row and i couldn't see a thing unless i stood up and leaned over A LOT so i basically listened and watched my screen in front of me which had english translations! Then the last 2 acts I sat in the row in front which was the front row technically of the top balcony so I could see more. However by this time i was exhausted so I was dosing off a bit. Anyway, main plot- Married Woman, husband got send off to work and she made an oath that she wouldn't cheat on him. She found a lover. Her husband's father found out. She poisioned him. Husband came home. Woman and Lover choked him. Lover and Woman got married. They got caught. Lover ran away with another woman. Then they both drowned. Depressing huh? Great singing though! Over at 11:20! Went to be at 12:30.


I woke up at 7 am and took the bus to the train station. I took the 8:52 which got me into verona at 10:40 ish. I got on the bus and asked the driver if he drove down via viani. He said yes. So i asked if he would show me where. He got frustrated and said no. So i asked some people who said there is no via viani...but there is a via ZEviani. So i guess i didn't understand the woman over the phone. So the entire front half of the bus started talking about it! Anyway...Jane and Alex who were American and English and spoke fluent Italian said they would translate for me! Well, Jane happened to have gone to Illinois Weslyean and knew some of my friends. And this adorable couple is getting married soon! They live in Milan but moving home soon! Welll...they SO sweetly took me ALL the way to the hotel! We got to my stop and my directions said it was right across the street! Well stupid lady at the hotel...thank god Alex and Jane were with me! It was NOT across the street. It was down many streets! Alex carried my bag for me. SO nice. Then we all took the bus to the center of town. If it wasn't for them i would have NEVER made it there!!!!!!!! i owe them my life! I asked to take them to dinner in Milan, but it was Jane's birthday so I understood. However, she gave me her number on the map I had...and i threw out my map by if you read this...EMAIL ME! please. Thank you guys for everything! and happy belated bday! Anyway, I started my day off at the Arena! So cool! They were setting up for Aida. Started to cry a bit. It was an emotional day I have to admit. The land of romeo and juliet. Missing theatre and all! Anyway.,..then I went to Juliet's tomb! FREAKY! Then went to the church of San Fermo Maggiore. Then the Lamberti Tower which was 368 stairs up and 368 down. Then i went to Piazza Erbe for a cheap lunch (jenny suggestion) which was fresh fruit! SOOOO good. I also walked through Piazza dei Signori. Then I went to the church of Santa Anastasia but it was closed. Then I went to the Duomo. Then I crossed Ponte Pietra and went to the Roman Theatre and Museum. MORE stairs. It was soooo neat. As I was leaving i made friends with a cat! As I walked out i saw two more. Then I went up so many stairs I couldn't even count...but I was SWEATING badly! I was at the top of Castel Pietro. The most gorgeous view of Verona. Then I had to walk all the way down! Whew! Then I walked the water front to get to Ponte di Castelvecchio, a BEAUTIFUL bridge. I went into the museum. I left and went to the church of San Lorenzo but it was closed also. By then I was DEFINATELY done with touristy stuff. I had some gelato at some dinky place. (no suggestions) I sat and decided where I was going to do dinner. I did some shopping in the meanwhile. So dinner time....Number one choice...completely booked. Choice 2, they decided to close earlier than June 15th for their holidays. Choice 3 doesn't open til 8 and i didn't want to wait that late because I don't like to walk home when it's dark. SO i went to a hotel to get a suggestion. The lady told me a that was place number 4. I couldn't find it! SO i wound up picking some fancy touristy place which was CRAP! after dinner I went to the bus stop and i freaked out because the 11, 12, and 13 stopped for the night. So i wound up meeting Mikaela (sp?). She was italian and spoke very little english but kept me company! We waited together for 30 minutes and finally the 90 came. I got on and stood in front being paranoid I was going to miss my stop! I heard someone calling my name and it was Mikaela telling me to come by her. She said her stop was after mine so she would tell me when to get off! Good thing because I was SOOO confused. I got off and thanked her. I checked into my fancy hotel and got upstairs and NONE of the lights were working. I went back downstairs and the guy at the front desk said I had to put my card in the wall for the lights and air to work. I said "thanks for telling me this before i went upstairs" he said "oh no problem. my pleasure." He didn't get it. Anyway, I had my own room and blowdryer so i had a ball! I felt semi clean and then went to bed!


Woke up at 5am!!!! I wanted to get to Venice early so I took the 6:02 train that was supposed to get me in at 8 am but got me in at 8:25. Then I realized my hotel was NOT on the main island. SOOOO pissed. I had to take a bus to my hostel then walk 5 more minutes. Anyway I got there and dropped off my stuff. I left and went right back to where I started. I took a vaparetti to Ponte Rialto and walked the rest of the way to San Marco. I can't remember very well when I did things because the rain kept interrupting! BUT i do remember feeding the birds :) I was SOOO excited. It was so thrilling i started to tear up. I asked a nice couple from Alabama to take pictures for me. It was like a dream come true! Then I was to the Palazzo Ducale. Strange but pretty. After that I went to the Basillica St. Mark. I went in and out because there was so much to do inside and I didn't want to pay to do all of the things. Plus you had to keep walking up and down all of them. And the free beautiful church was enough. Then i went up the tower. This one had an elevator. It was raining at the top but it was still fun. After that I went to Harry's bar and splurged (Jenny's suggestion)! This is where the Bellini was invented. And 15 euros was quite the splurge...but it was TASTY! Then I got hungry so I went to Paolin for some gelato. I had vanilla and giandujia and nuts with whipped cream. Good, but not Bologna! Then I went next door to use the interner for 20 min. Eventually I aimlessly walked/shopped forever til I met Janet and Jennifer from Atlanta (Aunt and Niece) who SOOOO graciously let me go on their gondola ride with them. By now it had stopped raining. We had a wonderful time and Francesco (our gondolier) showed us some sights including Mozart's home! At the end I asked them how much I owed and Janet wouldn't let me pay! That was BY FAR the NICEST thing that had happened to me on the trip! I am a firm believe that when you do a good deed, something good will happen to you in return. THANK YOU! After that I walked forever, getting completely lost because the streets in venice are so confusing. I eventually sat down for a while to journal. Then I went to dinner at Antico Martini (Frommer's) which was my BIG purchase of the entire trip (and i tried sea grasshopper!!!). I also met the nicest couple from Morris IL. We chatted the whole time. I won't delve into their story, but it really inspired me. I feel blessed to have met them. They are such happy people and it rubbed off on me. It was a pleasure to have met them and eaten dinner with them. I also met some canadians at the end of the meal. After my WAY too expensive dinner the nice couple walked me to Ponte Rialto and it was even more beautiful at nite! I took a vaparetti to the Piazalle Roma and got on my bus 6. I met some people from Tyler, Texas who were very sweet. They didn't know where they were going so I helped them! I eventually got home and was getting ready for bed when I noticed my shampoo bottle broke ALL over my stuff! so I had to clean it and throw some stuff out! I eventually got to bed pretty late.


I woke up at 7 and took the 8:30 train to Bologna which got me in at 9:30. I got to my B and B at 10 am. Mind you, this was the ONLY place that didn't confirm with me that I had a reservation so I felt that there was going to be a problem. Low and behold...they didn't have me written down! SO the girl made a phone call and they said I was on the list, but I wasn't. Whatever the case, she checked me in and said my room wasn't ready but would be in 30 min. So i sat at the table and waited. I planned a few things out for my day. When she was done she took my passport and said she was going to hold onto it til I paid but she didn't know how much I owed. I said it's on my confirmation paper that I have. So I gave her my money because I wanted my passport back! So from 10:15 til 2 pm I napped because it was downpour the entire time. And pretty much the ONLY reason i was in bologna was to eat :) I left the hotel at 3ish and went to Gelaturo the BEST gelato I had my entire trip. I don't even know what kind I had. I told the guy to give me his 3 specialties. One was pistachio with cake or something, then chocolate and orange, and then a vanilla with nuts (i think...not sure!) But it was AMAZING! and supposedly it's all organic! Frank Sinatra was playing the entire time. When My Kinda Town Chicago Is came on, i started to cry. As I started to walk out I saw a guy wearing a Bittersweet shirt from CA so I stopped to talk to him. His name was Brett and he was doing his grad school at Berkley and he did his undergrad there too. He also lived in Bologna for a while. He spoke Italian. He said this was the best place for Gelato and he likes to go to Bologna just for that place! Then I left and went shopping for about 2 hours. Didn't buy anything, but I wasted time til 7:30. I went to Papagallos where EVERYONE in town told me to go. They said it was expensive...but worth it. The waiter treated me SOOO well. I told him i was studying culinary so he brought me samples of a bunch of food! Notes on request. At this meal I ate Ham....AHHHH! I know...SO not me :) Anyway, After dinner I went home to get ready for Venice. One last word on Bologna. Bologna is said to be Italy's Gastronic capital and that's why I went there. However, maybe I picked a bad restaurant...but i don't think it was first place in my book. It was good...but not the best.


I woke up at 7 and woke Ed up also. We left the hotel and on the way out we met Abigail from Australia so we invited her to join us! We went to the Academia to see DAVID!!!!!! It was SOOOO thrilling to see him upclose. I have to say boys...that the whole "if your hands are big..." is SO false...cause David's hands are HUGE and his peepee is tiny! But he is HOTT! And what a butt! was SOOOO cool. I didn't want to leave! But we did because we had to get back to our hostel for breakfast at 9:15! was free! When we got back I met Andrea, another roomie, who also happened to be another foodie like me. She goes to school in Florida for hospitality. Anyway, then Ed and I went to the Duomo. We climbed 463 stairs to the top then 463 down. Just beautiful. Then we went to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. Then we parted ways. I had a reservation for the Uffizi gallery because I bought my tickets the day before. It was a lot of art work, which gets a bit boring after a while. Then I went to eat gelato at Vivoli's. (another Jenny/Frommer's suggestion) I ate the Canella, Nocciolo and something that resembles Mille Feuille...BRILLIANT. Why didn't i come up with Napoloeon ice cream?!?!? It was the best gelato so far. Then I went to Santa Croce which was cool to see Michelangelo's tomb. I walked around there for a while and then took the bus to Piazalle Michelangelo where the bronze statue of David is, BUT there was some TRL thing going on so there were SO many youngsters there. So i quickly left. I tried to walk to Boboli gardens and MAJORLY got lost. I met a girl from Maine on my way who was studying Italian there. She tried to help, but didn't know either. So i kept walking and got even more lost. By then my feet were murdering me, but everyone said I had to walk Ponte Vecchio. By then I just wanted to get home so I got to the bridge and walked it quickly. It was pretty cool though. I got back to the hostel at 6 and layed down. At 6:30 I showered and got dressed for dinner with Jackson. We met at 7:30 at Club Culinario Tuscano de Osvaldo (a suggestion from Jenny!) We ordered the 6 course tasting menu with red wine. The whole meal was outstanding and not badly priced compared to what i've been eating! It was SOOOO fun to be with good company and to pick apart the food with another critic :) It was just nice being with someone from school and Jackson is a blast! He so kindly walked me home. I got my life organized and then went to bed at 11 pm.

Firenze-1 (Pisa)

The nice man woke me up at 6:15 and I took a cold shower (but i didn't expect different!) I got dressed and picked up my nasty breakfast again, but today I had an italian croissant with NASTY pastry cream in the middle. I took the 7:42 train to 9:45 into Florence. After getting lost I found my hostel. I dropped of my luggage and once again found BAD planning. Florence is closed on Mondays, so i had to do my Pisa trip today instead of tomorrow :) I walked to the center of town to buy tickets for the Florence sights for tomorrow but they only had the Uffizi so i bought it. I tried to find a tour to Pisa, but at American Express they said you can't go to the top of the tower if you take the tour so I decided to go myself. I took the 12:37 train to Pisa which got me in at 1:40. I walked to the tower area. The earliest tour was at 4:40! ARGH! By then it was 2:15 so I had to do it. How could i not go to the top!!!! Since i had so much time I paid to do the other 5 touristy things which wound up being a bit boring. I finished that within an hr and 20 min. Then I asked 2 american guys to take the traditional touristy picture of me pushing the Tower! Then I went to get some gelato. THEN i got to go to the top of the tower which was about 300 stairs up and then 300 down. After I took tons of pictures I went back to the train station getting a bit lost (as usual) and window shopping. Got on the 5:54 train back to Florence and went straight to dinner at Da Ganino. Best dinner of the trip! Pasta Porcini, Bisteca Fiorentina (specialty in Florence), Garlic Spinach and Tiramisu! AND they gave me a discount because I was studying culinary. I met a mom and daughter from CA who said they come here every 2 years for the past 15 years! They said it was their favorite restaurant in Florence. I could see why! They were a delight to talk to! And they helped me chose dinner...which was GREAT! They also walked me part of the way home :) THANKS for the company!!!! Eventually I went home and met ED because I saw him drinking Chianti and eating Mcdonalds! He also happened to be one of my roomates and I have to say my favorite person I met on my trip! We talked for a while and then I went to bed at 11:30!


I woke up at 8 and it was DOWNPOUR! Depressing...but I HAD to go with it. At this hostel you got breakfast and internet, but it was strange. They give you a breakfast ticket and you eat breakfast a few doors down from the hostel. I had a cappucino and I asked for their specialty pastry which was a donut with, no joke, vanilla frosting inside. It was nasty! I left there and went to the internet place which was again not in the hostel. I sat for about 10 min to check my internet and check my addresses. I was then off on my journey to Ancient Rome. I took the blue line to the collesseum. I took the tour and it was amazing. The whole place was just gorgeous. It was about 45 min. I then went to the Palatino. Wow...even more beautiful. I got lost inside...well outside...because it was so large. Eventually I left and walked through many piazzas that I don't remember their names but I took a lot of pictures :) I got to Campidoglio but I didn't go to the museums. I left there and went to the Trevi Fountain. (3 Coins in the Fountain) Stayed there for a few minutes then went to Giolitti which Jenny said is to be the best Gelato in Rome. It was pretty damn good! I had Nocciola (hazelnut), Canella (cinnamon) and Biscotti (cookie). Then I left and walked to the Pantheon. I walked around there and then left to go to Campo del Fiori where I went to this store called Taba (Jenny's suggestion) where I bought a beautiful scarf. That took me into the Jewish Ghetto. They weren't lying! Wait til you see the picture that says Vive Israel! hahaha! Then I went to the Jewish Museum where I got to tour the Synagogue. Beautiful! I also learned a lot of history about Italian Jews that I never knew! Then I was trying to kill some time so I went to an internet cafe for an hour. Eventually I went to the hostel to get some info about Pigna (the restaurant Jenny said was to die for!) Luckily I went back to the Hostel because they were closed!!!!! So I picked a restaurant in my Frommer's book called Osteria del Gallo. I got a salad and the cacio e pepa which Jenny said was a Roman dish. However, nothing against Jenny, it was HORRIBLE! It had NO flavor. I think it was the restaurant... not the dish itself because I could see how it could be good. Then for dessert I had tiramisu which was good but not soaked enough. Anyway, I met 4 girls from Georgia and I sat next to them and talked to them the ENTIRE time. It was lovely to find out their stories. Each of them so individual! After dinner we sat and chatted a little more and eventually we parted. Thanx for a great dinner girls! (one of them is moving to chicago so hopefully we'll stay intouch!) I went to the bus station and waited for maybe 30 min! I got to the hostel to find out there were NO plugs in my room and the one that was there was broken! So the nice man downstairs kept my phone charging downstairs all night and said he would wake me up the next morning! Went to bed around 11:30ish.


I woke up at 5:45 am and I didn't have a towel...BUT i did have an extra sheet and i HAD to shower!!!!! I left the hostel and took the R2 bus to the train station and i ALMOST got pick pocketed. No joke! I sat with my bag in front of me and my backpack on my chest. This guy was standing next to me when there was barely no one on the bus. He started to touch my leg and i said no and moved as close to the window as i could. Luckily I had nothing in my pocket and my bags were locked. I also had my eye out so I moved really quick. Then I watched him touch some guys ass and THEN i actually saw him put his hand in someones pocket! Creepy. He eventually got off when he knew he couldn't succeed! Anyway, at the train station the people couldn't understand me so it was a pain to get my ticket validated and the woman who actually did it was a bitch! The train i took goes to venice but makes 4 stopes before it gets to rome and then onto venice. But it was free and it only takes 2 hrs so that's fine by me. When I got to the station my hostel was RIGHT across from the station. I checked in, left my luggage and then left. I did bad planning I guess because the Vatican is close on I HAD to go today. Which just meant longer lines cause it was so late in the day! So i went to the Vatican where I met Vera and Lindsay! I spent the ENTIRE day with them :) We waited in line from 12-12:45 and once we got into the vatican we decided to take the walking tour which began at 2. So we had to wait til 2! We browsed the book shop for a while and then just sat and talked. Very nice girls! It was SOOO nice to meet people and have company! Then at 2 we took the tour through the Vatican/Sistine Chapel til 4:15. Long tour, but very informative. THEN...we climbed 551 steps up and 551 down to see Michelangelos dome and then into St. Peters Chapel. Then we walked around Piazza del Popolo. Then we were going to this restaurant Gusto for dinner, but they weren't open yet so we went to Piazza Navona which was VERY touristy with a lot of street vendors and artists. I saw this one woman tap dancing. I took pictures of her and gave her money because I knew what she was going through. She gave me a card and on the card it said she gave lessons in NYC. Weird huh?!?! Then the 3 of us went to dinner at Gusto. (sugguestion from Jenny!) Not Roman food...but good none the less. However I have to tell you the combo of my dessert. I didn't order it because I wanted it, but because i HAD to try the flavors together. Coffee cake (not like what your thinking with the crumble on the top...actual flavor coffee!) with strawberry jellies, lemon sorbet, licorice sauce and crushed coffee beans. SO WEIRD. Anyway, I took the bus home and met my roomies. 3 boys and 1 girl. England, Argentina and a brother/sister couple from iowa. They all left and I went to bed at 10:30. (no hot water...the pipe broke earlier that day!)


I woke up at 8 am (the LATEST i woke up my ENTIRE break!!!!), got dressed, did one more load of dishes, finished packing, and left the house at 9:30. I took the metro to the Orly bus which took me to the airport. It took one hour which I expected. Already at the airport I was seeing hot italian men! And ofcourse my water bottle wasn't allowed to have water so I was forced to drink it! I was there REALLY early so i had to wait for a good hour and a half. Plus the plane was pick your own seats. Well my plane was delayed so I waited even longer! Anyway, I sat in the first row on the aisle. We took off at 1:20 pm and landed at 3:20 (supposed to land at 2:45). I met a lot of nice people from Alabama, Georgia, Tampa and Australia. By the time I got my luggage and took the bus to the hostel it was 4:45. I got lost getting to the hostel. Alfredo was at the front desk and was very nice! I dropped off my stuff and left by 5:10 pm. I walked to a lot of places however Naples was very ugly and dirty! At 7:30 I stopped walking and ate at Pizzeria Brandi. I had a seafood salad and a Margherita Pizza. Pizza was said to be invented in Naples. And may i say it was some of the best pizza I've ever eaten (and you know i've eaten a lot of pizza in my day!) The mozzarella was SOOO fresh! I walked home and crashed at 9:45.

Italia this is the beginning of my Italy blogs! Overall I had a great time. These are a few things I have to say about Italy and my trip before you read on!

-a lot of places in italy didn't have toilet seat tops...just the base!
-almost ALL of my trains and buses (and my one plane) were late! What's with italy transportation!
-Italians are truely friendly people...unless you meet a rude one!
-I can't speak ANY matter how good my spanish is :)
-I didn't know italy had SOOOO many mosquitos. I came home COVERED in bites! horrible!
-Bologna is NOT the top city for food even though they ARE the best in gelato!
-Out of all of the cities I went to...i have to say for every aspect a traveler goes somewhere for, Verona has to be the overall winner!
-It rained almost EVERY day I was in Italy except the first 2 days I was there. So if I didn't mention it...just know i was in the rain EVERY day :)
-When I mention suggestions from Jenny...She is a friend from H.S. who gave me AMAZING suggestions of places to go to and restaurants to eat and and if it wasn't for her I would have been lost and hungry! AMAZING! i owe her my life. GRAZIE!
-This trip for ME was primarily an eating tour :) I know...sounds silly. But I spent little money on hotels, and tourist stuff and splurged on food! Breakfast was included in my hotel usually, lunch was searching out the best gelato, and dinner was splurging! SO, i did take food pictures at some places and i did take notes, but I won't blog about them. IF you are interested...please contact me! THANX!
-When you look at my pictures...i apologize now, i have no clue what they are. I knew then...but I took 500 pictures and didn't take notes on EVERY ONE, so in each city there will be a slide show for the day! (I also took some illegal pictures...i'm sure you will notice!)
-I am VERY sorry I didn't go into much detail in these blogs...but I did the best I could. I came home at the end of the night and was SOOO exhausted that I took rough notes on what I did and then had to write it all on here! SO please take it for what you will. Overall great trip!