Last post from Italy, how depressing. I just got back from an epic day in the city center. I’ve got a little bit of time here before a number of us go out to the JP II bar for a last hurrah before we leave for the airport at 5:45am. Not going to sleep between now (10pm-ish) and then, by the way.
(UPDATE...decided to stay in...we are partaking in various shenanigans on campus. Like putting on all of Annie's scarves)
I’m not going to write about finals much. They happened. They sucked just as much as Chicago finals. I think I did okay, as well as you can do during a semester in Rome having fun.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was my last two finals. Then a group of us (Mike Q, Brooke, Katie, Katie, Urrrrika, Matt, Jennifer, Christina, Meredith, Ryan & Lauren) went for a last big “family dinner” because some people were leaving this morning. We went to Trastevere to Bir & Food, probably one of the best resturants in the city. They have pizza that rivals that of famous Napolitano pizza. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it. Funny story; I ordered suppli classico, and I misunderstood the waitress because I thought she said something about being out of it and said they had some “asparagus” suppli, which she described as one big suppli. So I was like ok “va bene”, but then Erica ordered suppli 30 seconds later and the waitress said nothing. I was confused, but the asparagus suppli turned out to be pretty good (except for the 9 euro price tag, what was it laced with gold?). Oh well.
After Bir & Food, we walked 50 feet to the south (or whatever direction) to M8 (or Mate) bar. Since it was a Wednesday night it was pretty empty. Ryan and I each got one last pint of Magners Cider (don’t know if they have it back in the states). I am a pretty big fan of it since it’s not at all bitter like beer can be. We hung out, laughed and reminisced. Mike Q utilized his new nickname for me, “Jackie O” because I evidently my long-ish hair right now looks like her haircut, and I was wearing white sunglasses the other day. I’m going to miss that guy, well hell, I’m going to miss all my new friends.
This morning (Thursday), unfortunately it was time to finish packing. It never really hit me that this semester was over until I was all done. I haven’t really been this emotional in a while, but you just think you have so much time here…then it just runs out on you and you are left asking where did it go? I’m surely going to miss the cleaning ladies walking into the bathroom to empty trash while I am in the shower.
I wasn’t about to let leaving get me down. I had one last Mensa meal, it was actually decent (sloppy joes, I guess they wanted to send us off well). Afterward, a few of us hopped on the 990 bus (for thankfully the last time, what an inconsistent bus) and made our first stop at Piazza San Pietro. A few hilarious pictures later, we took off walking. Crossing the Tiber we headed to Piazza Navona. Our Gelato Crawl 2011 (DUE MILLE UNDICI) took us first to Fridigdarium. Stopping in every souvenir shop on the way, our next destination was the Pantheon. I didn’t really need anything else, but I got a keychain and mini calendar, because why not? (I was running dangerously low on euros, until Katie bet me that I couldn’t spit my gum from the 2nd floor down to the garbage can on the lower level, a height of about 30 ft…needless to say I made it.) We hung out in Piazza Navona for a little while, simply just being. It was a great sunny day, and a little band was playing some very Italian music. Sometimes you just have to relax.
Della Palma was gelato crawl stop #2. This gelateria has near about 100 flavors. I was so overwhelmed at full that I couldn’t bring myself to get anything, I know how terrible of me. Next stop Via del Corso, but not for shopping, just for the heck of it. It’s officially tourist season let me tell you…can we shoot them? Gelato crawl final stop, Giolitti, best in the city in my opinion. After this “small” cone (seriously its huge) I was stuffed. Last stop on this final adventure was the Trevi fountain. It was quite the way too bookend the semester, as the fountain was on of the first places I went to my first day in Rome, or should I say night as it was about 1am when we got to the Trevi. That pretty much wrapped up the day, my apologies for not elaborating more, it’s very difficult to put into writing…and I’m not sure it needs to all be, it’s all so perfect in my head.
So…nine hours before the bus ride to Fiumincino. How do I feel? Not okay. I always talked about how much I missed home at the beginning of the semester. But now, where is home? Add Rome to that list…Chicago and Appleton. I can’t say it enough, I can’t believe how fast this semester went, maybe it didn’t seem like it at the time…but I can remember plain as day stepping on to the JFRC campus for the first time, luggage in hand.
I am incredibly glad I came. I love to death the friends I have made, most I will see in the fall back at Loyola, but a few I don’t know when I’ll see again. The relationships you form here are bound to last the rest of your life. These people, you spend so much time together, that you can help but open up and become close to them. I will always refer to them as my Rome Family and I certainly know we will all get together in the future, wherever that may be. And to quote Katie Schmitz a few minutes ago “How long as there be a fan there [on the ceiling in her room]?” …it’s been there all year…
Before I came, I talked to a few people who studied here before me. They raved and raved about it, telling me I would love it. I was a bit skeptical at first, but now I see that was stupid. I know I still have 2 years of undergrad left but unless those semesters also take place in Rome, in no way will they be able to live up to the experiences I had here in Rome (and a few other places in Europe). It will be so weird to go back to “normal” life back in the states, but I am interested to see what the next chapter in my life holds. It’s funny, we all would talk about the things we missed back in the states and how we couldn’t wait to do them once we got back. Maybe that was a way to make us all feel okay at the fact that this time here would be over before we knew it. I will write one more post (or so) once I get back home, as a way to achieve some ‘closure’ on this blog.
In the meantime, I say to all my fellow JFRC-ers….raise a glass. Thanks for the best time of my, no, our lives.