Tuesday, September 6, 2011


One huge part of study abroad was sketching. We sketched everywhere!! Here are five of my sketches that are my favorite!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The End is Near

This morning we were startled by a knock at the door. It was PHIL! He was safe! It was good to see that he was ok. He explained his traveling adventure to us, poor guy had to sleep in the train station.

Our Hotel
Today was our last full day. Sad. Since we have already seen everything we decided to go shopping today, to get the rest of our souvenirs. Plus we all wanted to buy ties, and that was number one on our list of things to do. We found this really cute shop for ties, and the owner was really charming. I found the perfect ties for my dad and brother! 100% silk ties, yes I love my brothers and of course I love my dad! After buying ties we found some leather that was on sale and well I got two bags. I felt a little spoiled at this point.

After eating some lunch, which was my traditional dish of spaghetti we went for some gelato. We had 2 places that we went to almost every day while we were in Rome. One was for great Italian food and the other was for delicious gelato.

The place we always ate 
my last lunch in Rome 
Where we always had Gelato
While we were eating gelato we realized that there was a barber shop next door. With a little convincing Griffin got his hair cut. He was a little nervous since they didn't speak english but in the end he came out looking sharp. This idea of getting an Italian hair cut rubbed off on Steph and I. We ultimately decided to get our hair cut. We went to a small shop but it was booked for a week.

Griffin getting his hair cut 
We walked on and found a place after asking some people where to go. So we got our hair cut. It was really interesting. At first I was willing to be adventurous but, when they wanted to cut all my hair off I had to draw the line I am not that adventurous when it comes to my locks. Since I didn't want to pay for the wash the lady straightened my hair. Her technique was different compared to the hair cuts I have gotten in America. The first "cut" was done with an electric razor that is used for buzz cuts on boys. Next she used scissors, then she thinned out my hair. At the end it looked like a small puppy on the floor,  I had no idea I had that much hair on my head. In the end I liked my hair cut, and I loves Steph's too! And then Mary decided to get hers cut as well. Mary's hair was AMAZING! Loved it!

In the end it was worth the money spent to have an Italian hair cut.

When we finished shopping we all came together for our last supper? When I put it that way it sounds spiritual, so at our last meal together we were able to laugh, talk and just enjoy each others company. I sure have made some life long friends on this trip!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July at Vatican City

Happy 4th of July! I almost don't feel American being in Italy on the 4th of July. Don't worry we were invited to many parties celebrating the 4th of July but we passed them up. Instead we went to Vatican City.

We left early this morning to get there. When we arrived we were hounded by people trying to persuade us to go on a tour with them, I honestly don't think they understood the word NO. We actually decided to play a joke on one of them because we were tired of them bothering us. When he asked if wanted to go on the tour we asked him if there would be Otter Pops he was like "what?" that answered our question, it was a good laugh. The line was really long, it was like waiting in line for a roller coaster times ten. We were waiting in line for Musei Vaticani and the Sistine Chapel first.

The lines 
We finally got inside and it was incredible! This is my favorite museum of all the museums so far. The only problem is that I am "museumed" out at this point so I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. The works inside were remarkable.
Cool Interiors of Musei Vaticani
piece from Musei Vaticani
Dog at Musei Vaticani
see nothing ever goes out of style ;)

After walking through the museum we made it to the Sistine Chapel, which is best known for the Michelangelo piece titled, "The creation of Adam." Let me tell you it was breathtaking. They were really strict about cameras so I wasn't able to take a picture. Although there were a lot of people taking pictures I felt it would be disrespectful. Walking inside the Sistine Chapel was like walking into a painting it was beautiful!
View from window (sistine chapel)
View of Sistine Chapel 

While we were in the museum we lost 3 people on accident. So we went looking. We found 2 out of 3. 1 was still lost when we exited the museum. Poor Elyse we had no idea where she could be and it's not like we were in a small museum. The Vatican is HUGE! Plus we had no idea if she had left or not. So after waiting for her for a while we decided to move on to St. Peter's Square.

a view from outside the window at Musei Vaticani
Famous Spiral Staircase
Famous Spiral Staircase
Musei Vaticani
St. Peter's Square is incredible! When most people think of the Vatican this is what they think. St. Peter's Square is HUGE and there were GIANT PICTURES of the POPE. It was definitely the place to be if I were catholic. We decided to take a break for a little bit, then we got in line to enter St. Peter's Basilica. We were most interested in climbing to the top of the dome so that's what we did first.

St. Peter's Square
St. Peters Basilica
St. Peters
The Guards 
The Pope
The view from the top was a site worth seeing!! I loved it! When were coming back down it was funny because we happened to interrupt a little romance between the guard and some girl. I think I got it on video by accident too.
A view of St. Peter's Square from the top

After going to the top we decided to look around. I cannot describe in words the details and beauty of St. Peters.

A view of the interiors 
The Vatican City was really cool and I am thrilled that I was able to see it.

Next we decided to take the bus back, unfortunately we got on the wrong bus so it was a long bus ride to the middle of no where, but the adventure is worth it in the end. It is all a learning process.
Probably the coolest store I have ever seen, just look at the name :) 
When we made it back home we went out for dinner. We got the usual, Pizza. Tonight was real fun at dinner! We really bonded and got to know each other better. It was a great Sunday Dinner. Then towards the end of the dinner Elyse told us about Phil being on his way, so we all went to the train station to look for him. It was midnight or so when we got there and well everything was shut down, the metro, the buses, and the trains so the only way Phil would have gotten to Rome would be taxi and no one has money for that. We were looking for Phil for a couple hours, then finally came back to the hotel to sleep. I sure hope he is ok.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nothing beats a Sunday in Rome

This morning we ventured off in a search for the LDS church. It definitely is not like Utah were a church is on every corner, no finding the church building in Italy was a challenge. We took the bus for a while then after trying to get directions from the bus driver, which he gave in Italian so all we understood were hand gestures, we started to walk in what we figured was the correct direction, when we didn't find the building we found a couple people on the road to ask and they pointed us in the right direction. We almost walked right past the building when we heard a hymn it was amazing! 

Church was really cool too because it was fast sunday, it was a blessing being able to hear the testimonies that were given. 

After church we decided to go see all the major sites. 

Stop 1: The Colosseum! 
It was so surreal walking up to the Colosseum, I literally felt like I was in a movie. It was the coolest thing to see. As we were walking we knew we were close because the scenery started to change and Italy went from the somewhat modern Italy to ancient Italy. It was incredible. I am so happy that I have had the chance to see the Colosseum in person and that I was able to see it in person. I wish I could back in time so that I could see the Colosseum in its prime. 
The Colosseum 
Touching the Colosseum
Stop 2: Mouth of Truth
The famous Mouth of Truth, it is said that if you stick your hand in the mouth and tell a lie that something will happen to your hand. I'm not sure what the complete tale is but it is famous. We didn't wait in line to test it because the heat was unbearable and we wanted to keep walking to the next site. 

Tell the Truth 
A cool bridge we walked past
Some old ruins, I'm not sure what the name of this is 
Stop 3: The Pantheon
LOVE LOVE LOVE The Pantheon, it was really cool to see! We'll everything in another country is really cool to see. I enjoyed it. I also was able to drink some water from a fountain at the Pantheon. That is one thing I love about Rome, there is always a fountain to fill up my water bottle. 
The Pantheon! 
The Pantheon
Drinking water from The Pantheon
Interiors of the Pantheon 
Stop 4: The Trevi Fountain 
BEAUTIFUL! I could probably sit by The Trevi Fountain all day, that is if there were less people there. Apparently everyone wants to visit The Trevi Fountain, I can't imagine why. I have heard that if you throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish that it will come true. I have also heard that if I threw a coin in the fountain that I would come back to Italy. So with these two tales up in the air I was more than willing to throw a coin in the fountain. I also was able to fill up my water bottle here at The Trevi Fountain, the water was perfect! 

The Trevi Fountain
The coin I threw into the Trevi Fountain
ME at the Trevi Fountain
Touching the Trevi Fountain
Stop 5: Spanish Steps 
Amazing! This is a place where people come to hang out and just chill on the steps. We made our way up to the top of the steps and just sat at the top and watched the sun set. It was beautiful! We also watched as the artisans on the road were drawing people it was really cool to see, they were very talented. 
(Unfortunately my camera died before we got there, so currently I don't have any other pictures) 

After spending hours there we finally made our way home. It was a great day in Rome today.

Words cannot give justice to what I saw today. It was a wonderful day! I would love to come back and hopefully I will have the opportunity to one day since I threw a coin in the fountain. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Time for Rome

Today we were traveling once again. It is finally time to go to Rome! I will admit that I am a little tired of traveling on a train all day, I'd rather be out seeing what I can but at the end of the day it is worth every second spent on the train. Today was one of those days. We were headed off to Rome bright and early this morning. We also decided that we would stop in Florence on the way. Unfortunately when we got there, the lockers weren't open so some of us decided to stay behind to watch the baggage. We also discovered that Florence was basically shut down for the day, nothing was open. The plus side to stopping was buying a cheaper ticket to Rome.

Sleepy time on the train 
Sleepy Time on the Train
We made it to Rome safely. When we were walking through the train station we ran into the LDS Missionaries, it was really cool and Madison knew one of them that was a plus. They gave us a heads up for church now we had some plans to look forward to.

Our "bed and breakfast" was pretty tricky to find but after figuring it out we were able to relax for a little bit. We might not be staying in a five star hotel but it sure is worth the adventure. We moved some things around to create more space but it really doesn't matter what our hotel room looks like because we are in Rome to see Rome not the hotel room.

After getting settled we went to dinner. I had some delicious lasagna with bruschetta on the side, it was a great meal. After dinner we went out for our daily gelato. At this point I have nothing to complain about, my life is going great.

When we were done enjoying our gelato we went on a walk around Rome. I must admit it is scary crossing the street in Italy, there are a lot of crazy drivers it's worse than Utah and California drivers. Rome at night is beautiful. I could probably stay in Italy forever if I had a choice. At the end of the night we were all exhausted and ready for bed.
Me and Dani enjoying Rome
Some fancy hotel in Rome