So, to preface this: I was lucky enough to be graced by the presence of 3 of my FAVORITE American girls. Susan Krieg, Molly Allen and Katie Barta sacrificed their sunny-college-bikini-bingeing-spring breaks to fly over the Atlantic and visit me in Italy. What a drag...
But really, I couldn't have picked a better bunch to show my Italian life to. I was so happy to show them my new friends, my house and the city that I've called home for the past 8 months! I'm even happier to skype them now because when I say words like "NIC" "Viaaaa" or "DELIRIO", common phrases in my new-euro vocabulary, they actually understand me! (don't you feel like a gringo now because you don't know what they mean? Suckas.)
So here you go, a beautiful tale by the one and only Susan Krieg...
Shenanigans in Italy with my Blondes
By Susan Krieg
Thursday March 10th started like any other average day: 1 hour bus ride to airport, followed by 24 heavenly and spacious hours of flying, finished off by a silent 40 minute taxi ride to the Casa di Mallory. After being greeted by the slightly hungover hottmess, Mallory Warner, I quickly got to work on my Italy to do list. [Flash forward to today: I have already conquered Rome, Venice, and Bologna, with my sights on a few other destinations.] My lovely hostess equipped me, upon request, with an Italian dictionary and Phrase book, making the "Lost in Translation" agony a little more bearable for my overt American presence. A glass of boxed red wine later [apparently not just America is a friend of the Franzia-like packaging], and I was ready to hit the streets of Bologna. My partners in crime, Mallory and Katie Barta, and I started out with a dizzying climb up the Due Torri in Bologna in order to get the best view of the town. For those of you who are familiar with my obsession with quasi-artsy photos, pictures are on their way. It was a gorgeous view and an even better day. The trouble started when we realized we had a treacherous descent of hundreds of 2-inch long, medieval steps awaiting us. After getting my historical fix for the day and safely reaching the bottom of what felt like an endless winding of stairs, the ladies and I were off to do more exploring.
Jump to the next day and the arrival of yet another blonde, Molly Allen. Who knew that three blondes walking down the street in Italy made us look so overtly American? Swedish, yes, but American? I don’t know if I would have made that jump right away, but apparently the Italian men did. Regardless of our efforts to blend in, and my attempt to speak broken Italian/Spanish, the Italians were always one step ahead of us. Word of advice to all those Blondes wanting to venture to Italy: You’re a novelty- good luck and learn to ignore.
With no time to lose, my blonde posse and I packed up for our 3-day/2-night voyage to Rome. The 4 hour train ride cruised by, as we chatted contently in our Harry Potter-like chamber accompanied by our stowed away authentic Italian white wine. Only the classiest of people can manage to center cocktail hour around a shared water bottle, and the four of us succeeded magnificently. We arrived slightly tipsy in Rome around American dinnertime (8pm) and raced to our hostel to start our adventure. Our hostel, hastily dubbed the “rape dungeon,” pleasantly surprised us when we realized its hotel-like quality. It was conveniently located 2 minutes from the Termini metro station, making traveling inter-Rome much easier. When in Rome, my blondes and I met up with 3 of my good friends from IU who were studying there for the semester. Leslie, Polly, and Eric showed us all the necessary sights and introduced us to their favorite dining spots (not like I wouldn’t have been happy eating anywhere that served anything remotely starch-like). After a trip to the Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and the Spanish steps, it was time to retreat to our beds at Hotel Stargate (not to be confused with the Oh-so-popular American sci-fi sensation: Stargate SG1).
On our last day in Rome, we were determined to fit in a tour of the Vatican before our 4 o’clock train (or maybe 2 o’clock to some) back to Bologna. In reference to the miscommunication of time, I think it’s been long enough for the frustrated wounds to heal, so I feel comfortable blogging about Mal’s inability to read time. Already pressured by our 4pm deadline, we hastily metroed (it’s a verb now) to Vatican City, camera in hand. Sometime between the Stargate and the Vatican Mallory informed us of the now 2 hour earlier departure time from Rome. Slight panic ensued and our walking pace quickened. In order to avoid the mile-long line outside the Vatican, me and the Blondies decided to pay the 35 Euro for a guided tour, which would hopefully get us inside the Holy walls faster. 30 precious minutes later, we still weren’t inside and my anxiety was spiking. After a rushed not-so-guided tour (low on time, we decided to leave the group and make up our own history for the things we saw), we were off to the train station. Little did we know, time was on our side just fine and we could have easily spent more time with the informative Elaine from Canada. This is about when Mal realized the time confusion, leaving us to sit around idly at a random “Snack Bar” until the actual departure, having already checked out of our five star hostel. To Mal’s credit, I will mention how guilty she felt, knowing how much we wished we could have further experienced the Vatican, so until now the mishap has barely been mentioned.*
All in all, I think its safe to say that we came, we saw, we conquered Rome.
[For a continued account of more blonde shenanigans, please wait for the appended blog by Molly Allen and Katie Barta.]
Molz and Kate...we are still waiting....
*So yes, I did have quite the blond moment in Rome. I never said I wasn't a gringo. No excuses. No regrets. I have recently mastered the art of time. (I blame my tardiness on strep throat in the 2nd grade that caused me to miss the week that Ms. Bartosz taught us how to read a clock.) I can now proudly say, the Ice watch that sits on my right wrist now serves dual purpose: style and FUNCTIONALITY.
|Nothin's wrong with a little Trevi vino.|
|Slightly hating each other at this point, but you can't tell!|
|LOVE YOU GUYS!|