Sunday, March 21, 2010

So I have Luke predicted when I started this blog. He laughed when I told him I would blog after every trip, knowing me too well. And in fact, he was correct :) I have not written in a very very long time, but time just slips out of your hands when you travel every weekend, teach everyday, do not get home until 6pm, and are in the process of trying to find a job, not to mention planning a wedding! Either way, I apologize and will try, try key word, to blog regularly for the rest of the year. (...and this is where Luke laughs :)

There are many adventures to share from the past three months though. Some involving beautiful places or long awaited trips, but others involving ridiculous incidents and lost toboggans flying down the Austrian slopes. Yet, I still cannot believe I can write about experiences like this. I am SO lucky :)

So once we returned from winter break, I was actually very glad to back (and ENGAGED!!!!) and ready for new travels! Our first trip of the year was to Verona, Italy, which is where the famous Romeo and Juliet is set. Allie, Jess, and I hopped on a train and spent a weekend there, falling in love with the charm and romance of this Italian jew of a city! We saw Juliet's balcony (created in the mid 1900's I might add), posted personal notes on the famous love letter wall, mocked a gladiator battle in the colosseum, and had probably a little too much fun over pizza and many glasses of wine:)

The next trip was to Venice for Carnevale (which is basically is Mardi Gras in Italy) and despite the big crowds, we were so glad we got to partake in that once in a lifetime experience! Italians covered the streets of Venice dressed in the craziest costumes, almost every person's face is covered in some elaborate mask, and there were huge processions banging there way through the streets all day. Of course, the weekend would not be complete with a mask of our own!

Finally vacation arrived and it was February break, or as the Italians call it- Ski week! Although I did not hit the slopes, my sister, Amy, and my best friend (like a sister to me), Bethany, came over to Europe to travel with me! I had been waiting for this week since we first decided they would come in October, so you can imagine how excited and ready I was to have some familiar faces over here! We spent a week working our way through London, Scotland, and Ireland, touring the Irish countryside and driving through the Scottish Highlands. We also go to meet up with our close friend Lindsey, who was studying abroad in London, and Allie, my roommate, in Edinburgh for a day. The trip really could not have been better, well, pause. Let me rephrase that. Despite a few losses- Amy's gloves, Bethany in the first 5 minuets we got to Edinburgh, annddddd my engagement ring for 4 hours (Yes I know. I was in tears, a complete wreck, for the entire 240 minutes), we had such a blast traveling together. Other than our minor setbacks, it could not have been a more fun trip with two people that mean the world to me!

Although it was hard to watch Amy and Bethany go home, and not be able to go with them, it was able to jump back into life in Trieste rather smoothly. This semester I have really realized how much I truly do love living abroad. No matter how hard it is to be away, how much of a strain it puts on Luke and I, how long it seems until I return home....I am LOVING every single minute of it! I can now confidently say coming to Italy is one of the best decisions I ever made. I have opportunities I never thought I would, seeing places I never thought I would see, and missing America so much less than I thought I would. Although it was a difficult leap to take in August, I can clearly see the plan God had when he laid this job in my lap. This has been an absolutely beautiful year :)

Especially, when you get to take weekend trips to Austria, to go toboganning. Yes, sledding in the Alps. UNREAL....and it is only a 4 hour car ride away :) THIS is why I love my life. So yes, two weeks ago Meredith, Allie, Alexis, and I rented a car and made our way through the mountains to a ski town in Austria, because Meredith had heard there was sledding there. Although we got there too late for tobogganing the first day, we managed to make the best of the day with a long dinner over wine, followed by a night at a bar at the bottom of the slopes....a live band playing American music to make the night just perfect. The next morning we we hit the slopes anxiously wondering what sledding down that HUGE mountain in front of us would be like! Once sledding down the hills (no I take that back. They were not hills. We literally sled from the peak of an Alps mountain to the very bottom), I immediately decided this was probably one of the most fun things I had ever done!

and then everything went down hill. literally. Next thing I knew, I zooming down a hill at an ungodly speed, jumping off my toboggan to save my life for fear of a cliff getting increasingly closer to me, and watching my toboggan glide down the mountain without me. We then proceeded to ask some skiers if we could go get the tobbogan, but were disappointed to find out that no one was allowed down that slope because of danger of avalanche. Thank God I jumped off you're thinking, right? YES. Thank God I jumped off. However, the price it cost me to replace my lost toboggan to save my life is a little too painful to write...

BUT I refuse to let that minor detail ruin the weekend, sledding in Austria was definitely one of my favorites trips thus far!

Finally, this past weekend I at last got to go to Rome. Coming to Trieste, I knew it was unacceptable to live and Italy and never visit Rome. So I was really excited when Carrie mentioned she wanted to take a quick weekend trip for a Caravaggio exhibit. A few days later we hopped on a somewhat questionable overnight train, and arrived in Roma at 7am the next morning. Somehow we managed to fit all the major sites of the city into one day, and although we were exhausted once returning to Trieste Sunday was well worth it! There are so many sites I wish I could have spent more time at and many museums I missed out on, so I guess that means I just HAVE to go back. Such a shame :)

I am determined that the rest of my adventures will be shared! I said, I'll try :)