Where is the time going! I’ve been here almost 6 weeks, and can’t believe how fast the time is flying!! It’s been quite a while since my last update, and a lot has happened!
Every weekend there seems to be some sort of celebration (or we make our own celebrations…) but the biggest party I’ve been to has been in Venice. A small group of us went to Venice for the Carnevale celebration! And it was amazing! It was like one big Halloween party for the whole city. It was a fast and furious trip; we left for Venice on Saturday morning, and arrived around 5pm. First of all let me say that Venice is incredibly beautiful! There isn’t a single car in the town… people just have BOATS! I would love to live like that. We got there towards the end of the day, and the city was beautiful with the sun going down around us. The canals were a tad creepy after the sun had gone down, especially since I was in a city I knew nothing about… but all is well… I survived. After finding something to eat and grabbing coffee, we went in search of masks. The streets were full of people, some in elaborate costumes that probably cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and others were in nothing but their street clothes and face paint. And I think everyone was drunk. At 7 o’clock. Even the children. Just kidding… But seriously.... But I guess it made it all the more exciting! The main streets were also packed with vendors selling costumes, wigs, masks, and souvenirs. We picked out masks, and the party began! We made our way to San Marco Piazza, and that was breathtaking. It was an interesting tourist experience because I had never been to Venice before, and my first impression was after dark, with the streets crowded with crazy, costume-wearing people, and huge bands and projector screens in San Marco Square. It was the most fun, but it was different! I’m excited to go back and see it in the daylight, with normal people walking about. But on with the party… Cities in Italy are structured around several “piazzas” which are like squares. Usually they’re by churches or big monuments, and they’re central to city life (at least they were in the olden days). So for the Carnevale celebration there was a different party in each piazza. Some had big stages with DJ’s or dancers and other entertainment. Other squares just had people hanging out. And in some places, there were people who had brought their own sound system and played whatever music they wanted while we danced around like crazies. And that’s how most of the night went. There was this group of people that were dressed like sailors, and they had a big cart that housed a big speaker and their iPod DJ. The cart had wheels, so we basically followed them around the city all night long! And danced! And it was awesome. We went to Venice with no hotel, hostel, B&B, etc. so our only option was to stay up all. night. long. And that’s exactly what we did! Sunday morning (after being up for over 24 hours) we grabbed pastries and coffee at the train station, and our train left Venice at 9:20am. It was a 6 hour train ride and we slept the entire way. I think we were all asleep before the train even left the station. Good thing no one wanted our stuff, because they probably could have stolen it and we wouldn’t have noticed until we got back to Rome. We got into Rome about 3pm and the rest of the day was lazy. We did our best to recover from the party before classes started again on Monday.
And then I had another great adventure on Monday when my friend Victoria came to visit me from England. She is from England, but she studied abroad at UNM for a year, and that’s where we met! When I told her I was going to be in Rome, we made plans to meet up, and so Monday evening she arrived in Rome! It was so good to see a friendly face!! Someone I knew back home. She had never been to Rome before so I did my best to show her around the city. It definitely made me feel more at home with this place, knowing where I was going and how to get places… it was a nice surprise. I’m a local now!!! We ate LOTS of pizza and drank LOTS of Cappuccinos (Cappuccini is the proper way to say it in Italian because it’s plural…) but that’s what you’re supposed to do in Italy :) Vitoria stayed until Thursday afternoon, and I was really sad to see her go! (*Thanks for coming Vikki! Love ya xxx)
This coming weekend we have a program trip to Tuscany and Venice. We will have classes, and I have a presentation to give, so it won’t be all play, but I’m excited to be traveling more and going back to Venice! Since I was a kid, when learned that Venice was slowly sinking, it’s been my goal to see it at some point in my life. And I can’t believe I’ll be going twice!! I’m so blessed to be here, and am SO incredibly thankful for everyone who helped me get here! I won’t ever forget this time in my life, and hopefully I’ll continue to have some great adventures!
*Pictures coming soon!