Tag Archives: Pizza

When In Rome

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Bongiorno (spelling?) my little babinos! So I’m in love with Rome. I mean, if I’m being honest, I fell in love with all of the places I have visited this semester. It’s sad though, because Rome was my last big weekend adventure before I go back to the states :((((^2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased to be going home to see those I miss, but that’s about it. I love Grenoble and I love Europe and the lifestyle they live over here. I’m coming back, in the very near future though, so I won’t try to shed too many tears when the time arrives.

Enough about the downer stuff though, let me tell you about ROMA ROMA ROMA!!

Thursday, November 29th: I was up bright and early in order to get to the Grenoble station at 7h45, because Hannah, Emily, Nina and I had to take the 8h05 bus from Grenoble to Lyon in order to make our flight. The bus ride was quick and painless, and we had no issues (thank heavens!!) so we were on the plane by 11h30 heading to Rome. We landed around 1h, and we took yet another bus from the Rome airport to the center of the city, where Becca was waiting for us at the stop (Nina and I went to Amsterdam with Becca and Lea, the girls whose apartment we were to stay at in Rome).

After taking yet another bus, we finally made it to Lea and Becca’s apartment, dropped off our things, and went to EAT IN ROME. We were beyond excited. First of all, I am very Italian, so Italian cuisine sparks a certain nostalgia deep within me. Secondly, we were in mo-freaking Rome — how could the food not be delicious beyond compare? So of course we had pizza. Mine had buttery potatoes and sausage on it… MMMMM. It was amazing and cheap and I practically licked my plate clean. Yes, I love Italian food. GAH!

Naturally, we needed gelato to finish off the meal. I had DARK CHOCOLATE and hazelnut gelato and I was close to drooling. First pizza, now Italian gelato. That’s the real deal, folks.

Post-gorging, we went back to the apartment to meet up with Lea, since she was now out of class. Becca soon left to go get ready for her art exhibition that her art program was putting on, since its the end of the semester for them (whaaaat). The rest of us just hung out at the apartment for a little to hang and gain energy/sip on some Italian wine, then we made the trip to the center of the city to go and see Becca’s work. It was such a cool expo!! So many beautiful photographs, paintings, sculptures and drawings! I get so envious going to these kinds of events because I have no visual artistic talent, but at the same time I love admiring art, especially in Rome, especially by students. Wine all around.

… Also, there was free, unlimited wine. If you’re wondering, yes we did all get drunk. I think we all had at least 5 glasses, and I know for sure that I was feeling it. The art just kept getting progressively cooler as the night wore on. 😉

We left the expo around 20h30/21 and trekked back to the apartment to munch and unwind after a day of traveling. It turns out, Becca is a phenomenal chef, and treated us to Bruschetta and GNOCCHI’S with pesto and olive oil. In case you weren’t aware, Gnocchi is my favorite pasta on the planet, and it is one of my favorite meals to devour. Now add in the fact that I was drunk, and you’ve got one very happy Azure. 😀 we didn’t do too much else that night; in fact, we were in bed by about 23h – haha, what animals we are. End of our first day in Rome; a very good day at that.

Friday, November 30th: We woke up a bit later than anticipated (~10h30), but that meant we were extremely well rested and ready to fully seize the day – carpe diem, baby. We were ready to leave the house pretty soon after waking up, and we made a quick pit stop at a Il Siciliano, this breakfast place right near the apartment. I didn’t get anything the first day because right when I woke up I went in on a ball of mozzarella and a tomato… When in Rome!

After breakfast, we (minus Becca) took the bus into town and went to the Capital Building and then The Colosseum!!!! Okay, I have an obsession with Roman anything, and the Colosseum is like the apex of crazy Roman beauty, so I was 110% in my element. Don’t miss out on these pictures I’m about to post after this, they’re incredible. Literally everywhere you turn is like looking into the past. It was so surreal.

Capital BuildingBehold It's PowerSo Old!

After the Colosseum, we went to the Trevi Fountain.. The famous fountain where you’re supposed to throw three coins in and make a wish. Of course we did exactly that, then went to indulge on pizza and gelato once again. This time I opted for the classic margarita pizza and then mixed berry and dark chocolate gelato. ‘Twas an incredible, Italian lunch. Oh, fun fact about the fountain: a few weeks ago or so they collected the coins thrown in the fountain for the year, and collected over 500,000 euros!! That’s a crazy amount of money, especially in coins.

Trevi Fountain

Having filled our bellies and made secret wishes, we headed to the Pantheon to see some more breathtaking Roman architecture. It was beautiful, and I am still constantly in awe that the Romans could built all of this, especially without machines or any modern day technology. They make us look like a bunch of pussies.

WahWah

Rome was getting ready for Christmas like the rest of the world, so we were lucky enough to see how beautifully lit up some of the streets were on our way to see the Spanish Steps. Hannah really wanted to see this piece of history, but I didn’t really know anything about them.

Spanish Steps

At this point, the sun was starting to set, so we all put some pep in our step and hustled up a bunch of steps to get an astonishing view of all of Rome right as the sun was going down. We ended up hanging around there for a bit and soaking in the pure magic of Rome; it really is such a flawless city.

View Of The Beautiful RomaThe Crowd

When we finally had our eye-fill, we headed back in the direction of Lea and Becca’s apartment, stopping briefly at the grocery store to purchase the essential items for the night. After arriving at the apartment, we were all pretty exhausted from a full day of walking and site seeing, so we all just kind of lamped and showered before dinner. Becca and Lea once again got gold stars for cooking a delicious Italian meal: salad with Parmesan, peppers, olives and tomatoes (& balsamic vinegar for dressing of course), garlic bread and rigatoni smothered in melted cheese. It most definitely hit the spot, and we washed it all down with Italian wine, which made it that much better. Nomnomnom.

Once dinner was finished, it was time to shift into night mode. Hannah and I per usual split a bottle of Jack, mixing it with Coke at the apartment for Pregaming. Umm… All of us got messed up, and collectively we are able to piece together most of the night. Mostly because we met up with Emily’s friend, Kelsey, and her sister Amelia we know what we all did, because they were mostly sober. Apparently I was kicking bottles, and kicked a stool down in a pizza place… I also skipped down the road with pizza in my hand, holding it by the crust, so of course the cheese and toppings flew everywhere. Hannah decided she was in love with a bartender, Nina chased a dog down the road, and Emily went HAM in a canoli (of course there was a 24 hour bakery in Rome). Basically, we were 50 shades of messed up, but in the best way. We all had fun, and that’s what is important, yay Roma! The best part is that we were back at the apartment by 1h30… So we didn’t even have that late of a night. Rage on.

Saturday, DECEMBER 1st: …. Um, it’s already DECEMBER?!? Wasn’t it just October like, yesterday? Nooooo. Anyway, we woke up about the same time as Friday (10h30), so we were all well rested and surprisingly I wasn’t even hungover. Holler, though I can’t say the same for Hannah.

Brekkie

We started the day off right with some freshly squeezed Orange Juice and Cappuccino at the same breakfast place, then Hannah, Emily and I went to St. Peters Basilica and hung around in the square for a little to soak in the sites while waiting for Kelsey.

Bascilia Square Ureal Skies

We also walked through an Italian farmers market, and I was happy as a clown eating free samples of cheese and bread soaked in homemade olive oil… Yum. Emily and I also bought Maroon Glaces, which are caramelized chestnuts; I’m not sure I was that big of a fan, though.

Olives For Days

At 14h30 we met up with Kelsey, then the four of us went to The Vatican— eeeee!

Vatican Walls

We spent a few hours roaming through the expansive museum and ogling all the impressive artwork, as well as admiring the Sistine Chapel. So amazing I can’t even put words to it. There were also a few Salvador Dali pieces, so I was tickled pink at that.

Dali, My Love

Eventually, we had enough of the museum and realized we were starving, so we went to a restaurant outside the Basilica to munch. I went with chicken Parmesan, and was not disappointed.

Yes.

By the time we finished eating, Lea, Becca, Nina and some other girl found us… Face deep in gelato. Haha. Once everyone was done gorging, we went to a Christmas market/carnival somewhere in the center of the city to enjoy the sites, sounds, smells, etc. It wasn’t anything in comparison to Strasbourg, but there was this dude who could break-dance like a boss.

This day was extra special because it happened to be be Lea’s 21st birthday! After the carnival, we went to her favorite restaurant for a delicious dinner. We had free Bruschetta in addition to our dinner, which was cool. A bottle of red and white were also split between the nine of us, and Hannah and I shared an order of Gnocchi since we were still pretty full from our late lunch. It was a good time with good food and good people.

The Danks

After dinner, the group of us meandered back to the apartment to get ready to pre-game and such. We ended up not leaving the apartment because the weather was not agreeing with us. Actually, this was the first spurt of bad weather so I wasn’t that upset. The original forecast for the weekend in Rome was all rain and yuckiness, but we ended up having beautiful days all Friday and Saturday; so a little rain on Saturday night was nothing to complain about. It was a really fun night though, but that information is going to be withheld… When in Rome. We went to bed around 2, if my memory serves me correctly.

Sunday, December 2nd: Our stay in Rome was over much too quickly. We all woke up at 10h, packed our bags, and were out the door by 10h30 in order to have a final breakfast at IL SICIALANO before a day of travel. Post-breakfast, we waited for what seemed like forever at the bus step in order to take the bus back into the city center. We were nervous for a little because the bus came really late, and we didn’t think we were going to catch the 11h55 bus to the airport, but lady luck was smiling on us! Of course though, when we checked in we were informed that our plane was going to be 1.5 hours late… Seriously, screw you easyJet!!

On the bright side, I had a tasty lunch of pizza with artichokes, sliced ham, mozzarella, olives and mushrooms and then these fried rice ball things — I desperately need to start running more often, I’ve been slacking. Oh, I also had a cannoli for dessert, yuuuup. I heart Italian cuisine.

Love These Puppies

Breakin’ A Sweat

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Breakin’ A Sweat

…woops. Sorry guys, I’ve been severely sucking on keeping this up-to-date. Mais, maintenant j’essayerai.

Friday, October 12th: I woke up and my stomach decided to hate me. I guess that’s what I get for drinking wine; freaking gut rot. So, basically I chilled in bed all morning (and afternoon) trying to convince my body to like me again. Eventually I was functioning enough to be a normal human being, so I met up with Nina, Emily and Hannah at the coffeeshop to hang out for a bit and get some homework done (eew). I got a little done, and then the three of them left and Max arrived shortly after, at which point I was over being productive. So, we decided to go to the Snowboard Garden Festival and see what it was all about. First of all, it was free, so it gets points for that. Overall I had a good time; there were movies on snowboarding/skiing, lots of artwork, a ramp for skateboarders, and various giant inflatable things for people to dick around on. Grenoble is just such a cool city for having random stuff like this going on all the time.
After the Garden Festival, I had to go home for dinner since I hadn’t eaten at home very often lately, I have no recollection of what we ate.. sadly. Anyway, after dinner and such I met up with Richard, Max, Preston, Karen, Z and Cory in Park Paul Mistral to hang around and complete some shenanigans. From there, we headed once again to the Garden Festival to see what it was like at night. It was pretty sweet, and way more crowded.. also there was a Dubstep DJ jamming out! Needless to say I was satisfied. I mean, he wasn’t the best DJ ever, but he played Flux Pavillion and other artists that I know, so I was quite content. We had to get up early on Saturday, so it was a pretty calm and early night for me. The End.

Saturday, October 13th: EXCURSION TO ANNECY! I had to meet up with the group around 7h45 to catch a bus to Annecy. I pretty much slept the entire ride.. after all, it was a little too early in the morning for me. Basically, it was some festival that day where all the folks of Annecy bring down their cows from the mountain to mark the beginning of the wintery months. Everyone was in the happy celebrating mood, there were animals (bunnies, cows, horses, chickens) everywhere, and it basically turned into an awesomely gigantic farmer’s market. While there, I ate some delicious dishes: diot, which is their famous sausage sandwich and tartiflette (if I spelled that right) which is cheesy potatoes with other yummy good things inside. I definitely gorged hard, and I have no regrets about it. I also bought some home-made apple juice, hot spiced wine and this dark chocolate covered marshmallow with pop rocks (yes..) on it.

After the group I was with finished gallivanting around the farmer’s market, we headed to this main park by the gigantic lake that Annecy is famous for and hung around. Then.. Carl, Max, Heather and I decided to rent a motor boat! It was a really calm and relaxing ride, and the view was phenomenal; see for yourselves. 🙂

The majority of the day was spent in Annecy, and we didn’t get back to Grenoble until about 19h30. Thankfully, my host mom eats late, so I just made it back in time for dindin. I decided it was a Jack Daniels and Coke kind of night, so that’s what my friend Hannah and I split (plus a bottle of wine). Needless so say, I got pretty drunk after we consumed all of that. We ended up at a bar in the middle of Park Paul Mistral, which was cool, and I ended up spending the rest of my drunken night just hanging out in the park. Eventually I got too cold though, and made the trek back home to my cozy bed.

Sunday, October 14th: Once again a rough morning where I contemplated why people even drink alcohol. I also think I was getting a little sick, so I just milked it and stayed in my bed for a few hours more than normal (after all, it is lazy Sunday…). I decided to mingle with the rest of the world around 13h00, so I grabbed a fabulous kebab and smoothie

and met up with Hannah at the coffeeshop to recap the previous nights events. Wahwahwah. Eventually, Mike and Nina met up with us at the cafe, and a few hours later I left with Nina in search of this art fair that was supposedly going on. Fail. We didn’t see any art, but I got my walking quota in for the day at least. Afterwards I just ended up going home and getting a nice long night’s sleep. I don’t hate it one bit.

Monday, October 15th: Class, mersauce. My professors decided to SUCK, and my two electives at the end of the day were 2 hours instead of 1.5… WHAT THE HELL. It’s hard enough sitting in these boring classes for 1.5 hours, what are they thinking?! Whatever, I survived; despite not getting home until 18h30. I pretty much got home, showered, and focused on my studies until dinner, and then went right to bed. My sickness wasn’t getting any better, so I figured as much sleep as possible was the correct answer here. Sorry nothing exciting to report!

Tuesday, October 16th: Same thing as Monday pretty much. Thankfully, I didn’t have an extra hour of classes, but going from 8h30 to 18h00 is still a long-ass day of classes, and I detest it very much. My sore throat was still not getting any better, so I figured out from my translation teacher which medicament to buy (it’s called Maxilase fyi), so directly after class I headed to the pharmacy and made the necessary purchase. Afterwards, it was cold, so I simply went home, showered, took my medicine, had dinner once Madeleine got home, did some homework and read Game of Thrones, then hit the hay. I had to recuperate plus store energy for AMSTERDAM, so sleep was a necessity. Nothing quite beats a cozy warm bed when it’s cold and windy outside.

Wednesday, October 7th: Short school day! I only had class from 8h30-10h20, and afterwards Nina and I went to the API office to attempt to print out our plane tickets but it was kind of a fail. The computers are ghetto as all hell, and the internet wouldn’t let us open the page we needed. I ended up using my flash-drive and it worked, but it was a unnecessary hassle.

I had a skype date with my Nonnie and Grandpa at 12h30/13h00, so after API, Nina and I went to the bus station to buy our bus tickets to Lyon and then I made it to that coffeeshop I love so much. Once my skype date was finished, I bee-lined it to the same Kebab place as Sunday, but this time it wasn’t as good (no cheesy french fries on my kebab, whyyy). The guy who served my on Sunday was confused because he never asked me to pay and was shocked when I asked to, and then he only charged me half the price and added cheesy fries on top! The man who served my on Wednesday also forgot to ask me to pay! I think if they forget a third time I’m going to take it was a sign to eat free lunch. Reasonable, right?

After lunch I went back to the coffeehouse to start studying for exams.. UGH. It’s so stupid: only the Americans have to take midterms, and they don’t even count! So I’m pretty much studying for something that is worth absolutely nothing; so basically I’m not trying very hard. I’m in France.. who freaking would? I studied for a few hours, but then Maddie got out of class, so we went shopping to buy my… leather jacket! Honestly, I’ve been wanting one since I came to France last time 4 years ago, and the store we went to sold them for only 50 euro.. which is outrageously cheap here, so I bit the bullet and bought myself one. It sucked to spend the money, but it was a purchase that had to happen and I’m already in love with it. Now I just need some matching black leather boots…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my way back home with Maddie, she ran into two kids from her program at GEM (a girl who lives in France, and a guy from Argentina), so I socialized with them and realized they’re so awesome and that I need to become better friends with them. Hopefully that works out. Madeleine wasn’t going to be home for dinner that night, so Max and I went to this pizza place for some pizza and caprese salad, yumm. Then I finally watched that movie Moonrise Kingdom, which was so good and absolutely adorable.. I totally recommend it. Unfortunately I had to get up early on Thursday for the weekend fiesta, so after the movie I went to bed to catch as much sleep as possible.

… There you have it! I’m all caught up except for this weekend which was spent in AMSTERDAM… but I need an entire post dedicated to that. Stay tuned!