Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rome: The city of flowers, walking, and pasta

I have decided that Rome is the city of flowers because literally everywhere you go there are so many beautiful beautiful flowers. Even on the highways! The city is so beautiful and the people are so nice, even if you ask for directions, they will gladly tell you and help you find your way :) I have fallen in love with Romans. It is so cool because you cal tell between and Roman and people from other parts of Italy, or even tourists :) I have been to the city a few more times and am so in love with it. There are always people bustling around, mostly tourists, and no one is rude if you accidentally bump them. I have learned to say "scuzi" a lot. Yesterday was by far my favorite day in Italy so far. We went into Rome about noon and met up with Stella's best friend Anna, who we went to Anzio with, and she is too nice. She joined us to go shopping for the day. What was so amazing about it was, it was a friday and it was so nice out and there werent so many people in the city! Both stella and anna were so amazed! the weather was fantastic, seeing as usually its about 96 degrees in the city! I got so many souvenirs for all my lovelies back at home and found some good things for myself. But that wasnt what made it so perfect. What did is that I saw rome in a totally different light. We stopped by small bookstores, small clothing stores, local restaurants, and local paper stores. There was this one bookstore that had so many old old books and stella and anna told me about this book that i must read when i get back to america :) Then for lunch we stopped by this placed called "Pastificio" which means the place where you make the pasta, and it was so small and sold fresh pasta and all you did was pay 4 euros and you got a huge to go box of pasta, and you just sat in the tiny store, if there was room, and ate it and drank wine and water for free!! it was amazing :) and the pasta was amazing as well! then we met up with her cousin and walked around some more :) i dont know, the whole day was just fantastic. Even dinner was amazing, we were laughing the whole time with her family. I have grown to love them so much, all their little quirks and attributes are so amazing and i wish i could stay here longer to get to know them. But i am coming home in 3 days!! :) i am happy so happy and a little sad that i will be leaving this house and this family and stella :( But i have had such a fantastic time so far!

After Stella's neck accident we stayed at home most of the days, except for once i went out to a market with her mother, Beate, and the next day went to another market with stella's boyfriend, Edoardo! He is too nice to me :) he picked me up from the train station and took me to the market :) Also, one night we went out to eat (my first time here) with a few of stella's friends from tennis and hung out with them afterwards :) One day, after Stella's neck was feeling better, we went to a small lake and played poker and swam a little with stella's boyfriend, and two of her good friends Jerome and Giorgio! Also, we have been watching harry potter almost every night to prepare for the FINAL movie which we are going to on monday with a couple of her friends! :) I am dressing up with stella a little, nothing compared to the people in America, because no one dresses up here! I guess the movie theatre is where "la dolce vita" was filmed so i will be walking down those streets, if anyone knows that movie, i actually havent seen it! Well here are a couple of pictures of my adventures recently :) 
 the flowers at anzio! :)
 Stella's house by the sea in Santa Marinella :) so beautiful!
 Where i stayed for a few days on a lounge chair :)
 Stella, Edo, and I :)
 the Mercedes slk 250 that i rode in around Santa Marinella with Stella's cousin! :)
 Stella and I made tiramisu one day :)
 The lake we went to! It's called Martignano
The cute restaurant i talked about i :) 
Miss you all so much!! :) I will be seeing you soon :) 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Roma, Italia

My dearest followers, sorry I have not been able to update my blog very often, for I have been so so busy!! So on July 3rd, Stellas birthday, we went to Tivoli with her sister and her cousin lorenzo and saw these amazing villas! the first one we saw was Villa Gregoriano which was a roman style Villa that dated back to years before the romans! it was so beautiful and had so many amazing views of the wonderful city on top of the mountain, Tivoli! we walked down the valley and saw amazing waterfalls and a cave that was named after the mythological sirens :) it was an unbelievable site :) then we walked around Tivoli eating our cornettos (croissants) and saw an old car show! the cars were amazing and from the 1950's! so cute :) then we went to the next villa which was called Villa del Este and it was so beautiful! it looked like a palace and had even more amazing views of all of rome! :) it was incredible! here is a picture of the cars, then the view, then the waterfalls and the first villa :)

Then afterwards of course we got Gelato and then we arrived back at stella's house and prepared for her party! so many of her friends came (about 15) and i loved them all! they were all so funny and tried so hard to speak english to melinda, sally and i :)
July 4th, 2011
Today we went into Rome and saw the colleseum and the forum romano! they were incredible even though i had already seen them! its amazing because i get to see Rome in a whole new light from before :) The colleseum was magnificent and the forum romano was so much bigger than i remember! stella and her mom didnt come since they had already been there so much but melinda sally and i walked around and didnt get lost! so proud! :) then we met up for lunch and i finally got my toast :) i always ate that when i went to europe with my family :) it is just ham and cheese on a bread that is like toast! so yummy! then we went shopping for like 6 hours and i got clothes at H&M and Mango :) so good!
July 5th, 2011
We went into Rome again today and saw St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City and then museum. St. peters was UNBELIEVABLE :) there were so many beautiful statues and paintings and i was in love :) at the Vatican we saw the sistine chapel which was amazing and we also saw a real mummy!! :) so cool :) then afterwards we found this amazing sandwich place and ordered it ourselves without stella! (she was at a seminar for a university she wanted to attend) and then we ate gelato... again :) and met up with edoardo! Then we travelled to Anzio with stella's best friend Anna and when we got there stella and anna made this delicious dinner of pasta, ham and melon, salad, bread, and wine! :) we stayed and talked after dinner for hours and it was so fun :)
July 6, 2011
We ventured to the beach at anzio today! it was such a paradise! :) you walked through shrubs and then down a little path and there was the beach and the meditteranean sea! :) so beautiful! we stayed there for about 5 hours, all of which i didnt put any sunscreen on, and i got so burnt on my entire body. i fell asleep and i had perfect tan lines because i didnt move at all. It was terrible. then my back got burnt later on because i didnt put sunscreen on again, and i had lines on my shoulder from where my hair was! and on my back i had a tan line from the string of my swimsuit! so embarrassing! sally's eyelids and her neck got burnt and melinda had random terrible burns on her legs, of course none of the italians got burnt! haha :) Then that night we made homemade pasta! all it is is a special kind of flour, salt, and water and you just mix it all together, flatten it, and then cut it into pasta noodles and cook it! we made it with pesto sauce and had salad with it and stayed up for hours talking again :)
July 7, 2011
Today we went to the pool first and it was so fun because they had slides and i didnt get burnt! haha :) then we headed to the beach and had a wonderful time there again! the water feels so good and it is so cool because it is so clear and you can see your body and the waves are fun to play in! :) then we went back to her house and stella and anna made an egg casserol thing with rice :) so yummy! basically the whole time we were in Anzio all we did was sunbath and eat :) my dreams came true! The next day we headed back to Olgiata (stella's hometown) and just lazed around all day and then sally and melinda left for hungary! :( it was so sad! we miss them already!
July 9, 2011
Today we went to stella's beach house in Santa Marinella with her parents and her sister :) it was even more beautiful than Anzio! all these places are so beautiful and so close to her house! the house was all white and stone and they had this amazing view of the ocean! it was heaven on earth :) we stayed there for two days and just sunbathed and ate all the time again :) Stella gave me a book to read so we did that and made bracelets. of course stella and i made matching bracelets because we are cute like that! Saturday night we went out to get pizza with Stella's cousin Lorenzo and a couple of his friends. Lorenzo came and met us before and we walked around by the beach and went to a few markets. and i arrived in a brand new mercedes slk 250!!! :) Lorenzo has a really nice BMW and he dressed up in a suit and went to the mercedes dealership and Rome and acted like he wanted to rent the mercedes to possibly buy and they let him have it for 4 days to test drive!!! so i got to ride in it, a convertible mercedes, through the streets of Santa Marinella! it was amazing! the make of the car was only 2 months old! I will have to put pictures of the car up later because i dont have them on my computer yet but it was unbelievable! :) then we went to the pizza place which was awesome becaues they just give you two choices of flavors, marinara or margherrita, and then you get HUGE pizzas and no plates or silverware and beer in huge mugs and you just eat with your hands! it was so fun and i ate so much, and of course afterwards we got gelato.. again! :) i have had way too much gelato here :)
July 11, 2011
Today Stella and I played tennis (part of our excersising program now we also ran yesterday) and i miss it so much! :) i played really well and stella did too even though she had a pain in her neck which we later found out is actually like a sprain and she is supposed to wear a neck brace (but she isnt) and stay at home (which she isnt) haha but we went to ikea and i got some things for my apartment and also a present for owen! :)
Anyways! thats a quick summary of all my days so far and i hope you enjoy :) there are so many more details and stories i can tell you all when i get back which is in only a week! :) miss you all so much and love you all so much :) Ti Voglio benne ;)
Yours truly,
Sandra :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Melinda, Sally, Stella, Sandy reunited in Italy

Today is my third day in Italy and I have already done so so much! I have already met a few of Stella's friends and I am learning more and more Italian and becoming so brave! Because I already know Spanish it helps me to understand Italian much better and I can understand 30% of what her friends are saying :) Here is what I have done so far :)
Day One: I got to stella's house which is unbelievable and met her parents and her sister who i fell in love with instantly. The house is HUGE and is in a neighborhood that is fenced in and all of the houses are so beautiful and antique looking :) She has an amazing garden and the room that I am staying in is fabulous! Here is a picture of the Garden, where I take naps and where we eat all the time!

The second picture is of a normal breakfast I eat, i know be jealous. It consists of, usually, bread and butter and a spread (my favorite is apricot) and then some juice and fresh fruit and maybe a cake. And of course, espresso, which i am in love with. I either just sip on an espresso shot or put some milk in it! :)
Anyways, after that we lazed around and i took a nap because i barely got any sleep on the plane, and me and stella went to her local market and got fresh peaches and a man offered me "flowers" for free, which was actually Basil leaves that he wrapped up in flowers for me and said "ciao bella" :) Then we went back home and stayed outside because it was beautiful and i love her garden so much. Stella has a big white lab, like very very light blonde named "merlino" and they call him "lino" sometimes and since i always call lili puppy i call merlina "canolino" since that means puppy in italian :)
Later on that day we went to the airport to get Melinda and Sally and we got a little lost on the way which was funny :) and then we ended the night by passssinnngg out because i was up for like a day straight.
Friday July 1, 2011
On Friday we all woke up and got ready to go into Rome for the day! we started off with a great breakfast of course and then headed to Rome! We took the train which was cool in itself and then we arrived in the "Piazza del popolo" here is a picture! 
 This is my beautiful foreigners! Melinda on the left and Stella on the right! Melinda is hungarian and Stella is italian :)
 And these are the spanish steps
 Here is stella and melinda and sally at our picnic in the park of italy that has that is the largest and is heart shaped! :) we saw a cute little soccer team from paris of like 10 year old boys haha
And here is my fabulous sandwich! :) <3
Then we went to the Trevi fountain and the Pantheon and in between we got Gelato at stella's favorite place in rome that has NUTELLA gelato! unbelievable :) so so so good. 
 thats me in front of the trevi fountain.. just like lizzie mcguire haha :)
 all my cute friends!
 we all threw some coins in there for good luck :) it was so so so hot so we all look terrible.
This is a panorama (not very good) of the pantheon! it is such a beautiful place! the marble on the ground is amazing and every statue is so so cool. there was one where the light was shining so amazing on it, and it is so cool because it is natural light from the whole from the top!
So i know this blog is really long but i still have so much more to say so stick with me! :) take a break and sip on some espresso or something :)
After we got back from Rome we all got ready really quick and ate a "fast dinner" that her mom made which was fresh salmon, salad, bread, and potatoes. it was unbelievable to me and sally and melinda and stella thought it was just plain! i cant believe it! they eat like that every day! Then we went to this concert at a palace that was a trio of clarinets that played mozart that only cost 9 euros!! it was amazing! although i was a little tired and kept falling asleep i still enjoyed it! :) the palace was right next to the teveri (tiber) river and st. pauls cathedral and the vatican city!! we got such amazing views on the palace. and it was where a pope would stay when there was war and there was a walkway that was secret and safe that all the popes walked through to get to the castle safely and we got to walk through it!!!! :) it was so unbelievable! we kept saying we could feel the popes hahaha and we could almost walk to the vatican city! Back at the castle me and sally snuck to the top and almost went on the roof but we got scared of getting kicked out! then afterwards we went around the river and walked around the met up with stella's friends and danced! we ended up staying out really late which was weird because we were so tired haha. but we danced and had fun and i had a few german beers actually and i ordered them once with the help of stella's boyfriend eduardo :) He is so nice and drives us around everywhere because stella doesnt have a car! they are so cute together :) and all of her friends are so gorgeous! :) and nice and try to speak as much english as they can. and they think the way i say eduardo is funny because i sound so american and they make me repeat it so much haha :) Anyways, i will stop here and tell you guys about my beach adventures on my next post and put up pictures of the palace and the night out! :) I miss you all and love you so much!! :)
<3 Love Sandra

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leaving For Italy

Today I leave for Rome, Italy for three weeks! I am traveling to Rome because my beautiful Italian Stallion Stella Lattanzi lives there and I am visiting her :) Here is a picture of us together from 3 years ago! (thats how long it has been since I have seen her face) 

I put this picture up because we played tennis together at Northwest and that is how we became such good friends :) I am sure we will be playing some tennis in Italy and that you guys will be hearing about it. 
I am currently sitting in the Mcdonald's section of the philadelphia airport with 2 more hours to go until I board my next plane.. basically I am bored out of my mind and am shaking with excitement! The airport is such an amazing place to people watch and find time for yourself. I have been listening to some amazing music and reading "For whom the bell tolls" by Ernest Hemingway.
Overall, thank you so much to my wonderful parents for allowing me to go on this trip. It will truly be the greatest trip of my life and I am so thankful :) 
More posts to come! from Rome!! :) 
Love, Sandra Tickles