One last day in Europe.
Tomorrow it is back to the States and reality, so we had to make today count. How did the day begin? With gelato. How did it end? ...with gelato. Hah... don't judge!
This morning we slept in a little, then went off to go find breakfast. We first went to the grocery store to pick up some fruit to make us feel a little bit healthy, but we really just had our minds set on a nice big dose of ice cream. When in Rome, right? Yeah, it was delicious.
After "breakfast" we spent the day touring ancient Rome, starting at the Colosseum, then going to the Roman Forum, Paletine Hill, and then ending our tour with the Panthenon. Can I just say that it was all incredible? The Colosseum was great- even though it was about a million degrees outside. With Rick Steves' as our guide, I learned a ton about the stadium, like did you know that during the 100 day grand opening celebration the Romans killed over 2,000 people and 9,000 animals? That it took 4 years just to get all the material to the site just to begin building? Or that the crowd determined if gladiators lived or died by simply showing the emperor a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Yeah, me neither. After the Colosseum, we took some pics outside, got a couple with a "gladiator" who's 5 euro charge was totally worth all the laughs, and then headed over to the Roman Forum. Basically this place is the old Rome city, complete with the ruins of basillicas, temples, the place where Julius Caesar's body was burned, and a lot more my tired little brain just can't remember right now. Next we went to Palatine Hill, which is this great big hill where the Roman royalty lived. There were ruins from the royal family's ginormous palace, lots of fountains, and race tracks. It was so cool! I can't even imagine what it all looked like in it's prime... no wonder Rome was the capital of the world.
After all this Roman city-ness, we went over to the Panthenon, which is a huge temple that started the Renaissance. It's got this huge hole in the ceiling, and it's never been covered... so don't be there when it rains! Sadly the temple ended up being closed, but I kind of got to peek through the door, so I kind of got the jist... and all I really wanted to see was the hole in the ceiling, so we've got that going for us! Anyways, it was kind of a let down we couldn't go in, but we had a good time just sitting outside and people watching for the next 2 hours or so while Cade and Dan fell asleep on the steps outside. I swear, they can sleep anywhere!
After the Panthenon the guys got a taxi back to the hostel, but Britt and I were feeling adventurous, so we walked all the way back without a map, and we felt pretty legit once we found the hostel! We spent some time talking to our new found Mexican friends from our hostel in Spanish (I miss doing that a lot...) and then set out to find our last good Italian meal. We just ended up going to the same restaurant we went to the night before, ordered pizza, and watched Spain vs. Portugal. Spain won, so poor Portugal is done, and I don't get to see beautiful Ronaldo play anymore :( Boo. Oh well, maybe when Spain takes the cup I won't feel so bad anymore! Dinner wasn't really that great. The best pizza I've ever had was still the one I ate in Nice hands down. Good try, Italy. The best entertainment during dinner came when a street vendor showed up and tried to sell us a bunch of worthless crap... and the guys all bought stuff. No wonder they target Americans! They know in the end they'll give in and buy their flashlights, plastic watches, and head massagers!
After dinner we were all wanting something more.... so we went and got gelato one last time. Again, when in Rome, right? Yeah... my diet starts tomorrow. I've eaten waaaaaay too much ice cream in Europe, but whatever it's been completely worth it because American ice cream doesn't hold a candle to the Italian variety. We all left feeling a little sick, but a lot of satisfied. Thank you, Italy.
Well, now everyone is just chilling on my bed, playing Hearts, and living up the last few hours we've got until it's time to head to the airport, board a plane US bound, and kiss Europe goodbye... at least for now. I'll be back, Europe, so you'd better be ready, Oh, and in the mean time, you can get some new toilets, learn about peanut butter, and refrigerate your milk. Oh, and you can teach the US a thing or two about soccer, chocolate for breakfast, and public transportation.
Well, I guess that is all for now. Europe has been good to me, and I've had some times I will never forget. With that, I guess it's time to sleep in my creepy hostel bed one more time. Til then!