Monday, October 12

Birthday Week Travels!

It's official, I'm a bad blogger!  I am terrible at keeping up with all that is going on over here!  Where oh where do I begin with what has happened over the 9 days surrounding my birthday week?!?!?  It is what is now known as Bethany's Birthday Extravaganza by the Giani 7 Girls... an adventure through 12 towns in 9 days that has led to so many incredible memories and new friendships that will last forever.  There are far to many things to tell about, but here are a few bullets about each adventure:

ASSISI : Saturday, September 26
*Class day trip on double-decker bus
*Quiant town with cute little shops and restaurants (I bought presents!)
*Famous, beautiful Church of St. Francis
*Saw his tomb 3 stories underground
*Ate genni hen and frech fries for lunch (first genni hen ever and fries since left the States!)
*Back to Rome-Home for 1 hours to pack and head to train station

CINQUE TERRE : Sunday-Tuesday, September 27-29
*Took the midnight train Saturday night and arrived at 5am in Cognila, town 3 of Cinque Terre
*Was homeless for 4 hours, so we rested at top of 346 steps to watch the sunrise (freezing outside!)
*Hostel check-in at 9am, yummy fresh fruit crepes, and naps in Riomaggiore, town 1 of Cinque Terre
*Spend the afternoon laying on the beach and shopping at the beachside stands (more presents!)
*Dinner at sidewalk cafe and hike to top of hill that overlooked beautiful Riomaggiore and Mediterrainian Sea
*Day 2 adventures = hiking from town to town, absolutely the most beautiful place I've ever seen
*Make it through 2 trails, 3 hours of hiking just great, stopped in Vernaza, town 4 for a break
*Karen slips on rock and rips the toenail of her big toe, ending her, mine, and Bridget's hiking for the day (we went shopping instead... dang!)
*Met up with all the girls, got a couple bottles of wine, and headed to the beach for a relaxing girls night (turned out to be one of the best nights of my life!  we had so much innocent fun!)
*Woke up early the next morning for the sunrise and breakfast
*Caught the train back to Rome in the afternoon for a class lecture on Tuesday night (boring!)

ROME: Wednesday, September 30
*Class like usual, catching up and getting updates on our South Field Trip
*Crazy laundry and packing to leave again early Thursday
*Started the real birthday countdown, hour by hour! 

NAPLES: Thursday, October 1
*22 Birthday, woke up to streamers and ballons decorating our apartment
*Off to train station to meet class and teachers for day 1 of South Field Trip
*Arrive in Naples around noon and spend a couple hours at the National Archeological Museum of Naples (quite boring...)

SORRENTO: Thursday-Sunday, October 1-4
*Arrive by train at 3:30 and check into Hotel Savoia (Roomies = Karen, Bridget, Carolyn, Me)
*Class dinner at the "Lemon Tree Resturant"  (not it's real name, but what we call it because you sit under lemon trees to eat dinner!)
*We were served a 4 course meal by funny old man waiters that was fantastic!
*Off to the Hollywood Discotech for an American dance party with crazy lights and music
*I like to claim that this was all planned just for my birthday night!
*When we got back to the hotel, all 4 of us girls slept in one big bed together (it was the birthday snuggle!)
*Friday morning homemade breakfast at the hotel... we all ate like 10 rounds!
*Off to St. Angelo, a town practically connected to Sorrento, to check into our hostel (had to hike up this crazy long, curvy, coblestone road to the top of a hill to get there!  We all though we might die!)
*Spent the rest of the day and evening shopping the streets of Sorrento, buying lots of goodies for everyone at home!
*Met up with some other girls from ISU for wine and grapes in the park, then went to dinner in the square of Sorrento... a very relaxing evening!

CAPRI ISLAND: Saturday, October 3
*Took a ferry from the port in Sorrento to Capri Island, about 30 minutes away
*Hung out on the beach, shopped around, and ate lots of snacks from the fruit stand
*Went on a boat tour around the island that was so much fun (it gave us so much info about the island how how popular it is)
*A few of the things we saw: The Weber Resort, Bill Gates House/Yacht, The original lighthouse on the point, The Blue, Green, & White Grottos, The president of Ferrari's House, The owner of Tod's Shoes Yacht, and much more!
*Took a ferry back to Sorrento and ate dinner at an outside resturant on the pier (so pretty!)

POMPEI: Sunday, October 4
*Headed on the train to Pompei ruines (Pompei is the famous town that was covered when Mt. Versuvius errupted a long time ago... now has been part of an ongoing archeological dig)
*Crazy, big place with tons of tourists!
*Wondered through, trying to image this place as an actual city
*Saw body forms in the positions they were in when the town was covered, many were all curled up trying to hide from the erruption (so sad to see!)
*Back to the train, back to Naples, back to Rome-Home at 11:00pm... exhausted!!!

These are just a few details of what all went on during these crazy days of travel!  It was so much fun, and an experience that I will never be able to fully describe to anyone.  Oh how I wish that all my friends and family could have come along too, but maybe next time ;)  I will put up the pictures of the second half of our trip shortly, and then you'll be able to see many of the things that I have talked about here!  Can't wait to tell you more!  Love from Roma!