Well, as you may or may not know... the past 48 hours have been a whirlwind.
It all started with a nice dinner at a cute little restaurant near our hostel. I wanted to make sure it was an amazing meal as it was my last in Europe and thus dubbed the "Last Supper." We went through 3 courses: burschetta with mozzarella/prosciutto, cheese & mushroom ravioli with mushroom cream sauce, and finally fried shrimp and calamari. The bruschetta was amazing; the pasta not quite as good as what I had in Florence. The fried seafood, however, was absolutely amazing. I kept shoving pieces in my mouth even though I was completely stuffed. The shrimp was so strange in that they had fried the whole shrimp including head, tail, shell, everything. So when you cut off the head/tail and peeled off the legs and shell, there was only a tiny piece of unbreaded meat. It was the most amazing shrimp I have ever had. We also shared a bottle of nice wine and enjoyed the company of a Welsh couple sitting next to us as well as the AS Roma game on the television behind the bar.
The couple we were talking to said they had overheard us talking about riding scooters all day and asked us if it was like the movie "Roman Holiday." Neither of us had even heard of the movie, so we shook it off and didn't think much else of it. After we finished our dinner, we walked back to the hostel and what else was on the TV in the kitchen but "Roman Holiday." We watched enough of it to get what the Welsh couple was talking about, laughed at the irony of the situation and then prepared ourselves for the long night ahead. We drank a bottle of wine each as well as a Peroni for the road.
We walked down to our now usual Irish pub hang out (which we actually got in today) and made some friends. We met quite a few Brits who were all there for the rugby match as well as some other Americans. In line for the bathroom I meet this nice Italian man who then walks upstairs with me and introduces me to his friend (who had the same name as him) and we all stand and talk for a while. When Scholars starts to close, our two new Italian friends suggest that we come with them and go to this discotech north of town. At this point, it's about 3 AM, we both know we have a LONG night ahead of us and being together, we know we can't get ourselves into too much trouble, so we agree and we all trek out together.
These guys were great. We all piled into this tiny little car and drove around Rome. They would pull up to other cars and ask for directions in broken English, pretending to be tourists just to make fun of the other cars' bad English. They drive us up to this discotech which, surprise, we're not allowed to go into for some reason or another. I convince the bouncer to let me and one of the guys in and we go in for a short time, but the other two weren't so lucky so we decided to just head out.
From here, we picked up 2 girls who were friends of these guys (we were in two cars at this point) and we drove back to one of their apartments. I'm not really sure if it's an Italian thing or if we were just really lucky, but this girls' place was fully loaded with Italian late night. She had tons of drinks and plates of little finger sandwiches and pastries. It was amazing.
After chatting there for a while (and quite a few conversations in Spanish for some reason) we had the boys drive us back to our hostel where we sat and had another beer before they left and we were forced to find something to do from about 6-8 AM. Nate comes up with some silly game that had to do with coins and hockey but I'm not really sure what it was or why we started playing it, but it kept us entertained for a good hour while we chugged free cappuccinos and hot chocolate. Soon enough, it was time for me to go grab my pack and head to the train station. Complete success, I actually managed to stay up all night!! I was absolutely exhausted, still a little drunk, but ready for all of my sleeping ahead of me.
I slept on the first train, went through security at the airport, slept at the gate, boarded the plane and then slept the whole way from Rome to NYC. After a 3 hour layover in NYC (and a 2 hour weather delay on the runway) I took off for LA and spent the entire 5 hours... you guessed it! Sleeping! Unfortunately, the nice snow delay in NYC made it impossible for me to catch my connection in LA so I had to leave security, go to the ticket counter in a different terminal, book a new flight, then return to my original terminal and go to the gate. I had about a 4 hour wait until my flight to Dallas so naturally, I went to the bar and met some nice people (a girl from Brisbane, a guy from Ft. Worth and a guy from San Fransisco) and threw a couple back before preparing for my next nap. I slept on the flight to Dallas and then got some reading done during my 4 hour layover in DFW before FINALLY getting on a flight to Austin. 31 hours after I left, I arrived at the airport in Austin and caught a cab back to the Theta house.
Since I got home, I have officially clocked my first hours as a full time employed college graduate. I have also managed to dump my entire pack on the floor of my bedroom (which I'm sure Emily LOOOVES) and had my first meal back at theta (meatloaf and egg noodles... I'm not sure it could have been MORE American - just what I wanted!! YAY!!).
And this concludes my story!!
I will have one more follow up post in a couple weeks to wrap up the trip, but until then, I hope you have enjoyed following my trip. I can't believe I actually managed to update daily!! Anyways, thanks so much for keeping up with me and I can't wait to start my next journey!!