"When in Rome…"- well let me tell you, when in Roma - I did as the Romans did =) Rome was even more unbelievable the second time around. I felt like I actually got to appreciate every aspect of the city - appreciate the little detailing and beauty…like the painters who had been painting for years, the children playing futbol in the street, the unique sense of fashion, the detailing and beauty of the architecture (be it St.Peter's or a small apartment building on a back alley). The beauty and just atmosphere is like no other. It is a place where everyone, no matter who you are, is awe struck by the city. The only downfall on this trip was that it rained almost 247 - and I mean rained - cats and dogs were falling from the sky ladies and gentlemen. And Clair and I not being the brightest bulbs in the group, never thought to bring a rain jacket. We knew that it was going to rain, but I think subconsciously we thought that if we did not bring a rain jacket then that would mean that it could not and would not rain - WRONG! It did not hold back. So the rain but a slight damper on our Roma trip because sitting on the Spanish steps and people watching or sitting in a piazza during the day with the hustle of the streets or at night with everything perfectly lit is part of Roma's beauty and atmosphere. Instead, it was a little dreary - but don't worry, we just kept trucking along and did not let the rain get the best of us. So day by day… here we go. After getting settled into the hotel, which was actually in the city…oh yea, that's right…in the city - we had our fabulous welcome dinner. The food was really good - or maybe, it just tastes really good because we do not have to pay for it =) It is pretty humorous at dinner though because all of the guys claim girl's plates - meaning that they will get all of the food not eaten on that plate - the claiming becomes kind of intense. And oh yea - everyone and their mom knows about all of my weird eating things - so one night at dinner, all of the guys that were sitting at my table made it a point to mix all of their food together in an extremely disgusting manner and make me watch them put it in their mouths. I may not have gotten sick, but they definitely won (or at least the guy who claimed my plate did) because of course I lost my appetite after about 2 bites. I ate my heart out in Italy, so maybe I should have them sit across from me more often. But anywho, that night we walked around by the hotel and tried to find something that Romans would do - but all we came to was an Irish pub. It was fun though, except for the fact that we had to squeeze about 30 people in an 8 x 10 space - I don't think that the people who were already there were very happy…The next morning we got up bright and early and were ready for our Ancient Rome Walking Tour. Everyone busted out the Pearsall 5000 - Clair and I were attached at the hip again with our nice sharing headphones hanging down. We walked around by the Forum and Colosseum. Our art professor was planning on taking us inside of the Forum but the details of the Forum had changed since last year - you actually have to pay to get into the Forum now. So since they had not planned for that, our walking tour ended early and we basically had the rest of the day off until the Borghese. Part of our itinerary was going to a symphony that evening, so we decided to head back to the hotel and get ready before heading to the Borghese and the symphony. So we got all dolled up and were off in the streets of Rome. I once again was the navigator to the Borghese - shocking I know, but seriously my map skills are impeccable…still may not have the best sense of direction when there is not a map in front of me - slowly working on it. But we got to the Borghese after a 20 minute walk in high heels (my calves look awesome ;)). As soon as we walked up the Borghese, I knew that I was just going to love it…the garden and courtyards outside were beautiful. The color scheme of the flowers matched perfectly, the grass was a perfect soft green, the marble walkway glistened with the little amount of sun in the sky, and the final touch was the beautiful a capella group singing in the background. Once we got inside, I stood in front of The Rape of Prosphenie and Apollo and Daphne for over an hour combined. These two works are by far the most beautiful and breathtaking sculptures I have ever seen. With The Rape of Prosphenie it looks more like 2 posed people standing in front of you - not a statue. The little detailing - like the finger impressions on Prosphenie's thigh, the fur on the dog, or the detailing in the eyes - made the sculpture like nothing I had ever seen before. Bernini took sculpting to a completely different level. Apollo and Daphne is indescribable - something that you have to see for yourself in order to believe it. After an absolutely amazing experience at the Borghese, we were off to the symphony - an hour walk/metro from where we were. Once we arrived to the concert, our professors informed us that there was a misunderstanding on our itinerary and the concert was actually the next evening…total bummer! So our first day in Rome was a little messed up because we wasted majority of our time traveling back and forth. Since we had walked so many miles, I decided to just take it easy that night and keep reading the amazing book I had been reading, Love the One That You are With. I have loved reading on this trip - the bus ride is the ideal time. After an amazing nights sleep - one of the first in a long time - I was ready for the next day in Rome - the Vatican Tour and St. Peter's. It was just as amazing the second time around! Except, for as cute as our older tour guide was - she took a little too long on the tour. We walked through the museum for over two hours and eventually, the statue heads all began to look the same. But as soon as we got to the Sistine Chapel - I was in awe once again, just like 3 years ago. The entire chapel had been restored, so all of the colors were vivid and bright. It seemed a little more crowded than the first time, but it was still amazing! I could not stay in there too long due to my awesome claustrophobia…but it was still unreal =) Once we finished the tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's, we headed to the concert. The concert was amazing…it was a symphony orchestra and the concert hall was beautiful. The ceiling was exquisite - it was perfectly lit with a unique curved ceiling. The music was so mesmerizing and no exaggeration, was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. A lot of us, not including me, began drifting off just because it was so peaceful and calming - it was the first concert that I actually enjoyed.That evening we decided to do another pub crawl because we all heard wonderful things about the night life in Rome. We originally went to a pub crawl by the Colosseum. I saw over 15 people from Tech or from high school that were not on my trip - it was crazy to see so many people that I knew half way around the world. It was a lot of GT students from the GT Lorraine trip - a few girls in my sorority, so it was really fun to be able to see them and hang out for a little bit! However, the area that we were in was extremely crowded so we decided to head to a different pub crawl by the Spanish steps. When in Rome, I guess =) We ended up having an amazing night because only the small group of people that I usually hang out with went to the other pub crawl, so it was really nice to be able to just all hang out together and not worry about travelling around with a group of 30 people…some of the places we went did not appreciate us travelling in a huge pact… all of the boys' polo shirts and short shorts kind of gave it away that we were American =) So the night ended up being really fun - probably one of the best nights that we have had the entire trip - and guess what mom, I danced the night away! Shocking I know - but no one had to force me to dance, I did voluntarily and loved it, so maybe now when we are at a wedding or something, I will actually dance with you =)Since it was raining in Rome the entire time wewere there, I kind of felt like we did not get to do that much stuff in the city - we did not even get to go the Trevi Fountain - I know that it is basically a huge NO NO to not go to the Trevi Fountain, but I felt like making a wish in the rain was not exactly the most ideal situation. Even though we did not go the Trevi Fountain - Rome ended up being one of everyone's favorite cities! Now that I have been to Rome twice - I have decided that two is not nearly enough - I want to spend at least a month in Rome because I feel like there is so much to take in!