Back in the States

So, this is my final post. I have been home for about three and half weeks now. Its definitely hard to be back home and have to re-adapt to everything again.

Coming home was definitely not the best experience ever. I have never seen such rude flight attendances in my life. The first flight that we had we were delayed about a hour then the attendances told us that if our bags did not fit they were not coming. However, the second flight we had the crew made out nights. They had the best personalities ever. They loved to crack jokes with us and keep us busy even though we were a hour late for this flight as well.

After being delayed about a hour and half getting into LAX, I was ready to just go home. However, customs along with boarder control took another hour and half to go through before we were able to go get our first American meal! Only positive thing about going through customs and boarder control was meeting an actor from my favorite TV show. Definitely I nice welcome home gift. Once I finally got out of LAX, I decided to go to In N Out and have an animal style double double.

Overall, I been an interesting three week, from coming back to work and adjusting back to my daily routine. I sure miss Italy and can not wait to go back.

Last week in Rome

Its our final week here in Rome. Coming back from Spring Break to study for finals was extremely rough. So a group of friends and I decided to get away for the last weekend. We went to Paris, France for the weekend.

First stop on our journey was to go to Disneyland Paris. I heard so many mixed reviews about the park that I went in with a clear and opened mind about it. I told everyone that I would let them know what I thought about it after the day was over.

I loved Disneyland Paris. It was amazing being able to experience the park. I never in my life thought that I would be able to go here before I would get the chance to go to Disney World.

Next on the journey we explored the city and saw the Eiffel Tower as well as other sites in the city.

After a relaxing weekend we got back home to Rome and got down to busy. Finals were definitely stressful but I completely all of my exams and passed everything. Wednesday night AIFS took all of us out for a Farewell Dinner to say goodbye and thank us for one amazing adventure.

Saying Goodbye is not easy. I have never seen so many tears shared in my life. I tried my best not to get emotional but seeing everyone cry was hard. Everyone that was part of the group has given us so many memories that I am able to look back on.

On our final day in Rome, I made one last visit to the Colosseum and the Forum. Its always amazing to see these sites and learn about the history they have.

After three months, its time to go home back to the States. I am beyond excited to go home but at the same time sad to be leaving my second home. CIAO CIAO.

Spring Break: Part Two

Next on my journey is Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona was nothing like I pictured Spain was going to be. I imaged an older city just like Rome. Overall it was beautiful tho.

Once, we arrived we went straight to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel and thanks to my discount for being a Marriott Employee we got an amazing rate on the rooms.

The next day, we were all a little to tired to do a whole lot. We decided lets hangout by the pool and enjoy the spa. They had a rooftop pool and bar with one amazing view.

After being lazy all day, we meet up with other students who were out visiting Barcelona as well, to have our Cheetah Girls moment. We went to Park Guëll. This park is amazing and is a must see if you ever get the chance to go to Barcelona.

Once we were done with our Cheetah Girl moment we went home to get dinner then wondered around the city to see all the builds and what else the city had to offer. We found a bunch of amazing sites.

Then finally for our last day in Barcelona we went around to see all the wonderful sites including an awesome market that was massive. You could purchase a variety of food items from the market. I wish we had one back home in the States.

Then spring break came to an end. It was nice being able to relax and do nothing for a whole week. Travis went home Sunday morning, which was sad but I will see him soon.

Then Tuesday, my friend Annie flew in to visit for the remaining. We took her around to see the city. Showed her our school and all of the things we like to do while we are out and about.

Well I need to sign off for now, be on the look out for my next post. Ciao Ciao.

Spring Break Part One

Spring break has finally arrived. Which means a lot of relaxation and fun adventures!

First on my spring break was spending time in Rome. Why you ask? Because Travis, my boyfriend came out to visit me. I got to take him around the city and be his awesome tour guide. The very first night he was in Rome, we decided that we should do something different. We went to a Burlesque show. Honestly, if you were ever considering seeing one, do it. The show we saw was about 85% in English (all the songs were very common English songs), which was extremely nice.

I later showed Travis, the amazing view of St. Peter’s (The Vatican) that we get to see every night. Which I think is better seen at night.

On our next free day, we got a late start. Travis had a real bad case of jet lag. Which was funny to see since none of my roommates or myself had a bad case of jet lag when we arrived. However, I made he get up because I wanted to show him Four Rivers, Largo di Torre Argentina, The Spanish Step (which I still had not been able to see since I have been in Rome), The Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain.

Then for our final day in Rome, which ended up being Italy’s Labor Day. We went to the Forum and Colosseum. Which was super nice because I still had not been able to go see what the inside looked like or what it was about. On our way to these attractions, I take Travis on the bus, since it was fast and to show him a different side of Rome he had not seen yet. Well he ended up falling in love with the “Wedding Cake” building.

 Then we were off to Basel/Zürich, Switzerland with Lindsey and Autumn for two nights.

Boy, let me tell you Switzerland was not cheap. Honestly, only go there if you have at least 400 a day to spend (give or take). Cause for just a Big Mac from McDonald’s cost almost 7 francs which is about $7.50-$8 in US dollars. It was mind blowing with how expensive everything was.

The first day we were in Switzerland, we explored the city of Basel where we stayed at. It was super nice we were able to get free bus passes to us to get around while we were there.

Then on our second day we decided we wanted to see Zürich, the capital. While it was only a hour train ride it was definitely an amazing view to look at on our journey. While we were in the city we went to Haus Hiltl, which is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that current holds the Guinness Book world record for the longest continuously open Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant.

Well I am off. Be on the look out for my next post that includes the rest of my spring break. See ya later!

Sorrento, Positano & Capri

So this week I had the opportunity to go to Sorrento, Positano and Capri. Seeing these places was by far one of the best experiences ever! Instagram and Pinterest don’t do a justice on how beautiful they are. Did you know that Sorrento is extremely popular for there Lemoncello?! I sure did not know that. Every where I looked there was Lemoncello.

When we first got to the hotel, every one of us was like okay we need to do homework before we could go out. Luckily, I was well prepared and had most of mine done and was able to go on a walk with a few friends. We found a garden that had lemon and orange trees. These trees were the same ones that they used for Lemoncello and a bunch of other different types of drinks. We also got to try out different samples of the drinks.

Once we got back to the hotel and everyone was done with there homework it was time to head to Positano. We all decided to take the bus from Sorrento down, which was about €1,80 one way. Only thing was it was going to take about 40 minutes to get down to the town. Which was fine until about half of the group got car sick on the bus and was not sure how much of the twist and turns they could handle. Boy, let me tell you there was a lot of twist and turns on the road down to Positano. Once we arrived to Positano I could not take my eyes off of the town. It was beautiful and so colorful.

On our way back home, I had a small dilemma. I was not sure how I was going to back to Sorrento. If I wanted to take the bus back or spend €19,50 for the 30 minute ferry ride back. When it came down to it, I wanted to make sure I got back to the city in time for the group dinner. I am so glad that I did, I got to see a different view of Positano that I would never saw and I now have amazing pictures to remember my trip to Positano.

On our second day, we had a group excursion to Capri but we were able to do what ever we wanted after we got off the Ferry. Almost of the whole group decided to do a one hour boat trip around the whole island of Capri, it was cheap (only paid €10, since we got a group discount).

After the boat tour, the same guys offered another group discount on a private bus to the two cities (Capri and Ana Capri) along with a ticket for each person to take the chair lift up to the highest point of the island for an amazing view and photo op. Boy, what a view!

Then on our final day, we had a guided tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was really interesting to see these places because it was a huge reality from learning about them to see what really happened in person. If you ever come out to Italy and have a chance to go see both of them, I highly recommend going!

Now it’s time for spring break and to have some time to relax. Be on the look out for my post for what I have in store for everyone on my journey during spring break.


Buona Pasqua (Happy Easter)

Ciao Ciao! Holy Week has finally arrived here in Rome. Rome offers a bunch of different things for everyone to attend during Holly Week. For us the week started off by celebrating three birthdays (Sean, Rosie and Kelli). We decided to take all the birthday kids out for dinner at Tonnarello. This was a nice restaurant that we were able to accommodate all 20 of us that showed up for the dinner. We were all able to get a variety of food items, from pasta, chicken, lamb and pizza.


Friday morning we were given the opportunity to check out an Italian Film Studio called Cinecittà. It was nothing like Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. So if you want to try and compare them together, do not do it! It was really shocking to see the film sets of where they shot some music videos/tv shows/movies on these sets. The sets are made of strong light material like fiberglass and they last for multiple years.

Saturday we were given a winery tour at a semi local winery. The winery was uses all organic means of production. While we were touring, we were able to see the different types of grapes that they grow to use for the different types of wines. Seeing the barrels that they use to age and create the wine was not what I had in mind for the process of wine creation. It was really interesting to see this process.

The next day, Easter Sunday arrived. I decided not to go to morning mass with the Pope. I did have a few of my roommates and friends attend the mass. They told me that it was one of the best experiences they have ever been involved in. They agreed that mother nature had the best timing with the rain that came during mass. As soon as the Pope was done with his talk, mother nature just let it fall. Everyone who went told me that it felt like they were getting baptized for Easter. Once the rain finally stopped and the sun came out, the remainder of the service continued and then one of the best moment of there lives happened.

THEY SAW THE POPE!fullsizeoutput_27ab

(Photo Credit: Daniel P./Emily P.)

Finally, the last day of the celebration we were told by our coordinator that for Easter Monday, Rome celebrates with festivals and fireworks. So a bunch of us decided to go hang out by Castel Sant’Angelo (which has the best view of the fireworks, so we were told).

Well it was just out luck that we get there about the time we were told the fireworks were going to start. Sure enough they never went off. It made us all super sad. No one knows what happened and what the reason was for them not going off. Even though we were all bummed that the fireworks did not go off; we had a blast just hanging out with each other.


Venice the sunken city.

Being able to see the different places that Italy has to offer has been one great adventure. I am super excited to see what else is to be in store for my big adventure here in Rome. Last week, I went to Southern Italy and was able to experience all that Lecce, Otranto and Gallipoli had to offer. Now this last weekend I was able to go up North and see Venice. Venice is a city that has a lot of tourist and is slowly becoming a sunken city that will probably vanish in the next couple of generations.

I never thought that I would like a place so much. I definitely loved being around the water and seeing all the amazing sites that the city had to offer. I have never been in such a quiet city before. It was so different not to hear a single car while walking around the narrow path ways. Also, it was extremely nice to be able to look up at the sky and see all the stars although, it has been difficult to see with all the lights and stuff a  big city has to offer.

On our first day in Venice we had a walking tour through the streets and the first thing our tour guide side to us was make sure you stay close, because you will get lost. Sure enough about fifteen minutes into the tour, two of the girls come running out of a side street that was not anyway that we had come and the face they gave us was priceless. Clearly they had gotten lost. On this walk we saw San Marcos Square and the church that belonged to him while he was in Venice.

The next day, we had a tour of the Doges Palace. It was definitely one amazing place to visit. We got to learn about a lot of different things. One thing that stood out to me the most was the letters that citizens would send to them. If they knew someone had committed something illegal and had three witnesses they would send it to the Doge and have that person sent to trial. It was super interesting to learn about some of things that coincided with my Law class.

After our tour we had the whole day to ourselves. I decided that I would wander around the city a little then I went off to an island called Murano that was known for their glass making. It was definitely jaw dropping to see all the work that they can do and make with just glass.

On our very last day, my roommates and I decided to go on a gondola ride. Going to be honest, not sure I would do it again. For 45 minutes (ish) for 20 euros a person can be a lot (for a max of 6 people) but if youve never experienced it before, do it at least once. Just make sure you have the maximum amount of people because the price will stay the same no matter how many people you have.

Have a great day and remember anything is possible.


Be on the look out for my next post about Easter in rome.

Southern Italy: Lecce, Otranto, & Gallipoli

This last weekend we had the chance to go down to Southern Italy and see Lecce, Otranto and Gallipoli. These cities are all located in the boot of Italy. We started our journey in Lecce where we rented out out an Airbnb from John Duggan who is a family friend of my dad and uncle Brad. He is an American that has lived in Lecce for the last 25 years with his family. While living in Lecce he is a painter and an architect, as well as an amazing cook and tour guide for us.

Our first impression when we got of the bus in Lecce was “Omg, they have palm trees!” Which made us miss Southern California more than ever. We were definitely shocked on how much the weather and first image that we saw reminded us of being back home in Fullerton, Buena Park and La Palma.

While staying in Lecce we were staying in Centro Storico (which is the historic center of the city). Which is home to a sunken Roman Amphitheater. Centro Storico is not as big as Rome. However, the city is very easy to get around. The feel and vibe of the city is very slow compared to Rome. Everyone that I was traveling with all felt that the city of Lecce was very homey and reminded them of home.

Next on our journey was to the city of Otranto. This is a well known beach city in Southern Italy. It was really quiet and reminded me of the beach cities back home in Southern California, like Huntington Beach. John told us that this is like the Italian version of Greece. I felt like I did not even need to go to Greece since I got to experience Otranto.

After walking around the city, John asked us if we wanted to find a beach and enjoy a picnic? We all said yes! So we found a beach about 10 minutes away from the main city. One thing that John never told us was that the beaches in Italy allowed women to be topless. When we all noticed this was allowed we are kind of were like wait what?! umm.

Final stop of the journey was Gallipoli. We were told that this was the Italian version of Spains Ibiza. We did not really see this. Only aspect we thought was similar was the fact they were islands and small. However,  I did not see what I thought would be the same. I did not see a whole lot of partying on Gallipoli like I was told Ibiza has. Gallipoli is really well known for there fish market and their beautiful beaches. Before we entered the city, we went on a mini hike to get an amazing panoramic picture of the city. However, I will be honest it was extremely windy and it was kind of difficult to talk a normal picture.

Once our journey came to an end in Lecce, we came back to the reality of school and homework in Rome. However, once we were back in Rome I had realized that I never seen the sunset while I had been here. It took me a little more than 5 weeks before I was able to see the sunset here in Rome and it was beautiful!

Finally to end my week, I won the photo contest at school with my picture of myself and the Sunken Roman Amphitheater. Which has made me really happy and consider photography as a side hobby. Anyways, see you guys next week. Ciao!

Vatican City, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s

This last week has been one of the slower weeks. I am grateful we were able to have a slow week since we have been so busy and I felt we did not have a lot of time to breath. We wanted to see what it was like to go to an Italian movie theater. We wanted to see Beauty and the Beast (also known as La Bella E La Bestia).  The movie theater was nothing like the ones in the United States. The seats were very close together and guest what! The movie stops about half way through to have an intermission. Where they bring in people to sell you snacks and if you need a bathroom break. All of us freaked out and thought that the movie was broken and we were not going to be able to continue to finish the movie. I will not give any spoilers about it but I highly recommend you go and watch the movie, whether or not you seen the original cartoon.

On Friday I said goodbye to 24 and hello to a quarter century. It was nothing special but I will say that celebrating my birthday in a different country was very different than back home in the United States. At home we would have a big party with friends and family as well as dinner. This year we could not do a whole lot for my birthday since we had a school trip to go see the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s. Out of all the tours that we have been able to go and see all the fun and exciting things the tour of the Vatican was the worse. I definitely plan to hopefully go back and do a different tour. To start everything off the tour guide was 45 minutes late to meeting us and the Vatican changed there closing hours due to a celebration they were doing for a treaty and were having over 60 different diplomat people come to the Vatican for this celebration. By the time we got into the Vatican we had about 30 minutes to get to the Sistine Chapel before it was closed for the day. We did not get to take in anything for the tour we just rush through the halls, so that way we could see the chapel.

 Out of all my birthday dinners, this year was definitely dinner and unique. One of the best things were getting the entire Hard Rock Café to see me Happy Birthday. I am super glad that we were able to have a relaxing weekend. Now its time to explore Italy some. Ciao.

Beautiful Views of Florence

Its been another busy week here in Rome. Sometimes its just hard to stop and take all the beauty of the city in. The main group of people that we hang out with like to wonder around and see things at night since we heard they were better at night. Trust me the Trevi Fountain was 100 times better at night.

I was able to get better pictures in front of the fountain this time compared to the first time. This last week we also had the Ides of March, which I heard was suppose to be a really cool experience.. However, if I have to be honest that was not worth it at all. First off we were told one thing and the outcome was different, along with not starting on time. The view was pretty awesome tho.

Over the last weekend we went to Florence for a school trip. It was a lot different than Rome. I am not sure which city I like better. The view though were amazing. I would not gave that up for anything. We were able to see the Duomo, visit Michelangelo’s David and go to the Uffizi Museum to see all the different artworks. I think that focusing myself to climb to the top of the Duomo was the highlight of my time at Florence. Even though it was very difficult for me due to my knee injury I have from the past, that view made it worth wild.

After a fun and kind of stressful weekend in Florence, we finally came back to Rome. Once we got back we were asking if we would like to meet some international people. So we went to this Bar that offered a buffet and allowed us to meet people from all over and including Italy. We meet a lot of people of all ages and from all over.

Then to finish off our busy week, we had an Italian cooking class. Where we got to make EVERYTHING! We got to create the pasta buy hand then created an amazing appetizer and dessert. It was kind of interesting to learn that there are two different ways on how pasta is made. One is made with water and wheat, and the other is made with eggs and wheat.

Time to relax and enjoy my birthday weekend. This is much needed after this very interesting and busy weekend. Keep your eye for next’s weeks blog. Ciao!