October 21, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Europe

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities a second time, in one year! It was so great to return so soon as everything was still so fresh in my mind – I knew what to see, when to see it, and how to get there. This was all especially nice for Jacob who had never been there before.

What was so nice about this trip was that there was no sense of urgency to see things or take things in with the same mental intensity that I did the last time around. Instead I could just relax and enjoy seeing everything for a second time, which is especially valuable in a city like Rome that has so much to take in. The weather was amazing too – I literally had to go buy a dress (I know, don’t you hate that? I had to go shopping) because it was so warm, probably mid 70’s to 80. We stayed at a hotel south of the main city which also allowed me to see a different part of Rome – its tree lined streets were just gorgeous this time of year.

The food this time was insanely delicious! Last time it was good, but no grand departure from Italian food I’ve had before (and honestly, I had still maintained that the best Italian food I’d had was in Japan). This time, however, Jacob and I kept hitting the jackpot in the food department. It was one amazing dish after another – I think my phrase for the weekend was “what did they put in this????!!!!” I never knew soup could be so good. The things they do with mushrooms are just beyond me, all I know is that I’m obsessed.

I also appreciated that Jacob would speak Spanish with everyone in Rome as well. I tried to pull that trick last time and figured that they all just thought I was a stupid American who didn’t understand that Italian was spoken in Italy, not Spanish. But truly, it’s quite hilarious the exchange that goes on – Jacob spoke Spanish, they spoke Italian, and everyone was happy! The languages are similar enough that you can get by speaking only one of them.

I headed back Sunday night by myself while Jacob remained in Rome for his conference. Now I am trying to catch up on some rest after a very long couple of weeks. I think I should be staying in town (and by town, I mean country) for at least a month or so until I head off to Paris for a conference with work. And then I go home!!!!!

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April 25, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Europe

Gosh, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks! I arrived in Spain last Sunday and headed out for Rome early Tuesday morning. If I was looking for relaxation, I certainly wasn’t going to find it in Rome.

My mom and I arrived in Rome early Tuesday morning and quickly started to hit up the various tourist spots. On the first day we visited the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and everywhere else in between. It was a little bit rainy so it definitely took some dedication. For dinner that night we went to a delicious restaurant, Nino’s (which came highly recommended by The Scribner Family), where we enjoyed our fair share of pasta and some delicious tiramisu.

The second day we headed to the south part of the city to visit Ancient Rome – the Imperial Forums, the Roman Forums, the Coliseum, Arch of Constantine, Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza del Campidoglio.

Finally, on our third and last day, we hopped on the metro to Vatican City and took a guided tour of the Vatican Museum (the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter’s Basilica. On our way back to the hotel we saw Castel Sant’ Angelo, walked along a tree-lined street along the Tiber River and then visited Piazza del Popolo for a final glass of wine before heading to the airport.

Rome in three days is not for the lazy that’s for sure. I look forward to going back and spending a little bit more time at each place as it seems like we just barely skimmed the surface. The highlight was definitely the Imperial Forums – I have never seen anything so impressive and utterly mind blowing. It is hard to believe that the ruins have survived for 2,000+ plus years. Makes everything in the world today seem a little bit small and unimportant in the scheme of things!

Tomorrow we will be taking my mom to the charming town of Toledo, just south of Madrid. More to come….

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