Monthly Archives: March 2013

Beware the Ides of March…

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As you can see by the title, we have FINALLY arrived in what could only be counted as a dream of mine, an impossibility among a plethora of impossibilities accomplished throughout its empire. I’M IN ROMA! And when in Rome, you might take a tour called “Rome By Night” led by your awesome tour guide, Stefania! (We had an awesome bus driver, too–Tonino, to whom we said every morning, “Bonjourno, Tonino!!”) I’m not going to even lie…I did tear up when we drove past the Colosseum at night. The sight of it was breathtaking. To think about what went on in that stadium and how many people died there. Alas, there was no Russell Crowe winning battles for us, and there was certainly not enough time to explore it.

Rome by Night

 

Our tour guide’s name was Luca and we’re all pretty sure he referred to Christians as a cult. Uhh…yeah. We all sort of exchanged weird lances at one another after we heard that in our whispers….Anyway, a lot of parts of the Colosseum were donated for construction of other things waybackwhen. It’s a lot bigger in some ways than I imagined, but a lot smaller in other ways. I realize that’s hard to imagine, but just work with me here. 😉 It was beautiful and moss-ridden, just as an ancient ruin should be. I even remember how it smelled…not old, but full of Earth and rock. I did steal a rock for my 3rd graders back home who wanted to see one so so bad! That was fun. 🙂 I put it in a little baggy and it’s sitting next to me as I type. 😀

SO, I just told you what happened during the course of the next day, BUT, going back to Rome by Night, we did drive all through the big parts and squares of Rome. After learning and re-learning about the ruins and emperors of Rome, I teared up more than once…or five times! What would look to any ole person as just a stump or used-to-be altar, was significant in history and I took it all in because the next place I’m going to describe to you is the theater where Caesar was slain!!! We all stood with our upper halves leaning over the railings to see down into what used to be the main level of Rome. (If you don’t know anything of Rome at all, it’s built like a cake. Every time the Romans want to build something new, they end up excavating ruins! It’s quite awesome, really, to think that I actually walked around Domitian’s Stadium because it was RIGHT underneath my feet. :O :O :O ) And there we recited Mark Antony’s oration at Caesar’s funeral:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus

Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:

If it were so, it was a grievous fault,

And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–

For Brutus is an honourable man;

So are they all, all honourable men–

Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.

He was my friend, faithful and just to me:

But Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

He hath brought many captives home to Rome

Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:

Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

You all did see that on the Lupercal

I thrice presented him a kingly crown,

Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And, sure, he is an honourable man.

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,

But here I am to speak what I do know.

You all did love him once, not without cause:

What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?

O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,

And I must pause till it come back to me.”

 

Oh, and it was magical!!! I cried, again!!!

 

Everywhere I went I had to touch everything. I touched the buildings and the streets and sometimes cars (hehe). Rome by night was one of my favorite experiences because we went when no people were going to be around and it was peaceful and beautiful and I just love HISTORY. Aw, man, I cannot wait to keep going!!! Tomorrow can only be a million times better!!

‘Til next time! XO’s

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy: Rome by Night

Trevi Fountain (Full picture) in Rome, Italy: Rome by Night

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy: Rome by Night

Rome by Night

The City of Firenze

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Hello all! Yesterday’s post was about Florence, but we are spending two whole days in Florence, so I MUST add a second post!!! Florence is my favorite place so far. I thought that Assisi would be hard to beat, but Florence is just CRAZY! Gypsies, like I said before, are everywhere, but even more so the more we hung around in the different squares. Firenze, by the way–sidenote!–means Florence in Italian. 🙂 If you didn’t already catch that, ya know.

The first thing we did on day two of being in Florence was go and visit the open market! My group had already been there the first day, but we had a lot of free time to spend before we had to meet up with our group at the Academia Museum. So, walking around Florence, one of my friends led the way because he knew how to play Assassin’s Creed. It works! HA! There was one guy who was really nice and lowered his prices to my standards. I dubbed him my favorite of the day because unlike when I bargain in Africa, they do not haggle with me!!

I try everything and still, nill! Nevertheless, it is an interesting experience being among these types of people. They all talk fairly fast and they like to go off on tangents, much like me! At about lunchtime, or whenever my group was ready, we crossed the street to a cafe. I was looking for free wi-fi, whilst my group mates were looking for Espresso (Aunt Kellie….*cough*cough*). Yes, well, I didn’t find the free wi-fi. 😦 But, we did happen upon some Espresso….in a cafe……with a HEATER! So, all in all, I was delighted. 🙂

At one point in the day we stopped at a caricature person thingie doo-hickey, ya know what I’m referring to. I will have to post a picture. the picture itself was a mite inappro-pro. Okay, we had to tell him to add some clothes to the girl he drew next to them. IT was five euros and it was well worth it! I was laughing so hard with my friend, Julie, that I could barely hear the guy ask me if I wanted one with Julie and then I could barely shake my head no! I think my exact words were, “I’d rather have my clothes on, Sir.” when talking about it with Julie later that afternoon.

After lunch, we went to meet the group (all of the rest of us, basically) at the Academia. I still have my ticket. It houses DAVID by Michelangelo. The Italians say “Mee-kellan-jello.” 😀 It is SO HUGE. I wish I could have taken a picture for y’all, alas, they threatened to take away one of my group member’s phones for photography. There were so many vendors selling Michelangelo’s work, THE DAVID all over the squares. Most of them, granted, were inappropriate, nevertheless, it’s all a part of the experience. 🙂

Well, dinner calls and so does sleep, xo

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White Smoke, New Pope!

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Today we arrived in FLORENCE, ITALY!!! it is so beautiful here and I think it’s a little tropical–even for it being March. Our hotel is SUPER cute! There’s always so much going on in it. Mainly because there are Italian boys on the floor below me and my roomies. They like to call us “Baby” and you can imagine the amount of entertainment and laughter that is gathered from just that one word. They just say it differently! It’s more like a “beh-bee” than our good ole southern “bayy-bee.” Or maybe that’s just me?
Anyhow, the first day in Florence consisted of beautiful architecture, leather, and GYPSIES.
YES. I SAID GYPSIES. They look exactly like you think, too. 😉 They cover up their nice things they’re wearing with coats, scarves, and long skirts. Then, they come at you randomly with a cup with nothing in it (as if they’ve gotten nothing all day). Stefania (tour guide!) said its a decoy. Like a distraction so that someone can come behind, cut your bag’s strap or bottom and take your belongings. I was like, heck no! My stuff was in front of me the whole day!
Ha! The beautiful architecture is something you can’t miss when traveling ANYWHERE in Italy (possibly entire Europe…). When we first walked into this giant square where they were doing construction, I and my classmates eyes gazed up at this beast of a cathedral dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. It completely takes up the square and took a total of 140 years to build by order of the Medicci family, if I’m not mistaken (days, sights, and cathedrals run together. 😉 ).
Stefania also took us to the bridge overlooking Lake Arno, which would be lake “Arrrrrrrrno” in her lovely, Italian accent! Don’t try if you can’t roll your “r”‘s (..Daddy…) ;). On the bridge, there is a head statue of someone whom I forgot the name of (ERGH!) and there is a gate around it, but on the gate there are about 200+ locks with names on them. I’m not just talking about like, “Kendyll 2013.” It’s more like, “David & Merriam” and my favorite: “Together Forever.” 😀 Though, the actual act of locking the lock on the gate is illegal, so people do it at night when no one is around (supposedly “no one” but that’s hard to believe because there are a LOT LOT LOT of people in Florence!)
I wish I could post a picture of it on here from my phone. I SO would!! Alas, the WiFi chooses to be sketch with my laptop and shalt not hook me up. *sigh but when I can figure out how to so it from my phone, I will post a picture of the gypsies and the cathedral and the lock bridge. 🙂

Until next time, loves! xo

Florence, Italy

The Duomo: Florence, Italy

The Lock Bridge: Florence, Italy
The Lock Bridge: Florence, Italy

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Day One. I Think?

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There is so much to  write about tonight! It is 2:44 right now at home, but if you count six hours ahead, that’s about the time it is in Assisi. 🙂 

On March the eleventh, we departed from the airport at about 3;00 in the afternoon. What most of you DON’T know is that we had been there since nine that morning. See, our flight was supposed to leave at noon, but due to weather problems it was delayed twice, thus we left at the time we did. Our next flight was directly from Atlanta to Rome, and leaving at 4:15.  SO, since the flight is only about 30 minutes, we pulled into the Atlanta airport at 3:30ish at GATE E20. Our departure gate was GATE F2. On the other side of the airport. After booking it to a tram and letting the doors close on us our bodies repeatedly, we FINALLY arrived at our gate where they insisted on issuing us NEW BOARDING PASSES.

Oh my, we were sweating and our shoulders were hurting from carrying our bags, but we got on the plane and eneded uphaving a great flight. 🙂

HA! I wish….no, we got on to find that our seats had been given to two other passengers who said they had only done what they were told and took their original seats (even though their tickets put them in 16 and not 38). By this time, everyone on the plane is just fed up with us because we’ve held them over for almost an hour. I heard one man’s comment, “Well, there goes our dinner reservations.” (It’s amazing my tour group leader even got the plane to wait on us!) and even AFTER we landed in Rome (after getting ZERO sleep…)I heard a lady telling one of my group members, “Well, I didn’t feel like that was fair to us. Y’all should’ve….blah blah blah.” I was just like, you’re home, be happy! hahaha

She jetted off that plane, too. Really, though, if we could’ve helped our flight being delayed so much, we definitely would have!

After getting to Rome and falling asleep on the very comfortable bus seats, we arrived in Assisi. The place is beautiful and I only wish I had time to post some pictures! God’s creation is absolutely BREATH-TAKING. The lot of us took a fifteen-twenty minute walk into town to see the shops, the VIEW, and to find gelato. Sadly, we did not find gelato. 😦 

Never fear! For tomorrow we shall have better luck. 🙂 Lord willing, we will be going to Florence after touring Assisi. Prayers would be much appreciated as we continue on this journey of a lifetime. 

xo

-Kendyll. 

Taking it day by day….very slow days, I might add

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T-minus 7 days. SEVEN days?! Like, really, seven whole days until I depart for Rome, Italy. I have been dreaming about this place since the beginning of my freshman year when I had an excellent teacher who gave me my love for Ancient Roman history. I’ve been re-reading my history notes from her whilst reading Ancient Rome:The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Simon Baker that someone I used to know gave me as a birthday present a year or two ago. I’ve been talking to a few people in the church that have been and they’ve let me see their pictures, as well.  Some might say that I’m a little over-prepared or too obsessed when I tell them that the biggest thing I’m worried about is forgetting memories of certain places (because my tour group will be EVERYWHERE) and not having enough time to jot every place down, but I’m convinced there is no such thing. I WILL REMEMBER!

The excitement really is overwhelming. My aunt is going with me and my group and she’s just as excited if not more. 🙂 Wait–no, that couldn’t be possible. Ha! Anyway, though. I’ve just discovered another worry: how will I pack a week and a half into my suitcase that I’ll be carrying to and from hotel to hotel to cruise ship? Should be quite an adventure. 😉

Do stay tuned.

-Kendyll