When In ROME!!!

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What can I even say about my trip?! It was exhausting, scary, amazing… EVERYTHING!

If you’d asked me where I would want to travel if I could go anywhere in the world, my answer for years was “Italy!” I want to travel everywhere and anywhere but Italy has always been my #1.

So here I was about a month away from my the big 3-0 and not really feeling up to a big party like originally planned so I decided to look around for vacation deals. And I found one! I asked some gals at work if I was a crazy person and they both said now is the time! No husband or kids keeping me here. Go while I can. So I did!

I left Phoenix at 7am on Sunday sand landed in Rome 7am Monday morning (my birthday.)

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Guys, that first day was rough! I made all these plans and researched so much and yet it all went straight out the window when I got there! It took so much longer to get out of the airport and off the train into the city than I thought and then I was lost! I had a walking tour audio guide on my phone starting at the Campo de’ Fiori but I had no CLUE how to get there. I was starving, tired, lost and scared in country who’s native language I did not speak. Oh boy! I talked to an employee of the metro who spoke English but just barely and came to the conclusion that I would just not find the Campo de’ Fiori today. But I could easily get to the Colosseum which was the plan for day 2 so I just headed there and adjusted the plan.

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I downloaded Rick Steve’s audio tour that walks you through the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill.

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After I tried to continue on with my plan but boy oh boy I was lost and confused. I got on the metro and saw a stop called “Piramide” and figured that had to be near the Pyramid of Caius Cestius that I wanted to see so I got off and sure enough, found my way to the pyramid (after getting some gelato!)  Tours were closed but it was still cool to see.

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Then I wanted to go the Aventine Hill and look through the keyhole so I walked, and walked, and walked and died. My feet were hurting, I was lost and still had to make my way back to the hotel with NO idea how I was going to get there. It was rough, But poor me, lost of the streets of Rome, right? I finally hailed a taxi and just said ‘take me here.’ That was the SCARIEST car ride of my life. Italians really are crazy drivers! I got all settled at my hotel and the next day asked for directions to Campo de’ Fiori and finally was able to find my way around the city!

Day 2 was my fav day! Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Then the Capuchin Crypt which was so creepy-cool. The walls were decorated with thousands of skeletons from Catholic monks!

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I think the Pantheon was one of my fav places!

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I also LOVED walking through the Villa Borghese! I would have loved it even more if my feet weren’t so achy.. but it was green and gorgeous and an absolute beautiful day. There was even an accordion player outside playing stereotypical Italian music like you hear in movies and I just loved every second of it. Cheesy? Yeah but it was a dream!

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And finally day 3 was the Vatican (Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica) followed by the Castel Sant’Angelo. By day 3 my feet were hurting! I wish I kept track of how far I walked! Farther than I should have since I kept getting lost haha.

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It was beyond beautiful and I am so thankful the opportunity I had to go to Rome. Are you allowed to be proud of yourself for going on vacation? I went to Europe alone. It was kind of scary but I made it. I found my way (with the help of Google Maps and some very helpful English speaking Romans!) and I crossed another major thing off my bucket list!

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EATS: I know what you are thinking, that this should have been quite the  culinary adventure but I don’t like pasta! Plus it was so hot over there that I wasn’t very hungry, especially for anything heavy. I mostly ate gelato! I tried a bunch of flavors (favorites: crema and cantelope!) But lots of the flavors are chocolate based which I’m not a choc fan either! I kept eyeballing them and then just going with a fruit flavor.

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I was so surprised by how much I liked it I had to stop taking bites to snap the pic!

I did try a bunch of different pizzas and I always like to be adventurous but you know what? The best pizza slice I ate over there was at the airport when I just needed to eat something before the flight* and ordered tried and true cheese! But I’ll tell you this, for both red sauced based pizzas I tried over there, the sauce was too sweet!

Also, I did not need to eat before the flight because for the 10 hours I was trapped on that trash can I swear I ate 7 times. They were constantly passing out lunch, then a snack, then dinner and the constant bev cart. I’ve never eaten so much in my life!

treviAll in all it was a wonderful, once in a lifetime trip and I did throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain so I guess that means I get to go back someday. Which I would LOVE to know what I know what I’m doing and where I’m going!

 

 

 

30 before 30: #25 Did You See That Ludicrous Display Last Night?

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I finally was able to cross something off my 30 for 30 list! #25 Go to an NFL game

I love football! But I don’t have TV so it’s rare I get to watch a game. I can’t keep track of the players anymore and who is who but when I do get to watch, I totally get into it. I’ve always wanted to go to a real NFL game and so I up and bought (the cheapest I could find) tickets. Since they were cheap, they weren’t the best seats ever, but the good thing about sitting high up is you can see the whole field.

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Cardinals V. Jets!

I forced my brother to come along (jk, he loved it!) but I did force him to drive. It was so so so much fun. A real good game– although there was a flag on the play for almost EVERY play. It was getting a little ridiculous. A couple real bad calls 😦 But a couple really fun plays to get to see.

and the CARDINALS WON!

I wanna go to another game already!! 🙂

 

30 for 30: It’s starting already. With weird food!

#22 Try  caviar, truffles, alligator, kangaroo and octopus

My girls and I got together for lunch the other day and I selfishly picked the restaurant! We went to The Angry Crab Shack. It was a bit pricey but it was delicious. And messy!

I ordered a ‘bag’ of king crab legs. The waitress mentioned that they’re spicy factor isn’t kidding around so go milder than you normally would. I am a WUSS so I ordered mild (aka wimpy- as it says on the menu!) and boy oh boy, it was still too much for me. Just a word of warning 🙂

But the real draw of the restaurant, was the gator nuggets!

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Gator on the right. Hush puppies on the right. Fried food everywhere

Gator is weird! They say it tastes like chicken, but like a fishy chicken. And it’s rubbery. I didn’t eat very many nuggets. But I AM glad I tried them. The 3 of us finished off those hush puppies though!

So, I can’t quite cross off #22 but hey I’m 1/5 the way done with 1 of the 30…. do that math?

And next week I get to cross off #1!!!

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30 BEFORE 30

I turn 29 in exactly 1 month.

That means I turn 30 in exactly  1 year and 1 month. 30!! I’m so not ready to turn 30…. but I have a year to GET ready. (Can one get “ready” to turn 30???) I made a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn the big 3-oh. Some big, some small, all doable!

I’ve already been able to accomplish a lot in my life and I’m pretty proud of that. (I ALWAYS lose at that “I have never” game. Always.) I’ve already:

1) lived on my own- no roommates or anything!

2) got my Bachelor’s degree

3) adopted a dog. The love of my life, Copper Mercury

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4) ran a marathon. And half marathon, and 15K, 10K, 5K and Ragnar….

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So here’s what made the list! Wish me luck!

  1. Swim with the sharks (ultimate bucket list item of all time!! I’m already signed up to do this on 7/21!!) 
  2. Take a solo vacation
  3. Write 30 things I’m thankful for
  4. Write my will
  5. Plan my funeral (Morbid? I’m already 1/2 done…) 
  6. Do 30 acts of kindness
  7. Throw out 30 things I don’t use
  8. Weigh in the 130‘s (139 counts!)
  9. Send article into weight loss magazine 
  10. Take a cooking class
  11. Save $3000
  12. Read 30 books
  13. Watch 30 movies (I’m thinking like the classics. I’m terrible at watching movies.) 
  14. Take a spontaneous trip
  15. Reduce CC debt by 30
  16. Go to 5 new temples 
  17. Volunteer 30 hours
  18. Paddleboard
  19. Order room service
  20. Host a dinner party
  21. Take parents out to dinner and pay for them
  22. Try caviar, truffles, alligator, kangaroo and octopus
  23. Read the BOM, Bible, D&C and PGP
  24. Get CPR recert
  25. Go to NFL game (also scheduled! October game Cardinals V NY Jets!) 
  26. Finalize 72 hour preparedness kit
  27. Get sports massage
  28. Run 300 miles
  29. New hobby
  30. Be able to do 30 push ups (in a row, at least in top position)