The irony of the situation about to be described is comical- at least that’s how I took it because if I didn’t laugh I was definitely going to cry.
I love snow. For my entire winter break all I wished for was snow, snow and more snow. And we did get our fair share so I was quite pleased. However, mother nature decided to mess with me and throw one last epic snow storm at the NY/NJ area on the day I was supposed to leave for Rome. After the longest day of checking the weather and checking every flight’s status my family and I decided to leave for the airport in hopes that the plane would still fly.
Living only 45 minutes from JFK airport, we left at four p.m. and needed to arrive by 7:30 p.m.- three and a half hours to go 45 minutes. Good thing we left early because it took us every minute of those three and a half hours. However, we thankfully got there by 7:30. Having supposed to be flying with a sorority sister of mine, Rachel, my nerves were calm all day knowing that we would be traveling together and figuring things out as we went along. However, she arrived at the airport before I did and they threw her onto an earlier flight, leaving me alone and officially freaking out. The only good thing about this three and a half hour car ride was that my dad was able to book me transportation and a hotel in Rome in case I missed the university-provided services, proving to me that dad’s are actually heroes.
After a short bite to eat and a hard goodbye to my parents, I was off through security and eventually 18c aboard the 10:05 p.m. Alitalia flight.
I was lucky enough to be seated next to a very friendly Italian living in New York but going home for the month to see his family. We chatted while we waited for the flight to leave-which ended up being delayed two hours later- and he told me about his home town of Perugia and all of the beauty that I needed to see while in Italy. The flight was fairly pleasant with a little turbulence during take off. Then it was all free in-flight movies and food for the next seven hours.
Once in Rome and after more long lines and struggles with two large suitcases, a carry on and a book bag I was driven to AUR by the very convenient car service my dad booked (I will be forever grateful to him for this- among other things). I arrived at AUR and waited some more for transportation from the school to my apartment where I was rooming with another one of my sorority sisters, Kate. At this point I had been traveling a little over 24 hours and was thankful to see a familiar face and to finally sit back and relax for a moment.
I began to get settled, unpack and explore the very cute Italian apartment and eventually meet my other four roommates I was randomly assigned to live with. The apartment is adorable with many large windows with porches, a large common living area, three two-person bedrooms and a small kitchen. My friends have nick-named it The Palace because it is one of the nicer apartments provided to AUR students.
Right away my sorority sisters and my friends from the University of Maryland and I went exploring, finding a very cute restaurant where I enjoyed my first of many delicious pizzas in Italy. Of course the next obvious step was to go to the food store and buy wine, limoncello and some groceries.
For the next few days before classes started we learned how to navigate the trams and buses around the city, find the closest equivalent to our laundry detergent we could (hint: always look for the dancing teddy bear), attend orientation activities at AUR, drink more wine and eat a lot more pizza and pasta.
I am almost positive that we are still in the “Oh my God I am in Rome” phase and am waiting for the culture shock to slowly sink in when I realize that I will have to go four months without Chipotle- more about that later!
For now, baci,
“Not all those who wander are lost.”– my personal favorite
P.S. please excuse the mess in the pictures- six women live in this apartment.