home again

Italy was amazing, thanks all for your well-wishes!

The city is amazing. ¬†There are ruins literally everywhere — which I guess is what one would expect of a 4000 year old city that has been basically continually inhabited and built upon in its time. ¬†Many of the old ruins have newer sections that are still inhabited, and as we walked past the mini-colosseum each night to get back to our hotel, you could see lights on in the high windows.

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We went to see Pompeii, which was astonishing. ¬†First, I learned that there really wasn’t lava that overflowed the city, but ash and “pyroclastic” blasts that decimated the population. ¬†There are beautiful frescoes and mosaics preserved inside the buildings that were amazing to see — my favourite depicted Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, turning a peeping Tom into a stag and setting his own hunting dogs upon him. ¬†Oh, and there was also a pictorial “menu” of sorts inside the bordelo. ¬†I am not sharing those for PG-ness and also because I was too short to get any good shots.

The Colosseum was also amazing! ¬†I had thought I’d be bored I mean, it’s just a really big pile of rocks) but I was mostly just thunderstruck. ¬†As they have excavated other parts of Rome and areas around the Colosseum, they found gladiator statues that were broken/hidden/ransacked/etc. ¬†One of these was found in 2008 and restored, and it’s most of the body of a horse with the legs of a gladiator upon it. ¬†The best part — literally the best part, you can so tell I’m a horse person — about this statue was that the¬†stallion was anatomically correct! ¬†Anus, testes, sheath. ¬†All there. Loved it.

IMG_20150227_034755Ancient legos at Pompeii

We walked around a great deal, ate a fair bit (not enough pizza and gelato in my opinion, but some lovely and very traditional Roman dishes like veal saltimbocca, fish crusted in salt, and mussels), and then I did a classically touristy thing and got my phone and kindle stolen. In the hotel. IN THE HOTEL. I am just that good.  So there went half of my photos.

IMG_20150227_014400~2Original marble floors at Pompeii! Shocking.

No matter, boyfriend will upload his eventually.

We were actually in Italy for boyfriend’s mum’s 50th, and so a big group of us were all there together. ¬†A few people made great friends with resteranteurs down the street from the hotel, and we had a shockingly good time drinking and filling their entire small restaurant with our loud American party. ¬†We went back three times over five nights, I think. ¬†On the one hand, it seemed a pity not to explore more restaurants in Rome. ¬†On the other hand, the food was so good, and different each time, and the service was incredible, so why not. ¬†I will not be surprised at all if our host and server are adopted and move to California this year. ¬†Boyfriend even played Cards Against Humanity with them, which translates about as well as you would expect.

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I enjoyed not nearly enough gelato (there’s always room for more gelato) and got to spend time with relatives I haven’t seen in a while, could have eaten more pizza (always room for pizza), and probably could have ¬†had more coffee (cofffeeeeee). ¬†But now I know I like Rome, so I’ll probably go back for some kind of fat girl “food vacation” and mostly just request delicious things¬†brought to me where I sit so I don’t even have to¬†walk to get them. ¬†Though the walking DOES make room for more food.

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It’s back to the grind this week! ¬†A draft and more analysis due Friday, which is way too soon. ¬†I’m also giving two presentations this week — gah whyyyy?! ¬†I missed Murray terribly, and kitten, and Jelly, and am very angry I need to wait until 5 PM today to see my beloved ponykins. ¬†Oh and Friday I think I’ll just pop over and hang out with a certain cute little ex-polo pony!!