arrivederci, europe!

4 Jun

Can’t believe I’m leaving for America tomorrow— what a wild trip this has been. I’m excited for what lies ahead.

Here’s a special picture I took from each place I visited πŸ™‚

Rome, Italy

St Marks Square, Venice, Italy

London Eye, London, England

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Paris, France

Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France

John Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic

Interlaken, Switzerland

Cinque Terre, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Abruzzo, Italy

Munich, Germany

Dusseldorf, Germany

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Capri, Italy

Positano, Italy

I’m really sad to say goodbye to this beautiful adventure but so excited for everything that lies ahead this summer in God’s country, USA! xo

 

ps- a huge thanks to everyone for keeping in touch so well and stay so updated with this blog! Can’t wait to come home to everyone πŸ™‚

ciao!

The Good and The Bad

29 Apr

The Good

The past couple of weeks have been incredible. Once I got off bedrest from my bronchitis, I was seriously back at 100% and it was soooo nice. The first day I was allowed to leave my apartment, I went to the red carpet premiere of the Avengers and was about 5 feet away from Scarlett Johansson. I also saw Chris Hemsworth (yum) and Mark Ruffalo!

Then, I found out I was accepted to the Carlson School of Management. This was such a relief because I’ve been working on my application all year, and have worked so hard all year because I basically needed like a 4.0 to get accepted. The school is close to impossible for transfer students to get accepted, so it was such an honor to get that email. Also, I’ve wanted to do this for so long because I knew how proud my parents would be of me. Calling both my parents was honestly one of the best moments of my life. I was crying so hard they thought I was saying I “got in a car accident” so both of them were freaking out at first, but then had a completely different type of freak out when they found out what I was actually saying πŸ™‚ It felt so good to see how proud they were of me, and my sister too. I work really hard to represent my parents well and try and show them that they raised me well, and I just love and miss them so much that this was such an incredible moment for me. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ yay!!

So, as if that wasn’t already great enough news, about 2 hours after I got that email, I received another email telling me that I had reached my goal of raising $1,000 for Charity Water this semester! πŸ™‚ It was so fun to campaign for them this semester, and give back to such a great cause. The amount of support I saw was so incredible and it was really cool to see all these “littles” make such a huge difference. I found support in both expected places and totally unexpected places. It’s such a great feeling that because of everyone’s generosity, 50 people who didn’t previously have clean drinking water will now be receiving it.

The Bad

So if you know anything about me… the randomest things always seem to happen to me and I definitely don’t have the best luck. So after all this good luck, something horrific was bound to come my way.

Yesterday we came home to our apartment completely destroyed. Someone/people must have climbed through our window, and decided to take a bunch of our money and jewelry. I am so upset because they took my favorite diamond ring, which was not only really expensive, but it was also really sentimental because it was my mom’s and she gave it to me on my last birthday. They also took a few of my other expensive rings 😦 I haven’t had a lot of time to go through all my stuff (they literally tore all my clothes out of my closet, everything off my desk and bookshelf, looked through our suitcases, undid all my wrapped souvenirs…etc) so I’m still trying to account for everything.

The most horrifying part was honestly just feeling so vulnerable and violated. Coming back and seeing my room look like it went through a tornado was one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. And it was really hard to sleep last night because I know they know 4 girls live in this apartment, and they left a bunch of valuable stuff and we’re just really scared that they would maybe come back. Hopefully not. Luckily I’m like the Hulk so I could probably take down about 4-5 grown men, but I worry for Elena and my other roommates… πŸ˜‰

They really were the weirdest criminals though. Obviously the first things I checked to make sure I still had were my credit card, passport and computer. All still here. My laptop was just sitting nicely on my bed, and they had gone through the drawer with my passport and credit card but decided to leave it? They obviously were just looking for really fast and easy cash… but they left a lot of other small things that they easily could have taken. For example, I have a little jewelry box with all my jewelry in it. Instead of just taking the whole thing, they like shuffled through it and just chose a few things. They left my really nice bracelet which was honestly the most expensive thing I had. Weird… But we feel pretty lucky overall.

 

So it’s my last week here in Rome, then I’m off to Munich on Sunday, then back to Lengerich (where I worked this summer) so I can spend a few weeks there with my friends there, and catch up with my “german family” πŸ™‚ I’m so excited!!! Then after that, I’m coming back to Rome in late May so I can show my mom and brother around, and we’ll spend a few days relaxing in the amalfi coast too.

Absolutely living the dream ❀

 

 

so many thanks

19 Apr

It’s been so long since I’ve posted about Charity Water. I was just sitting in my bed, reading through all my old blog posts. It was interesting to basically see the progress of this campaign unfold before me. Starting from my first initial post, when I had first realized that I wanted to use my blog for a greater good. Then, to how utterly stupid,self conscious and scared I felt throughout the first couple of attempts. I was so scared that everyone was looking at these pictures of this crazy girl, with ice cream smeared all over her face and just muttering about how it was a stupid idea– and how it didn’t even make sense.

Then as I read on, it was so beautiful to see the numbers grow. In one post, I thank everyone for getting me to my $145 mark. I continued to talk about how, even if $145 is all I end up raising, how that’s better than nothing. I start talking about how my goal of $1,000 was indeed a stretch, but I wanted to shoot high. I clearly was doubting myself.

The campaign is now at $868 dollars.

I cannot express how much raising this money has changed my outlook on so many people. To watch all these “littles” come together, to truly make a difference, is absolutely incredible. I’ve seen so much support for the campaign, and support for what Charity Water is doing. It is unbelievable how many broke college students have been willing to throw in a few bucks, to help give someone across the world a glass of clean water. I’ve even received donations from peopleΒ who don’t even know me. Now that, is selfless and awesome.

I feel really terrible that I haven’t been holding up my end of the bargain– it’s been a long time since I’ve smeared gelato in my face. From all the traveling Elena and I were doing, schoolwork, and now being on bedrest– I’ve truly just been out of it. Obviously not an excuse, so I promise once I’m up and running again I’ll be on the street again making a complete fool of myself. πŸ™‚

There’s only 16 days left of my campaign– I’m really hoping to reach my goal of $1,000. No matter what though, any amount of money to give to such a good cause is such a blessing in itself.

I really want to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to Charity Water through this campaign. To take time out of your day, to donate to something you quite possibly previously knew nothing about, is really special.

Here’s some of my past gelato’s I never ended up posting on here–

if you’d like to donate, here is where you can do it: http://mycharitywater.org/gelatodinrome

thanks again and happy spring jam to all the gophers back home πŸ˜€

Last couple of weeks in Roma!

19 Apr

Seriously cannot believe how fast this semester went by. I feel like I just got here. I remember searching around Monti for anything even remotely close to a grocery store, and then living off cheese and bread for a while until I actually found one. And it seems like just yesterday that every single word of Italian was 100% gibberish (which sometimes it still is..)

Unfortunately I’ve been absolutely dead all week. After stubbornly refusing to go to the doctor for a “bad cough”, I finally caved Sunday night when I literally couldn’t use my right arm (ended up being because my right lung was so severely infected). So, I spent the entire week on bedrest, unfortunately. But, good news is, I found out today that I do not have pneumonia, which is absolutely fabulous, since that is what the doctor was convinced I had– and I was getting so nervous it would end up affecting my upcoming travels to Germany. But, I do have bronchitis (which is much less serious). After looking at my x-rays, the doctor told me she hadn’t seen this bad of bronchitis in years — so note to self: go to the doctor when your dying instead of being stubborn and stupid.

I’m hoping to start moving around more and return to class on Monday πŸ™‚ Luckily I’m “studying” abroad and not back at the U– I can’t even imagine if I missed this much class at the U. I’d literally be screwed. I’d also be on bedrest during spring jam- which would obviously be the most unfortunate event of the year. (happy spring jam to everyone back home!)

Before I started officially dying, I refused to miss out on Abruzzo this weekend– even though I’m sure it made me 20x worse– at least I got some good pictures? We spent the weekend on a farm pretty much in the middle of no where– eating, wining and playing with random farm animals.

Hoping for a speedy recover so I can start officially checking off the last couple of things on my Rome to-do list

the wonderful land of praha

11 Apr

sad to say praha was me and elena’s last adventure together! We have seriously just been the dynamic duo– everywhere we go, we have all our plans laid out so that we can literally see and do everything. There’s never a dull moment because we are completely incapable of taking anything seriously, ever. It was so awful this weekend because I ended up getting a really bad cough– but me and elena spend probably 90% of our time together dying of laughter, so I just about died on three different occasions from not being able to breathe.

All the wonderful places we ventured off to:

john lennon wall

petrin hill

prague castle

old town square

charles bridge

and we basically just did a bunch of wandering out, ate duck, lamb and LOVED trdelnik, which are these Czech pastries made from dough rolled in sugar and cinnamon? It’s hard to explain but it was delicious and that’s all you really need to know about that.

On a different note–

I’ve been missing everyone back home so much! So much going on back in Minnesota– glad to see AOII absolutely ROCKING the sweetheart weeks, and I’m so ecstatic to come home and be able to meet our new Omicron King and Prince (from SigEp and Phi Psi) Congrats SigEp on the 3peat!!

Right now my family is enjoying a wonderful vacation in Pheonix, Arizona– so jealous! Miss my parents and siblings like crazy everyday, and obviously I’m on the verge of tears just thinking about my only two real loves in life….. :

Can’t wait for my mom and brother to come meet me in Rome in late May- and I think we’re thinking about a little vacation to the Amalfi Coast? Should be such a great time.

Going to Abruzzo for school this weekend– hoping for a good time!

and as always, here’s me and elena’s video of our weekend. (can’t wait to be able to watch all of these years from now to reminisce about all our travels!)

 

xoxo

 

 

cinque terre, molti bella

3 Apr

well hey,

it’s a gorgeous day here today in a rome:) actually no the forecast was showers and the buses smelled like antique stores BUT….

today I received a package in the mail at school, filled with letters from the most amazing sisters on the planet. I can’t thank all my AOII’s back home enough for the thoughtfulness, creativity and kind words! Last week I was just so sad because I missed AOII sweep frat row last week (won 3/3 sweetheart weeks!) and now this week is omicron week (we’re picking our new fraternity gentleman to represent AOII!) So I was just really missing AOII all week, and feeling so left out since I’m all the way over here! So these letters couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Each letter was so special–and they are all hanging about my bed now!

recap of this weekend…

the weekend started with a class trip out to Tuscany for some wine tasting! We toured Castello Banfi, learned all about how they make wine, and then ended the tour with a little wine tasting. Overall, Tuscany was seriously beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Definitely one of the more interesting class tours I’ve been on!

so once we finished that, me and elena (being the world travelers that we are) decided to take a train up to cinque terre for some hiking (clearly all about the wilderness.) We even packed lunches (mostly because we’re so broke) and ate them on top of the mountain!

Cinque Terre is made up of five towns, but the popular trails on three of them were unfortunately closed because they were hit by terrible floods in October. But the one we did took us quite a bit to do the whole mountain, and we ended the day with a walk on Via del Amare (love walk) where couple put locks all along the path, and toss the key, symbolizing their love. There was some adorabblleee love notes– so what I’m getting at is… it was an awesome place to be when your single. I was feelin the love.

THEN on Sunday we were going to go on a hike… but we ended up laying out on a rock on the beach. For about 4 hours. So… about that hike…..

Truly amazing weekend. Sunshine, best friends and breathtaking views. Couldn’t have asked for more.

Enjoy some pictures πŸ˜‰ off to prague this weekend! Old Town Square, John Lennon Wall, Charles Bridge, Petrin Hil… GET READY!

Romans: my love/hate relationship.

26 Mar

Sometimes (no that’s an understatement ALL THE TIME) I wonder about Romans. They can honestly be some of the weirdest people ever and I just can’t understand them. So…. here’s why.. :

1. Money

  • Ok so when you take money out of a bankomat, it gives you 50 euro bills. So naturally, at some point I have to break that. It doesn’t matter when, where/to who I break this 50 euro bill to– they will literally make sure that you understand that you are the most hated person in their entire life and you just ruined their whole day and they hope that a full sized tree falls on you on your walk home. That’s literally exactly how I feel. When I hand it to whomever, they sigh, roll their eyes and occasionally give me a “mammmaaaaa miiiaaaaaa”. Ok here’s my question. WHAT DO THE ROMANS DO??? If someone could figure this out for me by the time I leave that’d be superb because it honestly beats me.

2. Grocery Shopping

  • So I go grocery shopping every Monday. It’s not like I get that much stuff– maybe a basket full of some fruit, bread, meat etc. Well, once again, I get up there and get a HUGE “mammmaaa miaaaaaa” because “i have so much food.” So every Monday when I go grocery shopping I leave feeling like I’m a 500 pound pig. the romans literally buy their food day by day. Someone explain to me how this makes any sense. #america

3.Men

  • I’ve complained about this before and I’m going to again. Here’s a typical scenario: It’s like 3pm on a Wednesday, I’m on the bus going home and some old guy next to me decides now is a good time to make a move and puts his hand on my thigh. Then, when I take it off (angrily) he assumes that I’m just kidding around (?) and puts it back. This has literally led to me elbowing people with all my force in the gut because I just lose my temper and patience. My main question here is what are they expecting my reaction to be? I mean realistically do they actually think I’m going to be like oh hey old guy take me back to your place! Like what? And what pleasure are you getting out of this anyways? I just have so many thoughts and complaints it’s probably just pointless for me to even be trying to compile them right now. So whatever let’s drop this one.

4. UN PO’ !!!!!

  • I feel like in America if someone tells me that they only speak a little bit of english.. I dumb it down a lot and definitely speak slowly. Common sense right? NO. Every italian that asks me “parla italiano?” and I respond: “un po’ (a little)” they immediately take that as: “I am fluent in italian. Please speak to me at the highest speed possible so I can challenge myself.” Then, multiple times I’ll interject saying “parla lentamente per favore (speak slower)” and so then, they will speak to me louder. Are you kidding me.

5. Restaurants

  • So sometimes Elena and I will go back to our America ways and decide that we just want to eat an early dinner at around 6 or 7. So since this is such an early dinner time, there’s only one or two other couples in the restaurant. So in a restuarant filled with like 30 open seats, the waiter/waitress will seat us directly (like a foot) away from the only other couple in the restaurant. Which is awesome because naturally we want to hear everything that each other are talking about and share food with them? what? Why wouldn’t you just at least seat us ONE table away?

6. Street Vendors

  • Ok another scenario. I’m minding my own business, walking to class or whatever and some guy approaches me with a light up rubber band that you can shoot into the sky. Do I seriously look like that’s what I want right now? Does anyone want that right now?
  • THEN sometimes it’ll start to just barely drizzle and of course the moment theres any sign of rain– there’s literally a stampede of vendors running around shoving umbrellas in my face
  • THEN the other night it was really clear that me and my friends were going out to the clubs, and some guy approaches us with a light up, glass model of the colosseum. Are you serious? Here I am in my skirt, ready to go out—so of course, the only accessory I’m missing is your glowing glass colosseum thing……?

 

MISSING AMURICA TODAY