I'm so sorry for not updating about my adventures in Rome as soon as I returned. As is my usual excuse, things are crazy here and lots of work needs to be done. This, of course, is still the case, but since I've resigned myself to my bed today I figure a blog post won't hurt.
Since my last post about Vienna some awesome things have happened: a trip to Rome with API for our last excursion, my family visiting Florence, and my completing a marathon! So we'll go in order with Rome first. Here's the photo slideshow (and tons more can be found on my facebook).
Funny thing about all the photos, they are all thanks to Liz lending me her camera because of course I forgot mine on one of the most photo-heavy trips of life. Anyway, with such a short time in the capital city it was definitely helpful that API hooked us up with tour guides for the weekend. In all we saw the Spanish Steps, a bunch of political buildings, the Trevi Fountain, many small and large squares and markets, New Moon (guilty pleasure), the President's house, the Forum and Palatine Hill, Porta Portese markets, the Colosseum, Vatican City and St. Peters, and lots of ruins and old stuff.
Rome is really different from anything else because it's so old and full of history. We even learned that every time they try to build more metro lines they come across more ruins and have to stop and excavate instead. It's a bit big and crowded for my taste, but we had a great time. The Pizza was amazing, Eliza took me out with her parents one night (LOVE them) and overall we had a fun time.
When I returned it was hard to buckle down and do anything (probably why I still have a lot of work) because I was anticipating the arrival of my family on Wednesday. While they were here I showed them all of the major sights, we took a day trip to Sienna to get out of the city, and we ate LOTS of delicious food (and Gelato, of course). It was so nice to have them here and now it's only 19 days until we return home. Hard to believe we've been over here for so long. Oh, and we had an AMAZING Tuscan Thanksgiving dinner with J.P., even if it wasn't Turkey and stuffing.
One of the highlights of the Amoresano Family's time here was that they got to watch me run the 26th Florence Marathon yesterday. I still can't really believe I did it, and my legs hurt too much to think about anything else, but I'm in high spirits. I trained really hard and am very proud of myself and thankful to everyone who came out and cheered and supported me, and to everyone who offered their congratulations. I think it really makes my abroad experience something special. I finished in 4 hours, 46 minutes, and 58 seconds, perfect securing my goal of under 5 hours. I had dinner last night with my family and friends and it was the perfect ending to a great weekend with the fam. They headed back home earlier today and I'm pumped to see them again in a few short weeks.
Meanwhile, I've got to push through to Wednesday, after which only one presentation stands between me and finals. I'm working on going back to Rome this weekend to see the Sistine Chapel (it was closed when we were there) and going down to Naples and Pompeii (we have a long weekend too, so that's nice). Then our last full weekend Erica and I are heading to Munich (we finally got tickets home) and Salzburg for some last minute fun before finals, dinners, parties, and goodbyes. It's so crazy how fast the time here went. I'm ready to go home but still sad to leave. Good thing there's still 3 weeks for me to sort out my life. I'll keep you updated.