Tag Archives: arrival

From Nation-Hops to New Haven

26 Aug

This is no travel post. This is no cute-baker-with-coercive-pastries post, nor vino-et-veritas-and-professors post, nor even a ramble-about-Rome post. In fact, this is not much of a typical post at all, for “Jess on a whim” has grown roots, and gone home, and moved in, whimsy and all, to this room in New Haven.

During the weeks right after I last posted, I cooked at least six different spaghetti sauces and got into regular, heated debates about the value of affordable, fresh food on every street corner. I narrated my way through hours of pictures for my patient, smiling-through-their-yawns family members and even considered buying the occasional coffee-related beverage. In short, I was in cultural withdrawal.

Now (fast-forwarding through some Mickey ears and my parents’ TWENTY FIFTH anniversary — now that’s something to emulate), I have come here. To this place for which I, like many college students, have made room in my heart for a second home, one connected more to a web of people, places, classes, and clubs than to a Thanksgiving table. And all of a sudden the patterns of streets and paths and faces are automatic again; my mind at ease in this hammock of familiarity.

And it is in this state of mind, and in this place, and with this sense of still having something that I want to say, to challenge, to peel apart or hold up to the light, that I start blogging again.

Besos,

J

P.S. But seriously, three cheers for my parents, who are now mortified and probably dialing me on the cell phone to make me remove these words off this post “or else we will take away all of the books on your bookshelf, young lady” (their atom-bomb-level threat for when I am really out of line), but who also taught me so much about respect, love, and gratitude for each and every day and each and every person in our lives. Not to mention the fact that they look supah-supah stylish in mouse ears. I love you, and thanks.

P.P.S. But seriously, Mom, don’t you lay one finger on that poor, innocent bookshelf in my absence…

Advertisements

Caesar’s Notes: Sunday, May 30 – “Che paradiso!”

3 Jun

I figured this would be a more appropriate title than Cliff’s Notes, but that’s pretty much what this post has to be. Our days have been SO packed so far – and I have had such an overwhelming desire to explore out in the Roman sunshine (maybe too much of a desire…I am a bit of a tomato at the moment. At least everyone in Italy loves tomatoes!) – that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and put it all into words. So, here’s a brief picture-list of day one with the rest of the week on its way.

Sunday, May 30: We arrive in Rome after a red-eye flight. I have not slept. I have been listening to blaring Italian opera for seven hours and (this is beginning to become a pattern) taking bad pictures outside of plane windows.

Gee, whiz! I'm so good at capturing blurry landscapes during a flight!

I land ecstatic, as well as with a very heavy, very book-filled bag. Though thanks to my grandma, at least it is a very well-packed, heavy, and book-filled bag! We manage to scramble together five of us and split up in taxis to head to Trastevere (one of the neighborhoods of Rome). Our instructions are literally to “Meet Professors Jewiss and Fry and Richard Piccolo at the fountain in Piazza Santa Maria at 5:30pm.” Meeting at a fountain? This sounds like a good start.

Our designated meeting spot. Only, yknow, a tad romantic.

Of course, because my mother is the one who booked my plane ticket, I arrive at the piazza with six hours to spare. In this case, the early (and very tired and jetlagged) bird may not have caught the worm, but it definitely caught the gelato. We grab lunch at Caffe di Marzio – I get a panini and limon gelato – and we continue to “grab” lunch for three hours sitting at the same cafe table and crowd watching (there is no such thing as a quick meal in Rome unless you don’t even bother to sit down.)

The site of my first meal in Roma. Also the site of my first sunburn in Roma, though definitely not my last.

I discover that this little piazza in Trastevere is a wonderful, wonderful place. It also happens to be EXACTLY WHERE I AM LIVING, about five floors up. See for yourself:

A video of the piazza

A video of a walk around the neighborhood

A video of nightlife in Trastevere as seen from my windows, and a mini-tour of my apartment! Sidenote: NO ONE EVER SLEEPS IN ROME. As you can see from the time of this posting, this is one instance where I am indeed “doing as the Romans do.”

Since we STILL had time before everyone else arrived, my little group decided to go into the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere (right on the corner of the piazza). Little did we know that when we stepped inside the doors, we would see this kind of majesty:

Not bad for the neighborhood church, huh? Click on this picture (or any other on the page) to see the full version.

We also did a bit of walking and side street exploring, though nothing compared to our walking excursions of the last few days.

Three of the early birds. You might not be able to tell from far away, but our jaws are on the ground...

A street in Trastevere: Home sweet (laundry-filled) home.

Fast-forward to 5:30pm, we all meet, we go to our apartment (see the link above about Trastevere nightlife to get a peek at it!) which just so happens to be directly above this incredible square, we get a ton of fresh pizzas and wine and all hang out at our place (there are 13 of us total, by the way: six girls and seven guys) until eleven, when we crash and don’t wake up until morning.

I’d say it was worth the flight.