A Self Titled Life- Come Alive At Night (Day 5)

This morning we boarded two subways and a train and made our way to Florence (and the Machine). I’ll be honest, this is probably going to be one of the shortest written posts I will ever make. But don’t worry, there will be a millions and thirty-seven pictures to make up for it.

I didn’t really know too much about Florence except that it is, in fact, in Italy. I never really researched the area but I can say whatever expectations I possibly had were shattered into a million pieces. Florence was the most beautiful place I have ever set my eyes on. I feel like I was walking around inside of a postcard. There was a picture perfect bridge along the water, the streets were lined with apartments, the roads are made of cobble stones, and I loved every second of it. It was like Italy meets New York City. I swear, the Italy you see in the movies is where I walked around today. I can’t put a finger on it, but there is something about Florence (and the Machine) that made it feel like home. I was walking through the streets and I probably said twenty-five times “I want to come back here. I want to bring my parents here. I want to bring everyone I know here.”

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The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

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The buildings, colors, and architecture remind me of walking around in Prague.

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The buildings look old and modern at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just looking down one of the streets.

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This scene looks straight out of a movie. It was so beautiful. I could have stayed here for years.

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This reminds me of the bridge Augustus and Hazel sailed under when they were in Amsterdam.

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Also, that beautiful blue sky made the city look 10 times more beautiful than it already was.

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This place doesn’t look real. I mean I took these pictures but I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it for myself. And I STILL barely believe it. 

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Wow.

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Florence is a place everyone in the world deserves to see in their lifetime.

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There was an art class sitting on the lawn by the water sketching!

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Everything has it’s one personality in Italy, even the buildings.

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There are a lot of naked wrestling statues here.

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Michelle Obama, purse so heaving gettin’ Oprah dollars.

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Santa Maria del Fiore looked like it was made out of newspaper paper maché. It was amazing. I’ve never seen a building like it before.

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There are a millions little details. It probably took forever to paint each individual part.

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This building looked like it could have been in Harry Potter.

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Santa Maria del Fiore also reminded me of a German christmas ornament.

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There are so many statues. These line the top-level of the front of the Santa Maria del Fiore.

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Aunt Dar you were so right. This was amazing. (I also found the jewelry street! Although I didn’t buy anything)

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Stop, I am in love with this city.

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The bomb.com

In Florence there was a market place comparable to Chinatown in New York City. We walked around there for a few hours and I’m actually a pretty good bargainer. I made a couple of pretty good deals today which was awesome because I had a ton of fun. I can’t get over how beautiful Florence is, I feel like it doesn’t exist and I made it all up.

Between Florence and Rome I can’t really say which one I liked better because I don’t like one better than the other. They’re so different in their own ways. Florence was so natural, calm, and beautiful while Rome is historic, amazing, and fast paced. I just want to come back and see both one day.

When we got back to Rome we took a subway at around 10 pm after dinner and went to see the Colosseum at night. We’re going to visit the inside tomorrow but seeing it for the first time while it was dark outside was unbelievable. It’s massive. It baffles me that people live amongst these amazing ruins and just walk by while strolling though their daily lives. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow but I’m so stoked we saw it at night too. We walked off the subway and BOOM there it was. It’s pretty mind-boggling to see it in person. I’ve spent so many boring classes learning about it that it makes it seem real for the first time. Pictures don’t do any justice, just a heads up.

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This place is unimaginable. I can’t believe it really exists. It’s incredible.

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The front part of the Colosseum facing the street still has it original outer shell while the back has been stripped down to the inside walls.

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The Arch of Constantine. I can’t wait to see this in the sunlight.

 

 

 

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At the Colosseum..at night.

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Hey. Hi. Hello.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I accidentally thought I just deleted this entire post (I didn’t) but I almost had a heart attack and died. Really dodged a bullet there. I’m excited for tomorrow but also a little sad that’s it’s the last full day I have here in Rome. At the same time, I got to sit and talk with Professor Alessia on the train on the way back from Florence and I am so grateful to be here. That’s something I will never stop feeling.

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Just because you’re trash doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. It’s called garbage can, not garbage cannot.

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There was a flower truck parked on the corner of the hotel street this morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My goal is to take thirty pictures with this man so I can frame them all for the rest of time.

That’s all for now. Happy awkward Thursday.

Stay Weird.

Ally

Current Mood- Psyched I get to sleep in tomorrow morning. It’s like I’ve entered adulthood when I call sleeping until 8am ‘sleeping in.’ I’ll say something adult now….Briefcase.

A Self Titled Life- Fear Of The Sunshine (Day 4)

First things first- I’m not Swedish. Okay, but for real the weather was BEAUTIFUL today. There was no rain, no wind, sunshine, no raincoats, no umbrellas, no whining people, blue skies, aND THE POPE. We saw the Pope speak this morning at St. Peter’s Cathedral which, fun fact is the largest church in the world. The second largest church is London. One of the girls in our groups has a cousin here who is studying to become a priest and got us 40 tickets to see the Pope speak this morning. There were like 1000 seats and we got these sweet gold tickets with the Our Father on the back in Latin. We got there at around 8:30 and the service started at 10. He only spoke for like 15 minutes but then there were seven translations so the whole process took like forty minutes. ALSO the Pope came in on a Segway and zoomed around the crowd kissing babies, and grownups, and teenagers, and middle-aged men, and toddlers, and pre-teens, and man-babies, and grandparents, and probably just the babies.

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My camera is not the best but he’s sitting in the white and the guy standing in the black robe is the translator.

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The Pope just cruising along , being awesome on his Segway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pope seems like such a cool guy. He’s so nice and down to earth. His voice was so soothing too. I would have listened to him for hours. Frankly, I would have listened to him read his grocery list.

SO AUNT DEB WHEN YOU TOLD ME TO SAY HI TO THE POPE, I DID!!

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Speaking of which, Aunt Deb I found this light today at St. Peter’s Cathedral. I’ve been there three times and never noticed it until today.

After the Pope and I hung out for the afternoon we shopped around for a while and so many of the shops are so cheap and it’s fantastic. We’re going to Skype next Thursday because I’ll be home and he’ll be in Rome. Long distance connection is essential here people.

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The front of the ticket to see my new best friend.

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The back of the ticket/prayer when I saw my new best friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we went to see the Sistine Chapel which is like a 10 minute walk away from the cathedral. I was so stoked to see it and see the finger touching creation painting. What they don’t tell you is that there is a 38 million room museum you have to suffer through until you finally make it into the chapel. It’s cool at first, oh I don’t 9 sections because it starts with an Egyptian section which has a 200,000 year old mummy on display. But then there is so many paintings from different times and all I wanted to do was see the chapel. First I was walking, then I was walking slower, then I was walking on my knees, then I was crawling, then I was pulling myself by my elbows, then I was screaming “GO ON WITHOUT ME. SAVE YOURSELVES”. But mostly, I just walked. I’m also the worst human to go to a museum with because I want to see the least amount of things in the least amount of time possible.

 

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This statue looked like it was having its face blown in by a leaf blower.

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Tell me this doesn’t look like Scooby Doo. That’s right. YOU CAN’T.

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There was a room of all ancient maps that amongst my moping was actually pretty cool.

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One of the million ceilings in the museum of death,

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We ran into this girl yesterday who posed like this in a picture and it was so funny I’m going to steal it as much as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINALLY we made it into the chapel and it was equally impressive as it was different from what I thought it would be. It was immaculate. The people look like real humans and they’re so detailed it’s incredible. Also, the fact it was painted so long ago and it looks like it was finished only yesterday. What was different was that it was simply a long, ongoing room where everyone herded into the middle in a pack. It wasn’t sectioned off like some of the Basilicas, it was like a domed longhouse. The top was individual mural stories, the sides were smaller individual murals, the back wall was one massive painting, and the bottoms had curtains painted on them like you’d see in a theater. The lovely theater.

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The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My favorite painting (the creation// finger touching painting) is in the middle of the ceiling. Shout out to Sarah for being illegal!

The mural on the front wall shows heaven at the top, Jesus in the middle, and hell at the bottom. Michelangelo only ever signed one of his sculptures and the bishop was so upset sentenced Michelangelo to rot in hell. So he actually painted himself into the mural as a man being held up by his hair in hell. In the bottom of the picture he also painted the bishop in hell as well, naked and wrapped in a snake. Passive aggression at it’s finest.

Another fun fact- After 4 years of laying on his back and painting, when Michelangelo finished the Sistine Chapel he had gone blind because of the paint that dripped into his eyes. That’s why he used passive aggression. He turned a blind-eye towards physical violence. (Bad-um Chh)

Before we went in, Sarah asked how people sneak pictures (which honestly isn’t difficult) but you just have people surround whoever is taking the picture and then the person uses the front camera and snaps the pictures. Easy as pie! Then you move to the back of the room and out the gate and you’ve seen the Sistine Chapel! It was really an amazing place. I’d love to see it again.

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In the torture museum, there was a room dedicated to fixing/restoring the art. It reminds me of Santa’s workshop.

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In the garden outside of the Sistine Chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we went to the Pantheon which is the most preserved ancient Roman architecture. It has a dome that could fit a perfect sphere in the bottom and top half. It was made in all cement and it was cast in a single day. Since it was going to be so heavy and the workers were afraid it was going to crash under the weight of all the cement they build windows and square panels to decorate but also to relieve some of the weight. Also, at the very peak is a gaping hole to add light and keep the building from crumbling. There’s no window in the hole so when it rains it just pours right in and drains away. It’s almost ironic that the building with the most natural exposure is the best preserved.

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The hole at the top of the Pantheon is called an oculus. Not like the movie Oculus where a demon lives in a mirror and takes over people’s minds.

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The outside of the Pantheon reminded me of the White House

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The columns on the outside of the Pantheon are so big but look at how beautiful that sky is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Group picture in the Pantheon

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The camera was on the floor under the oculus so that’s the circle of light at the top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Right under the oculus is a circle with a drain in the middle to collect all the rain that falls into the Pantheon.

 

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The art and decor inside the Pantheon is all the original decor from the original construction. Also- the inside columns were designed to add additional support to the structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The boards on the top were made to let natural light in and reduce the weight of the cement.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Florence (and the Machine) and I am super excited to go. We’re taking another bullet train which I think are so much fun. I can’t believe I saw the Pope today. It’s kind of mind-blowing actually. Maybe tomorrow I’ll run into Queen Latifah. Queen Latifah give me strength.

Okay, that’s all for now. This post is excruciatingly long. If you made it all the way to this point, I appreciate your time and if you didn’t, you smell. (You probably don’t) It’s 5:31 in the US. I hope everyone comes home, eats dinner and watches Parks and Recreation on Netflix. You can thank me later.

Stay Weird,

Ally

P.S- I have videos of both the Pope speaking and the translator reading what the Pope said in his speech. Unfortunately, both videos are too large to upload to this blog. I have them though if anyone is ever interested in seeing it! I also have a video of two men playing accordions while we were eating dinner.

Current hope- A real gelato stand will move to Buffalo and be waiting for me when I get back.

A Self Titled Life- Straight Through the Ceiling (Day 3)

I’m sitting down to write this blog and my body is so tired and sore I might live out my last days in Rome. We didn’t do a lot today but we did a lot in the places we went. We started back at St. Peter’s Basilica which we visited the courtyard yesterday, but this time we went inside the Basilica. I could have spent twenty-five years in there and never seen everything I wanted to. There are statues and paintings and more sculptures and so many people and man buns and bow ties and it was incredible. I thought the Basilica of St. John Lateran was amazing (and it was) but it kind of feels like these places blow one another out of the water. I the bottom of the Basilica are the tombs of a several of the past pope’s that you can walk through and look at. It’s insane to me that a marble statue can look like it’s covered in cloth but it’s just the marble itself. I can’t get over it. It always makes me think of Spongebob when he makes that extraordinary sculpture in Squidward’s art class with just one click of the tools.

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A panoramic of the outside of the Basilica. Shout out to Sarah for taking the picture.

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Some of the many millions statues inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The inside of the Basilica.

 

 

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I will proudly photobomb your selfies because no one can stop me.

 

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The back of all the statues lining the top of the Basilica 1. are enormous and 2. have no backs to them!

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It really looks like this is covered in cloth.

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Even the actual paintings are beautiful.

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The Bronze Canopy created by Bernini sits in the front of the Basilica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That little teeny weenie point on the top of the dome is what we climbed. I WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER PICTURE WITH THAT RAINCOAT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just a perspective on how enormous and detailed these sculptures are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got to climb up to the top of the Basilica and look over all of Rome. The color scheme of the city is oranges, whites, and yellows. The buildings look brand new from way up high which is so odd because they’re anything but new. To get to the top of the dome first you climb about two hundred stairs and look over the inside of the Basilica from the top of the dome. It’s covered by a fence but it really shows you just how massive the whole place is. Also, that every inch is covered in something beautiful. Then you walk back outside on the roof and climb about 300+ more stairs to the top of the dome. The stairs are narrow and slippery and get worse as you climb higher and higher. At one point right before you reach the top, the stairs are coiled so tightly around this small cylinder that if you reach your arms out by your sides you would touch both walls. It was a little claustrophobic but everyone made it out and enjoyed the fresh air and the fresh layer of sweat.

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Another panoramic taken by Sarah but this was from the top of the dome looking out over the city.

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It’s casual. Just looking over Rome.

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Still casual.

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It’s really hard not to take a thousand pictures of everything you do.

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Climbing the steps to the top of the dome. Most of the lines were single file.

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Oh yes, these are my roommates on this fine adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kind of a blurry picture, but this is one of the corridors of stairs we climbed up and down from the top of the dome.

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This dude behind me in line was rocking a man bun. I think he was french and I named him Phillipe and we’re going to get married and live happily ever after. Just me, him, and his man bun.

 

 

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So Phillipe is sitting on the stairs behind me and Sarah took a casual picture of me so I could have a picture of him. She’s a sniping animal.

 

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From the bottom of the Basilica looking into the base of the dome. We stood along that ledge and looked down when we climbed up.

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View of St. Peter’s courtyard from the top of the Basilica.

After that we went to one of the Roman catacombs. I watched this movie on Valentine’s Day about these people who break into the  forbidden sections of the Paris catacombs and end up being chased down by demons and they have to crawl through the depths of hell to get out. I was psyched for the catacombs and I was hoping to see the stacks of bones and the graves and candles but it wasn’t actually like that. There weren’t any bones but there were old pots and relics preserved throughout the years. Most of the tombs are open now because the remains have been removed. It was still eerie feeling to be in there but not nearly as scary as I was hoping it would be. I also wasn’t mauled to death by any demons which was nice. There are family burial rooms that we got to look inside which were also pretty cool.

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We were first in line for the catacombs. No big deal.

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The entrance to the catacomb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the groups broke off at that point and we went in our little group out to dinner and to see the Trevi Fountain (like in the Lizzie McGuire movie. We also had gelato because it is a necessity. Unfortunately, it’s under construction so the fountain wasn’t running but I did still throw a coin over my shoulder which means one day I will come back to Rome.

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Dinner picture, man.

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The Trevi fountain is getting a face life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been another really fantastic day in Italy! It only rained slightly until the early afternoon and then get this, the sun came out. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful and sunny and I cannot wait. I won’t have to wear a rain coat and  I can switch my shoes, it’s a glorious feeling! Also- Tomorrow something mind-blowing is going to happen but I’m not going to say what it is until tomorrow’s blog. But I promise- it’s drop dead phenomenal. A chance of a lifetime.

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Rome has so many different trees it’s like the tree capital of the world. (Don’t quote me on that because I absolutely made it up.)

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ATTENTION FAMILY. I FOUND A YELLOW PUNCH BUG. I WIN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mom- these were the sewage covers in the Basilica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For all those concerned (Uncle Kevin)- I didn’t have a lot of corny/dad jokes in this post. I’ll make up for it now!

Q. What do you call a deer with no eyes?

A. No eye deer.

 

Q. So what do you call a deer with no eyes AND no legs?

A. Still no eye deer.

 

Today I tried to take a picture of some fog. I mist.

 

What do you call it when a crazy cow gets loose? Udder destruction.

 

OKAY, I’M DONE. I hope that holds you over until tomorrow. Let me know when you cancel my ticket.

UNTIL TOMORROW- Stay Weird.

Ally

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This is Professor Alessia and he is the sweetest, more genuine and wonderful man I have ever met. I am so happy he is guiding us on this adventure because frankly, there is no one else in the world I would rather be here with.

 

Current complaint- I think my feet are going to fall off. But on the plus side I’d totally invest in pirate wooden legs to make up for it.

A Self Titled Life- Right All The Wrongs (Day 2)

Day two started off a little rocky but ended up being a pretty solid day all together. The weather is still rainy but I packed an umbrella for a reason. We started at St. Peter’s Basilica which was both enormous and amazing. There is like a million statues all around the top of the Basilica and ten million pillars surrounding it. Each statue is hand carved and uniquely different from all the rest. People with talent are the worst. The lay out of the Basilica looks like the scene from Hercules when he’s a teenager and goes with his father into town and destroys the whole market because he knocks all of the pillars down while trying to catch a frisbee. Then he crushes the man with the pottery (but sadly, there was no man with pottery)  ((there also was no goddess gospel choir)) I didn’t go into the Basilica because the wait was three plus hours but the outside was stunning enough that I think it is something I could never in a million years forget.

 

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The entire Basilica is a work of art.

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It stretches on for days and days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Each of the statues are entirely different. Different poses, faces, clothing. It’s amazing.

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The Basilica is like this wall that blocks off the rest of the city. It’s a divide between history and reality.

 

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This looks like the scene from Hercules! Fun Fact- that is my favorite disney soundtrack of all time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch (I did take a picture of my food but it didn’t make the cut. Only the big shot pictures make this highly anticipated blog) we went to the Spanish Steps. I don’t know how many steps there are in total, but there were not nearly as many as I thought there would be. I expected to have hit my 25th birthday by the time I made it to the top. It was really cool to be able to walk all the way up and look out over the city. Each of the buildings are so unique and intricate I feel like there are no two that are exactly alike. It’s like a city of snowflakes.

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The bottom of the Spanish Steps looking up.

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At the top of the steps looking down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The umbrellas makes this a cool picture. It’s like splashes of color throughout Rome.

 

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Outside the fountain at the bottom of the steps. 

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Hey. Hi. Hello. I’m having a great time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m really happy to be on this trip with some really cool people. They’re making this a great trip and i’m really grateful for that.

Then we went to the Basilica of St. John Lateran which was blatantly jaw dropping. I’m not one for churches and I think they all look the same but this was a whole new level of church. The marble statues that were in the Basilica I could have stared at for hours without ever catching every detail. They are enormous and everywhere. The ceiling is painted, the walls are painted, the floor is painted, even the bathrooms are painted. There are twelve enormous statues lining the walls that tell the story of how each of the twelve apostles died. The actual altar paintings were cool but the statues and sculptures is what got me. I’ve never seen anything like it. The feet and hands look more like feet and hands than my own feet and hands do. So do the heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

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Outside of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The outside looks so plain compared to the inside.

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The inside of the Basilica is amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The entire place is a piece of art.

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The pope has details etched into the stone. Like, stop. I can’t go on.

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Each of the twelve apostles had a different statue. Each amazing and incredibly detailed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This one was my favorite. This statue is about one of the apostles that was skinned alive and he’s holding a sack with his face dangling out of the side.

 

Okay- funny story. Actually kind of hilarious. So when we were done looking in the Basilica I went to the bathroom (which was painted) and I couldn’t get the toilet to flush. I pushed every knob, screw, and bolt in the stall and nothing worked. So I pushed this button thing and all of a sudden the lights went off. It was pitch dark, and I mean I-couldn’t-even-see-the-inside- of-my-own-eyelids dark. So I pulled the handle and the door was jammed shut. I was yanking on the door like my life depended on it. I watch way too much American Horror Story and have read far too many books about serial killers to be stuck in a bathroom in a Roman Basilica in the dark. That was the end. Honestly, the killer would have had to come up through the toilet but good for them because I couldn’t have figured out how to flush them back down. I’m happy to report that I did make it out alive and I did yank the door open and run full speed into an Italian lady who was not happy to be plowed over. Try again, Billy Dent. I’m still alive.

Last trip I was almost slaughtered to death by a rabid deer and this trip I was almost murdered by a Basilica bathroom killer. Wow. If I wasn’t this over dramatic my life would be so boring.

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Mom- look at the sewage drain!

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Aunt Deb- I saw these and had to get a picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After surviving another nearly fatal episode, we made our way to the Holy Steps which are a mimic of the steps Jesus crawled so the tradition is to crawl up the staircase of 28 steps on your knees. It sounds easy but it’s not all butterflies and marshmallows. You climb each step behind the person in front of you who prays as they go. You can’t pass anyone or push anyone down the stairs so you just go with the pace of the knee-climber in front of you. By like the 15th step my knees were screaming. What’s cool is that the steps are so worn down that your knees sink into the grooves of where other people’s’ knees have been. It’s something that you really kneed to do.

 

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Phones and cameras were prohibited from the Holy Steps so here is the picture I took anyways.

 

Looking back, we did and saw a lot of sights today. Each different but really enjoyable. The same girls that are in the gelato picture from yesterday and I went out for dinner at a restaurant by the hotel. It was a pretty solid way to end a pretty solid day. (Incase you were wondering I had tortellini, which I swear by. It was delicious.)

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of rain but honestly, whether it rains or not I’m not going to stay in the hotel room because of the weather. I do think there is some crazy awesome things planned for tomorrow so I’ll have some great things to add to the magical world of internet blogging.

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There is actually a third traffic light on the back of these two facing the other way.

 

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There is a water fountain in the road to fill water bottles, or dogs, or even humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I didn’t expect there to be palm trees. Rome for real has it all.

 

OH MY GOD I ALMOST FORGOT. We went to a supermarket today before we went home from the Holy Steps and although they did not have pocket cookies (I checked) they did play both Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith which was fantastic because they’re both wonderful humans. Also- Mom, I checked for the espresso candy’s that were in Europe. I’m so bummed to tell you I had no luck. I was pretty hopeful about the whole situation but, nada.

 

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The grocery store sells sprinkles in little jars. I thought they were so cute

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HELLO. MY FRIEND SARAH (Who also loves Parenthood) sniped this picture of this guy that looks like Mr. Cyr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do believe that is all for now. So until tomorrow, this has been day 2 and a great day 2 at that.

Stay Weird.

Ally

 

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Only in Rome are the only acceptable holes 50 meters deep.

 

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Breakfast was delivered to our room this morning. We didn’t even have to leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current wish- that it will stop raining so I can wear different shoes because my feet are starting to smell and I am going to kill everyone around me. My apologies in advance.

 

A Self Titled Life- Something To Talk About (Day 1)

Crammed in a seat, high above the clouds,

I can’t hear myself think you are snoring so loud.

Actually no one is snoring I totally made that up.

It just sounded good since it rhymed, but guess what? I hate poetry.

I wasn’t going to start A Self Titled Life- Round Two until tomorrow night when I had something more interesting to talk about other than being inside this flying boat, but then things got kind of interesting. I am in the middle section of the plane, in the middle row of seats right by the bathroom. Prime seating, right? Right. Well, it was incredibly quiet until the entire plane (and I am certainly not exaggerating when I say the entire plane) is standing in line to use the bathrooms. No kidding the flight attendants actually had to ask people to sit down because the weight shift in the plane was causing the plane to falter backwards. (I might be lying) ((I’m definitely lying.)) But I am sitting next to the Mickey Mouse parade as they file in and out of the toothpick sized bathrooms. Plus the bathroom on the left side sounds like a fire breathing dragon when the toilet flushes and the right side sounds like a giant man gargling marbles. Very strange.

Update- We’re under the 5 hour mark with exactly… 4 hours and 52 minutes left until we touch down in Rome. Oh yeah, I’m going to Rome! I probably should have mentioned that earlier but well, there is no time like the present! It’s currently 9:04 pm in America and 2:05 am in Rome. OKAY HELLO. I HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE. When I said there was 4 hours and 52 minutes left I was honestly just spit balling because I didn’t want to turn my monitor back on but I just turned it on to check the time in Rome, and there is actually 4 hours and 52 minutes left. Am I.. a wizard?

Fun fact! If I were to jump out of the plane right now (Mom, take it easy) it would be -47.3 degrees out there. Basically, I would be back in Oswego. I think that is all the sarcasm I can muster up for the time being. I will say that I am excited for three reasons- 1. I am excited to go to Rome because I have never been and I’ve only heard wonderful things. 2. I’m pretty stoked about writing this blog again. and 3. …Wow, I don’t remember what the third thing was. (I do remember what it is but I’ll have to add it in to this blog post at a later time and I’ll explain then.)

By the magic of the internet the next time we talk, I’ll be in Rome but you’ll have not a clue so, no worries, I’ve got you! For real, I’m done now. I’m babbling now which is not fun for anyone. Not for you, your mom, my siblings, my aunts, Obama, Sampson the baby giraffe from the Buffalo zoo, Ellen Degeneres, Bert Macklin FBI Agent, me, or even the guy reading this over my shoulder. (hey hey) Literally, no one.

ON THAT NOTE. Catch you in Rome!

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This entire place looks like a movie set.

The streets are made out of uneven black stones and they looked really cool when the rain water was shining off of them.

The streets are made out of uneven black stones and they looked really cool when the rain water was shining off of them.

Hello Family. I win the punch bug game. (I'm still looking for a yellow one)

Hello Family. I win the punch bug game. (I’m still looking for a yellow one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I HAVE CAUGHT YOU IN ROME. It’s 2:16 pm here and 9:16 am there. The weather is kind of rainy but it’s not snowing so I have nothing to complain about. We walked around some of the neighborhoods by the hotel and this place is straight out of a movie. A movie besides The Lizzie McGuire Movie where she goes to Rome. It’s like ancient but not. We went to this really cool basilica and it was immaculate inside. That’s coming from someone who 1. Doesn’t like churches and 2. Finds art rather boring. This however, was stunning. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. At the top of the dome cement ceiling is this window that looks like the universe and it was pretty amazing. The Universe and I are pretty close after all. Depending on the rain we might go get pizza and go to a gelato place that has over 150 flavors. ALSO I had pasta for lunch and the sauce tasted just like my grandmother’s. I asked to speak to MaryAnn but the waiter didn’t speak english.

This is the bottom of a fountain that probably has an important name that I do not know. The artwork is so full of detail its amazing.

This is the bottom of a fountain that probably has an important name that I do not know. The artwork is so full of detail its amazing.

Apparently, the water is so clean here that you can drink out of the fountains.

Apparently, the water is so clean here that you can drink out of the fountains. I just found out that this fountain was called Piazza Navona.

 

The inside of the Basilica was actually breath taking. There was so much to look at for these two eyes and these filthy glasses lenses.

The inside of the Basilica was actually breath taking. There was so much to look at for these two eyes and these filthy glasses lenses.

The ceiling of the Basilica.

The ceiling of the Basilica.

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This is unlike anything I have ever seen before.

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The Universe window at the top of the Basilica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YO, I didn’t forget to tell you what I couldn’t write earlier. The guy sitting next to me, well more accurately on top of me for the entire flight was reading over my shoulder as I typed. He stopped when I called him out a little later in the blog. Anyways, on the other side of him was his girlfriend and the two of them were canoodling the entire plane ride. For anyone who doesn’t know what canoodling is, it’s when people are so infatuated with each other that they forget other humans can see their every move. They were gross and he kept jabbing me in the side and hitting me with his blanket. The moral of the story here is don’t canoodle on a plane. Be in love somewhere else thats not next to me. Because maybe you could not.

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I don’t even know what to caption this. People just casually walk past this everyday.

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Outside of the Piazza Navona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got to Rome around 7:30 this morning and after walking around until 2 pm went to the hotel to sleep. After a four hour nap I woke up feeling like a new human. It kind of stopped raining (just a slight drizzle) so we went to the pizzeria and gelato shop. There’s a scene from The Fault In Our Stars where Augustus tells Hazel that if the risotto he was eating was a person he would take it to Vegas and marry it. I have never felt so connected with Augustus Waters. The Pizza was unlike anything I have ever eaten. It was so fresh and so good and so delicious that any pizza from here on out that I ever eat will be nothing but a disappointment. And the gelato? I will be getting a divorce from the pizza to marry the gelato. Wow. Just, WOW.  GAME CHANGER.

You do not understand how big this was. I wish I could brake off a piece and share it with the world.

You do not understand how big this was. I wish I could brake off a piece and share it with the world.

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In the Gelato Shop. (From left to right- Jess, Sarah, Me…Prof Alessia, Sarah, and Katie. My bridal party when i married the gelato.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was kind of an odd day because it’s really been Saturday and Sunday. But my first novel is finished now. There’s some exciting adventures tomorrow based on the weather. But before I go, for any concerned family members I will give you a brief update:

1. I am not in prison.

2. I am not married.

3. I am still not in prison.

UNTIL TOMORROW..

Stay Weird,

Ally

It looks like Pizza.

It looks like Pizza.

HELLO. THIS STATUE LOOKS LIKE RON SWANSON AND I CRIED I WAS SO HAPPY.

HELLO. THIS STATUE LOOKS LIKE RON SWANSON AND I CRIED I WAS SO HAPPY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Jam- ‘Reflection’ by Fifth Harmony. I definitely jammed on the plane and the entire album is stellar.

Five things I’ve learned by being a member of The Oswegonian:

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Since freshman year, I have been writing for SUNY Oswego’s The Oswegonian. Writing for the college’s newspaper has been a rewarding experience that has helped me grow professionally. I currently am the promotional director of the newspaper and operate the social media of The Oswegonian. I also do various promoting through tabling and giveaways.

  1. Deadlines exist for a reason. Frequent writers for the school’s newspaper may understand this more than others, but the lesson applies to all. With a limited timeline to have each of the newspaper’s creation processes completed, having articles in timely has proven to be of utmost urgency. During my time with the newspaper, I have had the opportunity to write multiple articles each week and be featured in both the paper and digital website and without deadlines the work that must go into addressing these multiple aspects and pieces could never get done.
  2. Commitment matters. While possibly never seeking a staff membership on The Oswegonian, one amazing aspect of the organization is the ability to rise in rank based solely on merit and weekly writing alone. Beginning as a contributing writer, and ending a year as a staff writer, while small, is a victory in and of itself.
  3. Writing can be enjoyable. While not necessarily the most newsworthy or pressing, the ability to write increasingly well through discussing topics you find energizing, helps in multiple ways. Firstly, writing skills will benefit you no matter what your future holds. Many careers expect strong writing skills. In addition, writing is good for the mind and can be stimulating and relaxing.
  4. Double checking of sources is key. Nothing is more embarrassing than not editing your work or rechecking your sources. Months ago, when writing about a music duo I really enjoyed, I failed to check their names after writing them into my piece, later that group that I had come to be obsessed with, actually tweeted at me to let me know that, while they appreciated my review, I had gotten one members name wrong. From what could have been an exciting moment for me, I experienced red cheeks and disappointment at my mistake.
  5. Becoming better is an endless, but rewarding process. While being “the best” at something is an entertaining and freeing time, understanding that you can always achieve greater skill levels will leave you feeling better in the long run. I feel as though The Oswegonian has taught me that I can always be improving and learning, no matter how good I get. It has helped me better understand and utilize constructive criticism and for this I am happy.

Spring Break!

Spring Break is almost here and to all those New York City folk: I share my struggle with you! The trip from Oswego to New York City is one of the most talked about topic among us. Those who are from there know the 5 hour bus ride, the 1 hour Centro bus ride, and the expected half hour subway commute home. Taking a plane is too expensive when considering it over paying to stay over the break. Taking a train is a viable option, but we mostly take a bus, so good luck to all who plan that trip! To those taking part in carpooling to the city; you guys are so lucky!

Make sure to spend that valuable time with your family if you’re a freshman. I know that back when I was a freshman, I loved it more to go to Oswego. It was until sophomore year hit me where I figured out there’s nothing better than being at home with the family. The amazing homemade food, the amazing internet, and hugging your pets!

If any of you guys are traveling, make sure to be safe, explore, expand, and most importantly: make memories. There’s no better way of traveling than studying abroad. Consider traveling now and go for studying abroad over a semester somewhere else; it’s an amazing experience told by many of my friends. Take the break to even play more games if you’d like. Don’t forget about any papers or upcoming exams you may possibly have after the vacation though. We all understand the struggle of an exam after break or a paper due shortly after classes resume.

I hope everyone enjoys the break and make it home to Oswego again safely! Chances are the temperature will not be as cold as Oswego wherever you plan to travel. Unless you plan to travel to a city above the latitude of Oswego, good luck and stay warm. Overall, people who reside in New York City or Long Island, etc…, will have quite a long and painfully annoying travel if going by bus. We know the rush to board the first bus; either Centro or Greyhound/Megabus.

Snow in Oswego

One thing for sure is a lot different than first semester… SNOW! Growing up in Long Island I have never seen so much snow in my life. IMG_1042Growing up in Long Island I have never seen so much snow in my life. Good thing that I have always loved snow because I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t. SUNY Oswego has a great bus system that takes you to your classes; I love walking to class and watching the snow fall as you can see in the picture above. Although snow can be a negative thing it has so many positives.

Samsung Galaxy S6

The new metal and glass phone made by Samsung is finally here. After taking consideration about a personal upgrade from the Galaxy S3 to the S6, I am looking forward to it. The Galaxy S4 and S5 are great phones and those who own them probably won’t need to upgrade just yet. Samsung seems to have made a similar marketing move as Apple when it comes to revealing the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge; relating to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. My personal plan would be to get the Galaxy S6 when it’s more affordable of course.

Unfortunately, there are some cons to the new Galaxy phone. Two of which are the built in battery and the exception of an SD card. Many people feel different about their expectations of what the S6 would be like. I believe they fixed what isn’t broken in this case. This will definitely apply to Samsung as a definite fix for the development of the Galaxy S7; unless they had a reason for the exclusion that they haven’t told us yet.

There are some exciting pros to the new Galaxy S6 that should keep Samsung customers enticed. According to the Samsung website, they created a slogan for the phone: “Six Appeal”. This is probably done to create some humor and build a good marketing move in promotion in order to promote more attention and discussion about the phone. “Perfect Pictures Every Time” and ” Less Boundaries, More Space” are two subtitles within the Samsung Galaxy S6 webpage describing all the amazing specs the phone has to offer.

Make sure if you plan to purchase this beauty of a phone that you keep it protected from falling! Unless you have a warranty, you should be fine, but it’s best to hope the screen doesn’t crack as much as iPhones do. I personally can’t wait to buy the new Galaxy S6 or even S7 since it can’t be any worse than my Galaxy S3 phone. Just hope Boost Mobile would start selling it earlier rather than a whole year later.

The Freezing Cold!

We made it a little over one month into the semester with these cold temperatures and it finally started reaching the near 30s! Over the month of February, we experienced two days of classes being called off due to weather. One due to a big snow storm, which made it difficult for commuters from Syracuse to reach Oswego. Another date was cancelled due to the wind chill being -30. It has definitely been noticeably cold and anyone living here can wholeheartedly agree.
It’s been so cold even, that a temperature of 20 feels that much better to walk out in. I remember when I first attended Oswego State where I would feel like 20 degrees is just ridiculously cold since I had come from New York City. Temperatures don’t tend to fall under zero half the time just roughly 200 miles down south. Not to mention the amount of snow comparison between these two locations. Looking at the level of snow piled up at the Quad in front of Lanigan Hall surprises me. Even looking outside my window, seeing the snow level all the way up to nearly half the height of a tree.

Overall life here in Oswego has been pretty cold nonetheless, but still a pretty sight if you’re looking at the snow falling from indoors. With almost every other day containing lake effect snow, we still go to classes and love studying here. It has almost been the same as last year when it comes to class cancellations due to weather. The weather here has continuously been bipolar, especially when the weather gets warmer and you see alternating times of rain and sunshine during a day. Good news is it’s finally getting warmer, but stay warm and wear boots; sneakers are terrible with all this snow!