Little Ol’ Me Traveled to Italy

Yes, we’re in Rome – finally! I’m already missing Amsterdam for several reasons, but nothing compares to my excitement for a new adventure.

Traveling Here Was a Bit of a Pain in the Ass

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The Night of No Sleep

Let’s flash back to February 3rd when I shut my laptop after finishing the last post. Shan and I headed into the city center one last time to say goodbye to the friends we made at our favorite bar, Café het Dwarsliggertje.

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Lucas, Shan, me & Razvan

I didn’t drink because I knew we had to leave our apartment in Zuid at 4 am to catch our plane at 7 am – our airline sent us an email warning of congestion at airport security (ugh) so we had to get there extra early. That didn’t stop Lucas and Razvan from pouring us tall Heinekens! It’s not easy refusing free beer in Amsterdam…Shan was polite and drank a few.

Hours of conversation and listening to ABBA flew by and before we knew it, it was 00:10 – we had to catch the last metro to Zuid at Centraal Station by 00:30 🙃 Damn the person who stole my phone – that was my watch, too!

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Day or night, Centraal is a beaut

The rickety and slow tram #4 took forever to get to the station and of course we missed the last metro. Our passes weren’t valid for the night bus, which is an alternative way to get to Zuid, so ya girls took a $35 Über to get to the apartment (am I supposed to hate Über? oops). It was 1 am by the time we got back – mind you, we still had to clean the place to leave it in decent condition.

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Somehow we scrubbed everything and shoved our belongings into our suitcases. Three hours later we were at the airport and off we went.

Arriving in Roma

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From the Fiumicino Airport we bussed to Termini Station (half the price of taking the Leonardo Express train), which is around where our Airbnb is located. We walked a half hour with our tiny-but-heavy suitcases to the house I’m writing this from.

The first thing I noticed about the streets was not people laughing while eating pasta and drinking wine in cute outdoor restaurants, but spray paint…everywhere. And trash. I didn’t take any pics of it but I’ll surely have to so I can show you what I mean.

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My face walking out of Termini seeing graffiti and garbage

I was kind of disappointed, honestly. Though I kept telling myself to erase all expectations of our destinations, I had Rome on a picture-perfect pedestal thanks to Lizzie McGuire and every other movie that puts a filter on this city.

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That means you too, Mary-Kate and Ashley

I was definitely getting ahead of myself because I’d yet to see the city center, and I’m the genius who decided to Eurotrip in the middle of gloomy winter.

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I’ve realized that I need to wait a while before throwing my hands in the air and becoming flustered – new places take time to adjust to. I’m in freakin’ ROME. ROMA. ITALIA. EUROPA. UNA FANTASTICA VACANZA, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

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Relatable Song of the Moment

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Though the message is about soaking life into your soul and not through the camera lens, I can’t help but hum this when I reach into my pocket for my non-existent phone every time I want to snap a quick pic. I’m telling myself there’s a silver lining to not having a computer in my hand every second of the day #NoCameraPhone #NoChoice

Shoutout Time 🕣

I’d like to take a minute to shoutout two people I couldn’t live without – Shaun aka Kreayshaun Ondabeatz & Julie aka my boyfriend aka Joolay. I miss the days I’d wake up and run with a blanket over my head into your beds to talk about life or ice cream or whatever was the most important thing going on that day. I miss you both and you are the Gordo & Miranda to my Lizzie 😘  #baci

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Overall, Rome has been quite the ride so far. I’ll be posting about my first trip to the city center along with all of the other great experiences we’re having. Stay tuned!

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Now That It’s Been a Few Days…

Peep the video, then read the post…or do it the other way around. Whatever.

…I can write a post about how it’s been adjusting to being in the city. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve already had a few waves of homesickness.

We’ve had our fair share of the nightlife thus far. When you’re six hours off from what you’re used to, you wake up late in the morning – or early afternoon in our case. I think we deserved ourselves a bit of fun to kick our adventure off right.

Night #2 started at the bar across the street.

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Inside was a drunk man named Kevin who insisted he was gay but proceeded to hit on us and try to kiss our cheeks. He may or may not have stuck his tongue out at us, and it wasn’t in a childish way. Don’t worry, it wasn’t just us. He did it to everyone in the bar…including the owner who was drunk off his ass on a Wednesday night. The other folks inside the bar included the bartender, another bar employee, and a man gambling his money away at a machine that was not being very nice to him.

Though I don’t remember their names, I remember everything about them.

First, I spoke with the other bar employee who has a brown ponytail and beard. I could barely hear him over the Dutch music reverberating off of the shiny foil-looking walls, but he told me he was from Romania and had lived in Amsterdam for 11 years. Apparently he came for a week’s visit with his friends and never went back. I’ve always wanted to meet someone who said “fuck it” that way, especially since this transition hasn’t been an easy one for me. I admire the way of the nomad – free to go wherever they’re drawn to rather than being stunted by the attachment to one place. It’s currently something I’m trying to master.

He pointed me toward the corner where another employee was curled up asleep in bed. This guy’s job was to be ridiculously cute.

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Okay, so the cat lady in me got out before I could stop her. This little nugget had piercing blue eyes and a thing for walking on the bar, and he almost fell asleep in my arms! My Romanian friend pictured above on the left told me he likes to call him “Friend”…which I misheard, so I called him Frank (shoutout to you, Frank!)

While I was drooling over kitty Frank, Shannon was making friends with the bartender. She only bartends two nights a week, and for the rest of the time she’s an office manager and is running her own business of being a stylist. She told us that Shannon’s color is coral, and that I’m a bottle-green or cherry. “It’s all about the subtle accents,” she said. Nails, lips, jewelry…all of these things go with a white blouse and black pants or jeans. I asked her where she was when I packed all of the other unnecessary shit in my suitcase.

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Because we were wide awake at midnight, we ventured into the Square again.

We walked around a few blocks to get to know the area and look for an ATM. Neither things happened, but we did find a cool McDonald’s where you pay on an LCD menu screen you’re ordering on. We also ran into two guys from Texas who said “y’all” many times. They had come to Amsterdam to indulge in the greenery.

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We found a bar that was open late named Woody’s, which we quickly discovered was a gay bar. The bartender poured us fireball shots that tasted like jaeger while putting his entire mouth around his glass of beer and knocking it back. People were dressed up in togas and singing Whitney Houston. All of it reminded me of college.

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I’m totally watching this show right now (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

Our last and final stop was a tourist bar, Prime. Not gonna lie, I loved the familiar music that I could understand and dance to, but the best part about it was the free drinks we got from our new friends from the U.K.

All in all, we stayed up too late and missed half of another day because of it. Yesterday we wandered around aimlessly and visited the Red Light District before 10 pm, which we may go back to tonight to see it in its true late-night form. More to come on that one and the Rijksmuseum we visited today 😁

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