Wow I am actually writing this post on a Monday!! I was just excited to tell you about my week, okay?! How have I already been here a whole month!!?? Only two short weeks left in this whirlwind ride of my summer studying abroad. Check out what I did this week, all the amazing food I ate, how my love is only growing for my new friends, and my weekend in Santorini, Greece!!! It just keeps getting better.
Monday, June 11th 2018: Playing Catch-Up & Movie Night
Today was a pretty simple and boring catch-up day. Not a ton took place just the typical class, mensa, relaxing, and homework until dinner time. It’s almost final time here at the JFRC and I need to get down to business. But it’s hard when I want to see so many things and visit so many places!! Lily had heard about this place downtown called Osteria da Fortunata with homemade pasta made right in front of you. We sat outside right by the window where this lovely lady was hand rolling the pasta!! SO cool right?! I got cacio e pepe one of my favs and it was delish. We stopped for gelato ( I know we eat it a lot lol, I get it. But when in Rome, right??? When we got home to the good ol JFRC we all snuggled up in Lily’s bed and watched a movie!! Great night with the gal pals!
Tuesday, June 12th 2018: Sant’Agnese & the 3 Mile Walk
Today we had another on-site for theology class and we went to Sant’Agnese. We had the privilege of getting to visit the catacombs underneath as well as the church itself. We weren’t allowed to take an pictures in the catacombs but they were so interesting! They were so much smaller than I imagined. The oldest ones were at the top and the newest were at the bottom. When they needed more tombs they just kept digging down into the earth. After visiting the sites we sat down at a cafe on the grounds and had a class discussion talking about what we had seen and heard. This was one of my favorite classes so far. I feel like I keep saying that..what can I say? I really like this class. We went back for mensa, naps, and studying before heading back downtown for dinner. We got some yummy pasta (what’s new…?) and ended up and can you guess?….yes, Old Bridge for gelato. We were feeling ambitious and decided after being completely stuffed that we would walk the full three miles back to campus. And we did it, and in pretty good time if I do say so myself.
Wednesday, June 13th 2018: Good Food & Good People
Today we had an on-site class for literature. We listened to an hour presentation near the Vatican about migration in European countries. We went back to JFRC for mensa and to do some laundry before another weekend away. Before we decided to go into Rome for some shopping, dinner, and gelato we made a quick pit stop at a local pizza place for supplì because duh. We stopped by Zara (are you even suprised?), Old Bear (another one of our favs), and Gelotti for dessert. Lots of laughs, good people, and once again, we got a little caught in the rain. I love these people and feel so lucky to have met them here in this situation that we get to experience together.
Thursday, June 14th 2018: Early Wake Up Call & Leaving for Greece
Today was an early one. The night before Lily and Carolyn were talking about getting up early to go to the IC and get some work done. I decided to join them and get some writing done because these blogs don’t write themselves! I woke up around 5:45am to shower and met them downstairs around 6:15. I wrote my week three blog post for about 2 hours or so and I still wasn’t done but I got a majority of it finished so I was content. Even though I may have taken a longer afternoon nap than usual later that day, I honestly really enjoyed being up that early and just getting stuff done. After working until about 8:15 we went to breakfast at Rinaldo’s (our little campus cafe) where I got my usual cappuccino freddo, chocolate chip croissant, and yogurt. I’m going to miss these pastries when I leave but I’m sure my body will thank me. We went to class and mensa as normal and then I packed for Santorini!! I still couldn’t believe I was going here. Greece has been on my bucket list FOREVER and it just didn’t seem real. Krista and I headed to the airport where we flew from Rome to Athens and then from Athens to Santorini. The flights were very smooth and we got into Santorini around 10:30pm. We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel and we pretty much just showered and went to bed exhausted from the full day of travel.
Friday, June 15th 2018: Lounging at Perissa Beach
I was SO excited for today. These last few weeks have been so go go go so I was so relieved to finally we able to just relax. We woke up around 7:30 and got all packed up for our day at the beach before we went to breakfast. Which by the way was SO good. We paid a little extra to have our breakfast included in our stay and it was so worth it. They had super yummy omelettes and ALL the pastries to choose from. They even made us french toast on the first morning which was to die for. We had fruit and actual coffee and it was so nice. After breakfast we got a taxi over to the eastern side of Santorini to Perissa Beach. We had done some research and this beach kept coming up on the top of the list for best beaches so we had to go. We rented two chairs for only 15 euro and spent the whole day just lounging, eating, swimming, and enjoying the sunshine. It was such a pleasant day and not to mention absolutely beautiful. We spent a majority of the day here before heading back to rest and clean up before dinner. For dinner we went to this delicious place right on the shore with an incredible view of the sunset. I got a seafood spaghetti which was so good and we got a baked feta appetizer to share. After watching the sunset and finishing up our meal we went to find something sweet for dessert. We stumbled upon this gelato place and the cones were ACTUAL waffles. It may have been one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. We took our treats back to our hotel, snuggled up and finished the night watching Mamma Mia. Very appropriate, don’t you think? What a GREAT day.
Saturday, June 16th 2018: The White Village & Greek Yogurt
So where we were staying in Fira there was a cute little town with lots to do BUT it wasn’t the “white greek houses” that I had in my head. This village is in Oía, the northernmost part of the island. SO we took a taxi up again first thing in the morning and made our way up to Oía. THIS is what I was hoping for. THIS is what I had always imagined and dreamed about. THIS in my head, this was Santorini. We spent the day walking around going in and out of all the little shops, taking LOTS of pictures and then stopped for lunch at Vitrin cafe where I got a waffle covered in bananas and whip cream (SO YUM) and Krista and I split some REAL LIFE AUTHENTIC greek yogurt!!! It was topped with hazelnuts, honey, bananas, and apples. Best greek yogurt I’ve ever had. There were donkeys everywhere! I thought that was just something that made up for the movies but they actually climbed up all the steps and some were even carrying people. After an amazing afternoon we headed back to Fira for dinner. Tonight was really fun because we found an area of Fira we hadn’t explored yet filled with so many shops and fun little finds. We got another yummy dinner and then stuck with the greek yogurt trend and got some frozen yogurt for dessert. Again, SO good. We had an earlier dinner tonight so we still had time before the sunset. We came across this beautiful rooftop bar with the most insane view. We got a spot right on the edge, ordered a drink, and just took it ALL in. WOW. All I’ve got to say is WOW.
Sunday, June 17th 2018: Leaving Greece & Homemade Pasta
This morning was pretty relaxed. We didn’t have a ton of time before leaving for the airport so we slept in a little, packed up our room and got our last yummy hotel breakfast. I really am going to miss that breakfast. We got the airport shuttle around 11am and left our beautiful hotel. The Santorini airport was um interesting to say the least. It was quite disorganized and very stressful. There was only one line for security, and when we finally got to our gate there was about 30 seats for gates 4-8. Everyone was standing and sweaty and not super happy. But it is a very small airport and it’s peak tourist season, so what can you expect. Athens is much bigger and a lot more built up. I was sad to leave, but happy to be back after quite the day of traveling. Our flight landed in Rome around 4:30pm and we made our way back to JFRC. We unpacked and showered, trying to get everything sorted for another school week ahead. Carolyn, Lily, and Angela got back from their weekend in Venice a few hours after us and we all decided to go to dinner at Osteria da Fortunata again for some home made pasta. I got Sciavatelli Amatriciana and they were being made right behind me as I ate!!!
UP NEXT WEEK: MILAN & LAKE COMO!!! (yes, where the Clooneys vacation OMG)