When in Rome… DO NOT do as the Romans!!

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First and foremost, I would like to give a huge shout out the Autumn for being the best travel buddy I could ask for. She was very protective and always trying to be one step ahead of our disaster of a trip.

Let me begin this post by saying that, yes, Rome is beautiful. The history and the sites are absolutely amazing. It was really cool to touch Ancient Rome on more than one occasion. HOWEVER. Rome was way more stressful than relaxing. We spent Thursday (May 1st) to Sunday (May 4th) in Italy. But our troubles began in Barcelona. Autumn and I set up a plan to meet at a very specific metro station that neither of us had been to before. Little did we know that this station was the size of an airport!! It took us 45 minutes to find each other. Only by the grace of a small WiFi connection did we finally meet up. So we jumped on the train to the airport to fly to Rome. When we landed in Rome, the plan was to go to the hotel and drop our stuff off before we met up with the other girls. We catch a taxi from the airport to the hotel… 70 Euros. That’s how much it cost us for the taxi ride. Our hotel was on the opposite side of Rome from the airport and then it was about 30 minutes away from the city itself. So we check in, and find our room to be very nice! The bathroom was a little cramped, but we didn’t have a problem with it. I texted Alicia so we all could meet up later on in the day. The lady at the front desk told us there is a bus stop right down from the hotel that we can take. So we find it as soon as it is pulling away. The next one comes around in 40 minutes… So together, Autumn and I, decide to walk a little to see if there is anything around the area. I kid you not: The 3rd and 4th Italian people we see are prostitutes! Our hotel was in the Detroit of Rome. We walked back to the bus stop and had prostitutes on our far left and far right. So we decided to wait in the hotel lobby for the next bus. We think we’ve got it the second time so we go back out to the stop and wait. This magic bus never came back. While we were waiting an old man circled and stopped by us 3 times asking if we wanted a ride. Then two other cars stopped for the same reason. Autumn and I were mistaken for prostitutes on our first two hours in Rome. This is just the beginning of our four-day weekend… Later that day we met up with Alicia, Madison, Lindsey, and Sandy. We had a good time and saw Trevi Fountain!! The day was coming to an end so Autumn and I had to go back to our hotel. The magic bus has a stop right outside of the metro station we used. So we waited, and waited, and waited, and it FINALLY came…. Only for the driver to tell us that it was stopping for the night. So we took another taxi from the metro station to the hotel. End day one.

Day two we woke up, had free breakfast, and decided to take the hotel shuttle to a train station. This worked 1,000x better than the magic bus!! We found our way through the metro and we thought we had it. The challenge took place when we tried to meet up with the other girls at their hotel… We got turned around and it took us… I don’t even know how long to walk to this place. But we finally found it. We all rested for awhile before we set out for the day. We saw a lot! My favorite places were the Spanish Steps and Popolo Fountain. I swear I’m going to be in such good shape based on the amount of walking we did this day and the next day. We decided to stay with the other girls at their hotel so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting up early and waiting on the magic bus. It was a good choice!!

Day three, all six of us woke up in the same hotel. We met up with their professor and coordinator, who then took us to see the Vatican! We didn’t go inside because there was a 3 hour wait (ain’t no body got time for dat!!), and we wanted to see other things as well. So here’s the part of Rome that NO ONE tells you about. You gotta eat, right!? I paid 16 Euro for my lunch that consisted of ravioli, mushrooms, and a can of Coke. Right after lunch, Autumn and I went INSIDE THE COLISEUM for 12 Euros. Let that sink in for a minute. I paid more for my food that lasted for 30 minutes than I did for a major historical site that has lasted for THOUSANDS of years… I call BULLSHIT! The Coliseum was absolutely amazing, though. It was really cool to touch Ancient Roman stones and take some pretty cool pictures while we were there. We also walked down to Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Google that shit! It is the most impressive piece of architecture I’ve ever seen. I could literally look at that building for hours and be perfectly content. We had another long day of walking, but it was much better than the first few days. But of course, there’s a tricky part!! Now Autumn and I need to go back to our hotel for the night. We go back with the girls to grab our stuff, and then head back immediately. The metro station is super packed and the metro itself is even more crowded. Autumn has to push me though so we can get on. All of the sudden this Asian man starts yelling “MY POCKET! MY POCKET! YOU TOOK MY POCKET!!” This poor man was pick pocketed by someone right in front of us!!! He grabbed the man who he thought stole his wallet, but it was actually another man. But the man who took it either freaked or was trying to pass it off to someone else & threw it on the ground outside of the metro. Thank goodness the Asian man was able to get his wallet back, but it scarred the shit out of Autumn and I. We both just wanted to cry, we were so freaked out. But our troubles don’t end here… Apparently we got on the WRONG connector metro and ended up in a station that we had no idea even existed!! It wasn’t even on our metro map so we had no idea how we got there. After having such an adrenaline rush from the pick pocket scene, we were so mad that we got on the wrong train. Keep in mind we’re still trying to catch the magic bus at a very specific time and location. After waiting for a little, the correct train finally came, and we even made it in time to wait and see if the magic bus was real or not. So we’re now waiting on the bus. There are two drunk homeless-looking men and a prostitute waited for the same bus. We chose to stand next to the prostitute. After about 10 minutes THE MAGIC BUS ARRIVES!! And we actually got on it with no problems. It was super sketchy but it was taking us right where we needed to be. Now because we’d never ridden the magic bus and it was late at night, we weren’t sure where exactly to get off. So Autumn asked the prostitute for help. This very nice lady did not speak a work of English, but she helped us out and told us exactly where we need to be! We were very thankful for her. The bus dropped us off on the other side of the high way from the hotel. Now, remember how I said this place was the Detroit of Rome? We had to cross this SUPER sketchy bridge in which the ladies of the night do their work… It was covered in condoms. Props for having safe sex, but good lord find a trash can!!!! Needless to say I thoroughly washed my feet when we got to the hotel. End day three.

Our last day was a travel day! We had our last free breakfast at the hotel, and even caught the magic bus on the way to the metro station. Sure, it was jam packed with people but we got on it with plenty of time!! We did have a minor freak out when the train headed for the airport was arriving at the station in 3 minutes and we still didn’t have tickets, but we made it!! The fight home to Barcelona was absolutely wonderful, because we knew exactly where we were at, we can semi-speak the language (Autumn is fluent, but I’m definitely not!! lol), and we have a family to come home to!! I’ve never been more excited to see the Barcelona coast line than I was today!

While Rome had its good parts, the bad parts out weighed them by a mile! Our quote of the trip was “Screw Rome” and for good reason! I can now check it off the bucket list and never go back!

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