Well, God really just worked this one out. Andrew, Ryan, Markus, and I just went with the flow (more or less). Flew into Milan, only to leave on that train to Monterosso, Cinque Terre. Oh how wonderful it was. We hiked through all five towns, seeing some of the extravagant and visual stimulating nature in the world. So wonderful. Besides the tranquility of the nature, the little towns rocked our socks. World’s best gelato in Corniglia. We felt “five steps closer to the Good Lord”- Porter Frasier. It was definitely a euphoric experience. We then proceeded to have two great dinners as well (and the best shrimp ravioli on the planet). Couldn’t ask for more. Off to Florence.
Lost my jacket at the restaurant the night before, so we wandered down to see if somehow, someway it would be there. There was a strange Italian man outside and I told him the deal, first English, then Spanish, and he finally caught on. Then he proceeded to inform me that the tiny little old lady walking up at 9 in the morning was the owner. She got my jacket and with no time to spare we caught our train. God is good.
We then went to Pisa on our way to Florence, because well, you have to. It was chock full of awkward tourist posing, and it cracked me up. Lets get out of here! Then we arrived in Florence and we were greeted by some friends who took us to their place to stay, for free! We did all Florence had to offer, it was really wonderful catching up with the Clemson crew, and meeting the Clayton family as well (great folks). I saw enough Renaissance art to blow my brains out, although it was appreciated. We also got janked into buying scam gelato. I asked for a small and the man gave me a mountain of gelato and charged me nine euro. I almost proceeded to throw it back at him in my outrage, but when in foreign parts I have to be careful. We met lots of interesting people, including a child prodigy from Seattle named Caedyn, whose parents are in a Heart Tribute Band! Very sweet girl, and a goofy fam for sure. Hooray for washed up tribute bands. Power to the people. Great dinners, great company again, and I can’t really ask for any more.
Well, caught the slow train to Roma. It was a beautiful ride through Tuscany. We got off the train and went straight to the Vatican. It lived up to all the hype. Go and see for yourself, I can’t describe it and do it justice. Couldn’t take pictures of the Sistine Chapel… so just google it. Next day we did the whole coliseum bit. So solid! Then as we were getting a tour of the Roman Forum and ruins, our Australian tour guide David got arrested. Bummer man. We then ventured to meet back up with friends after they got out of their architecture class. Oh, I forgot to mention we also got to stay here free. So huge. Besides that we met some great guys in Eric, Allen, and John (Giovanni). Pretty cool how you can just meet people and already feel like we are pretty tight. I guess doing things on strange terms in Italy will do the trick. Then a long tour to see every site in Roma, and bam wind up with another great idea, brie and pancetta pizza. We about lost it. All has to come to an end. If you thought this was remotely interesting, then great, because it was better than this. If you didn’t, then… it was better than this so there is still hope. Well folks, that’s all I got.
James Dolph-Gooford Stark IV