Thursday, June 28, 2012


Previously, I wrote about all of the craziness of my trip.  Now let me tell you some of the amazing things I’ve seen and done while being across the pond…

Rome, as always, is incredible.  The history, the architecture, the FOOD.  The Italian language is beautiful; I love the lilt and flow, the animation, the intonation.  I’m eager to begin my residence here!

Spain.  I don’t even know where to begin.  I LOVE SPAIN.  That’s a good start.  There is an intangible and indescribable feeling prevalent there that exudes relaxation, joy, and life.  That’s it.  Spain is alive.  The people don’t want the day to end, so it doesn’t.  Simple as that.  Valencia is a magnificent place.  One day we spent the whole afternoon lounging on the beach, took a boat ride to watch the sunset, then sat on a rooftop terrace until three in the morning listening to the raging block party in the street and watching fireworks over the city.  WHATT?? Is this really my life??

Gaudi has to be the most incredible architect in the history of the world.  His Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is otherworldly.  I got goose bumps from looking at this building – twice!  I didn’t even know that was possible.  Every single detail holds some significance to the story of Christ.  For example, the pillar spiraling up to hold baby Jesus in His manger lists the genealogy of Christ from Abraham to Joseph.  Or the sculpture of Judas kissing Jesus has a serpent slithering at their feet.  It’s amazing.  I’m already planning a trip back to the cathedral when it’s finally finished!

My first impression of Paris was that I knew a whole lot less French than I thought I did.  My second was that pain du chocolate is WAY better than anyone ever told me.  Actually, French food in general is way better than anyone ever bothered to inform me.  The Grand Marnier soufflé and then this apple pastry (Chansonne Pomme? I think?) were to die for.  I’m convinced the flaky butter crust on the pastry was made in heaven, possibly by the angel Gabriel himself.  Also, the Eiffel Tower is bigger than I expected, Versailles is impressive, and I could spend weeks in the Louvre.  Our sightseeing was cut short in Paris by Abby’s maladies so I need to get back there again at some point in my life.

When I’m around Americans now – or any group that’s speaking in English – I find the fact that I can understand their conversations almost abrasive.  It’s so strange how quickly I adapted to being secluded while still being surrounded by people.  I also need to learn more about the French medical system – whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it well, and if we’re not already, the U.S. ought to take some notes from them. 

My next post will be the first in my Rome series:  #WhenInRome.  And if you’re wondering why I’m using a hash tag, well, I do what I want. J  Ciao!

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