Jennifer Hall Temple Rome

Alright… Plan C.


So, in my last few blogs I have mentioned that I was awaiting a very special guest….Well, he made it!

Zachary is here!

For those of you who are just meeting Zach, he is my boyfriend who swore up and down there was no way he would be able to visit me this semester. And I totally understood, it’s a BIG deal to come all the way to Europe… But of course that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to bother him about it 🙂 While I was in Athens over fall break Cecily told me to try one more time so I asked,

Jen: “So, are you sureeeee you can’t come visit?”

Zach: “I am 95% sure I can’t.”

Jen: “So there’s a 5% chance!!?!?!”

And what do you know, within a week we went from 5% to 50% to 100% sure that Zach was coming over for fall break! So, the preparations began, he got a passport and a ticket, and I booked tickets and hotels for Rome and Paris. Like any girl, I convinced myself that I needed to super plan out every detail of his visit so everything would be perfect! So, of course, I was setting myself up for disaster on that one. The month flew by and before I knew it is was the night before he got here! And I had to leave for the airport to pick him up at 6:30 AM… What?! I did some homework, washed every dish in the apartment, curled my hair, watched 12 episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” and before I knew it, it was 6 AM, I hadn’t slept at all and I needed to leave! AHHH!!!

Funny Story, Rome’s Termini Train Station is SUPER sketchy before 7 AM. It was almost empty except for me and seemingly every creepy homeless person I’ve ever met. I walked up to the ticket machines to get a train ticket and at least 4 men tried to push me out of the way to push the buttons for me so they could then tell me I owed them money for doing so. Uh no thank you! After weaving through a sea of creepers and a short train ride I was at the airport!… 30 minutes early. Can you tell I was anxious? I made it to the arrival gate and began pacing back and forth because my heart was beating so fast. I’m very positive I was making everyone around me SUPER uncomfortable. In airports everyone is supposed to remain calm and composed, meanwhile THIS GIRL is busy pacing back and forth, staring at the ground, talking to myself, and pretty much panting… I was nervous! I haven’t seen Zach in 3 months! And then he was there! And all was well with the world 🙂

WELL! Now that everyone knows who Zach is and how neurotic I am, I can get to the good stuff about traveling and food and things. As soon as we got him all settled in we were off to see the city! How do you condense Rome into 4 days? I’ve been here for weeks and I still haven’t seen everything! So I took him to the big sites that I will always remember. So on Sunday we saw the Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, and one of my favorite places in Rome, Giocomelli’s 🙂

Giocomelli’s Is what my roomies and I refer to as “our place” in Rome. We go there for dinner more often than not because it’s off the beaten path, adorable, and totally authentic Italian. Zach and I annihilated some pizza and carbanara! Monday was supposed to be our big travel day! This is where my neurotic planning failed… We had planned a short train trip out to the Italian,rural, hill town of Orvieto so Zach could see a different part of Italy. We got to the train station super early (people are much less creepy when you walk around Termini with a big guy), got our train tickets, and sat down at what we thought was the right lane. But I had a feeling we were wrong… and of course we were. One minute after our train left we figured out it was on some obscure track, out of sight, 100 yards  away from where we were… After a few minutes of freaking out we moved on the plan B, the Colisseum! It was only a few stops away! So we trekked over there, at this point it was 3:45 Monday afternoon… Apparently starting in November the Coliseum closes at 3:30.


Alright…. Plan C! Zach and I took in the Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, and Piazza Navona! But of course I got us a little lost between each monument but that’s part of the fun right?

After that hectic of a day, we decided to just keep it simple on Tuesday. Since I still had real people responsibilities, I went to school then Zach and I headed back to the Coliseum for attempt #2. We made it through the Roman Forum, which was pretty miserable, muddy, and rainy, and finally made it to the end; the Coliseum… guess what. It was 3:30… so it was CLOSED. Oh. My. Gosh. This was now a mission. We HAD to get Zach inside the Coliseum. But the next day was Wednesday, Zach’s last day in Rome and we had already planned to go to the Vatican and Orvieto. So we decided we’d get up early and cram everything in. However, Tuesday night something big happened. Zach had his FIRST gelato craving! I was so proud 🙂 So at 1 AM we walked to old bridge.

Anyone who knows me and Zach knows that the “let’s just get up early plan” NEVER EVER works. I’m not sure how many times we’re going to fail at this before we just stop trying. So we didn’t get going until hours after we were supposed to. But we did, in fact, cram everything into one day. We climbed all the way to the top of the Vatican:

We ACTUALLY made it inside the Coliseum! I would have taken a picture but we literally ran through it in 7 minutes… I was regretting my gelato. Then we ran to Termini, found the RIGHT train and made it to Orvieto!

It was totally gorgeous and only 45 minutes away from Rome! Definitely not the most exciting  place though. It’s a very calm walk. Which, after this week, Zach and I really needed.

Thursday morning the gang all left for Paris, Zach and I were so tired after our action packed day on Wednesday we decided to just get up early and pack… We all know how that works out. But that’s another blog!



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