For the first two days in Rome, Angie and I couch-surfed with some architecture students who happened to be mostly international as well. We were representing the US, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France, all in one apartment. I really loved that group, they were so interesting to talk to and we had a fun night out on the town in Rome which involved a bar that resembled a gas station and some obnoxious Katy Perry singing.
The next days ahead, we literally explored all the major landmarks in Rome, some twice or three times, and had the chance to explore some cute local neighborhoods as well. It was a lot of walking but well worth it, and I found some gifts for friends and family back home that I can't wait to deliver! The best part of all the exploring was finding nice spots to sit and eat our lunch, and stumbling upon a Carnival festival filled with adorable children in costumes, stilt walkers, and some sort of horse show. People were laughing, singing, throwing confetti and there were animated story-tellers and street performers... it was a little surreal.
And the CATS! I think I came off as more cat-obsessed than I really am while in Rome, because seriously they're everywhere. They live in the ruins, they hang out at monuments, they pester old women for food, they're even on postcards (which some lucky friends of mine will be receiving..). Coincidentally I was wearing a pair of cat earrings while in Rome just because they were the first pair I saw before I left. The combination of the earrings and squealing every time I saw a cat ... I got some looks. But hey, I squeal at dogs too. I squeal at a lot of things. I really should stop squealing in general.
The last night we were in Rome, I picked up some boxed wine from the nearby grocery store (it's surprisingly better than American boxed wine, and it's cheaper) and Angie and I bonded with some of our hostel roommates from Denmark and Chile. It was one of my favorite nights in Rome, and pretty much the best hostel experience I've had so far in Europe. I definitely left Rome with a full heart.
And now, I must finished packing up my room as it is currently 1:43am as I write this, and I leave in the morning for a short weekend at Angie's Oma's house, following the much anticipated Berlin/Dublin trip, the final adventure in my European experience!