Monday, June 27, 2011

The Unending Adventures of Hula Hoop and Hawaiian Lion

That’s right fan(s), today is your lucky day. I am creating a blog post, as we speak. You have Jessica Kennedy to thank for this, as she insisted that I blog about our trip to Hawaii. Yes, we just got finished spending a week in Hawaii with my father and stepmother. It was fantabulous and sunny and Hawaiian and all of those lovely things. We know it’s you.

Alright, I shall try to begin at the beginning and end at the ending. This will be quite difficult, as Jessica is currently sleeping next to me and we all know I can’t remember anything without her. However, I shall attempt nonetheless.

We arrived in Kona on Sunday, June 19, 2011, full of hopes and dreams and confusion. The confusion was mostly on my end because I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Hawaii, but I was pretty sure that the weather would at least be nice. So, naturally, as soon as I step foot on the tarmac, it starts raining. I was quickly caught up to speed on the fact that it rains in Hawaii. Judge my ignorance if you must, I certainly did.

Our timeshare was fancy and pantsy, what with the pool and the sharing of time. There were also golf courses afoot. We couldn’t check in immediately so we went on an expedition, which culminated at the Macaroni Grill (trust me; this was a very Hawaiian thing to do). Once we were able to check in, we settled in and then decided that we wanted to go check out the pool. So we did, we drank bizarrely green drinks and proceeded to feel very Hawaiian.

The next day (Monday) we wanted to see a beach. I’d never been on a Hawaiian beach (as this was my first trip to Hawaii) and I refused to believe that we were actually in Hawaii until I went to the beach. So I drove Jessie and myself up to Hapuna Beach State Park and we immediately went to the nearest hotel bar because, when I say I wanted to go to the beach, each and every one of you should know exactly what I mean by that. We were introduced to spiced mango daiquiris and proceeded to fall in love with ourselves. General drunkenness and frolicking ensued.

The next day we had scheduled a helicopter tour of the volcano, which necessitated driving to Hilo. We made the two hour long trek to the other side of the island, by way of Tex’s which furnished us with delicious malasadas. We also believe in the adage “waste not, want not” so we made a point of utilizing all sides of the highway. The helicopter tour was fun and clydey and I got motion sick. Also, lava is my favorite color of orange. We went on a “tour” of the Mauna Loa factory and consumed macadamia nuts to the point of illness. At this point, you should know I wouldn’t joke about a thing like that. My dad cooked Korean barbecue for dinner and merriment was had by all.

Wednesday, Jessie and I had an adventurous dolphin swim/snorkeling tour scheduled. So we woke up super early and we drove out to Puako bay to swim with the dolphins by way of a zodiac. I kept building it up, telling everyone how I’d always wanted to swim with dolphins for my ENTIRE life and I was going to tame the dolphins with my eyes and they would make me their queen. I was quite sure of this. Turns out, I wound up on top of a group of about 100 dolphins, by myself, watching them swim off into the murky depths and simultaneously came to terms with the fact that I’m afraid of dolphins. The snorkeling part of the tour was fun though. We saw a multitude of colorful fish and saw turtles being groomed by tiny fishies on a coral reef.

We spent the rest of the daylight at the beach and then drove out to downtown Kona to experience the Big Island Nightlife Scene. As it turns out, the Big Island Nightlife Scene is not all it’s cracked up to be on a Wednesday night, and it wasn’t cracked up to be anything. We were carded and told that we look like we’re 42 years of age simultaneously, which would have been impressive, if it weren’t offensive.

We went back to the beach on Thursday and spent the day hanging out and making friends with Luther and Froilan, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel bartenders. Now, I feel I should mention that we were not guests of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. In order to purchase drinks from this hotel, we were required to conceal this fact. Also, I had my dad’s credit card and wished to be able to use it. The only way to surmount all of these obstacles was to become friends with the bartenders. Luther was this large Hawaiian dude who seemed legit and liked listening to our stories. If you are friends with me on The Facebook, you will be able to view a video reenactment of one such story, as told to my father. If you’re not friends with me on The Facebook, then you should either friend request me or stop reading immediately.

Froilan is a tiny Filipino gentleman who refused to believe that Jessie is, herself, Filipina until 3 days after they met when he realized she had developed a tan. He believed I was Filipina the first day he met me. I just have one of those faces. My dad eventually showed up at the bar, we all drank mango margaritas and then swam out into the ocean to touch a buoy, just because we could. Did you know that Hawaiian beaches have a flag that they put up to indicate that there are EITHER strong winds OR jellyfish? The flag does not specify which. All that can be said in response to this fact is: omg.

On Friday, we went to a new beach, the Mauna Kea. This beach was extremely fancy and we made friends with the bartender, John, and proceeded to be hit upon by men with womanly names who invited us to go out with them in their minivan. Obvi, we told them we’d meet them somewhere we never intended to go. We swam around in the water and drank mango margaritas and fell in love with ourself. Oh! And we made friends with the finches and fed them mixed nuts.

On Friday night, we all went out on a glass bottom dinner cruise. There was an open bar and a delicious buffet and a hula dancer and it was quite exciting. Apparently my dad hula danced. Obviously, he made a point of doing it when I wasn’t looking so I can neither confirm nor deny. I do, however, have it on very good authority that his hips don’t lie.

Saturday morning, we were up early to head to Hawi for a ziplining adventure. It was SO FUN. I love ziplining. A major motivation of mine is to look for any excuse to leap off of a cliff. We all had a blasty blast and took videos, which might make their way onto The Facebook, if you’re lucky. After ziplining, we had a delicious lunch at Café Pesto and then Jessie and I made one last trip to Hapuna Beach. We were sad to say goodbye, but we had to leave eventually to go out to downtown Kona to find out if it was actually capable of being exciting.

We drove to Kona and grabbed dinner at Bubba Gump (delicious, as usual) and then walked over to Lulu’s for drinks and dancing. Luther the bartender showed up and offered to buy us drinks. I reiterated the fact that we had boyfriends. He indicated that he was aware of this fact. I asked him why he wanted to buy us drinks then. He said that they were non-alcoholic. Because, obviously, when I drive 30 miles to go to a bar on a Saturday night, what I’m really looking for is a quality smoothie. Luther, we know it’s you.

Eventually, we drove home and slept a bit before waking up to pack and head out on Sunday. We checked out of the hotel, wtf-ed each other, and then drove down to Kona to explore the area during the daytime, as our flight didn’t leave until the evening. We visited the Kona brewery and drank a lot of Kona coffee and looked for classy belly button rings.

When we got to the airport, we realized that Jessie and I didn’t have seat assignments. So, we waited, awkwardly, until we were allowed to ask for them. Eventually, we peeked around a corner to see what was what and were met with a man loudly exclaiming, “Ma’am, MA’AM”, to which Jessie replied “don’t worry, she’s not trying to cut in front of you”. His response to this friendly information was to icily glare at the both of us and slowly enunciate: “I. Didn’t. Say. That.” Now, he was trying his damndest to be intimidating and rude, and ordinarily, I we would have let him think that he had been. But it was just too much so Jessie and I proceeded to crack up in his face. Sorry, Angry Airport Guy, you took it a bit too far.

Soon, my dad’s patience wore thin and he stormed over to the ticket agent lady to give her a piece of his mind. Somehow, this resulted in Jessie and me getting bumped up to first class. We didn’t know this until we got on the plane and just assumed that we were being put into the emergency exit row, as per usual. To this assumption, I gave the ticketing agent lady a knowing nod and a wink. In retrospect, she probably thought I knew about the upgrade. Story of my life: if I look like I know what’s going on, it’s probably because I think something else is going on and I’m reacting inappropriately to that thing that I think is going on.

So now, here we are, in first class flying back to Los Angeles. If you wish to view picture/video evidence of our excursions, please feel free to peruse my facebook. Also, if you would like to see my Luther impression in person, I am always happy to oblige. Especially if you’re willing to submit to Jessie recording your reaction.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's not jokes

FINALLY. You all get to hear about Ireland! I know you were on the edges of your seats. So. What I failed to mention in my last post was that upon our arrival at our hostel in Dublin, we found that we had apparently been upgraded from a 12 bed mixed dorm to a 4 bed female dorm. Not only that, but the other two beds were empty! Nice. Also, the shower had great water pressure. And our beds were a couple of the most inviting beds you've ever seen. Crisp white linens with a fluffy down comforter. What I'm trying to say here is, we lived like kings. Yes, kings.

After I posted last, we went to a pub called, I believe, Bachelor's? I actually have no idea. I should have asked Jessie while I had the chance. We were starving so I grabbed a Guinness and Jessie grabbed a cydrrr. Then, we were still starving, so we purchased food. Such delicious, heavy, heart-warming food. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, at our corner booth, listening to live music and being all Irish. We were saying to each other, "we belong here, yes, our Irish roots have served us well".

Now, I feel at this point I should back up a bit and share a little tale. A few days before Ireland, Jessie had been explaining to me a theory, conceived by a friend of hers. The theory was that attractive women lead entirely different lives than less attractive people because they don't have to take "no" for an answer. This changes the dynamic of our lives drastically and we become complacent about the ease with which we live. He told Jessie to appreciate her influence. She told me to do the same.

Deep, right? Fast forward to the pub (or poob, as Dubliners call it. Even though they might take issue with that translation). Jessie and I are thinking to ourselves, this buttered bread is DELICIOUS. Yes, we must have more. So we request another order of the bread that came with our stews. The bartender brings it. We request another order. He suggests crisps. Okaaaay, fine. Crisps. We request another order of the bread. He refuses. Cool, thanks. Wait, what? But we'll pay for the bread. It's not about the money, apparently. It's too time consuming to butter bread. Well, what if you just butter a bunch at once and then we won't ask again? No.

Theory debunked. Feeling incredibly awkward and much more ourselves, we decided to go back to our hostel and sleep in our deliciously comfortable beds. 15 hours later, we woke up, ready to tackle the day! We went on the internet for a bit in our hostel and then headed next door to grab lunch at the pub. Two steps later, a couple of Irish guys have stopped us and asked us if we want to grab drinks. Ummm, yeah, okay, I guess, sure, whatever, I don't know, yeah, okay, fine.

So we wind up in the bar with the Irish guys, drinking beer and eating sandwiches. We talk for a few hours and then they offer to walk us to the Guinness factory. Cool, Irish tour guides who buy us beer. Not complaining. The Guinness factory was great. We romped in barley. There was romping. Also, we drank Guinness in the gravity bar. No thanks to the Irish guys, who couldn't seem to locate the gravity bar without my assistance. Not surprised.

After the Guinness factory, they took us to Temple Bar which is this super tall bar with a million stories and an underground dance club. So we sat, we drank, we laughed. Particularly at this crazed Hungarian former-male stripper who was wasted and intent upon giving us our own personal show. High-larious. He kept repeating, "I am speak little English". Me too dude, me too.

Then we went downstairs drank some more, until Jessie and I realized that there was an EMPTY dance floor downstairs with a DJ. How did we not realize this before? Our own personal DJ? Don't mind if we do. So we started dancing with our eyes closed, as we are wont to do, and got lost in the music for a while. When we finally opened our eyes, we realized that the club was packed. On a Monday night. There is no other logical explanation. Jessie and I made the club cool. Dammit.

So we bailed because the club was way too cool for us. We went to sleep and dreamt of the Blarney Stone. We woke up the next morning, ready to hop on a bus and kiss that stone like it's never been kissed before. Except... Cork (where the stone is located) is 4 hours away. And the last bus to come home leaves in 4 hours. Meaning we'd have to take a bus there and then take a bus back, without ever seeing the stone, or not go to Cork at all. Those were our options. Okay, so no Blarney Stone then. We needed a plan B. What was it? If you didn't answer food, then you really haven't been paying any attention to this blog.

So we walked, on a search for afternoon tea that would first take us to a restaurant serving traditional Irish breakfast. It was exactly what we needed. Even the waitress was adorable. However, Jessie ruined everything when she asked her for scoins. Yes, scoins. Not scones. So offensive.

Speaking of offensive, that was exactly how we decided to walk from the breakfast place to the tea place. We marched awkwardly the entire way, in a very offensive manner. I choose not to describe it on the blog but if you request a demonstration in person, Jessie or I will be happy to oblige.

We finally arrived at afternoon tea after glaring at a number of locals, and proceeded to get comfortable. Because we were going to be there for a while. At one point, they closed the restaurant. We didn't leave. We didn't leave until Jessie had ordered more tea than she could possibly drink. Yep, one steaming pot of tea on the table and we were ready to skedaddle.

Then we went souvenir shopping. I almost had a nervous breakdown. The choices were innumerable! But I made it out alive. Then we went back to our hostel to have one last relaxing shower before our last night in Europe. Ah yes, everything was going according to plan. Except, we get back to the hostel and the front desk girl stops us. "Um, didn't you guys leave?" No. We're still here. "Oh well, we thought you left and so we took all of your things out of your room and put them in the storage room". Nope, still as present as before. What exactly did you do?

So she called around and pretended not to know what she had done (she was the one who had checked us in). Turns out she had put us in the wrong room and we had not actually been upgraded. Although, I choose to believe that she noticed that the 4 person female dorm was going to be empty for two days so she made a "mistake" that resulted in us having two wonderful nights in our own room. So we grabbed our stuff out of the luggage room and moved it into our real room. Met some nice Canadian girls and took a slightly less-savory shower. But eventually we were clean and settled in. No harm, no fowl.

We then went to the poob and had a few brrs and cydrrs. I still have dreams about the Guinness in Dublin. Man was it good. Then we were hungry and it was super late and please don't judge us we went to McDonald's. Yes, that happened. Speaking of fowl, Jessie got 7 chicken nuggets in her 6 piece meal! The luck of the Irish. We hung out for a bit, went back to our hostel, hung out some more and then slept for a couple hours. Woke up super early to go to the airport and parted ways, as we were taking separate flights home.

Now, for the heavy stuff. Our trip to Europe was life-changing in so many ways. It reminded me of my love for the continent. I've always known Europe is a part of me, and this trip awakened that ardor within. I learned a few things that were lost on me during my last trip. I'm less enamored with french men. Frankly, I'd even go so far as to say that I'm completely disenchanted with the whole group. Perhaps this is for the best. I'm still madly in love with the language. I've also learned that I don't have to be nice to every man that tries to start up a conversation with me. I used to fear being "that girl", the bitchy one who wouldn't give a less attractive man the time of day. But at this point, if a guy is giving me a creepy vibe, I don't feel any obligation to give him an opportunity to insinuate himself into my evening.

But even more important than the personal growth I experienced during the trip, was the growth of my friendship with Jessie. We didn't really know that this crazy social experiment would work. 25 days with someone? After having experienced that length of time, I can tell you that with almost anyone else, that would have ended in a fiery inferno within a week. For that experience to work, two people have to be completely comfortable living inside each other's heads for the entire trip. Thankfully, we both realized that we like being inside each other's heads. We dug around and poked and prodded and learned things about one another and ourselves. I feel like I understand Jessie and myself more than ever. Sometimes you just get lucky.

And now, a celebrity post from Jessie herself:

For some reason, Patty decided to jeopardize the popularity of her blog and asked me to write about my experience upon returning to LA. I’ll start by saying that everything went well checking into my flight from Ireland to Chicago. There was a perfect amount of time during my layover to go through customs, to have a nice sit-down lunch, and then check into my flight from Chicago to LA. I had also been thinking about how all I wanted to do when I got home was sit down and watch good movies all day. So, who was sitting next to me on my last flight? A film student who was more than willing to give me a list of no less than 23 movies that I must see once I get back. All in all, everything was going smoothly… suspiciously smoothly. When I saw Sarahi waiting for me outside my terminal, I told her “I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost my luggage. Everything has been going way too swimmingly today.” So we waited patiently by my baggage carousel and saw person after person reach for their bag and go off on their merry way. Then, there were two bags left on that conveyor belt and neither of them were mine. Was I surprised? Of course not.

So we went to the baggage claim office to report the situation. As we got in line, we noticed a plump, perhaps mentally challenged, older Asian man sitting on a bench inside the office. Since we were waiting in line anyway, Sarahi and I tried to do some catching up. All of the sudden, our conversation was interrupted by this extremely loud fart. We looked behind us and see the old Asian man grinning back at us. If you know anything about me, you know that I am not one to hide my emotions, so I burst into an obnoxiously loud fit of laughter. Sarahi doesn’t contain herself either. The guy in front of us tried to be polite and tried to ignore the hilarity of what was happening, but I’m pretty sure my giggling pushed him over the edge, so he started chuckling too. Every 30 seconds, Sarahi and I turned to look at the Asian guy and he was still sitting there with that giant grin plastered onto his face. We continued this process up until I was the next person in line. By the way, you are welcome guy-in-front-of-me-in-line. Lesson learned. Sometimes, it’s okay to laugh.

I filed the report on my bag, and then Sarahi took me home. I got a call on the way informing me that LAX was able to track down my bag and that they would deliver it to me as soon as possible. At approximately 11pm that night, I figured out why LAX purposely lost my bag. They were thinking “Jess, we know you’ve had a long day. We know you’ve been in and out of airports and airplanes for the last 24 hours. We know that you would prefer not to have to carry your bag home even though it was only 22 lbs. We would be delighted to take care of that for you. That way, we can lurk, we can find out where you live, and above all else, our creepy deliveryman can see you in your pj’s late at night.” And that’s exactly what happened. I’m not sorry about it. LAX, you know things.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So. Paris. We ended up having to rip ourselves out of bed to make it to the bus station so we could make our flight. The bus station was disgusting, full of flies and everything(one) smelled awful. We were exhausted and slept intermittently throughout the travel experience and finally wound up in Paris in the late morning. Except we weren't allowed to check in until 4. Four. Quattro. Cuatro. Quatre. Do you understand what I'm saying? Terrible check in time. ABC, Le Village, ABC.

So we decided to head out and about and grab some food and get acquainted with the culture. Little did we know, the culture was not particularly interested in getting acquainted with us. We grabbed a table at a bistro and attempted to people watch. Until we got stared down by the waiter for attempting to order in English. So we spent the next hour timidly sipping our beers and carrying on a conversation in Spanish with an 80 year old man named Javier. He invited us to tango.

Thus, in spite of the fact that we were hungry, we decided not to give our business to the establishment with the snooty waiter. We marched on and found another restaurant. This time, I used my remedial French skills to try and get something going on. This waiter found my French adorable and even gave me a few corrections. By the end of the meal, we had eaten a couple of the best sandwiches EVER and were getting free wine. Don't ever say Jessie and I crumble in the face of adversity.

The waiter also recommended a place for us to go out that night. It was called Le Queen. Now, I know what you're thinking. "That sounds like a gay club, Patty". Well you would be absolutely correct. Except it was ladies night. Free champagne sporadically throughout the evening? Why yes, Le Queen, don't mind if I do. There were also some very attractive male dancers. I might have danced with one. Okay both. And the hotter one told me to go to the club he was working at the following evening, Le Duplex. Jessie and I were getting a quasi-gay vibe from him, but he was cute and we were looking for somewhere to go anyway.

The day after Le Queen, we went to the Louvre to spend hours taking in some art and being generally inspired. And we were. Except, replace "Louvre" with "Starbucks in the entrance to the Louvre" and replace "art" with "coffee". Because that's what we did. All day. Yes, we might have attempted to enter the Louvre at 5:40, only to discover that you can't enter after 5:30. We might have had to leave the Louvre without seeing any actual art. Some of you might think that sounds like a wasted day. But you'd be wrong.

After leaving the Louvre, we went outside to grab sandwiches and coffee and sit in the grassy sculpture garden out front. We talked for a few more hours and watched adorable children chase one another and throw tantrums. Oh and we made friends with some birds. Only about 50 of them. NBD. Also, I feel I should mention that I love the sandwiches in France. You really can't go wrong. I kept ordering brie sandwiches. Yes, just slices of brie on a baguette. So. Freaking. Good. Jessie had a lot more variety about her sandwich orders. Which is as to be expected.

Then we went back to the hostel to get ready to go out to Le Duplex. While we were getting ready, Jessie gave me my birthday present at exactly midnight. Because it was my birthday. But I'm sure you already knew that. Except you Mom. Since you still have yet to wish me a happy birthday. It's been two days and still nothing. Nice.

We went to the club and waited in line for a bit. They weren't really interested in letting me cut on my birthday. Well fine. But they got a bit more excited about it after we had waited in line for a few minutes. I didn't really mind it, we met some coolish frenchies. People were actually turned away from the club for not being attractive enough. Weird France, weird.

We danced all night long and ended up seeing the cute dancer guy. Yeah he was gay. But it was good because we were unamused with everyone else in the club, which allowed us to keep dancing together and feeling ourselves, until the metro was about to open up again. We were on our way to the metro when this random taxi driver named Sam told us he'd take us home for free because he was done working for the day. Sweet. Free birthday taxi. Then we got back to the hostel and the front desk guy let us eat breakfast two hours before it was officially open. Sweet, early birthday breakfast.

Then we slept for a bit and when we woke up we decided to try Louvre round deux. We metro-ed over and actually made it in this time. We wandered around for a few hours and then Jessie wanted to see some African art. So we went over to Porte des Lions (another area of the museum), only to find that it was closed. But there were these two reeeeally inviting-looking benches in this lovely little niche overlooking the Louvre courtyard. So we napped on them. Duh.

After the nap we went over to the restaurant from the first day with the nice waiter because I loved those sandwiches. And I wanted another one. And it was my birthday so I could do whatever I wanted. After dinner, we intended to go to Moulin Rouge and purchased some wine so that we could mentally prepare ourselves for the adventures in store. Well, we ended up just staying on the terrace drinking until 3:30 in the morning. But honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Easily my best birthday ever. Except for maybe the day I was born. Even that.

The next day we woke up and trained over to Eurodisney. We had SO MUCH FUN running around and acting like little kids. Yeah, we bought Minnie Mouse ears. Be jealous. Also, their version of Space Mountain is cooler than ours. We had dinner at the Blue Lagoon restaurant overlooking Pirates of the Caribbean. The food and the wine were soooo good. It was the perfect fancy birthday dinner. Plus, before we got dinner, we went on Pirates and Jessie roared at everyone. You'd have to experience the roar to appreciate what that means. It was super awkward. I.e. hilarious. I felt like the experience of laughing at how pissed off everyone was, was a birthday present in and of itself.

After Eurodisney, we went home and stopped at the Eiffel Tower. It was extremely touristic. I ate a kebab and spilled it all over myself, necessitating actually washing my clothes when I got back to the hostel. Did that, we got ready to go out and we headed toward Minx, which was a club our front desk guy recommended. Club recommendation FAIL. The club was closed. Forever. So we taxi-ed over to Le Queen, went in, danced for a bit and then left. On the way home, we met this weirdo named Ben who kept trying to give Jessie free Sephora. Ew.

Then we flew to Dublin and we are currently in our hostel, freshly showered and getting blogging out of the way so we can go to a pub. Brrr and cydrrrr, here we come!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

¿Te gustas?

So kayaking and snorkeling went well. If you call a swarm of jellyfish well. Which I obviously do.

It all started quite unassumingly. I saw something that looked like a white piece of trash bobbing innocently on a rock. I peered into the depths and after a lot of pondering, decided that it was a jellyfish. I told the guide (BJ) and he dove down and confirmed my suspicions. I wasn't surprised and had already named the jellyfish squisherwhistle.

BJ swam us over to another area to get away from squisherwhistle. Which I thought was a bit dramatic, but I suppose that's why I'm not the guide. Thank god he swam us over there, because we were promptly surrounded by a swarm of yellow jellyfish with purple spots. Which also sting. So we cried uncle and swam toward shore. On the way, I saw a small pink jellyfish with loooong clear tentacles looming menacingly... A FOOT in front of my face. Something about that jellyfish struck fear into my heart. I think it was the color.

Also, we kayaked through some caves on the way back to shore. Jessie and I led the way into a cave that was pretty much exactly the width of a kayak. And exactly the darkness of black. The Australian guys with us wanted to keep going so we let them go around us because we weren't too keen on sitting in a pitch black cave/coffin on a kayak of doom. When they returned, they complained that there wasn't anything to see in the cave. Um, duh?

We slept on the hour drive back to Barcelona and then walked to the "Travel Bar" to eat dinner. Jessie might have infected some guy that wanted to finish her bread for her. Did I mention we're sick? Just the plague, nothing to worry about. Before we went out to go kayaking we had purchased some cold medicine that contained a european dose of pseudoephedrine. The only side effect I got was alertness but Jessie felt weird for days after taking the meds. So we won't be giving her those pills anymore.

As a result of the medicine/lack of sleep/day long workout, we decided to sleep it up. You know, just a short nap before we were going to go out to the club. 17 hours later, it's noon and I have no idea what day it is. I start freaking out because I think our flight to Paris is that night. Took me about 3 hours to realize it was the 16th and our flight is on the 18th. My sense of time has taken a nosedive in Europe and it wasn't so great to begin with.

Upon waking, we did laundry (cleanliness is an underappreciated quality, lemme tell you) and went to a cafe. Drank up some sangria and befriended a waiter who invited us to a fiesta. Didn't make it to that, but I am pleased to report that we managed to successfully contest our bill when they charged us for one too many liters of sangria. Yes, we drink THAT many liters of sangria. But not so many that we don't know when we're being overcharged. We're high functioning alcoholics.

Then we went to the hostel, got ready to actually go out and... get this... we went out. Yep, we stopped at a smoky bar and ordered cheap beer and got free shots of tequila to boot. Then onward to the metro to find the club. Got distracted by some kebab and then we were on the road again. We managed to take one metro before they closed the whole system on us. So now we're stranded atop La Rambla with no real clue how to get where we're going. Thankfully, this guy lied to us and told us we were an hour and a half from the club we were aiming for and convinced us to go to his, called DMix.

We made it into the club and took some chupitos and befriended the DJs. Got them to play Stereo Love. We were a little offended when they wouldn't play it on repeat. But all was forgiven when they gave us free drink coupons and even told the security guard it was cool for us to come and go into their DJ booth as we pleased. We're incredibly cool people. So cool, in fact, that we managed to develop a foolproof method of keeping the men at bay. BOTH of us dance with our eyes closed. Genius. However, eventually, we made friends with some french boys and they taught us how to french dance. Which is a lot like normal dancing, except fancier.

On the way home, we tried to take the metro but when Jessie fed her ticket into the machine, it made some spastic noises and... no ticket. Probably had something to do with the fact that we were sweating all over them. The guy let us onto the metro and told us where to go to get a new ticket, implying we should go right that minute. Well what time is it? 5:00. Well what time does the office open? 8:00. Hahahaha, no.

The next day, around noon, we wake up and walk over to the metro office. They give us shiny new tickets and we walk down La Rambla, stopping at an upstairs cafe. We managed to snag the one window table with a view of the street and sat eating paella, drinking beer/sangria and people watching. Despues, we walked further down La Rambla, stopped at an outdoor market and smelled some very fishy smells and saw some very fishy things.

We continued down to the beach and successfully avoided some very expensive establishments in our quest for an outdoor cafe. We eventually found one and enjoyed tapas and sangria and the company of children. I.e. one another. Also, got called guapa for about the one millionth time. Not complaining.

We then metroed to get some more kebab. We're pretty huge fans of kebab. We tried to fight it for a while, pretending it was only a drunken excursion, but today we admitted to ourselves and each other that no matter how much we ever love a man, he could never surpass kebab.

We have a flight to France in a few short hours (flight leaves at 6:55 AM, so we'll need to catch the bus at around 2 AM). Should be quite the adventure...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sometimes, you gotta take a taxi

So we're in Barcelona now. Yes, I'm aware I didn't blog throughout our entire stay in Ibiza. Ibiza's not a very bloggy place. So I suppose I must reach back into the bowels of my memory and talk about our last moments in Rome.

The next day after the last post, Jessie and I wanted to experience another quintessentially Roman day, so we wandered/ate/caffeinated. That night, we went to the Spanish Steps to meet Robbie and his friend Clyde. We saw a free opera and then went on a third walking tour of Rome. What can we say, we like to walk.

We wound up in Trastevere and stopped at a bar for birre. Also, Jessie and I took Clyde to get chocolate shots. The three of us decided we wanted to head over to La Maison and see what was what. So I took everyone on a little Tevere adventure and we eventually wound up at La Maison. Or some sort of old person convention, masquerading as La Maison. People were, no joke, waltzing in this club. The club looked exactly the same. Same lighting, same couches, same dance floor. But with waltzing. We marched in there and decided, "you know what? We're going to talk to the DJ about switching this up". If only I could post a picture of this DJ so you could experience the same realization that we had when we turned and looked at her and realized... she was an old woman. Looking very classy in her string of pearls. Looking less than willing to play anything other than Italian waltzy music. Okaaaaay, so we waltzed.

After the waltz, we decided to head to Mood to see if ALL of the clubs in Rome had simultaneously gone pazzo. Nope, Mood looked poppin. Alright, va bene, we entered. There wasn't anything really wrong with Mood that night, but there wasn't anything really right about it either. I began dancing with my eyes closed, which I've found does a pretty effective job of keeping the boys away. Until I realized that Jessie and Clyde had ditched me in my dancing stupor. Also, upon opening my eyes, I realized there was a random Italian dude dancing in front of me but not touching me so that everyone in the club knew we were together. Except me. Not creepy at all. But they were upstairs getting fresh air, so crisis averted. We walked Clyde home, might have planted some ideas in front desk guy's head and boom, we were out.

The next day we checked out and flew to Ibiza. Romans are pretty serious about Ibiza, fyi. Especially the flight there. The party does not start in Ibiza. It starts as soon as the plane takes off. Don't make the same mistakes we did.

The title of this post is a profound statement uttered when we were unable to locate our hotel in Ibiza without the aid of a taxi. But I'm inclined to believe it's applicable to other areas of life. Even those not involving taxis. Also, I think it's profound that in spite of the fact that we hired a taxi, we still managed to get lost on the way to our hostel. Apparently there are two "Monterrey Apartments" in Ibiza. Naturally, our driver thought it appropriate to drop us off at the non-hostel, private living establishments. Joke was on him, because we are huge fans of wandering through the desert looking for hostels.

When we finally made it to the hostel, we headed straight to the hotel bar. Obvi. We started drinking, laying out by the pool, drinking, making friends, drinking, etc. A few of these friends were Italians who were interested in purchasing chupitos (shots) for us and taking a taxi to San Antonio. Nothing wrong with that. After a whirlwind of Italian and chupitos and gin, somehow we found ourselves in San Antonio. We wandered a bit, danced a bit, sometimes simultaneously, and ended up with glow-in-the-dark paint on our faces. At one point, we hit the mother lode at a kebab stand. Soooo good. Idk whether to credit actual deliciousness or drunkenness, but we were definitely not sorry about the kebabs. In the process of spilling our kebabs all over ourselves, we managed to attract a group of men. Because, trust me, Jessie and I are never more attractive than when our feet are strewn with kebab.

The men turned out to be American Berkeley law school grads. We hung out with them and somehow wound up at a beach and just generally had a grand old time until the sun came up. Then the guys went to sleep and Jessie and I sat on the beach drinking liters of sangria. Yes, plural. No, I'm not comfortable quantifying just how plural. We gazed out at the water and took in both G and R rated sights, sometimes both.

Eventually we decided to make something of ourselves and go out to Amnesia that night. We got all dolled up and went out to grab a taxi. Somehow we got distracted by some french guys...? Idk. Jessie wanted me to make sure that everyone knows we FORGOT to go to Amnesia. That joke was alllll JK.

The next day we rented a vespa so that we could explore the island. Yes, I can drive a vespa. Or, at least, I can now. Anyway, we vespa-ed over to Cala Tarida which is a beach on the west side of the island so that we could watch the sunset. We wound up at an incredible restaurant with a view of the beach and the coldest beers I've had in recent memory. Jessie drank fancy island drinks. You gotta understand, she is a very fancy girl.

After the sun had set, we drove back to the hotel to get ready to actually go out to a club. We had plans to go to Pacha because David Guetta was spinning. Muy bien, we were excited. We got dolled up again and went to pregame with Roberto (the bartender) and muchos chupitos. We ended up meeting Cedricle at the bar and and making plans to roll out to Pacha with him. Ummm, yeah. We ditched him. Whoops.

So anyway, we get to Pacha and have to pay mucho dinero to get in. The club was a very fun club, but after paying so much to get in, we found the price:fun ratio to be a bit on the painful side. Whatevsies, we saw DG and he looked old/confident. Above all else, he wasn't sorry about it.

The next day, we went out on the town and got henna tattoos. I ended up getting a huge tribal on my back to be ironic. Jessie got something very cute and dainty on her leg which suits her perfectly. Then the henna guy wanted to give me a free butterfly on my hip. Which was all well and good, except now I'm not so sure that the butterfly might be so ironic as to have brought me into a realm where I look like I actually would choose such a tattoo. I'm hoping that the tribal balances it all out and brings it home.

We drove around for a bit on the vespa, gassed up and wound up at a Scottish bar/pub/restaurant thing with a live entertainment. A very large, excited, Scottish man named Ray Moss. Dinner was tasty and we ordered a Punky (penguin full of ice cream) for dessert. Not as good as our french/persian dessert, but I make it a rule to never pass up an opportunity to eat from a penguin.

After dinner we went back to our hotel and Cedricle came over with rum and we had mas chupitos. Then we sent him away and fell asleep, some more awkwardly than others.

The next day (today) we had a flight to catch so we returned the vespa. I'm leaving out the fact that it poured rain last night and so the vespa didn't start. So I had the pleasure of walking the vespa about a mile back to the rental place. A very effective early morning workout, highly recommended. We flagged down a taxi and managed to arrive at the airport. We felt way too cool because we were actually able to CHECK our bags for free and so we drank cava in the airport bar to celebrate. Don't even pretend you're surprised.

We arrived in Barcelona, psychically found our way to the hostel and attempted to book a boat tour. But that was a no-go because the kitchen burnt down. Uh? But it was actually fortuitous arson because it led us to booking a snorkeling/kayaking adventure instead. Which is much more our style and we're pretty excited about the whole endeavor.

Ahora, tapas. Despues, todo lo demás.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This is the life

Jessie's in the room asleep right now and it's giving me serious writer's block. I can't blog without her anymore because so many things happen every day and it all runs together in my head. Jessie's the only one who can keep it straight.

Whew, she just showed up and we've managed to write down a list of everything that has happened. I'm tempted to just publish the list. Anywho, here are a few things that happened that I failed to mention in my last post:

First, when we were hanging out with the guys in Trastevere, Jessie and I walked away for a moment to buy new beers. When we were crossing the street, this Italian guy stopped us. "Excuse me. I am a very very straight man and I want you to know I think you are very attractive. So I want to know. Would you sleep with me right now?" My response? "Not right now..." "OHHHH, so MAYBE LATER!!!!! Okay, thank you!!!" And he leaves. Uhhhhh, okaaaaaaaayyyyyyy...

Also, there is a phenomenon in Trastevere where street performer guys yell GUARDA right before they perform a trick. Jessie and I saw one while we were waiting for dinner at Dar Poeta. Not only do they perform tricks, but their tricks have very sexual undertones. Jessie and I obviously support this.

Now, onto the chronology. After blogging last, Jessie and I went into the center to explore some monuments and eat some of the food that I've come to know and love. I took her to Largo Argentina to show her the baby cat sanctuary. We both chose one cat each to represent who we are and took pictures of them. If I were to show you the pictures, you would have no difficulty deciding who belonged to which cat.

We then walked to my study center which was closed, but I was able to show Jessie the piazza. Then I took her to the enoteca by my center and we drank cappuccini. Then onward to my favorite gelateria in the center. We walked to piazza navona and decided to grab dinner. We wound up at this random restaurant slightly off the piazza and immediately befriended the waiter. His name was California. He has a real name and a) I don't remember it and b) I don't want to. We had pasta carbonara and it was alright. Also, we drank wine because that's how we do.

After piazza navona, we started wandering toward the trevi fountain. We passed through this free limoncello tasting shop. I wanted Jessie to try it to see if she hates it as much as I do. She doesn't. No one does really, I'm still not sure why I have such a violent reaction to this vile liquid. But we met this guy from cuba who was doing the tasting and he asked us to meet him back at the shop at around midnight and he was going to take us to a concert. That was about the fifth date that we've stood up in Rome. I'm not sorry about it.

On the way to the Trevi, we saw a lady selling bracelets on the street. She was weaving together words and then tying the bracelets on the customer. I had an epiphany, I was going to get a bracelet that said Jessica and Jessie was going to get one that said Patty. Jessie looked at me like I was retarded and said we should get two bracelets that say GUARDA. Ummm, that's what I meant.

So we ended up having to chase this lady around Rome while she made our bracelets because she was running from the polizie. A+ for authenticity. But we have our bracelets now and y'all better guarda.

Then we found ourselves at la fontana di trevi. We took pictures and basically stood there looking particularly attractive. We ended up befriending a guy we had asked to take a picture of us. His name was Paolo. He was the least creepy Paolo we've met in Rome. Yes, we meet that many people.

After trevi, Jessie and I walked to Trastevere because she wanted to see the lungotevere (a series of tents set up along the river that are basically a bunch of carnival games and bars/restaurants). We wandered around for a bit and I'm sure drank some. I honestly don't remember but I think, statistically speaking, we were drinking. Then we started heading over to La Maison which was a club right next to Castel St'Angelo. We had asked California where it was located and he had implied that he was going to show up there too. Not worried about it.

On the way to La Maison, Robbie and the guys randomly drove by in a limo and we said hello. What are the odds that this would happen? To other people, maybe 10%. Jessie and me? 96%.

We finally got to La Maison and walked right in. We were not dressed for a club at all and yet we waltzed right through all of their bouncers. Idk why but for some reason Jessie and I are treated like celebrities in Rome. Is it any wonder we love it so much?

We sat down for a bit and ended up making friends with some girls. You could say they hit on us. You could say they didn't hit on us. But you can't say they didn't love us, because they did. Then came the boys. First was Paoletto Gay. We called him this for so many reasons. He spoke English pretty well. I mean, he still sounded Italian but when we complimented his accent, he was all "Oh I know". Ew Paoletto, grab some modesty while your ego's up there. Paoletto's friend Massimilliano was also hanging out with us. Jessie kept calling him Massimo but he didn't mind. He was just happy Jessie was talking to him. Also, California and his friend stopped by. He was very upset we weren't fawning over him.

At this point, I feel I should tell you that Jessie and I could not stop anywhere in the club for more than 10 seconds without a group of guys surrounding us and talking at us. I mean, I'm all for external validation but it began to get a bit ridiculous. And every time a new group of guys tried to talk to us one of the previous groups of guys would come over and promptly inform us how jealous they were. I wasn't aware you were allowed to be jealous since we just MET 15 minutes ago. Ugh. They kept asking us how many guys in the club we knew. All of them, Paoletto Gay, all of them.

The worst part is that there were a couple of guys that we recognized from Campo dei Fiori. These guys were particularly attractive and had been too shy to approach us at the time. But we found them at La Maison and were having a nice little conversation when no less than 3 separate guys came by and cockblocked us. Wow. Getting cockblocked: another experience you can't leave Rome without.

So anyway, we put up with the men whenever we didn't want to dance and danced whenever we didn't want to put up with the men. We adopted a finger wagging strategy when we were on the dance floor to keep the men at bay. They still surrounded us like predators but at least they weren't touching us. The guy to girl ratio in Rome is pretty absurd. You'd think it would be good for us, but when we only want to dance with each other it just makes things difficult.

Then the club closed and we sat for a few minutes watching people trip over a torn up patch of rug. Naturally, a couple of guys stopped to watch with us/hit on us. They invited us to go swimming in the Trevi. We were down, more for the swimming, less for the them. So I started walking us toward the fountain and so started the never ending tirade from this guy Derrick about how he has a motorcycle and wishes he could ride it in Rome and blah blah blah. Jessie said it and I'm repeating it because it's the perfect description: this guy was a douche. Douchus maximus. Unnecessary.

Thankfully, we lost the douchers and continued our trek to the trevi. It was about 5-6 in the morning so everything was empty. We passed through a bunch of monuments and there were no people to be seen. It was so cool to see everything in the calm of the early morning. When we finally ended up at Trevi, there were only a handful of people. Jessie and I took pictures but didn't end up being able to swim because there was a bonafide police presence. Eh well, at least my shorts are dry. Then we walked all the way back to our hostel. That's right. We walked all the way from Castel St'Angelo to Termini. Anyone who's been to Rome is shocked right now. Be impressed. Also, we made it back to our hostel just in time for breakfast at 7. Or dinner, as we've taken to calling it.

Then we woke up at around 3:30 and headed over to the Vatican. I showed Jessie the basilica and FINALLY got to climb the cupola. Anyone who read my blog before knows how hard I tried to climb that damn thing and they kept closing it on me. It was totally worth it. Jessie would call it delayed gratification. I would call it anything but.

After the Vatican, we walked to Trastevere for dinner. I got lasagna and Jessie got some seafood pasta, which she had been craving. We also had a bottle of white wine. Robbie wandered by. Of course he was on that same street at the exact same time. Not surprised. Dinner was delicious and afterward we went to the chocolate shot place and I made a date with the chocolate shot guy. Obvi didn't make it to that.

Then we went over to a bar and had a liter of white wine. The waiter sat us in the darkest back corner and brought out the check with the wine. Geez dude, a) you are probably overestimating how quickly we can drink white wine and b) it's cool, we don't like you either. Also, two random guys from La Maison stopped by. "Jessie, Katie, it's so good to see you again. Do you remember us from La Maison?" Um, no? And they left. We're kind of a big deal.

Then we started walking back to our hostel to get ready to go out and we heard the sweetest sound in the world: GUARDAAAAA. Obviously, we ran toward the call and wound up right in front of the restaurant I had been searching for the first night. Now, I love this restaurant. But I can only find it when I'm drunk. And it's also entirely appropriate that guarda called us there. We showed him our bracelets and ran inside for second dinner aka lunch. A liter of white wine and a pizza margherita later, the restaurant was closing.

At this point, we went to our hostel and got ready for the Colisseo party. And by got ready, I mean that we changed into shorts. Sexy. Then we went to the Colisseum. The bus we were on took so long to leave that I actually took a nap while waiting. Just powering up.

When we got to the Colliseum, we heard some music coming from nearby, but not where I remembered the Colliseum party being. So we wandered a bit, couldn't find the party, and ended up following the music.

It was just some random outdoor bar/club near the Colliseum but it was so late that at this point it was pretty dead. So Jessie and I just ordered a couple of flat waters and listened to the music. The waiter took pity on us and brought us some free shots and cheetos. He seemed cool, his name was Marco and he had brought us free shots so I liked him.

As the night progressed, somehow we wound up with Marco sitting at our table along with a french guy named Karim. We were trying to talk to Karim about some lady troubles he was having and Marco was asking me about my troubles. His solution? "Kiss me". Umm, slow down kiddo. Asking someone to kiss you is a pretty surefire way to guarantee that they won't ever kiss you.

After a while, we ended up peacing out to go back to the hostel. We wound up at the bus stop around 3:30, waiting for the n2. This random brazilian guy stops by and starts hitting on Jessie. Except he doesn't speak English so I'm translating for him. In the process of the conversation, he tells me how great Jessie is and how he doesn't really like me. Dude. I'm translating for you. Probably the wrong person to be insulting if you're trying to get at my friend.

So we wound up at home and now, the next day, I am blogging.

Also, I need to write out a text message that we received because it deserves to be memorialized on this blog:

Massimo Enriques: "Where are you? :p you are so sweet babies..i wanna stay with me..see you..smack! :p"

And that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Falling in love with myself

Stiamo a Roma! I'm going to be completely honest with you guys. Because I'm pretty sure only my mom reads this blog. I haven't cried in a long while. I don't know why and I'm not sure how I feel about it. But once we landed in Ciampino and were on the bus through Rome to get to Termini, I began to feel overwhelmed with a desire to stay. It's like I'm reliving my last 5 days in Rome all over again. That feeling of being ripped away from everything that I am. And I cried. Jessica is my external hard drive of emotion so naturally she cried too. She's already cried multiple times. I kid you not, she cries every time it would be appropriate for me to cry and I can't. Examples to follow.

So after we got to Termini, we walked over to our hostel and I ended up having to ask directions. I'm pleased to report that my Italian came flooding back, like riding a bike. We found the hostel and once we got settled in I took Jessie over to Trastevere. I wanted to take her out to a place called Dar Poeta tucked back into the recesses of the town. After a significant amount of wandering, we located the restaurant. It's a very popular restaurant so we ended up waiting for about an hour. We didn't mind, the listo guy was cute.

Dinner was delicious: bruschetta, vino, pizze, e calzone. After dinner I wanted to take Jessie to Campo dei Fiori but I ended up going the exact WRONG direction. Like 180 degrees of wrong. But we found our way after a while and made our way back to the hostel. Campo dei Fiori would have to wait for another day.

Also on the bus ride home, I was a little intipsicated from the vino. I kept hanging on the bar and swinging around. Basically I was a monkey. Also, coined a new phrase: "judge me".

Woke up the next morning and got ready. Then we took the metro over to the Colosseum and Forum because Jessie had to see them and I wanted to get it out of the way. A few hours of touristing later, we were through the gauntlet. We walked over to Piazza Venezia and Jessie saw the wedding cake, but she didn't get to climb on it. Then we went over to Largo Argentina and I showed her the cat babies. Then the Pantheon for granite and scaffolding. Gotta love restoration.

After the Pantheon we went to the TIM store and finally got Jessie a SIM card for her phone. So we are now officially on the grid. I was going to get one for my phone as well but it turns out my phone is broken. I can't say I'm surprised.

Then we hopped on the tram to Monteverde because I wanted to show Jessie where I used to live. I had wanted to see my signora but I was pretty sure that since she hadn't responded to my last email that she wasn't in Rome (she had said she would tell me when she got here). So I just planned on taking her to my favorite sandwich place in the whole world and wandering around my old stomping grounds.

We got off the tram and were planning on going over to my old home but Jessie had to use the restroom. FINE. I take her to a bagno and then we start walking toward where we were going, but on the opposite side of the street. Then I see a familiar face sitting in front of a pizzeria. Holy shit, could that be my signora? As I'm staring dumbfounded and Jessie's grinning like a fool/already crying, my signora notices me and adopts the same expression of utter shock. We run toward each other and embrace and she begins speaking to me really quickly in Italian. It takes me a while to figure out what she's saying and by then she's begun speaking in English. She tells me all about what she's been doing for the past 2 years and I tell her about how I'm done with school and traveling before I begin work. She introduces me to her companion, a male friend from Switzerland who speaks many languages, and invites us back to her place.

So we drove in her car (my first time in her car, she almost never uses it but had driven to the beach that day) back home and went upstairs. I was able to show Jessie my old room and balcony and terrace and kitchen and just was overwhelmed with the fact that I was back home. Then we sat on the terrace as the sun was setting and drank wine and ate antipasti e pizza. One of Ruth's friends was there, a really nice Italian lady who consistently speaks to me in Italian, which I love. It was lovely catching up and Ruth was just as wonderful as always, if not more. Jessica kept crying intermittently whenever something particularly moving would happen. We took a bunch of pictures and after a few hours, they had a concert to go to and we went out to a bar/club. I still cannot believe the luck of finding her on the street. Jessie's bladder: always making things happen.

Then I took Jessie to Pan Zai for my favorite sandwich. The same guy still works there, I'm not sure if he recognized me. The sandwich-making process was slightly different (a departure from the 20-30 minute process 2 years ago) but the taste was all there. Heavenly. Then we trammed back to il centro and walked over to the bar/club we wanted to try out.

Sooo we walked by and it was EMPTY. Like, two sketchy dudes sitting out front and nothing. I nudged Jessie, "just keep walking Jessie, just keep walking". So not down for an empty bar. We ended up at Ponte Sisto drinking Peroni and talking. This random group of four Italian guys stopped to chat with us for about an hour and invited us to go to the beach today to watch their band play. Obviously, since I'm sitting here on the computer at 3 in the afternoon, we will not be going to the beach today. They were fun though and didn't speak much English so I got to practice my Italian.

Then, as those guys were leaving, Robbie texts me to tell me he's on Ponte Sisto. Robbie's a friend you might remember from the last time I was here. He's living in Rome now. So we wander over to him and he's hanging out with his 3 roommates: Chris, David and Rob. We drink Peroni and chat and the guys play the bottle throwing game (try to throw bottles of the Ponte onto a concrete island and make them break). Then eventually we decide to walk over to Campo dei Fiori.

We hang out in Campo for a while, drinking and chatting. Robbie and his friends knew a bunch of young expatriates and they kept coming by and talking with us. At one point, this guy created Jessie's and my new favorite quote: "So there I was wearing my purple shirt and my pink helmet, looking at myself in the rearview mirror and I was falling in love with myself". Trust me, it's hilarious when you're drunk. At one point we got 3 euro absinthe shots. Just as gross as I remembered.

After a while of drinking and hanging out, we went over to a club called Mood that the guys used to promote. It was super crowded and everyone was shoving to get in. We all linked arms and the GUYS got US in. Rome, you're weird. When it takes 4 guys to get 2 cute girls into a club for free, you're doing it wrong. But anyway, we got in and it was fun. By then I think it was around 2 in the morning. I was dancing with this one guy and kept taking sips of his drink. I remember thinking, 'wow, this guy likes his drinks really strong'. Turns out it was whiskey. Ew. But that definitely explains the intoxication level. So Jessie and I are dancing with peeps and hanging out and wandering and periodically re-finding one another. We ended up losing the guys and left the club around 4:30. Shenanigans ensued and we wound up at our hostel around 5.

We made a beeline for the kitchen and started drinking free stale bread. Then the front desk guy started setting up for breakfast and eventually busted out some cookies. We asked him for some and he obliged. And then we took about 50 and shoved them in my purse. We thought we were being really sneaky, but in retrospect, the security cameras probably gave us away.

We woke up around 2:30 in the afternoon and are now at the computers communicating and blogging. And eating our cookies out of my purse. I love Rome.