Ciao ragazzi... here goes nothing. One last blog post for the few and far in between that have cared enough to follow along my adventures over here across the pond. Can not believe the day has arrived. Over 4 months, 9 countries, and 13 blog posts later... look how far we have come! Before I get too sentimental (tears have been surfacing all too often lately) lets talk about the land of goats, windmills, crystal blue waters, and gyros, shall we?? Greece you were too good to us. Really. Thanks for saving the best for last!
Despite the cold weather you blessed us with (I'm telling you... The rain has followed me all across the world. It's almost impressive at this point) we had an incredible time exploring the island of Mykonos for our last weekend trip while abroad. Let's start with an absolute MUST do while in the Greek islands... ATVs. Take our word for it. All weekend we got to whip around the unique terrain that is Mykonos- country roads through fields of goats and chickens, up windy, rocky pathways meant for donkeys, and along the coasts of all too many crystal clear beaches. From the white and blue buildings of little Mykonos town, to both Paradise and Super Paradise beach (really unsure why one was more super than the other- tbd if there is logical reasoning behind it), to the highest point we could find on the island, the ATVs allowed us to go and explore wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Ahhh the island life.
Our 4 wheelers were definitely a highlight, but so were our 4 legged friends we made along our journeys. Enjoy some cute pics of them here....
Besides the constant play with the ATV's, I promise we explored by foot too! Walking through the little Mykonos town was like walking through a story book. YES PPL. The white and blue buildings are just as they appear in the pictures. It is amazing. We spent a lot of time exploring shops, taking pictures, and eating seafood in little Venice- cleverly named after the buildings that are right on the water. Although the expenses are running slim, we have still managed to find tasty food and fun things to do, that are still budget friendly (@Dad are you proud??). A kind old man may have caught on to our low bank accounts yet high morale, because our first seafood dinner in Greece was on him. The bill was simply PAID for, anonymously... Proof that there really are good people in the world. GOOD GOOD people.
Greece... THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing your incredible views, your one-of-a-kind landscape, your tasty food and your kind people with us. Besides the lack of cold weather clothing we packed, our choice to sleep in the Athens airport over night (yes- we consciously decided to spend a night's sleep on an airport bench), and our limited beach time... you have given us plenty of reasons to return someday. Save an ATV (or 3) for us!!!
Well well well, the most dreaded part of the blog. The end. The goodbyes... and ALLL of the lasts. Our last week in Rome has been filled with too many "one-more times" and WAY too many tears that we weren't prepared to have surface yet. We've been attempting to have our trip make a full circle. Our last roommate dinner occurred at the same pizza place it started at... L'Archetto's thanks for giving us a "must do" when visitors come. Your pizza was delicious, your wine was good, and your prices were kind to the budget. Cue group picture with the master behind what was our favorite neighborhood restaurant. Besides the pizza, goodbyes happened with our favorite Italian teacher, our beloved apartment @ 126 Scipioni, and friends who were strangers 4 short months ago. None of this I signed up for. It isn't ciao, just arriverderci (tears commenced).
As of Friday, I have been homeless in my own city... and what a strange feeling it has been. A place that was so unfamiliar 100 days ago. A place where the language was foreign, the culture was different, there was no established routine, and where people knew you didn't belong has become HOME. Home. Where the baristas know your coffee order, the Panino di Vino workers remember your favorite porchetta sandwich, the neighbors smile at you (Italians don't smile to others on the street, this is really huge), and a place you get excited to return to. Thank you Rome. Thank you for making me more confident, independent, patient, humble, and open-minded. Thank you for giving me a home halfway across the world. Thank you for sharing with me your culture, your people, and especially your food ( & wine). This has been the most incredible 4 months of my entire life and I couldn't thank you enough. @Rome, you really are the MVP.