oh, may, you crazy! it was a month to remember, for sure. while i didn't make it to nashville (planning a better trip for another time) i spent the last two weeks running around europe with 19 brand new friends and having a blast. in the process, i checked a bunch of items off my list, so most of this post will be devoted to my eurotrip!
1. go to europe: COMPLETED.
spain, france, and italy FTW! i had the time of my life. you can check out all of the pictures here, but below are the highlights:
-tinto de verano! (red wine and lemonade...TOGETHER)
-a waiter at one of the restaurants asking "why don't you speak spanish?" after we struggled to order lunch
-eating paella for the first time, which was incredible, followed by a cranberry cake/tart, one of the best desserts i've ever had in my entire life
-dancing to "rack city" in kapital, a 7-floor club, and being surrounded by foreign creepers on the spanish floor
-going to a bullfight, which was actually a little depressing
-eating tapas and drinking sangria in a dungeon
-CHOCOLATE CON CHURROS!
-freaking out because the back door in our hotel room fell open from the top and we thought it was broken/someone was trying to break in, only to discover that the door was also a window. clearly.
-our tour director reading us a picture book on the steps of the cathedral
-falling in love with gaudi's architecture at park guell and around the city...beautiful!
-having a great lunch at cuines santa caterina (mediterranean country rice with chicken, mushrooms and sausage)
-getting lost down adorable side streets
-touring a cava winery about an hour outside of the city
-biscotti and nutella gelato!
-staying in a 4-star countryside retreat in the middle of nowhere, which was incredible
-enjoying wine and cheese the first night and just hanging out with the rest of my group
-spending an entire day in nice: dipping my toes in the mediterranean, shopping at the open-air market, chowing down on a pan bagnat and amaretto and bailey's gelato, hiking up to castle hill and the waterfall
-going to wayne's bar, where i enjoyed a lynchburg lemonade and a cheeseburger. love.
-doing my part to correct the leaning tower
-senegalese street vendors who came over to us saying "bling bling lady gaga" over and over again
-going to the "jersey shore" club, space electronic, dougie-ing on the stage there and being applauded by random italians
-sitting on some steps, eating amazing "real" pizza (don't get me wrong, i still love me some pizza hut, but it was legit)
-eating gelato twice in one day
-wine tasting and tour in tuscany, where we all took pictures with our hot italian bus driver emanuele (who wore suits every day and had "bus driver swag")
-visiting the nearby walled city of san gimignano
-going on a walking tour of the city at night
-being surprised on our bus ride from assisi to rome with a cannoli topped with birthday candles - best birthday ever!
-night walking tour of rome...i may have teared up at the pantheon
-making a wish at the trevi fountain
-great birthday dinner of pasta cacio e pepe and pinot grigio
-our hotel being "at the corner of prostitution square and hooker lane"and seeing actual services being, um, rendered (lowlight?)
-seeing the coliseum
-getting free dessert wine at lunch
-making friends with this crazy old man who owns a gelato place and taking a sip of his strawberry frappe
-wandering down a street towards the sound of club music and seeing usain bolt, the fastest man in the world, DJing
-going on a pub crawl and getting water dumped on my head by angry residents in the apartment above the bar
hands down: nice, france. i wasn't expecting to get so attached as we spent the least amount of time here, but it was out of a storybook, f'real. between the little shops, the flower & fruit market, the amazing blue water and the views from the top of castle hill, i was instantly in love. i can't wait to go back!
this one was close, because the spanish paella was amazing, but i have to give it to the ravioli boscaiola at la grotta di leo in florence, italy. the pasta was in a red creamy sauce with mushrooms, olives and tomato and i'm kind of still dreaming about it.
this sailboat-print dress that i got in france. i'm usually not one for shopping when i'm on vacay, but i'd be in trouble if i lived in europe. SO MUCH CUTE STUFF!
21. visit the location of a TV/movie scene: there were a ton (park guell as seen in vicky cristina barcelona and as i've just learned from my friend amy, america's top model), space electronic night club in florence, where the jersey shore cast went, and probably a ton in rome, but my favorite might be st. peter's square in vatican city - as seen in EUROTRIP!
29. watch 26 new movies, one for each letter of the alphabet: saw extremely loud and incredibly close (terrible) and vicky cristina barcelona on the way to...barcelona! 15 to go.
36. make a wish at the trevi fountain: and i got to do it on my birthday!
47. dance in the street: i did this a few times, most memorably in florence as we walked by someone's wedding reception that was in full swing on the river below.
66. participate in a sing-along: my tour group and i belted out "somebody that i used to know," "we are young," and "call me maybe" on our bus ride back to our hotel in france one night. loved it.
94. go without TV and internet for 24 hours: i think my wi-fi addiction was too severe, but the only TV i watched during my trip was a few minutes of jersey shore in spanish and then NCIS in france once we figured out how to change the language to english. :)