Keeping a running mental list of all the things I want to blog about on this trip is so hard! I've actually hard to start jotting things down on the notes feature of my iPod Touch to keep from forgetting what's happened.
Speaking of my iPod, I had a terrifyingly frantic 5 minutes on the train this morning when I thought I'd lost it. It wasn't in my purse, it wasn't in any of my other bags, and we were slowing down as the train approached Paris Bercy, our station... but I'd remembered checking on my villagers on the iPod about an hour earlier (I am completely addicted to Virtual Villagers 2) so I knew it couldn't have gone far. Of course, ever the pessimist, I worried for a moment that our previous cabin mate (who'd left by then) had taken it with her, but eventually I found it hidden in the folds of my blanket. Stupid. I'd never been so happy to see its pink rubber casing.
Anyway, yesterday was our last day in Rome! Eia and I woke up at a pretty early hour, for us at least. By 9:30 we were watching Phil of the Future in Italian (whatever happened to that show? He was cute xD) and by 10 we were out the door on our way to the Vatican.
We took the Metro over to San Pietro (now that I have learned the London Underground, the metro system in every European country we visit is a total breeze) and made our way up to the Vatican. We waited in the sweltering heat in line, put our bags through the security screening, and finally headed up to the entrance, where a serious guy in sunglasses abruptly told me to "cover your shoulders, Miss".
"Um," I said, timid and confused.
"Put on your jacket."
"I don't have a jacket sir. It's hot."
"Then go buy a scarf."
SIGH. So Eia and I had to go all the way back out to the square, where I bought an ugly touristy Roman scarf, and waited in the long line a second time. As I passed seriousguy the next time around, he winked at me and the stupid scarf covering my shoulders. He must do this every day to stupid girls in tank tops who don't know how to read signs. *I* thought the picture looked like a bathing suit. No bathing suits at the Vatican; that's a rule I can stand behind.
So then we spent a good deal of time walking through the tombs and the church. I was too chicken to go into one of the confessionals, even though I had my first reconciliation as a child and would totally be eligible to do so. I felt like if I came all the way to the Vatican to confess my sins, I better have done something really bad. I have no such sins to confess, so I kept it to myself.
I made Eia take a picture of me doing the sign of the cross with the holy water so I can send it to my grandma (pretend to be a good little Catholic girl, even though I haven't gone to church in years) and we went on our merry way.
At this point, we realized we needed to keep with an ongoing tradition we have, and set off in search of a Hard Rock Café. It didn't take us very long to navigate our way to the Rome chapter of our favorite restaurant, and I made a joke about our day being two parts church, one part rock and roll. I think Eia was feeling a little too churched up, because she ordered herself a "sinful sundae".
Then we had to head back to the apartment, because our train for Paris left at 6:40 pm, and we had to pack up our things. A bit later we said our goodbyes to the place (I particularly took a moment to say goodbye to the Rhino and the deer heads; I felt a special connection with them after my night alone in the apartment where I tiptoed by them multiple times in the dark on my way to the kitchen saying aloud, "Please don't come to life, please don't come to life, please don't come to life.")
The night train to Paris was an experience. We shared our cabin with one French lady, and an Asian man later that we never really saw because we were already asleep by the time he joined us. Eia and I watched the last episode of Season 1 of Weeds and the first episode of Dollhouse on my laptop, meandered down to the food coach to buy ourselves a snack, and dozed off into a fitful, crappy night's sleep around 10pm. I woke up and started on "The Hunger Games" this morning, and if I weren't in PARIS right now, I would probably still be reading it.
Our hostel is amazing, and I would say the name but I have no idea how many blog readers live in Paris and would just, like, turn up here, so I will tell you all the name on Monday when I leave. But for my first hostel experience, I am impressed.
Today Eia and I had wonderful nutella and banana crepes that we couldn't finish, toured through Notre Dame, walked along the Seine, and ordered toasted ham and cheese sandwiches with a fried egg, which was literally a toasted ham and cheese sandwich... with a fried egg on top. Not between the bread, but situated right on top in all its eggy glory. It was amazing.
I am not sure what we're doing tonight, but we have decided that this weekend, we're going to have one intense day of generic Paris sightseeing, and one day entirely devoted to Disneyland Paris. I DON'T CARE WHO IS JUDGING US. We love Disneyland, and the option to go to one of the parks we've never set foot in is too great to pass up. Plus I think our hostel can get us a special deal or something.
I am loving it here. France is awesome, and so far everyone we've talked to has been really nice.
Days until I leave: 12
2 days ago