Wait… It’s Midterms? – A Study Abroad Blog by Lexi Westphal

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Ciao Ragazzi!

Although it feels like forever since the last time I wrote, the time has flown by for me! This is the beginning of week 8 here in Rome. You know when you are about to leave for 4 months and you are saying goodbye to friends and family and everyone says “the time will fly and you will be back before you know it!” and at that time you obviously don’t believe them because it feels like a lifetime. Crazy to say, but they are right. As I sit in my bed and write this 8-page paper and study for 2 big midterms all I can think about is that I am halfway done!!

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Lets travel back a few weeks. Right after I last wrote, we went to Dublin, Ireland that weekend. We had a great time despite the rain, hail, wind, and cold weather. We took a tour of the Guinness factory and a day trip to see the Cliffs of Moehr, which were breathtaking! We enjoyed fish and chips and great company. On the first day of being in the city, we took a bus to the Guinness factory. While standing on the bus to the factory, we met the cutest old Irish man. He proceeded to ask us where we were from, what we were doing in Dublin, and where we attended school. After telling him that we study in Rome, and that we have noticed the Irish people are much friendlier he said something that will forever stick with me. ‘It doesn’t cost a penny to be nice.’ To follow up this true statement- a few Irish people stuck true to this saying. On that same day, we got lost coming home to our Airbnb that night, we found a small pizzeria shop where we walked in and asked for directions. The lady says to her pizza delivery guy: ‘Hey, take these ladies home! They shouldn’t be wandering around the streets of Dublin alone at this time of night!’ The pizza delivery guy drove us up the street and dropped us at the doorstep of our Airbnb. He refused to take any money and said to us: ‘Enjoy your stay in Dublin ladies! Cheers!’ And drove away. It doesn’t cost a penny to be nice! This was an experience and story that I will never forget.

I took a Gelato making class at an amazing Gelateria. We made a base kind and a chocolate kind. We got to taste test about 10 different flavors, and needless to say.. they were all so good that I couldn’t pick a favorite! They taught us what REAL gelato was and how to detect what real gelato was verse the fake, tourist stuff. I guess you could say I am a pro now ;).

We took a day trip to Naples, Italy. We ate at the BEST pizzeria in Italy, no doubt. Michele’s, was the name of the pizzeria. This was the same place that Julia Roberts visited while filming the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Her picture was up inside and it was awesome. I think one factor that made it so unique was that they only offered two different kinds (marinara and margherita), and they were both so good.. 10/10 would recommend! We walked up many flights of stairs of this abandon castle to have the coolest view of the ocean and it was beautiful.

12321590_10154001014253420_133060639987794546_nTwo weeks ago, one of my roommates and I visited Malta. Malta, is a very small island below Sicily had the most beautiful scenery that I have seen so far. It was a very spur-of-the-moment trip and let me tell you.. VERY worth it. We took a small boat through the Blue Grotto for 8 Euro and it was no doubt gorgeous and probably the best 8 Euro that I have every spent. We toured the city and I got to stay in my first hostel. Which, was quite the experience and I met some cool people from other countries and even a guy from Wisconsin!

This passed weekend my program took everyone to Tuscany, which was beautiful also. We stayed in a resort and got to go horseback riding and visit some beautiful cities. I think everyone came to the consensus that the thermal baths were awesome, and that eating 3 full-fledged, 5 course meals each day almost made us all get sick! No no, don’t get me wrong, the food was amazing.. but if you had to sit down every night and have bread, tons of appetizers, 1-2 courses of pasta, 1-2 courses of meat, AND dessert, you would almost get sick too!

Despite all of these fantastic trips that I have already done, I know that I still have many more to look forward to! Thanks again to everyone who has been contacting me to see how I’m doing and to those who have supported me on this 4-month journey! I am missing my family more and more each day but I know that soon I will be seeing them again!

Ciao for now!

Lexi Westphal

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