Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 197 - Birthday in Rome!

Today was my birthday, and I turned 26, past what should have been a quarterlife crisis...which is what this whole trip was all about fighting right? I still think about all the uncertainty of life when I come back home, but am still enjoying every minute of my travels, savoring it before I have to go back home. And it's not that I'm reluctant to come back, I actually look forward to it as much as I look forward to the next few weeks in Spain. Fear has crossed my mind that I will be even more confused with which path to take in the next chapter in my life, but I think this trip has made me realize that I can do whatever the hell I want, as long as I made the effort to go the direction I want to go.

It was another tour of Rome today, with me playing tour guide for EJ, since I'm somewhat of an expert now...OK not really, but I tried my best to pretend like I knew random facts about everything we came across. We headed to Piazza Venezia first since it was so close to our hotel and took pictures in front of the Il Vittoriano, where two guards are on duty nonstop, 24 hours each day. We quickly browsed through the nearby museum inside the monument, which had an extensive collection of military paraphernalia on showcase.

Nearby, we visited the Chiesa di Santa Maria d'Aracoeli, which EJ decided was one of his favorite churches because they had elegant chandeliers hanging on the sides throughout the church. We made sort of a circle around the city, stopping by the Statue of Marcus Aurelius and Circo Massimo before heading to lunch, where we had Pizza, Bruschetta, and some french fries. It was decent food, but seemed more like a pub than anything else, and I figure that EJ needed to get some real Italian food soon!

Afterwards, we visited the Colosseum again, but this time it was during the daytime, and full of tourists! We headed towards Termini Station, stopping at random shops and the Santa Maria Maggiore Church that I visited yesterday. Secretly, I was in search of a beauty store so that I could buy scissors and get a haircut from EJ, since that's his profession. Luckily, we found a shop, even though almost every other shop was closed (Sunday, the holy day) and I finally got a haircut in our hotel room after almost 6 weeks. Woohoo!

In the evening, we headed out again to see some more sites, including the Pantheon, and the Piazza Naviona. There happened to be a carnival of some sort in the Piazza, with differerent games booths, a carousel, and some merchandise and food booths. I'm not too sure what the occasion was but I'm assuming it was Christmas-related. We walked around some more, and found a cool spot to grab a couple drinks during Aperitivo hour. I think I ate too much before dinner, because when we walked back to the Pantheon to celebrate my birthday, I was stuffed! Luckily, I had it in me to order a pasta dish and enjoy the view of the Pantheon and the Piazza della Rotonda at night. We got front row seats at the restaurant (not that it was crowded or anything) but it was a nice touch for my birthday dinner!

At the end of the night, we had another countdown towards midnight for EJ since it was his birthday at the strike of midnight (although everyone in the US was still celebrating my birthday...jk). We headed to the Fontana di Trevi this time around since it was close to the Pantheon and he wanted to see it at night. Again, everything at night is so much better! Less tourists and more time to just snap some awesome photos!

Aperitivo Hour

Il Vittoriano

Chiesa di Santa Maria d'Aracoeli

Piazza Naviona


Fontana di Trevi


  1. Happy birthday! I'm sure it was everything amazing. :)

  2. all too fun and fabulous!
    miss you phillio!
    so much has changed since you left!