Thursday, October 27, 2011


Because we had so many visitors over the summer, Ryan and I did not get a chance to take a real summer vacation.  We made up for it by sneaking away one weekend in September to Sardegna.  Silvia (our business manager) and Sergio own a small condo on the northern end of the island in a place called Stintino.  They graciously offered to let us stay there on our trip and we cannot thank them enough.  We hopped a 45 minute flight from Ciampino, rented a car, and were in paradise.
The condo.
The view from the front porch.

Looking down to the beach.
The beach.

The beaches were white, the water was crystal clear, and the people were way tanner than either of us.  Despite not being one of the bronzed beautiful people, I had a  fantastic time, laying out on the beach, reading, swimming etc.  Ryan on the other hand had a slight run in with some of the wildlife which put a damper on his beach experience.  Literally within the first five minutes of being in the water Ryan was stung on the neck by some kind of jellyfish.  He had decided it would be a good idea to swim out to where the water turned dark blue and see why that was (see above picture.)  It was out in the dark blue water that Ryan was so viciously attacked.  Meanwhile, I lay oblivious on the beach soaking up the sun, though I quickly sensed something was wrong as Ryan came roaring out of the water loudly uttering a string of obscenities aimed towards all marine life.  It was actually a pretty bad sting (the welt lasted for several weeks), but after his initial outburst Ryan soldiered on with only a few threats of never vacationing at a beach ever again.

The sting.
So pitiful.
But...still enjoying himself.
We will vacation at the beach again or else
Ryan is in for a very unhappy marriage.

During our stay we visited the town of Alghero and had dinner at an out of this world agriturismo.  An agriturismo is generally a working farm that has B&B like accommodations and a restaurant that serves only what the farm (or nearby farms) produce.  The place we went is called Sa Mandra.  They served us roast suckling pig that basically changed my world.  I can't even begin to describe the juicy tenderness of the meat and the crispy saltiness of the roasted skin.  Needless to say if you ever go to Sardegna you have to check this place out.

Alghero at sunset.

The piggies!
Mouth watering....
Excitedly waiting for my roast suckling pig!

Ta-dah!  It was amazing.
It was just an incredible trip.  It was so great to get away and relax in such a beautiful place, even if it was only for a few days.  Thank you so much Silvia and Sergio!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A new semester, new students, & new RA's

I can't believe the semester is already half over!

Things have gone really well so far.  And with 3 new RA's and 110 students that's saying something. 

I do really miss Jon, Mary, and Hannah though.  Living and working with someone for a year in Rome can go one of two ways; you either come out really liking each other or, well, not.  Luckily for us we all clicked really well and the result was an awesome year of work, fun, and friendship.

Jon, Mary, and Hannah; I wish you all the best in your current endeavors.  Know that you are greatly missed here in Rome.

Here are some highlights of our time together... (I tried to get them in chronological order and failed.  Sorry.)

Ryan's homemade limoncello.
Gyros in Delphi.
Med kits!
On our way to a wine tasting in Tuscany.  Poor Jon.
The infamous Tex poster in the back of the raper van
with the presidential mattress.
Beer pong at the forno over 10 day.  (Don't tell the students.)
Burgers and beer at Open Baladin.
Mary was on her second burger here, haha!
Hannah freezing her bum off at the Geek Olympics.
Oh, the night we put the lamb's head in Hannah's bed:)
Enjoying Old Bridge with Hannah right after she arrived in Rome.
Fire Safety training...this was after Jon almost
burned down campus:)
More Fire Safety...this was after Ryan wrecked the car.
Jon with a fruity drink...standard.
Croquet & mint julips.
Note: Never play croquet with Jon Polce.
He will repeatedly send your ball  into the vineyard.

"Ever been on a boat before?"

Towards the end of the spring semester we really got into playing Scategories.  So much so that there were penalties imposed on the losers of the round.  In this case, having to eat tablespoons of Tabasco.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Playing Catch Up...Summer 2011

Alright, time for me to catch you all up on what has been happening here in Roma.

The summer was busy but fantastic.  It was FULL of visitors which we loved!  Here is a quick run through.

First my Grandpa came to visit us for a week.  We toured around Rome, saw the Pope, celebrated Ryan's bday, and enjoyed the beautiful Castelli.  Grandpa has a very old and dear friend who lives in Via Reggio, Italy so he was able to go and spend a week with him.  All in all it was a wonderful visit and we were really happy that Grandpa could make it.

After Grandpa left the UD Trustees showed up.  There was lots of work involved but also lots of good food at some of Rome's best restaurants.

Ryan's Uncle Mark, Aunt Karen, and cousin Lauren were the next to visit.  Ryan led us all on a death march tour of the city.  I think we literally walked from Trastevere to the Villa Borghese and back.  But we managed to soothe our sore feet with plenty of good wine and good food.  (Notice a trend here?  Basically we just eat and drink our faces off.)

Next came the newlyweds, Carrie and Cory AND Shane and Gena.  Both couples stopped through Rome on their honeymoons and paid us a visit.  LOTS OF FUN!

My mom, dad, and brother Danny arrived just two days later.  They stayed with us for two weeks and we got a four day trip to Tuscany in.  It was awesome to see my family, travel around Italy with them, and have them see the Rome campus for the first time.

The summer wrapped up with visit from Teddy & Caitlyn!

There is definitely no rest for the weary, but we were delighted to have so many visitors.  We even managed to go see the Beach Volleyball World Championships and fit in a 4th of July party for our Italian friends.  (Did I mention hanging out with Joe Montana while in line for St. Peter's?)

Misty May & Kerri Walsh

Joe Montana