We spent most of Monday travelling. The train ride was about four hours, and the hostel we're staying at is right across the street from the Ciampino train station. I like that our hostel is just outside of Rome so once we get tourist-ed out we can come back here and chill. Once we checked in and had lunch, we took the train into Rome and literally walked across the city. Our first stop was the Trevi Fountain, and I was grinning so hard I thought my face would fall off; I was so happy to see it again. We meandered for a while, stopped at the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, where I got some of the most amazing straciatella gelato I've ever eaten (sorry, Ring Mountain), walked along the Tevre and got to St. Peter's Basilica by the time it was dark.
This morning, while my friends went to tour the Colloseum and the Roman Forum, I met up with Lindsey and we took a bus to L'Aquila. I wasn't sure what to expect, since it was hit pretty hard by the earthquake last year. There was a lot of construction, but surprisingly most of the historic center was still intact. It's a really pretty town, super green and surrounded by mountains. According to an article I read, the state arcive building was destroyed in the earthquake, so I couldn't really do any research about my great-grandparents, but it was still so much fun being in a city that no one in my family-well, no one in my immediate family-has been since they left over a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, there's a good chance that the tons of pictures I took documenting the trip are gone-along with my entire camera. Once we were off the bus and were heading back to the train station I realized I didn't have it with me. I had left it on my seat. We ran back to the bus station but didn't have any luck. Lindsey's going to check back tomorrow and see if anyone turned it in, and I'd really like to believe that anyone who finds it would be nice enough to do that, but I'm not holding my breath. I started crying on the way back to the train statin (and felt even worse; I hate crying in public). I know it's not the end of the world; Lindsey took quite a few pictures on her camera, but I was still so disappointed. The part of this trip I was most excited about was sharing my pictures with my parents and aunts and uncles so they could experience it through my eyes, but unless I get really lucky that probably won't happen.
I need to stop bumming myself out, so I'll wrap this up. Vatican tomorrow.
On our way out to the common room, Karl stopped me in the hall and asked if I was okay. God, I hate when people ask me that when I'm not, because I can't say no. The waterworks just turn on automatically, as much as I try to bite it back. I managed to say something along the lines of "Um...yeah...it's just...uh..." before dissolving into tears again, humiliated, and shuffled back to our room. He was so nice about it, though. He followed me into the room, gave me a hug, and tried to comfort me, saying maybe Lindsey would find my camera, and that he could make a CD with the photo's he'd taken here. I felt like such an ass, crying over something as stupid as a camera-although the only thing I'm really upset about losing is my L'Aquila photos, although I was crying too much to explain that adequately- but he was really nice about it. I'm lucky to have such good friends here. I felt a lot better after that (and even better after a little wine; God, when did I become such a lightweight!?). Anyway, things are good now. I'm happy I can end this entry on a positive note.