Tuna.

Hello friends!

It’s been about a week since my last blog so I’ve got a lot to catch you up on. Let me just start out by saying that I am having a GREAT week!  I’ve got a positive outlook on all situations (so unlike me) and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Last week was a little rough. Homesickness was starting to kick in a little, after talking to my whole family on skype (big brother and sister included!) and hearing what was happening at home, then hearing from all my friends what a blast the Iowa-Iowa State game was and what I missed back in Ames, I was a little blue.  On top of that we got a huge drawing/rendering (shop talk for ‘coloring’ if you don’t know) assignment that I was dreading, since I don’t draw at all, and don’t know how to render with a darn.  So that was weighing me down. Then the roommates and I were trying to get some plans in order to get out of town for this coming weekend (18th-20th), but that fell through too since we have class until 5:30 Friday evening, couldn’t catch a train on time, and the bike tour we wanted to do through Florence and Tuscany for Saturday was all booked up. Kind of a bummer.

Things are starting to look up though, because oddly enough I was not put out by this–I mean, it’s ITALY, if we can’t find something to do on a weekend with Italy at our fingertips then that’s our fault! No excuses! I chose not to be upset by the weekend thing, and now we’re trying to set something up to go visit Siena this weekend–a walled medieval town about two hours north of Rome. I guess it’s just very picturesque and gorgeous, with lots of vineyards and cool Tuscan stuff. Hopefully we can catch a train and find a hostel and it all works out! If not, I’m not worried–there’s still SO much to see here in Rome!

And guess what else…. My professors LOVED my drawing! Loved it! I was so excited, because it’s so rewarding when I’m proud of my work and someone else likes it too. They said my rendering was ‘effective’ and ‘beautifully executed’. I took some pictures so I could show it off to you 🙂  Classes in general are going pretty well. We’re learning to sketch and starting water colors in my mixed media class.  Very cool that the first thing I’ve practiced sketching is Bernini’s Turtles fountain! Art History is going to be awesome, I think. We do walking tours once a week, and last week we went to 3 cathedrals, one of which I recognized from a climactic scene from the movie Angels and Demons (based on the book by Dan Brown, which I’ve been reading in my free time)–VERY cool to be there. I was pretty excited about it. We’ll see what adventures that class takes me on this week…

And now to explain the title of this blog… I have been getting soooo sick of bread and sandwiches and pasta and pizza all the time.  So many carbs.  But I don’t really know how to make anything, and that’s what’s most readily available, and the roommates have no problem with fixing noodles and tomato sauce with garlic bread every night, but…. I just want a stinkin’ hamburger already!  So I called Mom and Dad up on skype and demanded what to do with myself to keep from eating so much pasta. Their suggestion? Stop eating pasta. So helpful! 🙂 Haha, but really, they were a big help with food ideas. I put one idea to good use tonight. I made tuna noodle casserole! My roommates were sooooo jealous. And I know it sounds silly, but that tuna, with peas and cheese and mayo (and a little pasta, I’ll admit), made me the happiest lady on all of via Labicana! It’s the little things, the ones that taste or smell or feel like home, that keep me going I’ve decided.

It’s getting cooler here–which is heavenly–usually in the high 60s when I leave for school in the morning, and high 70s by the time I get home. The rains have started, with thunderstorms off and on during the day.  I usually enjoy storms at home, but a couple nights ago was the scariest thunderstorm of my life! I woke with a start at 4:49am, my heart thumping outside my chest over a crack of thunder that was so powerful it was setting off car alarms! But I survived it, and now (hopefully) I’ll be braver for the next one.

Ok, if I held your interest through that book of an entry, excellent. I’ll reward you by giving you some pictures to look at!

The lighting fixture my drawing was based on

The lighting fixture my drawing was based on

My drawing

My drawing

A close up view of an elevation of the fixture, and my hand-drawn letters :)

A close up view of an elevation of the fixture, and my hand-drawn letters 🙂

Inside Santa Maria Maggiore, where scenes from Angels and Demons were filmed

Inside Santa Maria Maggiore, where scenes from Angels and Demons were filmed

Cosmetesque marble flooring in geometric patterns in the Santa Maria Maggiore

Cosmetesque marble flooring in geometric patterns in the Santa Maria Maggiore

Ceiling detail, beautiful

Ceiling detail, beautiful

"The column of the flaggelation of Jesus Christ" in the Basilica di S. Prassede, a famous relic.

"The column of the flaggelation of Jesus Christ" in the Basilica di S. Prassede, a famous relic.

A mosaic dating to 1295 in S. Prassede--so much talent, I can't get over it.

A mosaic dating to 1295 in S. Prassede--so much talent, I can't get over it.

For my big brother... St. Philip :)

For my big brother... St. Philip 🙂

Michelangelo's Moses, in Saint Peter's in Chains cathedral

Michelangelo's Moses, from the early 16th century, in the basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains)

Relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter while imprisoned in Jerusalem.According to legend, when Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III) gave Pope Leo I the chains as a gift, he compared them to the chains of St. Peter's first imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome and the two chains miraculously fused together.

Relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter while imprisoned in Jerusalem.According to legend, when Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III) gave Pope Leo I the chains as a gift, he compared them to the chains of St. Peter's first imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome and the two chains miraculously fused together.

Cute cappuccino :)

Cute cappuccino 🙂

Bernini's turtle fountain. I walk past this every day on my way to and from school, and got to sketch it!

Bernini's turtle fountain. I walk past this every day on my way to and from school, and got to sketch it!

If I kept your interest through all 1000 words of this blog, God bless you!

I think you’re all caught up now. Thanks for reading!

-J

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16 responses to “Tuna.

  1. Do you know how proud I am that you’re my kid? You go, girl!!!

  2. HAR!!!!!! You can take the girl outta Iowa but you can’t take the tuna noodle casserole outta the girl! Well whatever makes you feel all warm and fuzzy in a foreign country where everything is…..foreign- has got to be a great idea. I’m soooo wanting to be there with you and see everything wonderful Rome has to offer. I want to take a zillion photos right alongside of you and your roomies. Have fun, hope you get those side trips . And BTW, your drawing was amazing. You are very talented. Whoooeeee!
    G

  3. Hello, first-timer here! I came from your aunt in Birmingham’s your aunt’s in Birmingham Virginia’s blog.

    Very interesting post!

  4. P.S. – I meant to say also that I linked to your blog in mine today….

  5. Your blog is so fun to read. I really look forward to each one! Your drawing is great and the pix are fantastic. I read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons. Did you see the movie w/ Tom Hanks? — the book is always better!! Have fun this weekend!
    Mary

  6. Over from Aunt V’s blog .. nice prose and neat drawings, talent runs in the family!

  7. Hi from Minnesota. Your Auntie Virginia sent me your way. I must say I am envious; Rome is our favorite city to visit so far. So many sights to see. For the food, you could always do what I did, and enjoy a triple scoop of gelato for lunch. It is the milk group. For gelato, I’ll suggest Amarena and stracciatella. Hazelnut was good too.

  8. jenifersromanholiday

    How funny you should suggest that, Rob, I tried a scoop of amarena with a scoop of nutella flavored gelato Monday night after a loooong day of class (9-5:30 solid), and you’re right–amazing! I’m trying to budget my gelato intake–once a week.

    Ginny, you’ve made me feel so popular! I love hearing from everyone!

  9. jenifersromanholiday

    Mary, I saw the movie this summer when it was in theaters, and it was great, but the book is SO much better even though I’m reading it after I saw the movie! It was so cool to recognize the location from the movie (spoiler alert–kinda–when the bad guy burns up in that cathedral). I was pretty excited!

  10. Hey Jen, amazing drawing, and what a story! If you don’t make it as a designer (and I know you will), you can always be a comedy writer. Good luck with the tunas and peas and mush. Love you.

  11. I popped over from Virginia’s blog. You are one lucky girl to have this opportunity! Enjoy every day and no matter what happens, try to stay positive. I promise that you will savor the memories in the years to come, so try to make sure you make the most of each day.

    Nice photos and commentary.

  12. Jeni,
    I am so proud of you, and impressed with your pictures! Your drawings were fatistic! I shared your previous photos with Grand Dad. He really enjoyed them. I am typing this on my BlackBerry, so please excuse any mistakes. I don’t text much. I remember many of the fountains an statues from my visit years ago. It makes me want to return! Take care! Love you
    A. Sandy

  13. Hi Jennifer…

    Interesting commentary and I loved your photos. Please remember to make the most of each moment…home will always be there for you and I think you’ll find when you get home, you’ll want to go right back to Rome.

    I was in Rome in 1957 when I was in the Navy. It was a great experience. But I was young, too, and homesick and didn’t really appreciate all the city had to offer.

    Best wishes!

  14. I’m guessing ISU was right when they said this semester would be a “life changing experience ” for you! I’m glad you, Becca and Heather are getting out into the countryside for the weekend! Take lots of pictures in Siena, and enjoy the train ride! Love.. Mom

  15. Don’t I have the greatest blog buddies??? I loved reading their nice comments. It’s been raining here for about a week. How’s sunny Italy?:)
    Hugs,
    V

  16. J
    Check out my blog tomorrow. The youngest grandbabies are the stars , as they are both turning five within a day of each other! Mumsie had a photo shoot today. They are so different and so hilarious.

    PS. Shhh, don’t tell D & S, but have you had any prosecco yet? That’s one reason I want to visit Italy! 🙂

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