100 Things I’ll Remember from 2015 (because I wrote them here…)

My friend, Olivia, mentioned that she was feeling sort of nostalgic lately. This time last year, we were purchasing our plane tickets to Dublin and reserving hostels. We were planning what cities we wanted to go to and what activities we wanted to do. We were already making some mistakes and furiously talking on the phone with StudentUniverse about our tickets (my friend, Johanna, saved our trip with her “Can I please speak to the manager?”).

Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. Here are 100 things that I want to remember from 2015:

  1. Living in a professor’s house with three of my best friends (technically in winter 2014, but we’ll count it).
  2. The fact that I have been in 10 different airports this year.
  3. Hostel showers work like those public sinks where you push down the button and it’s on a timer. Sometimes these buttons get stuck down and you have to call the person who gave you free hot chocolate in the lobby to help you turn it off.
  4. Carrying all these bags to four different cities in Ireland, two airports, and three trains. (Here we go again.)1378472_10206241880631725_1878162364641536679_n
  5. Falling asleep in Irish restaurants because jet lag finally got us and again during orientation when we got to Italy. 
  6. Monday night dinner group at Barbarini. They called us “the ragazzi” and gave us free appetizers. 2015-02-24 08.41.06^We always sat by that picture of the Trevi because the real Trevi was under construction the entire time we were in Rome.
  7. When churches in Italy served wine after mass on Sunday morning instead of coffee and donuts. “Won’t you stay for some prosecco?”
  8. We did not understand a word of whatever English they speak in the Irish countryside. It is gibberish. (“Mhmm,” *nodding along)
  9. My friends and I truly believed that we were going to die on my first budget flight with RyanAir. After  successfully landing the plane, all the passengers clapped. We got used to this routine pretty fast.
  10. “Let’s put some wings on this tin can and a bunch of rugby players and fly back to Rome.” Introducing EZJet. “We salute you, low budget airline pilot.”
  11. Eating a TON of seafood (provided by Thanos) in Naples right before taking a long bus ride in the mountains and hiking up Mt. Vesuvius. *Spoiler: I threw up. 
  12. Speaking of Naples, it is a god forsaken place.
  13. People in Prague drink beer for breakfast. In the hostel they will offer it for free in the morning; “Are you sure you don’t want a nice cold beer to wake you up?”
  14. Taking the 7 hour slow train to Turin because we didn’t want to pay $50 more to ride fast.
  15. The Cliffs of Moher and being afraid that my friends were going to fall off the edge. #daredevils20150204_133315.jpg
  16. Spending time with native Irishmen, who took us on a pub crawl. We learned a new catch phrase, “Now thaaawt’s claaaawss.”
  17. “Italians take their holidays very seriously, more seriously than they take their work days.” -Uncle Joe. He also sighed heavily while waiting in lines and muttered; “I have to get out of this country.”
  18. My first time touching the ocean. So psyched!10978636_10206242031355493_8059260620077929927_n
  19. A shared hostel room with 8 beds doesn’t mean there will only be 8 people spending the night…
  20. Mimicking the dancers in the square of Turin; “freedom, Freedom, FREEDOM.” And I said “Ciao, Ragazzi” to the police officers.
  21. Staying with the coolest girl ever, Gulia. She texted me on my Italian phone and said that she liked my aura.
  22. When Laurel touched the stray cats in Assisi…And she became patron saint of the strays. strays.jpg
  23. Feeling like I was always about to get in trouble in Europe. Someone was going to tell me to get off the steps (an Italian man would come up and say “Not possible”), not touch something (“Scuzi, not possible”), not to take my peanut butter on the bus (“Es not possible”), to be quiet (“Silencio, No photo.”), to pay to sit down in a cafe, to walk faster (or slower), etc.
  24. Learning the title, artist, date, and significance of (what felt like) every work of art in all of Italy. Feeling like a pro at Italian art = priceless

    Primavera by Botticelli, 1482
  25. The restaurant in Krakow that gave us the most delicious free shots of homemade raspberry vodka. It tasted like jam.
  26. When our schedule was so busy with group sight-seeing and weekend trips and we were so tired of walking on cobblestones that we sang “I’m only human” by Christina Perri to try to express our pain. (“…And I bleed when I fall down… I crash and I break down.”)
  27. That man who loved Frances’ eyes; “I look into her eyes, I forget my own name.”
  28. Singing “Near, far, wherever you are!” and reenacting Titanic while watching the sunset in Orvieto. For no particular reason other than to follow our hearts. 20150327_145032.jpg
  29. Opening two bottles of prosecco on the beach in Capri. The cork launching into the Mediterranean. Drinking directly from the bottles. Openly bringing the open bottles onto public transportation. Only in Europe.
  30. ^The very same day, I led my friends in an impromptu yoga class on the beach just to be funny, and we had an unexpected visitor in a speedo.
  31. Talking waaaay too loud in European public places. When we weren’t that loud, the Europeans still complained. That is the first time I realize why people label Americans as loud, because everyone else is way too quiet (Duh).
  32. Prossima Fermata, Barbarini. Thanks to riding the Italian metro.
  33. Speaking of the metro… In termini you can smell your way toward whichever line you are looking for. The A line smells like wet rocks. The B line smells like trash. B Line.jpg
  34. Always, always late for the train. Running through Termini, running down the street in Sardinia, frantically wheeling all our bags through Dublin.
  35. Getting lost for hours during my second week in Rome and being saved by an Englishman named David, who I think was my actual guardian angel.
  36. Saying ridiculous things like, “Sorry, I’m too tired to go to the Vatican with you today. I went to Assisi yesterday.” In my defense, Assisi is really hilly, and I was wearing improper footwear. Also, “Maybe I should do homework instead of walk 30 minutes to the best gelato shop in all of Rome.” Now, that’s crazy!
  37. Frigidarium, = best gelato in all of Rome.
  38. Carbonara tastes drastically different everywhere you get it in Rome (or Italy in general). Just ask Chris; he was only there for a week and tried three variations.
  39. It is possible to get sick of pizza and pasta. As my uncle put it, “the last thing you want at 9:00 at night is a giant portion of carbs…which is precisely what you get.”
  40. Also the “cornetto” that the eat for breakfast is a stomach ache just waiting to happen. Picture a flaky croissant look-alike that is filled with brown jelly. Avoid at all costs.
  41. When your favorite pizza place is in the most confusing part of Rome and you get lost literally every time you go there, even with maps and planning ahead. That doesn’t stop you from trying.
  42. La Focaccia = Best pizza in all of Rome. All the NAC seminarians go there, so you know it’s good.La Focaccia.jpg
  43. Finding out that Limerick, Ireland is nicknamed “stab city” after you stayed overnight at a place on airbnb that had zero reviews.
  44. Assigning Disney villains to each of our thirty group members based on their personalities and doing impersonations. Lizzie = Cruella Devil.
  45. The way that Italians say “Okay.” And “Sisisisisi,” in English, “yesyesyesyesyes.”
  46. The meaning behind the word “Allora,” which is absolutely nothing. Use it all the time.
  47. Speaking Italian in the streets just to crack each other up. “Ah Roma.” “Mi piace Roma.” “Piacere Gelato.” “Okay.” “Ciao ragazzi” “Tutti”
  48. When it finally gets to the point where you intimidate other tourists because you got the whole thing down.
  49. Ordering cappuccino at the wrong time of day, which proves you are a tourist.
  50. Eating two jars of nutella before it occurred to me that although it seems like a peanut butter substitute it is actually just chocolate in a jar.
  51. What is the point of an espresso shot? There is no way to enjoy it even though I am a coffee lover and I tried and tried to like it. Plus, who needs that much energy all at once? I give up!
  52. Pistachio gelato. Heaven.
  53. Being so close to Pope Francis that time stood still. 20150211_094132.jpg
  54. Theo 380: God and the Poets aka bedtime stories with Fr. Murray.
  55. Fun fact: Fr. Murray was one of Mother Theresa’s spiritual directors.
  56. Another fun fact: JPII studied at the Angelicum in Rome when he was my age. I studied where he studied.
  57. Desperately trying to visit all the churches in Rome and realizing that it is impossible.
  58. Being in Montecassino after you are engaged is dangerous. You will want to join the monastery. It is the most beautiful place on Earth. 20150510_114613.jpg
  59. Explaining the Sistine Chapel ceiling to Chris mere hours before he proposed. 
  60. When I thought that a stranger was going to take our picture, but I actually got engaged! I thought “why is Chris begin so weird about asking someone to take our picture?” Question answered.
  61. ^Telling that story on the first day of class the following semester. My professor said, “This girl has to go to a different country just to get engaged!”
  62. Getting engagement photos taken in the Villa Borghese
  63. The flowers on the Spanish Steps for the month of May. Taking this picture through John Keat’s window. keats window.jpg
  64. There were eight wedding dress shops on the block where we stayed in Krakow. 
  65. Licking the walls of the salt mines in Krakow.
  66. Walking into our $12/night Krakow hostel to a wall of stench. Trying to stop myself from gagging as the lady showed us to our room. It smelled like feet worse than you can imagine.
  67. I cried at the museum of Saint John Paul II’s childhood home even though I previously didn’t know much about him and I’m usually not an emotional person.
  68. Taking a biking tour with the most high-pitch lady in the world. “If you want to try some Zapikanki…”
  69. Learning Italian songs in Italian class. “E’per te” and “El amore que conta.”
  70. When Olivia and I got bored of walking forever, we sang ‘A whole new world. Don’t you dare close your eyes!’
  71. Trying octopus for the first time and not knowing what to think.
  72. Walking in the rain for 45+ minutes because there’s no other way to get to class unless I took a taxi. Our chaplain told us to compare it to Christ’s suffering on the cross.
  73. The Communist Cafe
  74. James Bond was filming right in front of my home in Rome!
  75. Celebrating little Cecilia’s first communion in Santa Cecilia en Trastevere.
  76. Being that person who always took pictures of her Gelato.
  77. Deciding whether or not it was worth it to cross the street. Quoting the movie, Elf, “the yellow ones don’t stop!”
  78. Taking the 110 bus that was as big as a closet and packed about 20 strangers in close quarters. It also made unnecessarily fast stops.
  79. The Public House. Especially the first night that we went there and kind of sketched out.
  80. Every time that we walked for hours on cobblestones. Sometimes at 1 am because we wanted two euro tacos at the Abbey Theater.
  81. When the men made dinner for the women. And they escorted us to our seats.
  82. My first creative publication
  83. Going swimming in Sardinia even though it was freezing cold.

    I feel cold just looking at this.
  84. How could I forget that super delicious hotel breakfast in Florence.
  85. Dancing to Uptown Funk a whole lot.
  86. The view from the top of the NAC.
  87. “Do you feel like going to see Pope Francis today?” “Maybe for a little bit.” So nonchalant, it was unreal.
  88. Taking an Italian cooking class in Italy. Learning to make fresh pasta and eggplant lasagna.
  89. Making tiramisu with the sisters.
  90. Coming home and realizing how much I had changed.
  91. This year, I had my last shift ever at three different jobs: Chipotle, the writing center, and catering at St. Thomas.
  92. Having my first job in marketing
  93. ^I’m only employed at one place for the first time in 3-4 years! WHAT!?!?
  94. My surprise engagement party! Mr. and Mrs.
  95. Driving up to Duluth to visit Chris on the weekends.
  96. Buying my wedding dress (after going to six different places)
  97. The actual stress of wedding planning.
  98. Writing this blog.
  99. Chris’ acceptance into grad school.
  100. The end of a 3.5 year long distance relationship. Now, living ten minutes away.

Look at you! You made it all the way to the end. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

XOXO -Lizzie

Published by Lizzie Lawson

Writer person.

2 thoughts on “100 Things I’ll Remember from 2015 (because I wrote them here…)

  1. The cooking instructor was quite the comedian, and he kept putting his arms around all the girls! hahaha. Yes, I am feeling very nostalgic too. It’s a one of a kind experience. Thanks for reading!


  2. I don’t recall hearing about the Italian cooking class before — sounds awesome!
    This list made me sentimental about my own study abroad experience (even if it was 13 years ago!!).


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