Rome is good. Assisi was wonderful. Cinque Terre is the BEST. Thank God we got the chance to go there. It's comprised of five small towns (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarla, Riomaggiore) by the Medeterranean Sea. Kind of a crazy trip. We got there at 5 AM and slept outside for a couple hours. This was the first trip that the seven of us roomies took by ourselves. Cinque Terre is very merry. Thank God we got the chance to go. It was super-female-bonding time.
So we get there, and find a nice spot by the dumpsters (don't worry rents, it was clean AND safe) This sounds worse than it is...We did that for a bit, then we relocated so we could get a better view of the sun rising. That's when Karen sat on a cactus. The poor thing had such a good attitude despite there being needles in her booty.
We were too exhausted to do anything once we were able to check into our hostel. It was a long five hours on a train without any seats for us (another story). We crashed in our honeymoon-for-seven-Italy-meets-Saudi-Arabia room. Once we woke up from hibernation, we went straight to the beach. It was beautiful. I have never ever been to water so clear. I thought it was clear at Ostio Lido, but this was unlike anything I've ever seen. I was disappointed when I saw the color on my computer because it didn't translate well on screen. The colors were so magnificent. Really. The buildings were yellow, pink, green, blue, etc. You see these towns from afar and can't help but imagine them in a fairy tale.
The next day, we went hiking! We hit most of it (probably 4-5 miles?) It was tough at some points, but it makes me want to try it out more often. We met cool people on the trails too. Lots of pictures, lots of sweat, and lots of stairs.
That night we drank a few bottles of wine on the beach. We were the only ones (Vernazza). It was too good. Those girls are what made Cinque Terre so great for me. There was this local artist we had met earlier in his studio. He was an accomplished guy. I bought a great print and I can't wait to hang it up in Iowa. He saw us sitting down there and he bought us a bottle (nice stuff). People are still good.
We ended up taking the train back that next day. I skipped over the cracks on this post because I'm so tired. I didn't mention Karen slicing her toe, running down the mountain to catch the train, meeting the lovely couple, shop-shop-shopping, etc.