When in Rome…..

SJCA students revel in trip to Spain, Italy

Myown Sims, feature writer

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Although we were a contingent of high school students, when in Rome, we did as the Romans did.

The first stop in our trip to Spain and Italy was the Ashley Homegoods right here in Kenosha. We were not there to shop but to wait for a new bus. We were all anxious to get to the airport. Not even halfway, everyone starts to smell something funny. Then thick smoke erupts from the front of the bus. Now we were walking off the side of the highway up a grassy hill, making our way to the nearest store.  Even though the morning started off crazy, we were able to make it to our flight with a new bus.

The long flights were packed with people. To past the time, we watched movies and shows along with waking up to eat a few meals provided by the plane. After landing in Amsterdam, we had enough time to wonder around the airport. This was the first time we got to see a part of somewhere foreign. The airport was filled with people from all over the world. We were able to try out using Euros for the first time. You could still find some of the same things you would back in Kenosha, like Starbucks.

Two flights that consisted of many snacks, bathroom breaks and napping got us all the way to Madrid. Every building and even some monuments were decorated with graffiti. This was one of the biggest surprises; it is way more than you’d see in Chicago or Milwaukee. We weren’t used to so many people smoking, but cigarettes are still big in Europe. Having my hair smell like smoke wasn’t ideal but I was happy to be able to see the differences in culture. Visiting the Royal Palace of Spain was one of my favorite activities. The royal family had been there the day before we visited. Each room is decorated with extravagant art. They all have a certain purpose, one the sitting room, one for breakfast, another for changing, casual dinner and formal dinner. The whole palace has a very vintage and elegant style.

We also saw flamingo dancers, they were all in high spirit and very energized. They showed power in each movement. The women, although dressed in long bright colored dresses, radiated pure strength. Lastly, one day in Barcelona before bed my two roommates and I spent our time goofing around, and messing with our friends in the room below us. We were also able to go to an art museum that was home to The Prado Mona Lisa. Its is a copy of the Mona Lisa that has been restored. You can see a landscape where on the original is black.

After Spain, we took another plane flight to Florence, then bused to Rome. Italy is filled with beautiful ancient buildings but you can still see ancient cities that have been dug up or in the process of being excavated. I loved the Ponte Veccho, a bridge that over looks the water. Couples usually hang a metal lock there for good luck. It is home to jewelry stores of all kind. The Colosseum (one of the must sees in Rome) is a significant part of Rome’s history. It was once used for bloody battles; Christians battled lions to the death. Even though only a skeleton of it remains, it is grand in scope and scale.Getting to see the statue of David was a very special part of our time in Italy. It is a giant, very beautiful and realistic statue.

My favorite thing about the Spain and Italy trip was exploring all these different places, and trying so many new things. We were able to spend our time with very helpful and great people. We had the same tour guide throughout the whole trip. We visited many churches, museums and monuments. Just walking around and enjoying the beauty of these countries was an amazing experience. We were able to bond with our roommates and those we traveled with through this crazy adventure. A big thanks goes out to all the SJCA staff and family members who made the J-term Spain and Italy 2019 trip possible.