Adventures in Italy (and France!): Week Three

Yet another AMAZING week abroad!!! Check it out!

DAY 15

Today Annabelle and I woke up super early to catch a bus to Nice, France. After taking the train to the bus station, the bus was late and we were super confused thinking we might have missed it. After it finally came and a three hour bus ride later, we arrived in Nice! We checked into our Air Bnb and then headed to a local cafe for some breakfast. We had some of the best breakfast since we’ve been here and were instantly impressed with France.

We spent most of the afternoon wandering around Old Nice and checking out all the little shops. This is such a cute part of town and it’s super easy (but super fun!) to get lost in all of the little alleyways and streets off the beaten path. There were some souvenir shops as to be expected but there were also lots of unique little artisans with interesting things for sale. Nice is so quaint and cute, we really did love exploring this old part of town.

After wandering around for a bit we headed to a gelato shop that had been recommended and it definitely did not disappoint! I got lavender and it might just be my favorite gelato I’ve tried yet.

After the best gelato of our lives, we headed towards the coast and watched some beach volleyball players + saw soooo many people parasailing and tubing in the sea. We made the spontaneous decision to go back to our Air Bnb and change into our swimsuits to go parasailing!!! This was by far one of my favorite things we did and a memory we will have forever. The South of France is BEAUTIFUL and seeing it from this perspective was unreal.

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After parasailing we laid out on the beach for a bit before heading back to get ready for dinner with one of Annabelle’s friends who was conveniently in town also! I loved getting to meet Lavi and getting to know her this night.

DAY 16

Today we headed to Monaco by train. This independent city-state of France has its own Prince and it was incredible to see even the outside of the palace he lives in. Lavi, Annabelle, and I started the day by wandering around and just admiring the beautiful views. Everywhere you look here is very lavish + upscale, from the cars driving around to the beautiful buildings lining the streets. We grabbed burgers for lunch and then headed towards the palace.

The views once you climb to the top of the stairs leading up to the palace were unbelievable. It was so fun to walk around here and look down at the town below. Monaco’s views blew me away!

Next we headed to see the Monte-Carlo Casino! This casino was unreal and while we did not participate in the gambling, it was fun to see the incredible architecture inside. We even sat and had some ice cream + coffee from their cafe. It was wild to actually be here and think about the times when I had seen this casino in movies before.

Before catching the train back to Genoa, we wandered around admiring the luxury cars, taking pictures, and even doing a little bit of shopping. Monaco was beautiful and we will definitely be back some day! Annabelle and I had to say goodbye to Lavi but it was so fun to be able to spend the day with her. We had the best time in Monaco!

DAY 17

Today was my first day in the OBGYN department at the hospital and I had the absolute honor of getting to see a baby be born! It was unbelievable. I gained such an appreciation for the way our bodies are made and the true miracle that babies are. Being able to witness the pure joy that followed the most intense pain was so beautiful and I really felt in awe shadowing the whole labor and delivery process. All of the nurses and doctors in this department were incredible and SO welcoming to me. I loved watching them encourage the mothers and love on the precious newborn babies. This day has definitely been one of my most favorite days shadowing and made me so excited for the rest of the week to come.

After the day at the hospital, we had a group dinner at one of the few Mexican restaurants in Genoa. It was definitely a lot different than Mexican food here in the U.S. and I have to say it was not my favorite meal we have had here. Regardless of how the food was, I just love spending time with these people and am so thankful for the friendships we have formed in just a few short weeks. It was awesome to talk to everyone about what they experienced in their first day in a new department and just share and compare experiences. After dinner we ended the night with gelato + I might have found my favorite gelato place yet! The stracciatella + nocciola combination is unlike any other.

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DAY 18

Today was yet another day in the OBGYN department and today I got to see two babies be born. Each time it still never loses the sense of a miracle that it is. Today was a short day and because both of the labors progressed so quickly, I got to head home earlier than usual which was actually great to be able to catch up on some sleep and on the blog! I edited some pictures and then we made dinner at home. It was such a great, chill night that we all really needed.

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DAY 19

Today was yet another incredible day in the OBGYN department. Today I followed some different doctors as they did rounds and checked on all of the mothers and babies staying there post-delivery. Each of the newborns were SO cute and I loved getting to see how in love each of the moms were with their new little nuggets. The doctors were so kind and explained each patient’s case to me after visiting them. After rounds I got to scrub into two different fetal surgeries which were also both incredible. I just continue to learn so much and see so many new things and can’t wait to carry this knowledge forward into my medical career.

After the work day was over, we went to Boccadasse for a bit to swim and lay out on the beach. We went back to get ready for the evening and then Annabelle, Jessalyn, and I headed to get pizza together for one last dinner date. I am honestly so sad to leave these new friends but am also so thankful for the friendships we have built + am so confident that we will continue to be friends even after this experience ends. I had gluten free pizza for the second time on this trip and it was incredible. After dinner we went back and met up with our other friend Gunner and headed to Boccadasse to hang for an evening out!!!

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DAY 20

Today felt super nostalgic as it was our last day at the hospital! I spent the majority of the day just trying to really soak it all in and reflect on the incredible things I feel like I have learned and skills I have gained through this experience. I spent today doing rounds again with some of the doctors and then watching some ultrasounds. It was an amazing last day and I left the hospital for the last time truly so sad that this was over but so thankful for what this time held for me. I believe that this experience has deeply impacted the future nurse that I will be and I cannot wait to carry forward everything I have gained from this fellowship.

Tonight we got to have our group farewell dinner and went to an all you can eat sushi restaurant. The sushi was surprisingly SO good and we ate a ridiculous amount of food. It was so fun to try lots of different kinds of sushi I had never had before and I even tried some octopus which was surprisingly really good. I never thought that would be something I’d eat but I actually enjoyed it. It was super sad to say goodbye to our site manager and Gunner as this was the last time we would all be together as a group. It was quite the evening!

DAY 21

Today we woke up early and Annabelle and I grabbed one last cappuccino + brioche from a local cafe. We caught the same train to the main train station in Genoa and then had to part our separate ways. It was hard to say goodbye but I know I will be out there in Cali to see her sooner than later!!!

I took the train all the way to Florence, checked into my hotel, and then headed to explore what all this city had to offer. I immediately fell in love with Florence + it made me so excited to come back here with my family next week. I headed to Oblate Cafe which had the most amazing view of the duomo and enjoyed a cappuccino there as well. For dinner I grabbed Mister Pizza in the piazza of the duomo which also had the most incredible view!!! I loved walking around admiring all of the street performers and artists selling their paintings. I even bought a little painting of different parts of the town to hang in my room next year to remember this trip. Before heading back to get some sleep I headed to the Gucci Garden and was amazed at all of the things they had on display. It was definitely a quicker museum to go through than I anticipated but I loved getting to see the way their products and fashion have evolved and changed through the years. I’ll spend a couple more days in Florence before meeting my family in Rome and I cannot wait to see them!

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Julia DeWolfComment