Friends, I’ve been busy. Since I last wrote, I had final exams and papers due for the MBA program I keep forgetting I’m a part of, and then a whirlwind semi-work-semi-romantic trip to London, and then two weeks in Nashville with dear old Mom and Dad (and sister, and aunt and uncle, and grandma, and two cousins). I relaxed. I relaxed hard. In between relaxing, wrapping presents, eating, teasing my cousin Alex, and working in my twenty-year-old pajamas, no blogging was done.

If you’re like me, Christmas and the New Year make you think about two things: 1) How old/flabby you’ve gotten, and 2) How much you love the friends who have stuck around for the long haul and for whom you’ve stuck around, too. In the last year, I’ve met such a lovely group of people in Rome. Most of them will eventually go back to the States, and some of them already have. Others are Italian, others are Americans and Brits who will live here forever. I love all of them and I’d be very lonely here without them.

But the most special thing EVER is when an old friend comes to visit me. Besides the obvious, overwhelming, warm feeling in my chest (love?) and all the belly laughs as we reminisce about the losers we all used to date, a major benefit is getting to see the touristy stuff in Rome I’ve either never seen, or haven’t seen in years.

My dear friend Gordon came for Thanksgiving from New York, where he works for a famous (meaning I’ve heard of them, which is really something) fashion house by day and is an illustrator, stationery designer, and writer by night. I met Gordon my sophomore year in college. We were both film majors, and I was also majoring in Italian and he was also majoring in French. So much in common! I had seen him around, but never spoken to him, until one day in Audio Production class, I muttered with all the 20-year-old bad attitude I could muster, “I hate this class.” He opened the corner of his mouth nearest to me and whispered, “Me too.” And it was love!! We had a ton of fun over the next few years. One year for Halloween, he dressed as a hunter and I was a leopard. I just needed a reason to put on all the leopard-print clothes I had in my closet. Maybe it was the same for him and camouflage. Another time, he let me “star” in his senior film project.

Gordon came to visit me in Rome for Thanksgiving and we spent 4 days laughing like kids, sight-seeing like tourists, and eating like Americans. And he gave me the nicest, most thoughtful gift. A portrait of me!!


liz in rome_final_wallacewest

My portrait! (c) Gordon West,


If you’d like to commission a one-of-a-kind illustration like this one from a terribly talented and worthy person, I’m sure Gordon would love to hear from you: Wallace West

Here are some more before-and-after shots of lovely friends who have come through Rome in the last year, which I appreciate more than they realize. I would be lost without my group of new friends, but there is nothing like seeing someone who knew you in the 90s to remind you of who you really are.



With Gordon, ca. 1999, Dallas. What a great skirt!

With Gordon

With Gordon, 2013, Rome. What a great hat!


With Danielle, 2007, Law School Mock Trial Tournament in Chicago.


With Danielle, Spanish Steps in Rome, 2012

With Scott in Dallas 2000

With Scott, 2000, Dallas. Embarrassing pose.

With Scott in Rome 2012

With Scott, Rome, 2012


AND A BIG HUG to Tamara and Margaret, two dear high school friends, who came in October!! We forgot to take a picture, girls!! Next time?

For those of you who live far from home, do you have friends visit much? Isn’t it the best?

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