Monday, August 24, 2015

June 13, 2015. Rome

Today was a VERY full day. here was the posted schedule:

7am, get out of bed
745, breakfast
830, leave hotel
(okay, so i got out of bed at about 820, grabbed a muffin and got on the bus)
10am, tour Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel
130pm lunch
3pm Colosseum and Roman Forum
630 dinner
730 walking tour
1030 return to hotel

okay, so the highlights of the day were seeing the pope, watching then joining the gay pride parade and being welcomed to the city by the Italian Navy band on the Spanish steps. Also, gelato. I had pineapple and wild berries. Anyway, I just love the Italians, I can't believe they did so much to make us feel welcome!!

It was supposed to be 91 today and humid, but when the majority of the group is from south florida and new orleans... well, that "humidity" was for sissies. It was gorgeous and not actually all that hot, overall, just a glorious day. Of course, I take credit (as usual) for the gorgeous weather because I have amazing vacation weather mojo.

 View from our hotel.

 Our hotel parking lot. haha
 heck yes!

So, the Vatican is its own country. And it's very well guarded. There were police and military everywhere. After standing in line for a bit, we got in. The Sistine Chapel was pretty amazing, and it was a chapel. I'd always thought it was bigger, but no. We weren't allowed to take pictures in there, but there were photos on a poster that we saw while waiting in line, so I took pics of pics. The Vatican museum was cool, and the library. I loved that. and the outdoor spaces.


hey fellas

photos of photos. the color of the real thing is amazing, these pics aren't doing them justice.

i like boats

no clue what this is but i liked it.

The dome of St. Peter's

 Vatican Gardens.

not sure who this is, but i feel a kinship with anyone who reclines.

Even the floor is a work of art.

Flemish tapestries

 That's on a tapestry.

oh just your basic ceiling... 


Back outside... we walked around the wall toward St. Peter's Piazza to go to the official vatican gift shop. Yes, even the pope has a store. It was cool because you buy something (like a rosary or other jewelry) and the store would send it over to the vatican for it to be blessed, then they delivered it later. I didn't get anything, but lots of people did.

So we're in line for gelato near the pope's gift shop when we hear that the actual Pope is out on the piazza. He was blessing thousands and thousands of boyscouts that morning. The blessing was over, but he was still on the Piazza. We pretty much ran over, climbed up the barricades and got a glimpse of Pope Francis. very cool.

Jaxon managed to get a picture of him. I tried but it was hard to find him when zoomed in. We decided to get in line to get into St. Peter's Basilica, but we ran out of time and didn't get to see it.

 Look closely, you might see him...

Excuse me, I may have committed a crime...

 I'm getting better at the selfie... and showing off my prowess with the farmer's tan!

Marc sheltering Frances from the sun.

After all of this, we went to the Colosseum, then to see the ruins of the Roman Forum... I didn't really know what the forum was, basically it is the town center. So there were gathering places, temples, etc. It was really big and really cool.

 i can't believe people were allowed to sit on this toppled column... but i guess they have plenty.

bet no one pounded on these walls when they thought the neighbor's TV was too loud.

 This "stage" shows the original level of the floor. everything below was underground.

 Eric, Benny, Jaxon, Cody, Kirsten

After the Colosseum, we went to the Forum...

 The Vestal Virgins (the statues not the girl)


I know this is the longest blog post ever, but we did A LOT this day... so next we went to dinner... and then guess what happened????? A PARADE!!!!!!! It was great fun.

Eric joining in!

After dinner, we did a walking tour around Rome that included the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and a lot of other things... the highlight for me was the Pantheon, but it was all pretty amazing. 

 Italian Navy Band on the Spanish Steps.

The kids climbed the Spanish Steps (Look Mom, I behaved!!)

Jayna at the Spanish Steps 

people scale this thing to put all that up there. 

 Trevi Fountain sadly under construction.


i know what you're thinking, "done already??? that's IT????"

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