You can see what I wore each day, and some more pics on my other blog.
I finally got a chance to go through and edit the photos from our trip. Can you believe that the hardest part was figuring out how to get them off of John’s computer? It wouldn’t recognize my external hard drive, and I couldn’t figure out how to send things from one computer to another through our network, so I ended up dividing the pictures into folders by day and uploading them to my website’s ftp. Then, I could log into my ftp and download them onto my laptop. Geez! Seeing as how I only have so much computer time during the day, this took a while!
The first day was mostly spent traveling…kinda. We had to drive 5-6 hours to JFK airport, then take the 7-8 hour flight to Rome. (No makeup traveling face is smexy, y/n?) Because of the time difference, we got to Rome in the morning. We weren’t exhausted since we got to sleep a bit on the plane, so we just took a little nap and headed out to one of the churches that was listed in the guide books. I don’t remember the name, but it was really ornate inside. We would soon find out that Rome’s motto might as well be “Go big, or go ROME.” Everything was ridiculously ornate. For dinner we had pizza, which was delicious; but the waiters kept loitering around our table and they creeped us out. On our walk home, we found a gelato place, and that was AMAZING!!!
On the second day, we went to the Colosseum, the Roman Republic, and a few other places around there. I thought Colosseum, Republic, etc would take all day, but because we got there when it opened, we were done by lunch. The Colosseum was so big. I knew it would be, but to step into it was intense. So crazy to think of all of the things that happened there. John had an audio guide that he downloaded on his iphone, and we listened to it. Very informative, if not a bit corny at times.
Side note: we listened to it w/o headphones because we forgot them and because we’re jerk Americans.
We had lunch at a restaurant with a view of the Colosseum and it was soooo good! John got the tiniest piece of lasagna ever and I got spaghetti bologna, I think. We were hungry when we were done, but I couldn’t have eaten any more of that pasta. Thing is, we were supposed to be hungry still after eating the pasta – Italians have three course lunches, and this was the first course. We, however, just wanted pasta. Mmmm, pasta. For dinner, we had bruschetta and calzones (not pictured) at this cute little restaurant we stumbled upon in our neighborhood. We ended up eating there two more times during out trip. Add another serving of gelato, and it was a great way to end the day.
On the third day, we planned to take a night walk near Rome’s fashion district, so we decided to take the walk first during the day time so we were familiar with the area. On this walk, we saw the Spanish Steps (not so impressive…they’re stairs.) the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. We threw coins into the fountain to say that we’d be back to Rome. One can hope anyway! There were tons of shops around the Trevi Fountain. We strolled through there and bought some souvenirs. As the sun was setting, we found ourselves in this big marketplace full of produce vendors and artists. There were lots of restaurants on that square, but the produce vendors dumped a bunch of their food-garbage onto the ground as they cleaned up their spaces for the day, which was gross, so we ate at a restaurant by the Pantheon. I got cannoli…or wait, is that the dessert version? I don’t know… I got a pasta cannoli. John got raviolis. Again, they were both delicious, but we were left hungry. *sigh*
The fourth day was the last Sunday of the month, so admission to the Vatican was FREE! We knew it would be crazy busy, so we planned on getting there right when it opened. Of course, we woke up an hour later than we wanted to. D’oh! By the time we got there, the line to get in was 3 or 4 hours long. Yeah, no. St. Peter’s Basilica was right next to it, so we decided to check that out, as admission is always free to that one. Even though the line looked long, it was moving, so we got in it and were happy to find out it only took about 15 min to get in! It was massive inside, as wide as one football field and as long as two! There were a lot of people there, and we even saw a Cardinal! (The religious figure, not the bird…) After we left, the line for the Vatican was significantly shorter, so we got in it. An hour later and we were inside, making a beeline for the Sistine Chapel b/c we thought the place was closing early that day. They ended up staying open for their normal hours, so maybe they just stopped letting people in early? I’m not really sure. You know what’s funny? After all of the massive, elaborate architecture and sculptures that we’d seen, I wasn’t that impressed with the Sistine Chapel. I know, I know, take my fine art degree away, but I wasn’t. I could appreciate the work that went into it, and the skill, and was impressed by the thought of “holy crap how did he do this way back then??” but I didn’t say “WOW” when I got in there like I did with a lot of other places. We had crappy fast-food pizza for lunch, so we decided to play it safe for dinner and go to our favorite little restaurant in our neighborhood & get gelato from the place near that. (I ninja’d a picture of the gelato guy! He was so nice!)
Since we had seen most of the “big” sights by now, we decided to take it kind of easy on the fifth day. We went shopping for the rest of the souvenirs and ate. We stumbled on the cutest store ever, and bought The Munchkin a name plate and an adorable clock for my MIL. Seriously though, I wanted everything in that store.
We finally had one of those 3-course Italian lunches, and holy crap that is a lot of food. The main course was “farm meats” and roasted potatoes. I liked it until I found a bone (which John said wasn’t unusual) and then shockingly, it was disgusting to me. The first and third courses were delicious though, and I was pleased to be full at the end of the meal. For dinner, we ate at a pizza place in our hotel’s neighborhood & topped it all off with gelato from the gelato guy.
On the sixth day, we took a day trip. We went to the former port town of Rome, Ostia Antica. It was awesome. It only took a 45 minute train ride to get there from the main metro area. Ostia Antica is just ruins of a city that used to house 60,000 people. John’s audio guide said that we should leave 2 hours for the place, but we could have easily spent all day there. We got there a little before lunch, and got kicked out when the place closed at 5pm. Crazy. What was so cool about this place was that you could climb the ruins. (Well, within reason.) It was like an archeological scavenger hunt! We would walk down little side streets and find homes with cool mosaics on the floor and remnants of frescoes on the wall…so cool. The theater was massive, and it was crazy to think about what it must have been like to live there.
There was a day 7 and day 8, but day 7 was all about sights that we couldn’t take pictures at, and day 8 was all about travel. Seriously. 23 hours of travel. Bruutaal.
This was a fantastic little vacation for John and I, and I am happy to report that I only cried for a little bit on the car ride to JFK. We Skyped with The Munchkin just about every day, and that helped. He didn’t miss us at all, lol. He was happy to see us on the computer, but after a smile and a wave, he’d just walk off and go back to playing. Ah, to be 20 months old. I am so grateful that my parents were able to come up and watch him while we were gone. It was a much needed break and rebonding, and I am very thankful.