Thursday, September 5, 2013

When in ROME, ITALYYYYY {Part 1}

Bonjour (Or as the Italians so it...Bonjour~no)! 

(There's so much to blog about, I had to make it two parts!!!)
WE ARE IN ROME!!! Pinch me! Someone please pinch me! I have to admit, my life is pretty unbelievable at this moment! I am sitting all by myself out on this huge wrap around porch overlooking the city of Rome. I can see historic structures, even out of the corner of my eye, while typing this. I hear plates clanging, music, laughter, and applause coming from a nearby restaurant. The weather is perfect with just a slight cool breeze. How in the world did I get lucky enough to come here?! I’ll never know, but I am so grateful!

(above: view from the balcony)

Today was a glorious day! First of all, unlike yesterdays rain showers, today was FULL of sunlight! Absolutely gorgeous to be exact. We sat poolside at Lake Como before we hit the road for Milan to fly up and away to ROME! I was so excited I really couldn’t contain myself. You know I’m super excited when I’m quiet! I barely said a peep until we got to the airport! Once we hoped on the plane, it took just an hour to get to Rome. As we flew over, I could see the top of the Coliseum and Vatican City! I was so so pumped! When we landed we headed straight to our hotel, but we passed the baths of Rome and the Coliseum a little closer up. Totally unreal to imagine what life was like in those days! After getting settled, Mama W and I walked around the city with our guide for a bit! Everyone else wanted to rest. WHO COULD REST WITH THE EXCITEMENT OF ROME at your fingertips???? 

First, we walked towards the old Roman gates. The city used to keep the tall gates closed. If someone wanted to get in, they used a big metal stick like specimen to knock and someone would let them in. What an interesting concept. We have lots more to learn, but our guide told us tonight that Rome is the city of churches and water. There are so many beautiful churches...many/mostly Catholic (I’m in awe at the history of my faith!) You can see domes and hear the bells ringing all throughout the day! My grandparents would have loved it here!!!

Then we walked in and out of some cute little shops. Once we reached the end of the street we had arrived at the Spanish steps. I have yet to sit on them, but I will before the trip is over. We also stopped in some designer shops where Mama L made some purchases and then we headed back for dinner. 

(LOVE the Catholic symbolism!)

                                                                                (I want to go EVERYWHERE!!)

 (cute mailboxes, right!)

 (the eye doctor, obvi!)

(sights while exploring!!!)
We drove to a little hole in the wall place recommended by a friend of the W fam. It was in a little bit sketchy part of town, but it might have been the best italian food I’ve ever tasted! I had the spaghetti but we also had bread (that reminded me of first communion bread!) asparagus, and truffle oil pasta to share in the middle! It was YUMMO! Our guide even ate dinner with us because we had to have a one spoke English there!!! We took a picture with the owner before we left. He was insulted and thought we didn’t enjoy our dinners because more than half of everyone’s food was left over. He was wrong. It was delicious!!!

Now I am trying to rest for the night. Unfortunately I want to roam (haha Rome!) the city like crazy and find all the nooks and crannies that I will miss during the days with thousands of tourists just like me. I wish I could spend a month here learning more about this place and it’s history (didn’t I go to Catholic school for a million years? It still wasn’t enough!) Tomorrow we get to go to many of the places that I glanced at today and I get to learn even more about this breathtaking place. Did I tell you it is by far my favorite? I am sure that it will be hard to top!

Can’t wait to write about the amazing things I get to see tomorrow. And my flight attendant friend Jenny gets to join us tomorrow so I’m ecstatic to get to share these moments with a friend, too!! Thanks for reading...or should I say Gratis (Gr-aht-zi)!!!!  

Saturday, June 22:

Life is just a bowl of cherries! Little Ms. S inspired me with that line tonight as she devoured some cherries this afternoon on the deck of our amazing room. Not to mention, she left a few cherry stains on her t-shirt as well! ;)

I have to say, today has been my favorite day by far and I think that it will be hard to top. I stayed up super late blogging and FaceTiming Mr. Keev and my sister and nephews. Therefore, I had trouble waking up to my 7am alarm. I snoozed a bit, knowing that my friend Jenny would be arriving soon around 9am. Turns out I am STILL NOT ADJUSTED! Jenny was my (and the kiddos) wake up call at 9am. She messaged me and I didn’t even hear the door until the second ring! I ordered breakfast for the crew and we had an unbelievable morning eating and chatting. Inside, I was overflowing with anticipation for the day. 

First, we headed to the Trevi Fountain. I love this because I think of everything either in terms of my faith/movies and this makes me think of the movie “When in Rome.” There were loads and loads of people here. The fountain was unreal and I had to be extra careful holding my purse! This was a quick visit with a coin kiss and a wish as we threw our coins in the fountain. I HOPE MINE COMES TRUE!!! And it’s said that those who throw coins in this fountain will return to Rome. I HOPE THIS COMES TRUE, TOO! Mama W had Jenny and I pose with a big, strong gladiator!!! There are tons of them just waiting to get paid for standing next to their B.O.! ;) 

We hoped back in the cab and went for a little ride to the area of the city where the Pantheon is. Here we did a little shopping and Gelato eating. At the Gelato shop, there were some huge Pope Lolipops! I had to get those all in fun :)! We all took a few bites of ice cream and got rid of the rest because it was still a little early. Then we headed to the Pantheon. The Pantheon structure has a BEAUTIFUL open hole at the top of the dome. It was originally a Pagan Temple when it was originally built. Now, it is a Catholic church. A man came over the loud speaker, asking for silence, but it was still pretty loud in the room. In the center of the building in a roped off area. This area is marked off so that when it rains through the hole, people do not slip and fall where the rain has entered the building. There are two little holes here to drain the water. It’s pretty neato!


By this time, we were hungry for lunch! We headed to ANOTHER delicious Italian restaurant. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to eat today, but of course, weakness hits at every restaurant we meet. Lunch ended and we headed... TO THE VATICAN!

More to come sooooooon!!!

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