Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rome part 2

***WARNING*** This post contains pictures of dead popes so if you’re queasy about those things you might not want to read. I just find it interesting now but I used to not like things like that.


On the second day we were there we went to the Vatican. It was on a Sunday so we thought we’d go and try to see the pope. The Vatican itself is much smaller then I thought it would be. It’s really just St Peter’s square and St Peter’s church. There’s a bunch of building around it. But that’s all that’s there. The Sistine chapel and the Vatican museums are not even at the Vatican. They are a couple blocks away. Inside St Peter’s there are tons of statue’s, each one meaning something but it would have taken too long to research everything. The most famous one is Michelangelo's Pieta. It depicts the Mother Mary holding Jesus after his crucifixion.


But there are many others. Here’s some that I have no clue who they are.


Oh, here’s a real weird  one. Notice, his left side is missing. I didn’t even see that until we got home and I was looking at my pictures. I wonder if it’s like that for a reason? It just kind of blends in with the wall.


I thought he was kind of a cool looking Pope.  Then also inside St Peters are dead popes inside glass. I don’t think I’d like to be encased like that and opened up to the scrutiny of millions of viewers. And don’t think we didn’t scrutinize them. Can you guess which one we said was definitely Italian?



Yep, it’s the second one. Look at that nose! Poor guy. No wonder he became celibate. Oh, I’m definitely going to hell for that.

Speaking of going to hell. Tom is catholic so I made him do the holy water to see if he’d get burned. Yeah, he came out just fine.  But , I think he was sweating it a little.


As you can see, no burn marks.

Downstairs at St Peter’s is all the other tombs of the popes but you’re not allowed to take pictures down there. And they’re not encased in glass.  When we got out of the downstairs area it was time to view the live pope.


Nope, not him. He’s one of the swiss guards. But I’m sure he doesn’t really run after criminals in that get up. He just stands there still as a tree. But here is the real live pope!


It started to rain as soon as he came out. I’m not implying anything but it did clear up as soon as he was done? He gave a blessing in 6 or 7 different languages. The English part was really short. But I felt we needed a blessing after all my criticizing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When in Rome?

The last and very best part of the trip was Rome. I adored it.  I’ve always loved Boston for their history. It’s amazing how patriotic I become when I visit Boston. Well, talk about history. This place dates back before Christ! It was so fun to think I was walking right were someone during Christ’s time walked. And talk about opulence!! Everything was marble and gold. Our first stop was to the colosseum.  It was built during Emperor Vespasian’s time around 80 ad and has survived since then. Of course, it doesn’t look like it did then.


Right outside the colosseum is the Arch of Constantine. It was built for Emperor Constantine  I’s to celebrate his victory over Maxentius. You used to be able to drive under it but pollution took it’s toll and now it’s gated.


And right by that is the Temple of Venus. Venus is a goddess of Love, Beauty, and fertility.


And right by there is Arch of Titus which our tour guide said no jew will ever walk under. It was built to celebrate the Roman victory over the Jews. I’m pretty sure that a jewish  person has probably walked under it at some point. It’s been there a long time.


We drove by the Fountain of Titan. Which was created by the Bernini in the 1600’s.


And speaking of fountains, that night Tom and I took a walk to see the Trevi fountain. This has been in several movies and it’s said that if you throw a coin in the fountain it’s a guarantee that you will return to Rome. If you throw in two coins you’ll find love. And if you throw in three coins you’ll either get married or divorced. I didn’t throw in any because they grab about 3,000 euros a day out of it.IMG_1736_edited-1

Well, I’ll continue my Roman holiday tomorrow. It’s getting longer then I thought.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Our base for the first part of our trip was Courmayeur, Italy. It’s a small town right on the borders of France and Switzerland. This is where the skiing took place. I just have to show you this picture of the mountains that Tom took because I think it’s so beautiful. It makes me almost wish that I could ski.


But unfortunately when I look at it I think BROKEN LEG.

On the first day, to get our sea legs, we just walked around the town and had to see what they had to offer. It’s full of cute little shops, very expensive. But the thing I love about europe is the little shops for meat, cheese, and pasta. I so wish we had that in the states.


I also love the little cafe’s where you can get this! No Starbucks here.


After we got they lay of the land we decided to venture off to France. We took the bus from downtown, through Mt Blanc, in a very long tunnel. When we came out of the tunnel we were in Chamonix, France. It’s another cute little ski town, again very expensive. I am totally addicted to Diet Pepsi, which you can’t even find there. So I had to switch to Coke light. The Coke lights cost more then the wine!! It cost 7 euro’s for a coke light, which is like $10 american. Believe me, I made sure I drank every last sip. But with my Coke light I got this little baby.


Isn’t that the most glorious croissant you’ve ever seen! OK. I’m done showing you the food pictures. You know where my mind is at. Here’s the town of Chamonix.





While we were in Italy we also did a side trip to a vineyard and had a wine tasting. At first Tom and I didn’t want to go because we’re not big drinkers. But everyone else was going so we decided to tag along. For a girl who doesn’t drink much, I had my share and probably everyone else’s. I kept bellying up to the bar to get refills. I could barely remember my name when I was done. I should know better. Here is what Tom lovingly called the Grappa bong. Grappa is the residue at the bottom of the barrel and boy howdy is it strong.


Tomorrow I will show you some pictures of our trip to ROME! That was by far my favorite.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The cast of Characters

When I first met and fell in love with Tom, I realized we had some strong differences. One of the big ones is that Tom has a built in alarm and when it goes off he’s off and running. I can barely get “Good Morning” out of my mouth before he’s out the door. He’s a very active person and I, well I like to putz. I’d stay in my PJ’s all day if I could. One of his loves is skiing, and he’s very good at it. Well, you couldn’t get me in a pair of ski’s if you tried. That created a situation for vacations. At first we’d go to the mountains and he’d go off skiing and I’d do a little shopping and knit while he was gone. It got very lonely for both of us. Then someone suggested we join a ski club. Boy, I’d love to give that person a big hug. It turned out to be the best thing for both of us. Now he has people to ski with and I have people to shop and explore with. I was a little concerned at first because I’m a very shy person and I didn’t know these people. But over the years I have found some wonderful friends, “Hi Barb”.  Now at first I thought these people might be a little strange, well, they were. But in a good way. Here our just some of a few people who were on our trip that helped make it so enjoyable.


This is Chris, Dawn, and Sandy. These girls don’t ski either so we did a lot of sight seeing.



This is Bonnie and Rick. They met at the ski club and decided to get married on one of the trips. Very Romantic, no?


Speaking of romantic, this is also a Rick and Bonnie. They got engaged on this trip.


This is Dale and his mother Harriet. I absolutely fell in love with her this trip. Not in a gay way. She is just the sweetest thing. Always upbeat and positive. She’s having knee replacement surgery this week so please think good thoughts for her.


Here’s the whole group of us. There was 41 of us all together.


And finally, here’s Dave. Who could not love a mug like that. He had me in stitches the whole time. It’s a good thing I had my bladder fixed or I would have had wet pants the whole time.


Tomorrow I will post pictures of our trip. I just wanted to let you get to know these wonderful people first. After you get to know them you’ll love them too. Even Dave.