Friday, February 1, 2008

No, we have not fallen off the face of the earth...

If you think you are the only one that has been wondering what in the world happened to our blog, you're not. We have received many questions, complaints and even a couple of threats. I had no idea we were so popular!

Honestly, I think we did so much over the Christmas holiday that I was completely overwhelmed by the thought of trying to re-count it all. But, it's February 1st and I can hold out on you no longer.

First off, Christmas in Italy was - well - perfect. It was unconventional and a little strange at times - but pretty much perfect.

Below is the Coliseum on Christmas Eve.

We also visited Vatican City on Christmas Eve. In the midst of making travel plans, I was so concerned about getting to the Vatican on a day when everything was open that it somehow escaped me that Christmas Eve is one of their top 3 busiest days of the year.....woops.

We showed up about 10am to a 3 hour line, literally wrapped around the city. A nice (and by nice I mean scary) Irish man offered to let us skip in line with his "tour guide" who had been in line all morning and would save us about 2 hours of waiting.....for a fee of course. We negotiated a few bucks off his "fee" and hopped in line fully expecting it to be a total scam and planning to bail on the tour once we got inside. We figured it would be worth it just to not have to wait. Turns out the guy is a student in theology and art history. It was honestly one of the best tours we've had in all our European travels thus far. I would love to recommend the company to you if you happen to visit someday. Unfortunately, I think they are totally under the radar and you will just have to look for the scary/nice Irish man.

I knew nothing about the Vatican museum before we showed up and was happy to have a thorough explanation of how the museum came to exist, all of the precious artifacts it contains and, most importantly how the Sistine Chapel came to be. Here is a bath tub that belonged to Nero made of rare (now extinct?) Egyptian marble that is estimated to be worth half a billion (yes, Billion) dollars....

Feed a small country? Perhaps.

We toured the museum and saw Michelangelo's famous ceiling, got disconnected from our tour group, barely got to breeze through St. Peter's before they shut it down to get ready for Christmas Eve Mass.

We stopped for a late lunch just off the square where I had quite possibly the most delicious lasagne ever and snapped this photo...

We finished the day wandering Rome one last time before hopping a train to Florence the following day. Perhaps you're thinking we should have stayed for mass. We were told that over 60,000 people show up at about 10pm to angle for the "cheap seats" and wait for midnight mass. Well, we're not Catholic, and waiting two hours with thousands of people, in the cold for something that wasn't going to hold a whole lot of meaning for us just didn't sound like fun. We opted instead for a dinner of baguette, cheese and wine in our room, playing Texas Hold'em and watching Star Wars in Italian. How's that for starting new traditions?

More to come soon on what we've been up to lately - I promise.

In the meantime, a few photos of beautiful Rome -

1 comment:

Casey said...

Well it's about time. Ha Ha. You two are very popular because in comparison, the rest of us here in Texas have no lives at all. We are just a bunch of cowboys checking the internet 1000 times a day waiting for your next update. Keep up coming and can't wait to see you guys in April.