Rome Day 3 - Honors Humanities for the Win!!

Feb 5, 2012

We started out a little later than we had expected to today. It wasn't a big deal. Today is Sunday. We could have been at the Colosseum at 830a. Then again, we could have been curled up in bed. That was our decision this morning. And it was a good decision. It was also a time for a decent shower and plenty of freshening up. After a bit of walking into walls and getting our bearings, the day started.

Well, our day actually started with Adele realizing she was allergic to our room. We don't know how or why she's allergic, but after our day, we're sitting in the hotel bar. Five minutes into hanging out on the beds in the room and she was sneezing like a freak. Plus, there's the potential I could have some tea. So, yay!! I learned this morning at breakfast that they have my favorite tea. As long as they have enough milk to choke a horse and enough sugar to kill it dead, I'd be a happy camper.

Our days have been planned pretty specifically...for Rome, that is. We knew yesterday that we wanted to see more of Modern Rome. And we did. We knocked off most (if not all) of the sights last night. Today, we wanted to see more of Ancient Rome. At first I was worried since we thought we might want to be there when they opened. There was no need to worry.

The Colosseum was the first stop. We quickly discovered that due to the weather, we couldn't go into the Colosseum. It was just too dangerous. But the crowds were still light and we we soaring. Why?? Cause we were seeing the Colosseum!!

I liken seeing the Colosseum to seeing Machu Picchu. Every single person was there to see the Colosseum. And every single person was saying the same thing (in varying languages). We are seeing the Colosseum!! I suddenly became Picture Girl as multiple people asked me to take their pictures (I only had one reshoot and even then, he wasn't happy...he never would have been happy. Jerk.) I can't really put into words the Colosseum. Big. Just big. And so very old. It makes me want to watch Gladiator and Spartacus (the series), because I know enough of what happened there. But still...shit went down in this place. I can't even imagine how anything really happened or looked here. It was a bit of a disappointment that we couldn't see inside. But it is just too dangerous with the current weather situation (1986 was the last snow in Rome). And I get that. Plus, we're here. We see the Colosseum. And it was glorious.

I will apologize about the swearing. Those who know me well (or even a little bit) know I will swear unapologetically like a sailor. I try not to here, just cause. But sometimes there's no other word to use. I will do my best to keep these moments to a minimum. That is all.

What was fun (and will be throughout the trip) was seeing my high school Humanities class be put to use. Adele pointed out the Doric columns on the first level of the Colosseum. Then when looking up, I exclaimed, "The next level is Ionic, then Corinthian!!". It was highly exciting. Now when we go to the Louvre on Thursday or Wednesday, I'll get geeky over artists. Thanks, Ms. Grey and the other teacher!! Mr. Wilson?? I seriously have no idea. But I do remember Manet painted "Splendor in the Grass.". And I feel that is more important than remembering my 12th grade Teacher's name.

The next stop was Palatine and the Roman Forum. Again, we couldn't go exploring because of the snow and ice. This one was really ice based. We were able to walk up one side of Palatine Hill. I likened it to the trek up Huayna Picchu. Some areas were fine. Others were slick and icy. I saw many people bite it on the hills (including the dude who fell on his kid). Contrary to popular belief (and previous history), riotous laughter did not happen during these falls. While spectacular, they were painful looking. And I didn't want to deal with ice karma. I still had to go back down the Hill. There was only one moment where I lost all ability to walk. We were near the top and I was walking in the footprints of others. I had one foot higher up the hill than the other and knew that both were on slicks of ice. That's where I froze. I just couldn't move in any way. I reached out to a dude behind me who was having none of my shenanigans. A woman in front of me reached out and helped me get back to "dry" land. After that, I didn't have any other major issues (I did slice my fingernail off on the way back down due to an ill-placed grab on a brick wall). Again, it was mildly disappointing that we couldn't see the inside of the area, but we both knew it was for safety. And I'm not good with ice and hills.

After we walked through Palatine Hill, we took to the streets to walk over the Roman Forum and more of Palatine. There are so many things happening there that I would dig going back to see in slightly warmer weather. And by slightly warmer weather, I mean...any other time in the future would have better weather than this. Like Nuclear Winter would have warmer weather than this...

Leave it to me to consider the end of civilization/humanity as an "everyday" situation...

I'll stop for a moment to explain my love for Romans and their dogs. The last Big Trip was in South America. There, all of the dogs ran free and were sickly. Here...every little dog wore a leash and an outfit. Rain gear for the pooch was the mandate. And it was adorable. My favorite was the dog with the raincoat and the hat. The dog also had rain booties. Adorable. Dogs are also accepted on the Metro. I don't know if they have to pay and extra fare, but this morning, a dog was sitting on the Metro (with a coat) without a care in the world. Love.

We walked our way though more neighborhoods in Rome until we hit the Pantheon. Again, we couldn't go inside due to the weather, but still it was an impressive building. Along the way. We saw many Egyptian obelisks that had been converted/added to statues. Did everyone pillage Egypt??

At this point, we began searching for food. We found a plaza area and noshed on some roasted walnuts (or chestnuts...I wasn't entirely clear), then made our way into a place for a very late lunch. The wine began flowing. Now I will say this, last night we ordered a liter of wine (I thought) and it was a enough for one glass each. So we did the same thing today. The liter that showed up was...well, a liter. The waiter even questioned us, "A liter??". Yeah. We were adamant. And then we saw the actual liter. It was much larger than expected. Now I wonder what they served us last night. Whatever. So we had some bruschetta and bolognese dishes (lasagna and tagliatelle) and drank the wine over multiple hours. This is what I wanted. Long, lingering dinners. Across the street was a Gelataria. I had Cassie's quote in my head since we landed, "I would have gelato twice every day!!". Considering I'd been in Rome for 36 hours and hadn't had gelato, I was feeling like I needed to catch up. Some Nutella gelato did the trick. Nicely.

On the way back to our hotel, we were getting ready to cross the bridge. Until we looked across the street at the scene off of the other side of the bridge. St. Peter's Basilica was right there, bathed in the sunset and gleaming off of the River Tiber. Once we moved our jaws from the floor of the bridge, we began wildly snapping photos. Beautiful. Hopefully we can get a few pictures posted in the next day or two. But as we learned today, we have a finite number of minutes we can use WiFi. It makes me a little tweaky to be without. Then again, I think that's good for us both. So I won't be able to check work email for a few days. At least until we get into Paris on Wednesday. Oh, darn...

We haven't gotten the tea yet. I think we might need to make that happen soon.

Tomorrow is our journey to Pompeii. It's a massively early morning, followed by a late night. Should be an amazing day. Adele just looked up to make sure the ruins were open tomorrow. That would be a hell of a journey just to be told to go home due to weather...

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