Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rome - Day 1

This is the lobby of the Mariott we are staying's massive! As much fun as hostels are, it is really nice to be staying in a hotel.
This morning we went to church in Rome.
We drove there in the Panda - which was a crazy adventure. On the freeway, there is a semblance of order, but once on the city streets everything dissolves into anything goes. No lanes, motor scooters weaving in and out, running stop lights....whatever you want. At one point I was going strait and the car on my right wanted to turn left, so when the light turned green he just turned right in front of me and gave me a dirty what's your problem! Really! It was fun but seriously out of control. It was honestly a miracle from heaven that we even found the church. Church was great. We got a little head set and everything with English translation. It was really fun to sing all the Christmas hymns in Italian.
After church we made it back to the hotel, again by some miracle, and took the hotel shuttle into town. We are staying at another Marriott again - thanks to Jason. We went to the Piazza Navona first where they were putting on a big Christmas market.
We found these giant good!
So aparently here in Europe because everyone lives in apartments buildings and they don't necessarily have fire places, Santa climbes through the window....creepy!
Our first stop was the Pantheon. It was built to the Roman gods in AD 126! The dome is a huge perfect circle. Buildings just aren't what they used to be.

Here we are in front of it.
In the Pantheon is the tomb of the great artist Raphael.

The day was absolutly freezing.....but not too cold for gelatto!
Next we just started walking. We came around a corner and saw this massive monument. Things here in Rome are just so grandiose! (Probably a lot like the ancient Romans). Turns out this is a monument to Mussolini.
Next we headed to the Coloseum. Always extremely impressive of course. I had just been there two months previous so I let Jason and Melanie explore it while I watched the "roman warriors" hassle people for pictures - also very entertaining. While we were walking back to catch the bus to the hotel we stopped to watch a street performer. We were up on a bench watching and the performer started pulling guys out of the crowd for something....Jason made the mistake of making eye contact and this is where it led. He had these four all sit on tiny stools back to back, then had them lay on eachothers laps (no one really knowing where this was going but feeling the awkwardmess) and then he ceremoniously took away the stools so they were in this tangle....and then simply went on with things for about 5 minutes until they released them.....hehe....I think Jason will be more careful to avert his eyes from the gaze of street performers from now on.

Once the sun went down, it got extremely cold so we headed back to the hotel and went to bed about 9.....we reallly needed the extra sleep.


Melissa said...

Denise~I got your blog address from the family newsletter that was sent to my parents. It looks like you have had a great time in London and other places. Hope things are going good for you. My family is doing good. I enjoy playing with my niece and having her around; that is when I get a chance and I'm home at my parent's place. Take care! Hope things continue to go well. (My blog is private is if you want to email me at talk2mel(at)juno(dot)com I'll do my best to invite you.)
~Melissa Webster

Fiagle Family said...

Happy birthday!!!! looks like you are celebrating in style..i have a post for you ...soon :) ohh memories

Daren said...

Wouldn't Jason and the 3 other guys make a square....not a "triangle"??

Or do they name shapes differently there across the pond?