M: I have always wanted to go to Italy. Even though I’m only 1/4 Italian, I really have always thought that it feels like home to me– just reading about it, seeing pictures, and hearing about it from others. And it does feel like home! Everyone looks like me here– aquiline noses, dark hair, olive skin, etc. etc. I love that. And the food is remarkable. Particularly the gelato. I have had it twice a day since we got here… favorite flavors so far include: hazelnut meringue, Nutella, grapefruit, strawberry, rosemary/lemon/honey, honey, and fig/cheese/almond. Don’t even get me started on the pizza… as you can tell, food means home to me. So hello, Italia. I am home.
J: I’ve been here before so everything should be, at the very least, familiar to me, right? Nope. Not even close. With Maggie here I’m taking in things that I would have typically waltzed right past without a care in the world. Today, she was pointing out delicate textures on paintings that were incredible. I never would have noticed them without her. She even looked up the best gelaterias in the city and so far we’ve hit them all! They’re incredible. I would have settled for second to best. Now I’ve had the best 4 times and the second best 2 times and third best once. It pays to have someone as dedicated and passionate about life and living as your partner. Maggs is great. Rome last time was cold and lonely. This time it’s warm and cozy. In fact, I’d say, since I’m here with her, it feels like home to me.
M: We are having a great honeymoon so far– thanks to the gifts of so many people at our wedding and other people who are letting us stay at their houses and give us recommendations for places to eat, things to see, stuff to do. It feels like a continuation of our wedding celebration– 1.5 years later! It’s as it should be. And as a nice surprise for continued celebration, we even got to hang out with some friends who happened to be in Rome at the same time as we were!
J: This is my favorite picture so far that we’ve taken. (I’m referring to the one above.) It was taken at the Spanish Steps by a friend of ours (see below on the right!) Maggs says I’m messing up the groove…which I probably am. So I won’t comment on the picture below that makes the friends that we got to hang out with for two days here look like nerds.
M: As I have raved about my husband’s photog skills enough on this blog already, I will just say he had the great idea to take pictures of the Colosseum at night when there were fewer tourists and neat lighting. So even though I had to pee terribly, I sucked it up and loitered while he took some great shots of this massive wonder. And then, as usual with historic things, I got freaked out that it was so old and so many people had been in there and been killed there… so we had to leave.
J: I, on the other hand, simply thought of the movie Gladiator (you know the one, I mean, of course you do. There’s only one after all…) which I thought was awesome and crazy. The people were about half the size of me back in the day and so when they went up against tigers and lions and such, they were outmatched not only in strength but also in size. They didn’t have a chance…
M: We have just wandered. Sometimes consulting a map, sometimes not. Mostly just being quiet. Sometimes we hold hands, and other times we go on opposite sides of the cobblestone alleyways only to join up again when the cavalcades of scooters pass. And we see awesome buildings like this one.
J: I really liked the colors on this balcony. I wish I could go and sit up there at night with a glass of wine because it’s just opposite the Trevi Fountain.
M: Self-timer in front of the scary historic monolith full of dead people and bad energy.
J: Ahhh, sorry, I had to stop laughing at what Maggie wrote before I could think of my own clever little caption. Here goes, so apparently, this giant arch is right next to the colosseum and was commissioned by Nero or something…(I could have made that last part up…not sure)
M: The Fountain of Tritone in the Piaza de Barberini. I think. Anyway, it’s a great fountain. And I’m pretty sure you can drink the water from it– but I didn’t, Mom, don’t worry. Although I already have an amoeba from Rwanda, but that is another story. But you CAN drink the water from all the ancient water fountains all around the city because many (most?) of them are still fed by the same ancient aquifers from Roman times. The water is delicious.
J: This is that fountain in that piaza. (But hey, don’t believe everything you read on the internet!) And the water is pretty good…
M: Justin has an obsession with taking pictures of doors and tiny automobiles. Jackpot. I think this one should be framed when we get home.
J: This is a red car. A very very very
very very very very tiny red car. Seriously, they make Smart Cars look like Hummers.
M: There are beautiful churches everywhere. I think we have said that before… and we try to go into them all, but they all start to look the same. In a good way, actually. It’s very beautiful and wonderful. We went to the Vatican today and saw the Sistine Chapel and all the other goodies of the Catholic church. Justin got kicked out of the Sistine Chapel for taking a picture, but who can blame him? The Church has done a lot of really bad things, but they’ve done a lot of really good things, too. Namely: Art.
J: I liked how the church was half in the light and half in the dark. And I especially liked what the couple sitting on the steps added to the pic as well.
M: Another picture courtesy of the lovely Alissa Case. This is another fountain in another piaza. Just kidding. It’s the Trevi Fountain.
J: This is my favorite place in Rome. Well. It used to be. Last time I was here when there were no tourists (you know, the end of December) and I had the place pretty much all to myself. It was super peaceful. Now there are always about 2,000 people there making noise and taking pictures. Still beautiful, just not as peaceful.
M: This is that church I got kicked out of above the Spanish Steps for wearing a strapless dress. Viewed through azaleas.
J: She’s not lying.
J: I took this picture of this guy. (Obviously.) And I can’t remember if he saw me take it or not. And now, since that branch covers where his eyes are, I still can’t tell. What do you think?
M: Your creeper pictures make me very uncomfortable. Obviously, this man agrees with me.
M: The Piaza Navona with the Four Rivers sculpture by Bernini. It’s got so much movement in it. The Piaza is crowded with lots of painting vendors, these gorgeous cameo earrings that I would die for that were probably 900 Euro, and guitarists playing “Hotel California” to karaoke tracks.
J: Seriously, everyone there had the same set list. And it seemed like their “big money” track was “Hotel California” which, I have fond memories of from back in the day when my family (specifically my uncles Bob and Jim) played it on guitar/bass and sang it together. So these piaza people don’t have a chance stealing that memory away from my by creating another one. Sorry, isn’t gonna happen. Although, today we actually heard people playing real music without a CD track supporting cast…and that was nice.
M: The Four Rivers! And an obelisk.
J: True story. Bernini did this bad boy.
M: Another sculpture in the Piaza. Not sure who did this one. Bernini, too?
J: Also by Bernini.
M: You get off the metro at Flaminio, and then you see the entrance to Piaza del Popolo. Another Piaza. I wonder if you are sensing a theme here. I am. It is another one of Rome’s monotonous but welcome themes. Piazas are large open areas where people rest on steps, couples make out (a lot), and street performers and vendors bug the crap out of you while you are trying to people watch.
J: They are a great place to rest when your “dogs are barking” (Kevin, from The Office, anyone?) and then you can people watch!
M: I told Justin to title this picture “A man with a wooden leg named Smith.” Which is, of course, another movie/TV reference. From… I will tell you at the end of the post.
J: Somebody carved this. He was famous. He had given Julia Roberts and Pope John Paul II some of his carvings. This particular carving looks like it’s kicking it old school in honor of the late Beatie Boy.
M: Did we tell you about this already? I repeat my stories so bear with me. This is a site of sunken ruins– including the Senate House where Julius Caesar was murdered!– that is now a cat sanctuary. Piaza de Argentina, I think. If I was a cat, this would be paradise. Plenty of things to climb and jump from, long grass to stalk prey, other friends… kitty bliss!
J: Argentinians must really love their cats!
M: Karli, Justin found the most magnificent painting for you– reminds you of a certain sweatshirt, don’t you think?
J: Hint Hint, Von Herbulis, it’s a blue sweatshirt with a white horse on it.
M: Oh, look. Another creeper shot. But this lady was very neat. And had a dog in her purse.
J: I took this from my hip. Wishbone.
M: It’s like yin and yang. It’s like Rome is trying to balance all the bad energy from the murders at the Colosseum.
J: I named this picture “Halfsies.”
M: Kitties in their kitty paradise! And me and Alissa who were happy to see happy cats.
J: I think that it looks like Maggie is trying to feed cats pizza in this picture. Like she’s super proud of the pizza that she’s about to feed these cats.
M: We may or may not have spent more time at the cat sanctuary than anywhere else that day… including the historic Via Appia. And we are not ashamed.
J: Andrew and Hans. You can argue of who gets to be which.
M: Yep. I got nothing. I did not understand THIS pop culture reference until Justin told me. But the beer shop it was in had some neat Trappist ales that aren’t sold in the States!
J: Duff Beer. Please tell me at least some of you know where this is from. (If you don’t, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to be from the longest running TV series ever.)
M: We rented an apartment 4 stops away from the Colosseum through airbnb.com. Which is the best site ever, by the way– people rent their apartments, spare rooms, villas, etc. So we got a great little place with a kitchen. And Justin cooked us dinner the first night!
J: So here I am, cooking dinner. Symbolic shoutout to the Scranton family and all my brothers!
M: I am here in our little apartment. Which, thankfully, has WiFi and a washing machine!
J: Yup, the WIFI gave her something to do while I
slaved away cooked.
M: Justin, don’t even go there. All the times I cook dinner… okay enough. It was delicious and I am thankful and excited to cook more WITH you in the future.
J: Double fistin.
M: The chef at work!!
J: I got that sweet little diddy on my head in Uganda for $5. It was also on sale in Miami at the Urban Outiftters I worked at (no comments about this) for about $35. So I’ve decided to open a Ugandan Outfitters when I get back and sell everything that Urban does but for 75% of the cost!
M: Isn’t it beautiful?? We had wine and bread and everything. Delish. Excellent job, house husband!
M: These are more things carved by that man who carved Pinocchio, pictured above.
J: I was trying to take a picture of these pigeons but all these signs got in the way and ruined the picture…
M: We so fly. And this picture so blurry. But we still so fly.
J: We so blurry. And this picture so fly. But we still so blurry.
M: There it is again. You haunt my dreams, Colosseo. And are built on the site of Nero’s “Colossus” statue of himself, for which you are named. And you are stained with blood and filled with tourists and the popes tried to redeem you by putting crosses in you and their names on your sides.
J: Behemoth of a death building.
M: More cat sanctuary! See? Wouldn’t you be blissfully happy there if you were a feline?
J: Feline Haven.
M: Guess where this one was taken?
J: I like how this little black guy stands out among all of the white(ish) stones.
M: This is an ancient temple. And the cat kept sticking his head down the hole in the altar. All I could think was ‘Curiosity killed the…’
M: Note the frescos behind Capt. Curiosity.
J: I would like to imagine this cat yelling at me for taking his picture in Italian…or at the very least, in English with a super deep Italian accent.
M: Where is this? The Maria del Popolo? With the Caravaggio and the Berninis that were covered up?
J: Yes. I thought it looked like a tree that had been burn. Which I thought was cool because of how it covered up the/accented the organ pipes.
M: I think we may be able to fill a whole book with pictures of beautiful Roman doors after this trip is through… another good one, babe!
J: This is a black door. It’s about 12 feet high and the paint is peeling off of it.
M: Reflection. That is the word that came to mind… and then a song in “The Little Mermaid” and one in “Mulan.”
J: I really liked the plants on this windowsill. But after I took the picture, I liked it for the reflection much more.
M: Roasted chestnuts! Which remind me of my Nana at Christmastime. And a small cone was 5 Euros, which surprised me so much I didn’t say no. So I bought them. And left a trail of shells around the city like Hansel & Gretel. I even found some later that day. So my trail worked!
J: Walnuts. (That’s what I thought they were.)
M: UP, UP, AND AWAY!
J: Look up next time you’re in a city. It might surprise you.
M: All the alleyways in Rome look just like all the pictures. Cobblestoned, ivy-covered wonders. Magical.
J: I really like the texture and character that the walls show here.
M: Google has been my best friend on this trip. I Googled best gelaterias and secondhand stores. So we found a gazillion gelaterias and three thriftstores. They were expensive, but really neat to look in! And Justin got a sweet vintage tank-top. And I tried on some glorious vintage sunglasses that were too much.
J: You weren’t supposed to take pictures inside, but the owner let someone into the fitting room and I snapped this while he wasn’t looking.
M: I wish we had more money and more luggage space for treasures, but we’re on a budget. Which is actually quite fun– it’s like a game to see how much you can get for your money. So places like this were more window-shopping. But still fun.
J: I loved this little alleyway. I thought it was super sweet with the cobblestone and ivy. Plus the window shutters. I don’t know why but I think they look awesome too. And I’m glad I was able to catch the guy on the bicycle before he escaped.
M: Es-CAP-ey! (Finding Nemo).
J: This is that church that was halfway covered in shadow and halfway still in the sun. This is the top half.
M: There is a road that goes from the side of the Piaza del Popolo to the Spanish Steps. The Cases told us it had some great views of the city and geez, were they right! Rome is all flat so you can see across the whole thing.
J: Step 1.
J: Step 2.
M: My favorite church again. Ha! No, it was beautiful. I need to go back there before we leave.
J: Piaza di Spagna.
M: Clown car! Oh, they’re so small. Two could fit in a Smart Car.
J: I’ve seen golf carts bigger than these things.
M: We went down the Via Appia with the Cases on their last day. We got glorious Italian pastries and then this nice old Italian man drove us to the top of the road because it was like 2 KM from the Metro Stop. Oh well. We went down in the Catacombs (another scary, death-energy place!) and saw these sheep.
J: These sheep were right next to the catacombs that we went into. The particular one we went into happened to be the largest in the world. It was incredible. Can’t believe Christians used to have mass and celebrate Eucharist down there together…
M: This is Angelo’s Castle. I am not sure who Angelo is, yet. I’ll have to Google it. But I DO know that there is a delicious gelateria not that far from there! Which is the most important thing.
J: Yellow with shutters…and a lamp.
J: This is a shot from that road that leads towards the Spanish Steps. It’s pretty sweet because you can see out over the rooftops of Rome.
M: I helped J line up the spires and domes in this shot.
J: I pushed the button. Ta-da.
J: This is Maggs enjoying the second best gelato in Rome. Although, it’s got some unique flavors that are really awesome (like Lemon Cheescake and Passionfruit).
M: Most of Justin’s pictures of me are me eating. Which is me happiest. This gelateria has those fancy flavors like rosemary, lemon, & honey and fig, almond, & cheese. Delish! They also serve gelato in the traditional Sicilian style in a brioche bun.
J: Another interesting building. Another sweet balcony w/ plants. Another blue sky.
M: Sun flare.
J: Up. Orange.
J: Down Orange.
M: Ivy. Dang, there are a lot of pictures on this post. Keep going! It’s a marathon! Augh!
J: More ivy and more Roman roofops!
J: Okay, so we decided that we would sit down at this touristy restaurant and eat a night ago.
M: Oh look. Me eating again. It wasn’t that bad, actually… for a touristy joint.
M: We wanted to rent a scooter so badly here, but it looks dangerous and is wicked expensive. Next time??
J: But more importantly, there is a dead bird about 10-15 feet from where our dinner table is. Look at the picture above again and you can see it there too. It wasn’t just dead, it’s insides were on the outside.
M: Locks at the Piaza del Popolo.
J: Kinder egg!
J: Jesus by Bernini!
M: THIS is that gourmet gelateria by Piaza Navola. They make all their artisenale gelato in small batches using only the finest ingredients– like their coffee gelato is made with expresso from Jamaica.
J: This beautiful horse was tied up in front up this sweet looking door and I couldn’t resist.
M: Three people were riding their horses down the Via Appia and one of them looked like he could have been from any of the past 3 centuries… his riding boots, old leather saddle… and then he put on a camo-print plastic poncho.
M: And, another door for your viewing pleasure.
J: This is a house off of Appia Antica. It was incredibly beautiful.
J: Here’s another window from that same house. The green is…just soo pretty.
M: Another view from that road above the Spanish Steps. To the leftish is the white building with a million columns and winged chariots on the sides. That is the monument to Italy’s first king, Victor Emannuelle (I think that’s his name). It is the biggest thing we’ve seen here.
J: Lots of green…
J: Sweet stairwell.
J: Gloria In Excelsis Deo. Indeed.
M: I think this is what Justin called my “fake smile.” At the del Teatro Gelato place.
M: Then I went back to eating my gelato.
M: Seriously, every street– especially those off of the tourist beaten path– is just splendid.
J: Fat cat subway.
J: Down below, scooter row.
M: This is that massive monument to Italian nationalism I wrote about above. It was raining so we had our Sprite-colored raincoats on.
J: Lemon-Lime! A combo that has stood the test of time.
J: Oh look, Maggs! Another door!
M: Oh look, Justin! My shocked and amazed face!
J: Feeling the vino.
M: It was SO great. We found this great little eatery down the street from the Colosseum (thanks to Kate Miller’s recommendation!) with cheap, delicious pasta and cheaper, delicious, smooth wine. It was packed with locals every night! We’ve been back three times.
J: So the other night we ordered Chinese food and had to wait in the restaurant for it. I wanted to take a picture and this is what Maggie decided to do.
J: Another door, another day. (But actually this is the same door as the last one and from the same day…)
J: Tiny car license plate!
J: A better picture of us from the Chinese place.
J: All of the lights, all of the lights.
J: Heart pizza.
M: Tiny pistachio-encrusted canoli for 1 Euro? Yes, please.
M: Sign at our train stop. Which is, as I told Justin, ironic. Because I think if you stopped and read it long enough, you’d get pick-pocketed.
J: Okay, I’m sorry for all of these pictures. I hope they’re somehow redeeming for how long this damn post is.
M: They really are beautiful, babe. We’re just tired so all these captions seem long. But they’re so awesome! They are going to be such great memories for when we’re old. Or just later this year.
J: Please see up above about the redeeming qualities.
J: Another door. Pretty sweet though, huh?
M: My tiny canolo of goodness!!
M: My wife is beautiful. Seriously. Look at her!
M: Aw babe it’s been great writing this with you and being on Facbeook separately. Let’s go eat dinner now.
(The movie reference? Mary Poppins!)
M: Justin just told me I have control problems because I nabbed the computer from him about .5 seconds after it opened to this window because I had a good idea for a title. I do have control issues. Sorry, babe.
J: Yes. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way (and more importantly, publicly documented) let’s move on to the actual post.
M: First of all, to our huge, huge, massive group of readers, we are sorry we have fallen off of the face of the planet for the past 2.75 months. Rwanda got so monotonous after day 14 that we didn’t want to bore ourselves or you with more posts. There are only so many sentences/pictures you can write about rice & beans and rice & chips for dinner.
J: And thinking about blogging reminded us that we had nothing of importance to say. The whole trip wasn’t a waste because I fulfilled the requirements to finish my Master’s but otherwise,
M: (and I grabbed it away from him again. His head is on the table.) I just want to say YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY YOU FINISHED! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! okay here’s the laptop.
J:…I hope this crap is at least funny to read, because it’s annoying when someone takes a laptop from you when you’re mid-sentence…okay, I’m over it. Now where was I? Anyways, Rwanda wasn’t a total waste because I finished the requirements for my Master’s degree…
M: Justin has been really good about encouraging me to be positive through it all. However, I am merely being objective when I say our experience in Rwanda was really sucky. It wasn’t awful and I didn’t hate it. It could have been WAY worse. But it was hard. We were bored, lonely, and depressed a lot. We fought more than we ever have before. I am very thankful that we have been blessed with, gifted this honeymoon afterwards. It is making it that much sweeter to be making our way through Europe now!
J: We also got to hang out with old friends (Deke and Jocelyn) and also make new one’s from a study abroad group called GoEd. It was really refreshing and much needed to have them to spend time with during our last few weeks in Rwanda. Regardless, I’m super excited that we’re on our honeymoon now. It’s pretty incredible how different this week is going to be compared to our last week in Rwanda.
M: Agreed. The difference is remarkable. I feel funny being here. So relieved and thankful and wanting to cry. I feel it in my bones! Also, I want a whole new wardrobe. So the great Western consumerism complex is back! Definitely wasn’t this bad in Rwanda. Justin! Get off of my Facebook on the iPad and come respond.
J: Okay, so here are some pictures from our past day and a half.
M: Justin was here in 2008. Apparently, if you toss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, it means you’ll be back. And now he’s back but with me! So it’s better.
J: Although, to be honest, I’m pretty sure I never tossed a coin over my shoulder into the fountain. I’m too cheap. Same as this time. No way am I gonna toss a coin into that fountain…unless it’s a Rwanda coin. Things are useless to me now.
M: How about if it’s an American penny? I have some of those in one of my 918732o498 bags I brought.
J: Sure. Moving on…
M: The Spanish Steps! Our method of exploration so far has been to just wander. It’s amazing. Except for the massive groups of tourists. We saw a big Asian group today all wearing matching red LEATHER jackets.
J: The weather is much nicer this time, especially compared to Rwanda! It’s quite beautiful here….the problem is that it’s soo damn crowded now. Last time I was here during winter and it was almost entirely empty…now the place is crawling. I think there is a tourist epidemic here.
M: It is the Eternal City, weenie. There are always tourists here! We agreed if we ever go anywhere else touristy in the world someday (after we get jobs and pay off all of our debts), we will go on the off-season. Even if we have to bundle up like J had to back in Winter 2008 when he was here.
J: Here’s the first church we went into this morning…we won’t be posting pictures of all of the churches that we go into. There are simply too many. But here’s one, they’re super pretty.
M: I got kicked out of one today above the Spanish Steps because I’m wearing a strapless dress. You also have to give an offering to take a holy picture or light a candle. Both of these things annoy me. I am all for respecting the Roman Catholic church– any place of worship, really– but I don’t know what to think about this. I had to put on a kimono when I went into a Mosque in Delhi. I don’t think Jesus would ask me to cover up or give him a drachma for anything. So I almost yelled such things at the nice guard who chastised me in French. But instead, I left. And I’ll be carrying a scarf with me to cover up with from now on. I’ll figure out my issues with the church and it’s business later.
J: I did not get kicked out. The guy simply smiled at me because I’m so stylish.
M: You do actually fit in really well here. Lots of skinny jeans.
J: I don’t have skinny jeans on! My jeans are hideous.
M: For being worn every day for 3 months, they’re looking pretty rad. It’s the vintage destroyed look, lover.
M: Justin has long arms which makes it really easy to take great MySpace pictures. But seriously, folks. I am so impressed he took 2 good ones of us today. I am too scared to ask someone to take our picture because I don’t want gypsies to steal our camera. Isn’t that open-minded of me?
J: I’m not scared of that. I just don’t like being around all of these people, so I snap pictures and then walk somewhere I can lean against a wall. Therefore, there are pictures of Maggs by herself but only two of us together. Don’t worry, we’ll get someone to take our picture at a few different places before we leave for the next leg of our adventure/honeymoon.
M: As long as it’s not a gypsy.
M: Haters gonna hate. Anywho, this is from our first day in Vatican City. We got picked up in the airport in a black Mercedes because we fancy, dropped our stuff off at the room, and we went into the city. We had no idea where we were going. We just went! And we didn’t get our tickets validated (whoops!) so we rode in and out of the city for free! Another honeymoon miracle!! The first was that we made all of our flights on time AND all our luggage got here with us. Woohoo!
J: Although, I sort of wish we would have lost some luggage, simply because then we’d have less to carry. But then again, I prefer carrying a lot of crap and a happy Maggie than any other scenario that includes Maggs turning into a crazy. Happy wife, happy life.
J: Saw these fellas posing in front of the Vatican. Not sure who they are or what they’re doing. Don’t care. This is priceless.
M: I’m pretty sure it was for some sort of dance-off show. This is like the city of irony– so many holy places and so many… well, never mind. I guess they’re all holy people in God’s eyes. AUGH! I’m thinking about too many things too much.
J: Here’s another shot from Vatican City–the only international boundary that can be crossed without a passport–and if you look closely, our little dance troupe has regrouped in the right side of the picture!
J: There are vehicles here that make Smart Cars look typical. This is sort of one of those vehicles. It looks like a shopping cart.
M: In my hands is a bag of dried fruit from this sweet stand near a castle along the Tiber. There was guava, cantaloupe, and passion fruit in there, among others. Justin got a mix-and-match bag of candy from the same place.
J: This is a wheel barrow and graffiti on a wall.
M: Justin has such a GREAT eye for these things. I know I’ve said that before. But it amazes me every time. I told him this today and he said “I just look!” I was struck by the profound simplicity of that statement. It’s true. He just looks!
J: In addition to taking pictures of random crap, I also have the luxury of traveling with my own personal model. Ain’t she pretty?
M: Oh, you! I love being on a honeymoon with you!!!! Funny stories about those poppies in my hair: I was looking at the train tracks where two poppy plants had sprouted. I was also looking at the signs that said “Do not cross the tracks” and considering darting out to grab some flowers while no trains were coming. Then I looked over at my paparazzi husband and did a double-take at all the poppy plants behind him (that you can see in the picture). So I picked some of those instead. Thus, I was saved from an untimely death.
M: I took this one! I am so proud. Okay wait, it’s a little fuzzy. Crap. Anyway, this handsome stranger sat next to me. So I took him home to my bungalow tonight.
J: It’s not fuzzy! You big dork…it can only focus at one thing at a time. You just happened to focus on me.
J: Saw this little diddy on the wall after we got off the Metro near the Piazza del Poppolo. Yoda would be in the “eternal city.”
J: This one is taken from the top of the Spanish Steps…outside of the church that Maggs got tossed out of. It’s super cool to see all of the domes and whatnot from up here. It’s a great perspective.
M: There are street performers everywhere. So far, I’ve seen a Michael Jackson impersonator, a blue Statue of Liberty, a man dressed all in black with a gun, and these guys. When someone tossed them money, they all raised their bottles/glasses and sort of cheered in a creepy way.
M: The happy honeymooners.
M: Your creeper pictures are my favorite.
J: I really liked the way this building looked. And I actually liked the people and the way they were sitting on the steps. (Normally I make every effort to take people out of pictures, but I liked them in this instance.)
M: The Pantheon has a hole in the roof that keeps the dome from caving in on itself. Without the hole, the whole building would collapse.
J: In case you didn’t know, the building in the picture is the aforementioned Pantheon. It was built about 2000 years ago. One upgrade/change is that the plaza that the Pantheon opens into no longer has a McDonald’s across from it. I read an email my Dad sent me back in 2008 before I came here and he had mentioned how weird/crazy it is that there’s such an ancient building and some stupid restaurant chain in the same plaza. No more Daddy-o, the Mickey D’s is no more…at least not at is particular place.
M: What there IS, however, is this killer cafe right around the corner from the Pantheon. Kate, I don’t know if this is the place you recommended, but the cappuccinos were killer. We stood up at the bar and knocked them back like good Italians would.
M: My great-grandfather was a traveling accordion player from Italy– he was born just a few hours from Roma, actually. This man reminded me of him!
M: Oh, Zara. How have I never been inside one of you before? You have this sweet mirror on your ceiling that my husband can take a picture of us in. And beautiful shoes I can buy. Thereby blowing my entire treasures-for-Rome budget. And having to starve myself to use that money for more things. Priorities, priorities.
J: This picture was fun to take because I noticed the mirror on the ceiling before Maggs did. I had the camera out and ready and then simply said “Look up” and then snapped this picture. Zara is nice. But I won’t be buying shoes and surely won’t be spending any of per diem for food on clothes. I imagine that the only takeaway I’ll have from this place is this picture…which I’m fine with.
M: I’m sorry I took your turn, but can we please go to dinner now?
J: Oh yes, I’ve been thinking about it this entire time. Okay, you heard the lady folks, that’s all we’ve got tonight. Only one trick.
M: Tomorrow’s trick will include getting two large backpacks, one small backpack, one large duffel bag, one handmade purse, and two huge weekender bags made out of African fabric into Rome on public transportation. Ta-daaaaa!
J: Pray for us.