22 March 2014


Last night I was so excited about everything, I just couldn't sleep.  First I checked in with AlphaPoppa and the boys.  I'm constantly in contact with AlphaPoppa through the viber app, but with the boys being in school I have to be a little more strategic about making contact.  Midnight here in Rome made it about 7pm in Atlanta, Zane finishes his skype Spanish classes at 6pm so I was hoping that he was still on-line.  I was so excited that he was on and answers my skype call.  the first things he asked was if I liked Rome and if he could get at tour of the house.  Quickly dude and foxymama joined in the skype call.  Foxymama was generous to give us a week of her time to help AlphaPoppa with the boys whole I was gone.  Her main duties are after school pickup, cooking dinner, preping school lunches and giving those good ole grandma hugs and kisses upon request.  They all reassured me that all was well with them and they wished me a great time.  Shortly after talking to them AlphaPoppa viber texted me that he'd passed yet another level of helicopter pilot certification.  Good job babe! <3
After all the family love I spent the next hour blogging and filling out postcards for family and friends.  When I was ready to sleep, I sleep well.  The bed was so comfortable, the air was a little cool but just perfect for the many covers that made it all cozy.
Since la morena went to bed earlier than I she also woke up first.  I didn't get up until about 11 but we were up and out of the house before noon.  Not only was I excited to see more of Rome, I was also excited to speak Italian as much as possible.  Right before leaving I found a fantastic language app name "molto bene" which means very good in Italian. The app was great because it had the written and audio for a many many Italian phrases, words, and verb tense conjugations.   It was well worth the $10 I paid to download and I used it to practice whenever we had a little down time.  
We once again successfully caught the #446 bus to the Cornelia train station, but this time decided to get off at a different stop, San Prieto- Vaticani.  Yes, saint peters basilica and the Vatican!!!  As soon as we hit the street was were approached by a tour guide coordinator.  He made a great case of how the lines would be unreasonably long to enter the basilica and the Vatican museum... Without a professional tour guide.  According to him the line would be an hour and a half to get into the museo Vaticani then once you enter another hour plus to wait in the line to see the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina). For his charge of 49€ a person we could get a personal guide to help us skip lines and explain all the major works of art in il museo.  Ummm, no grazie signore!  We will figure this out on our own, but first we shall eat, and once again we ate well at another corner cafe.  This time I had lasagna e insalata (salad) and la morena had a carnnollira e insalata.  The portion sizes here are ideal, you are not full when you're done but you are definitely satisfied.  

We decided to walk toward the museum to just see the outside, outside there was no line AT ALL. So we decided to peak inside, and inside there we as no line AT ALL.  It took 2 whole minutes to get through security and only cost 18€ to enter.  One of the first signs we saw was to il posti vaticani, a post office right there in the museum, and it just so happened to have all my postcards with me!!  Woohoo,  the stamps were 2€ each(geez Louise!!) but they were super cool special pope/ Vatican stamps.  I hope my peeps are happy to get them.  

After il posti, at the main entrance I saw were you could rent an audio tour for 7€. If you've never used these at a museum they are super cool.  Depending on the museum the audio tour is usually some my headphones or a big telephone type device.  You can set your language of preference and as you pass pictures, sculptures, and other works of art you can enter that piece's specified number and hear all of the details.  Now if my math serves me correctly 18€ + 7€= 25€ per person if you choose an audio tour that is much cheaper then the 49€ "special offer" we got on the street.  We didn't go with the audio tour but it is always important to me that you get money saving tips and that you know the many options you have while traveling.  
The painting, sculptures, tapestries, etc. were all mind blowing.  Being in il museo Vaticani was like sensory overload.  Even centimeter of every room was a work of art.  Every floor was made with great detail every wall and ceiling were covered with paintings that told the many stories of the bible and the history of Rome and the world.  Amazing, magnificent, incredible will all be understatements.  There were tapestries that could cover the floors of several rooms in my house and that measured much taller than any wall we have.  Since I felt words could not properly describe I was sure to take plenty of video that you can view on our youtube channel: EchosJourneys.  

As we walked thought the museum each corner had a sign pointing to the climax of all the art, la Cappella Sistina, Michael Angelo's famous Sistine chapel.  It was a wonderous journey to get there.  All i could think was how happy I was to be there and how happy I was to have just purchased more memoria for my fotocamera!
Finally we arrive to la Cappella Sistina and it did not disappoint,  the images painted on this world-known ceiling were in 3-D, so far away but seeming to reach down to touch you.  I imagined this great artist laying on his back on top of many levels of scaffold to bring the images in his head to life.  Every head in the room looked upward in wonder.  I'm surprised that we weren't all colliding with all mesmerized eyes pointing to the ceiling, unable to pay attention what surrounded us.  At this point I will guiltily admit that even though I (all of us) were specifically instructed to not film, I did anyway... I had to... I couldn't help myself... If you feel offended that i did this please accept my sincere apologies and do not watch the video.  If you understand my need to record this magical moment and place and want to quench your curiosity then please enjoy.  My mother's side of the family is catholic and I was happy to be here for my deceased grandmother, aunt, and other family members, even if I don't share their same beliefs.  
After the Sistine chapel we exited and the museum and headed to the St Peters Basilica/ Vatican.   By then is was already 3:30 on and that line was truly looooong.  Luckily both of us felt more of a pull to bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy the delicious spring breeze while we soaked in the splendor of the Vatican standing tall and timeless before our eyes.  
Since being in that area specifically we saw so many nuns and priests.  What called my attention most was that 95% of the nuns we saw were Asian.  Things like this blow my mind.  There is no better stereotype killer than travel.  Last night while taking pix and throwing coins into the trevi fountain, i saw a gorgeous Somalian women in full Muslim robes and head covering posing in front to the fountain while a man (her husband perhaps?) took her picture.  I told her in Italian that's she was "molta Bella" (very beautiful) then went back to taking pictures with la morena.  While doing so the Somalian women stops me mid sentence, "where are you guys from?" She asks in an accent much like mine.  "We are from Atlanta in the US."  She immediately throws open her arms "I'm from Minnesota!!"  You have no idea how much I loved that.  We chatted for a while and wishes each other happy travels before parting ways.  The world has changed to much and people are in the move world wide, the days in which you can look and assume a person's nationality and life story are dead.  While here in Rome we've been asked repeatedly but sooo many people if we are Brazilian, people are shocked when we say no.  I asked a few people when Brazilian? Some say because we are beautiful and ALL Brazilian women are beautiful.  The men here are extremely flirty and seem to have equal love for all races, sizes, and nationalities.  They know how to make a gal feel pretty.  We are no longer safe to assume and categorize and I love it.  It is a different world.  

After sunbathing and chilling we decided on the coliseum just a few train stops away.  Unfortunately it closed 8 minutes before our arrival, so the next best things to do was to eat!!  And we did just that once again.  The food once again was delicious and satisfying.  After that's meal we jumped back on the train to the opera house train station then walked to the Spanish steps again.  We talked, window shopped, and laughed.   After another few hours of Rome-ing we decided to eat again before going to our home in Rome.    Roast chicken and roast potatoes as recommended by my BFF were the delight of the night.  My flight was the next morning at 9:15am and in would have quite a trek to get there by 7:15 check-in. 

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