Friday, January 4, 2013

July 23 Day...I can't remember!

It's 6am and Nathan and I are getting ready for ANOTHER tour! The look on Nathan's face says it all! "I'm going to kill you!" So far our tour experiences had not panned out so well. Sitting in a tour bus for hours on end, with a guide that repeats everything in 3 languages, and hanging out with some Europeans that smoke like chimneys and make us pull over every ten minutes for a ciggy, it wasn't exactly our idea of fun! 

So today's tour was the Classical and Imperial Rome. I was super super excited for this one because it was the day we were going to see the Coliseum! Eek! We made it to the meeting point, by bus, of course. And met our guy. He was one cool dude; no really! That was the first great thing about this tour. Second, it was in only one language! Double yay! Finally, we were walking through Rome. No more being stuck on a cramped bus with a crazy driver for hours on end. It really ended up being a GREAT tour, although they did make us stop once at some stupid Vatican jewelry place to try and sell us a bunch of junk!

Well, we began our tour making our way over to Trevi Fountain! It was a little rainy outside, so on the way, we stopped and bought a pretty freaking awesome umbrella, which lasted up until a month or two ago when my little minions got a hold of it! 

 Throw a coin of your shoulder and make a wish!

After Trevi Fountain, we made our way over to the Parthenon. It was so amazing. If I remember correctly, it is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, church/structure in Rome. I don't know. It's also the burial of Rafael and other famous artists. 

 The column on the left was and for Marcus Aurelius. The carvings on the side represent his victories in battle. On the right is an old Egyptian obelisk. Once again, if I remember correctly, Rome has more of Egypt's obelisks than Egypt!

The Parthenon!

So there was this guy on our tour. Poor dude seriously had a cigarette in his hand the ENTIRE time, and this was like a 10 hour long tour. I've never seen anything like it! It was almost funny seeing him pulling out his cigarettes. Nathan and I would look at each other and ask, "Is that ANOTHER one!"

Piazza Navona, hence the sign! I'm 97% sure this is where we saw a lady, with ripped clothes and half spray painted in red, peeing on the side of a building. No lie. She had a big hole in her pants so she didn't even have to take them down. She just leaned up against the wall and let loose! Ah, Europe!


We also made a stop at St. Peters, and I did take a bunch of pictures again, but since I have already covered that in a previous post, I'll skip it this time!

Before we hit the Colosseum, we had a nice little lunch break during the tour and met up again to do the next half!

This time around we hopped on a bus. The bus took us up to Saint Peter's in Chains, an old cathedral, or maybe it was a basilica?,  that supposedly holds the chains Peter was bound in at one point in his life. It's a sacred relic that many devout Christians pilgrimage to.

This is a statue of Moses sculpted by Michelangelo. Michelangelo liked to put his "signature" on all of his creations. If you pull up a larger picture, you can see the artists profile carved into Moses's beard! Fun fact of the day!

From St. Peter's we walked down to the Colosseum! One perk of booking a tour is that we did not have to wait in line to get in, and those lines are HUGE!

There she be!

This is a view from the colosseum!


I'm not actually 100% sure what and where this building came from!


And to end our tour...the most beautiful view ever a top capitol hill!

Italy: Ancient Ostia

It is pathetic that I am 1.5 years behind on my blog! Ugh, where does the time go? I can't believe how much I have forgotten about our trip as well! It's a great thing I have THIS (Our itinerary made by yours truly):


To help jog my memory! When Nathan saw my 12 page itinerary and our folder, which we had to take EVERYWHERE with us, I'm pretty sure he wanted so strangle me! It was awesome!

So we arrived in Rome, went to Vatican City, bla bla bla, it was amazing, overdosed on Gelato, which I don't regret, and not it was July 22. We woke up bright and early that morning for yet another tour. The bus picked us up, and if I remember correctly, it was late. This bus driver was a miracle worker too. You should have seen the ridiculously small streets he navigated that gigantic sucker through; it was like Harry Potter's ride on the night bus, except worse, because stop signs and road blocks didn't jump out of our way!

On a side note-  I sure do a lot of these- I loved pedestrians in Rome. They just walk out in front of a moving vehicle and hold their hand out! Kind of Moses-esque parting the traffic, and in staying with the Moses analogy, it was a miracle of God we didn't see anyone get ran over!

So we headed out, went past the Coliseum, which was amaze, and got to see a few other things on a quick drive by. It didn't take long to get to Ostia in reality, but it felt like ages because our tour was in 2 different languages! Oye!

Sadly, Nathan and I really knew nothing about Ancient Ostia before heading out on the tour. I really wish we would have prepared ourselves a little better because it ended up not being too horribly exciting, although we did get a valuable lesson in columns!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the Ancient Roman City. It was really fascinating and quite beautiful!

Don't you love his enthusiasm? 

This mosaic was actually a HUGE floor. 

Remember that mosaic I was talking about earlier? Well, this is the rest of it!

Sometime during our tour, we bought, any guesses, GELATO! We also bought bottled water because we were dying of thirst. I opened the water to take a big delicious gulp and BAM, carbonated water. I would rather die a dehydrated death than drink l'eau gazeuse ! Sick!

When we got back to Rome, we took a little trip to the Spanish Steps. We ate dinner at a restaurant right at the top of the stairs. It was ridiculously expensive and completely un-tasty! Even Nathan didn't enjoy it, which is saying something, because he ate fried alligator the other day when we were in Denver! This is a view from the restaurant, which does not show a picture of the steps!

Somewhere in that vicinity of time, we also wondered into a few little shops around the piazza. We walked into 2 or 3 optic centers and found my mom a rad pair of Gucci frames! She was pretty excited. I'm pretty sure she loved them too, you never know with moms though!

Through the Eyes of a Five Year Old

I love when I am going through my camera and find that my little G man has been snapping away with it! Here are a few images he captured the other day. They might be random nonsense to us, but to him, there was something significant and special, hence the reason he took the pictures in the first place!

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