|I arrived in Rome after a 12 hr journey by train from Nice France. I arrived to the Rome airport which is huge and very overwhelming. I finally figured out how to get to the airport and off I went on another train. I was told that my mom's flight got in at 7:45am and I arrived to the doors where the people walk out at exactly 7:30am. I was pretty proud of myself. I noticed that my mom's flight number or time of arrival were not listed on the arrivals computers. I was thinking that I had the wrong info so I found an internet point and paid to check my e-mail and double check the flight info. I had everything written down correctly. The lady who worked the internet desk was verry helpfull but kept telling me that there was no such flight number or any flights at that time. I told her she was flying in from Atlanta so the lady told me there was a flight from Atlanta coming in at 8:25am. All I could do was wait and see if she was on that plain. I stodd there at the dorr with many other waiting family members and friends to see if my little ol' mom will come walking through teh doors. An hour rolled around, 2hrs and I started to think I had the days mixed up or day dreaming about wher3e my mom might be stranded. I was just about to leave my post to go ask when I told myself, no wai jsut a bit longer. Sure enough here she comes with this bewilderid look on her face. I cant tell you how happy and relieved I felt when I saw her. When our eyes met I could almost see the relief lift from her and a big smile appear. She later told me that my smile was ear to ear and that she will never forget it.
off we went to our accomidations that my mom set up for us. Since I already got to the airport on my own it was fairly easy to finding where we were going. We did get a bit lost finding the place but a little old Italian women helped with directions. The whole time we were walking I was thinking how I couldnt wait to stay in an actual hotel with a cosy bed and my own shower! What luxury! We find the place and it turns out that my mom booked us in a convent. You read correctly, a convent. The name of it was Suore De Saint Elisabetta. My mom said that Rick Steves said it was a great place to stay if your ona budget. The first of many Rick Steves recomindations. We were shown to our room and it had two little cot looking beds, a cabinet and a sink. We had to share a bathroom with 4 other rooms. Oh and there was a crucifix hanging from the wall along with a picture of Mary. I found it so funny and so typical of my mom. That night we talked alot about my travels and cought up with everything.
Next morning we woke up early to go see the Collisum. That day we walked about 5 to 6 hours too view the Collisuim, Forum anD Palatine hill. The Collisium was just amazing reading about the blood shed that happend there over 500yrs. They would even mop up the blood from teh brutal fights to cure epilepsy. Palatine hill and the Forum are pretty much rubble so hard to picture how they looked when in full structure. It is neat knowing that where you are standing Ceasar once stood and rulled the land. We ended the day by buying a cheap bottle of red wine, picked up a pizza and ate on the terrace of the convent.
The next day my feet were killing me dut to all the walking and wearing flpi flops for the past month and a half due to my sneaker being trashed in Kenya. My feet had, had enough and were going on strike! We walked around forver trying to find stores that sold sneakers. I had an Italian dictinary and spent so much time putting a sentance together to ask someone and when I asked they had no idea what I was trying to say. Thank god one of the men that I was trying to give my prepared line to asked me if I spoke english and gave us directions. After visiting several stores and hours later I bought a pair of Addidias that cost way to much taking into consideration the exchange rate, ouch. Afterwards we went to the Spanish steps where everyone is sitting all the way up and people watching. Everyone seemed so happy. We never really found out what the Spanish steps were exactly but it was a very popular tourist atraction. We then walked to Trevy Fountain which was very elaberate but really cool. That night we found a little Italian resturant to have our dinner. I started off with a tomatoe salad. The owner brought me a bowl with very unripe, red and green tomatoes. I let him know as politely as I could that I didnt want them. He asked why, I told him they werent ripe. He didnt understand the word ripe so I looked it up in my dictionary. The minute I said the word man did he get upset. He started going off at me in Italian and waiving his hands all around. I just sat there looking at him with this blank look not knowing what to do. I decided to jsut let it go and just not eat the tomoatoes. You would think it would end there but nooooo, he kept coming back to the table and raising his voice going off in Italian. At one point he made me get up so he could show me the tomatoes. There they were, red green tomatoes. Hwe went on to tell me that EVERYONE in Italy eats there tomatoes that way. After a very looonnggg stressfull dinner, we got the bill, paid for the tomatoes and got the heck out of there. If that man is married boy do I feel sorry for his wife!
The next day we moved to another hotel where we would later meet my moms friend Nora. Afterwards we vistied the Panthion, it was it great shape and one of the only things that wasnt distroid by the barbarians. All of Rome is built ontop of the ancient citty so while your walking arounf you stumble upon sections of ruins of the old city. We went to eat dinner at the Plaza Navarine. There were all kinds of artists desplaying rhere art wotk and street performers tap dancing for some change. As we ate we got to watch all the intersting people walk by. Our waiter was also all part of the fun for he was a quite a character.
The following night Nora arrived from a tour of Irelnad and Scotland. Since she was so close she decided to come on down and join us for a week. We all went to the Vatican this day and visited St Peters Basilica. We couldnt find our bus stop so we ended up walking all the way there. Once we arrived we were dreading having to wait for hours for tickets due to arriving late morning. We got lucky becasue the line only took about 10min to get in. Once we got inside they take you through a series of musiums to slow trafic going into the Sistine Chapel. The leading up to it was beutiful but everything started to look the same after awhile. Once we arrived at the entrance to the Sistine Chappel there are big signes posted for no video, no camera and no noise. We walk in and can hardly hear each other speak and see flash after flash. What do these people not understand about no talking and no cameras??!! It was tempting to follow the crouds but we decided to follow te rules. I didnt know what to expect once I got inside.It was wall to wall paintings with teh nost famouse of God and Adam touching fingers. Again I found it a bit overwhelming but at least I can say I was there. That night we ate in the old Italian district and had a four course meal, yumm.