Monday, August 30, 2010

Italy Day 1 - Rome!

Thanks to the invention of Facebook (shout out to Zuckerburg) not all of the photos included in these recaps will be mine. But, my friends are gracious in their loaning so that I might tell a story.

We landed in Rome at 8:30 am Rome time after a 9 hour flight across the Atlantic, complete with freezing temperatures, crying babies, plenty of Unisom to go around and airplane food. Needless to say after a combined 8 hours of sleep between the six of us, we were raring to go!

In reality, we were all pretty hyped at the point of landing. The exhaustion would set in later.

Based on some research that I had done previous to our trip, we decided we would take the Leonardo Expressway from the airport to Rome's central train station and then hop on the Metro to our hotel. It would be cheap and easy to navigate, plus a taxi for a 45 minute ride from the airport? for 6 people and luggage? Who would want to do that? Oy. Oh, how little we knew.

Yay for Haley and her bendy tripod.

Rome! So excited!

Truth be told, the Leonardo Express was actually a great ride. We got comfy seats and got to see a lot of the 'suburbs' of Rome. Nothing better to welcome you to a new country than Saturday morning rituals of underwear clad men on their balconies. 

All the trouble started when we got to the Metro. It was easy enough to figure out where we should be going, get our tickets and head to the platform. But then we continued heading, and continued, and continued. We felt like we were journeying to the center of the earth. Up some stairs, down some stairs, rinse, repeat. You get the idea. Needless to say that with luggage in tow, we were very ready to be at our hotel by the time we finally got to the train.

We navigated the rest of the way and arrived at the beautiful Hotel Giulio Cesare. After a quick freshening up and meeting with the rest of our group, hey Jess and Adam! We hit the streets.

First order on the agenda was food. We were all starving and delirious, so we let the Herndon's lead the way, since they had beaten us there by a day and had a solid 8 hours of sleep. each.

Hey look! Vespas! Ciao.

We found a place that none of us remember the name of, but it was close to the Vatican, had menus in English, and said "pizzeria" out front. Done and done.

We had delicious pizza, that would become known as "cracker pizza" for the rest of the trip, a couple of cappuccinos, and we were raring to go hit the sites.

Yum, yum, double yum.

We jumped on the metro again, a much more enjoyable experience without the luggage, and headed to the Coliseum. 

When you come out of the metro station, up the escalators even, this is immediately what you see:

Seriously Rome? You are officially bringin' it.

And, the rest of our day in Rome was "ruin"ed. Ha. Get it? Haha. We said that all day. Clearly, we were still delirious. We allowed ourselves to get talked into joining a tour group to skip the lines and see the inside of the Coliseum, along with some other beautiful sites.

Austin was super pumped about this photo

This is part of the old palace grounds. Like Caesar's Palace. 
No, not that one. The actual Caesar's palace.

Austin really wanted to be a Roman soldier all day

On to the Pantheon

Rome is dirty. Just kidding, we love you Rome! 
But, we also loved our hand sanitizer.

Obligatory party shot inside the Pantheon... When in Rome...

After the pantheon, we decided it was time for dinner. No one has pictures of it to my knowledge because we all scarfed down dinner so fast the cameras didn't stand a chance. It wasn't one of our most memorable meals, but I had ravioli in butter and sage sauce. Butter y'all. Paula Deen would have been so proud.

After dinner we headed to the Trevi Fountain. Behold:

We were hot and tired and really wanted to jump inside the fountain.

As the sun began to set, we knew there was just one more thing we wanted to see in Rome - the Spanish Steps. So, we set out and found them.

The boys ran to the top, and we chilled for a bit before being lured to the top by promises of gelato. Then we straggled back to the hotel for showers and sweet, sweet sleep.

On to Florence!


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