"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

11 July 2017

Italy Trip Day 1

So most of you know that we gave our oldest daughter Courtney a HUGE graduation from high school party the summer of 2011.  I spent a LOT of time and money on that huge bash and although we all had an immensely great time, I was totally exhausted when the whole thing was done.  Fast forward to 2016 to when Claire, our youngest was just starting her senior year of high school.  I gave her a choice:  a huge grad party this summer or a trip.  By trip, I kind of meant like the Grand Canyon which we've never been to, or out to San Francisco to see her Aunt Karen (she has never been there), or to Quebec City or Prince Edward Island.  Heck...even Aruba.....but no...she had to pick Greece!  So, my husband told her to come up with 5 good reasons we should travel to Greece.  She could only think of 2.  So he told her figure out where to go with 5 good reasons and we will try to make it happen.  She chose Rome, Italy.  And thanks to a good Xmas bonus in December and a fantastic travel agent via AAA, we booked our trip for June 24th-July 4th.  Oh my goodness...what a trip!

We started with Montreal the evening of June 24th...we were all exhausted from being up early for the graduation ceremony.

We basically ate dinner in the Adirondacks, got across the border, checked in to the hotel, and crashed.  The next morning we slept in a bit, had breakfast and visited the Botanical Gardens in Montreal where we had a very good lunch.  Later that evening, we boarded our plane for a direct flight to Rome.  We arrived in Rome around their time 10 a.m.  We were wiped as none of us slept very well on the plane.  We dealt with the jet lag by unpacking our bags, getting freshened up, changing our clothes, and getting a light lunch.  We then hit the pavement, walking down to Trevi Fountain (Hoards of people!!) and going to the Spanish Steps where there were even more crowds of people.  We roamed around that entire area, getting a feel for the environment.  It was a HOT (for us) 96 degrees and this city does NOT have iced drinks.  We went through 3 water bottles just that afternoon.  After a dinner at a place that my husband's co-worker had recommended, we walked back to our hotel and went to bed.  The next day our real adventures began.  We got up early to get tour guide tickets for the Colosseum.  To our surprise, we needed cash!!  So I had to take a cash advance out on my VISA card as we didn't have enough euros with us.  It was pricey but it was worth it because we did NOT have to wait in line and our group was only about 15 people.  The tour guide was amazing and so informative and entertaining.  I learned a lot about the Romans and the Colosseum where the gladiators fought and where Roman myths were acted out in drama form.  

Most of you probably know that the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built...the largest in the world.  It is made of sand and concrete.  It was amazing to stand where something was about 2000 years old!

After we had about an hour break for a quick lunch at a cafe across the road from the Colosseum, we headed back to meet another tour guide who would take us through Palatine Hill and discuss the Forum.  That was an awesome place....the architecture was amazing and of course I loved sitting on some green grass which is very scarce in Rome!  Palatine Hill is one of the most ancient parts of Rome.  The Forum of course is the large rectangular area that was originally the marketplace.  This area also housed many important buildings of government.  Palatine Hill looks down upon the Forum.

Palatine Hill

looking across the Forum to the church where Audrey Hepburn
filmed a scene in one of her movies.

Claire and Dave walk along the Forum

Fountain just outside the Forum/Palatine Hill area

This was an amazing day of tours.  We then walked outside the Forum area to a beautiful fountain near one of the government buildings and found some much needed shade in one of the parks. Sadly, I neglected to take a photo of the park but the litter was everywhere!  And no grass!!!  The shade trees were very nice though. We then walked all the way back towards Trevi Fountain and to our hotel.

Later that evening, after freshening up, we walked to a lovely trattoria for a traditional Italian dinner.  It was ok but honestly, the red wine was excellent and the pasta was just ok.  I had ordered the Ravioli with meat sauce expecting beef (which I don't eat any more but I knew they would NOT have bison).  When it arrived, I discovered that when the menu says "meat sauce" they mean pork.  Ugh...I gave up pork a long time ago so I just kind of picked at my food.  The wine was super awesome though!  We decided to skip dessert that evening and headed back to the hotel for some reading time and bed.

  My favorite part of the day was the tour around Palatine Hill and learning about the myths related to it.


Michelle said...

Sounds so wonderful
Glad you enjoyed some your day

Wendy said...

What a great way to celebrate a graduation.

Dave Horner said...

Very nice photos and a pretty day for them too. Look forward to seeing more. Dave Horner

Dave Horner said...

Very nice photos and a very pretty day for them too. Look forward to more.

Faith said...

Thanks Dave! I will be posting Day 2 at some point before the weekend is over. :)

Susan said...

Claire's 5 reasons why must have been excellent in order to get a trip to Rome. I love this idea of choosing between a party or a trip. I will remember that.

I love traveling and especially traveling with folks I know. How cool to share this adventure with some folks you know. And then how cool that you share your adventures with us.

I am intrigued by the Colosseum. Really? It was made from sand and concrete?! Wow.

Looking forward to Day 2.

Susanne said...

Looks so lovely. Sorta stunned to hear about all the litter in the park though. And no ice in drinks???!!! Now that surprised me. I thought Dave's idea of coming up with 5 reasons to go to a place was brilliant!