A Roman Holiday, part one

Due to circumstances beyond my techical clearance level, it appears I’ll have to be posting text in one post, pictures in another…but at least I can post! We arrived in Rome yesterday morning at about 8 am. We were about 1/2 hour late and I was worried that our transport might have left us but there he was, looking very middle-aged and professional in a black leather jacket that might have looked thugg-ish if I hadn’t been so grateful to see that sign with my name on it!

He brought us nearly to our doorway and I had a moment of fear when he pointed to a big, iron gate of a door and said to ring the bell…no hotel sign, nothing. So we rang as he drove away and I prayed I had not made a giant mistake in our choice of Gulliver’s Lodge.

Well, we need not have worried. Mary greeted us and led us to a nice triple bed room with lovely high ceilings and a tiled bathroom. After settling our things, we headed out for a little lunch. Now, Mom was exhausted (having some difficulty in sleeping while packed like a sardine) and opted to stay back and nap while Paula and I traipsed out to walk around the city a bit. Honestly, if I had stayed put, I would have napped but once we were out in the sunshine I was wide awake! We wandered a bit (even for Paula it wasn’t the easiest city to figure out) and eventually came to an official looking building with a column which we mistook for Trajen and a group of protestors holding signs on paper boxes. Of course, I don’t read enough Italian to know what they said but eventually in our walking back and forth to figure it out, we saw that the protestors had moved to a side street where they were safe from traffic.

Eventually, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain where we threw in the obligatory coin (I already want to come back) and then wandered on in search of a pizza place reported (by Mary from our hotel who is a gem above gems) to have gluten-free pizza. We ended up sitting next to two young Englishmen who turned out to be Catholic Seminary students…just shows how influenced my thinking was by the Irish nuns that I was surprised to think of an English Catholic Priest!

After some interesting and lively conversation, including a debate about why the host can’t be gluten free – my argument being that the bread they use isn’t necessarily the same recipe as Jesus’ bread so why does it matter?

We took the rest of our pizza home in case Mom was awake and hungry and stopped along the way to see a terrific view of the Colleseum, or was it the Forum? By this time we’d been out and walking for about four hours, minue our brief pizza stop.

We got back to the Lodge, negotiated the three key entrance (big iron gate, large door, our hotel door) only to discover that Mom had been terribly ill almost the whole time we were gone…I felt so awful thinking about all the fun we were having while she was sick. So, the rest of the evening was taken up with jogs across the street to the pharmacy and down the road to the little market for thises and thatses! After being sick most the night, Mom was totally worn out this morning and we had tickets to the Borhesie Museum. Mary valiently tried to phone them, getting no answer and the one time we got through, they disconnected her! Well, off I went, with a note from Mary about which bus to get on and how many stops to go. I ended up, by Divine Providence I am sure, on a bus with a group from a Chicago college. After consulting with the ticket desk, who sent me to talk to security, who sent me back to the ticket desk, who printed my tickets then sent me to the ticket desk…I got the tickets changed! Must be the part about my 80 year-old mother that stirred their sympathy proving once again that you should always ask!

So, today has been a mostly quiet day,watching chick flics with Mom resting but now that she’s feeling better, Paula and I are off to listen to music in an Irish pub two blocks away…but now we have two phones so Mom can call if she needs us.

Yesterday, I started a list of things I’ve done in Rome that I haven’t done at home…

Used a toilet with a pull chain
Eaten lemon gellato
Chatted with two seminary students from London
Listened to “My Way” as an accordian solo in a restaurant
Tossed a coin in a Bernini fountain
Ridden in a car that drove under a portion of the Aquaduct
And, of course, eaten gluten-free pizza that was incredible!

So, if all is well, photos later tonight and more tomorrow.

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