RomeTravelogue - Day One

7:45 PM
Day One is really Day Two as we arrive in Rome a calendar day after starting our trip. We get our shuttle to the hotel and are thrilled at it's beauty and the size of our rooms and bathrooms.

As sleep didn't come easy on the plane, we all nap to varying degrees. It's hard to rouse them but we know we must try to get on a time zone 6 hours ahead of our own. With multiple guide books and maps in our hands we head out looking for a gelato recommendation to sugar us up with energy in the late afternoon. A long, hot walk does not bring us to our destination. We can't find it. Disappointing. We're feeling cranky and trying to keep the kids positive. We decide to head to what also looks closeby, on the map.
The Castel Sant'Angelo is a fortress that the papacy used to hide in during attacks and although the guide book from 2010 says it should be open, it is not. But we get to see a lot of street performers and trinket merchants and while turning to take a picture near the Castel we arrive at a view behind us...it's the Vatican.

Wow.

We are really here. And so are a lot of other people. We see tours in processions and lots and lots of collared priests and habited nuns. That's not a normal thing so it's so nice to see so many. My husband reminds me, "Well, this IS headquarters."

The square, which I am told holds 400,000, is being prepared for the influx on a predicted 2-5million for Pope John Paul II's beatification. Giant canvases are being put up with photos of him.
And this, a larger version of the mosaic with JPII's motto on more than one banner. Big screen TV's are being set up and a truck with potted trees arrives.
Suddenly, the air gets that cool to it and the wind picks up.
A storm is coming.

My husband makes the right call and quickly ushers us into a rare taxi van to accomodate all 6 of us and it's back to the hotel. The hotel doesn't not permit air conditioning until June so we open the windows to cool the room and hear the storm, the dramatic thunder.

We never make it out to dinner, but go to sleep early trying to adjust to the many window noises. We want to be up early tomorrow for our day with our tour guide. There is much to see, much planned and he arrives at 9am.

4 comments:

PattyinCT said...

Oh soooo excited for you!!!

Prayers that all goes well, and that you are blessed beyond measure by this pilgrimage:)

I'm just thrilled for you that you're actually there! How exciting...And for the kids...*sigh* Awesome!!!

Gardenia said...

how wonderful. keep us all posted.

Jen said...

Allison, I'm so excited for you all! I was stationed in Italy (Naples) when I was in the Navy and spent many, many days in bella Roma. I long to go back and experience it as a Catholic! ((Jen the Convert))

Christine said...

This is SO exciting! I'm loving reading about your visit to Rome! Can't wait for the next post :)

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