My laptop and hard drive are still down for the count, so it will be a little while before pictures are up, but we’re home safe (thanks, Libby!), all the cats are alive (thanks, Tish & Jason!), and it’s cold and grey in Seattle, just the way we left it.
I missed you!
Greetings from Rome! This must be quick because it is quite late and also because this keyboard does not believe in the letter “T”, so it takes quite an effort to type correctly.
WE have been in Rome for two days now (can’t believe it’s gone so quickly… but that explains why my feet hurt…). Thus far, we’ve seen, um.. the outside of the Vatican (omg the tourists, you wouldn’t believe the lines. We gave up after an hour in the Museum line), The remains of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill area (freaking amazing!!! I could live there!!), the Colosseum (it rained like hell while we were there, I literally thought we’d be blown off the 2nd floor by the wind…), the Trevi Fountain (you know, where the pretty lady bathes in that famous movie… totally thronged with tourists despite the downpour and the holiday), the Pantheon, the Piazza Navarro (Bernini fountains), Circus Maximus (looks like a big green park these days) and about a million other smaller churches and piazzas and historical odds and ends… it’s terrifically difficult to keep it all straight, as history just blends into itself in amazing ways over here. I mean, Rome is built quite literally on top of itself, so they just keep repeating their own history.
Observations so far: everyone has been very nice, very patient with our Italian. We’ve eaten pizza at 5 places in 2 days, and enjoyed almost all of them (the last, a truck by the Colosseum, was the worst we’d tried and it was STILL better than you’d get at a food court in the US). We’ve only managed Gelato once, because it’s freezing and wet here by the evening. Talina reports that the coffee is quite good.
Street signs make absolutely NO sense. streets change names for no reason whatsoever, and randomly. Many streets have no indication at all. It is impossible to find your way around — I have a developing theory that this is the reason for all of these piazzas and other markers: they are trying to find a way to keep track of where they are from block to block.
Tomorrow is Easter Monday — perhaps you didn’t know, but this is a MAJOR holiday here, consituting the closure of practically everything. Luckily, the Borghese Museum is for some reason open, so we have a reservation there to look at sculpture for a few hours, and then we’ll be whiling away the day wandering around looking at things you can enjoy from the outside. Luckily, this is also a cheap way to sightsee.
We’ll be in Rome til Tuesday afternoon, then we take a train to Florence, and spent a few days in Tuscany (mainly Florence, with a side trip to Siena).
Photos as soon as we can, but trust me, there are some good ones (we squeezed them in between rainstorms)!!
On very little (read: no) sleep, T and I explored a freezing cold (snowy!) Amsterdam all afternoon. It’s a little like someone took all the architecture styles of all of Europe and crammed them into a teeny little town. Some of the alleys are barely wide enough to fit a human, let alone a human and those crazy bikes they all ride, with the really wide handlebars.
We looked at the outside of churches, and down long canal routes, crossed bridges and tripped over cobblestones turned up by tree branches. We paid entirely too much for train tickets, discovering too late that nobody actually cares if you have a ticket.
And now, we’re at the airport, and our flight has been delayed due to weather (despite the snow having long passed and given way to almost sunny skies?), so, off to find something resembling dinner before we finish our trip to Rome this evening.
We are headed off to Amsterdam/Italy tomorrow afternoon! I’ll blog here when I get a chance, and we’ll come home with as many pictures as we can possibly fit on our memory cards!!
While I’m gone, those of you in Seattle may consider obtaining tickets to see me sing many songs about lesbians, which I’ll be doing two weekends after we return.
Or not. Seriously, I won’t know, the lights will be too bright. You can always just lie later.
See you in a week!!