Oct 31, 2012
Today was our last day on the cruise. We were up at 6:30 am and got ready. We ate breakfast and then got on the bus. It started raining as we loaded and rained the rest of the day. It was a two hour drive to the hotel in Rome. There was a lot of traffic and the weather was bad.
We quickly unloaded the bus at the hotel, and then we went to the Vatican. We were unable to go to the Sistine Chapel. It was closed due to a special mass for the 500 year anniversary of the Vatican. We next stood in the line for St Peter’s Basilica. We stood in line for 2 hours during pouring rain. We were all soaking wet by the time we got in the building. The place was packed, but it was very impressive. There were several ceremonies going on as we walked through the building. There were many art displays and even several bodies of the Popes in tombs through out the rooms.
After our time in the Basilica, we went back to the hotel. Everyone was wet and cold. We went to a Pizzeria with the two sisters to eat dinner. We both went to bed early.
Nov 1, 2012
We got up and ate breakfast early, and then at 9:00 am we met the bus and rode to the Coliseum. We had to wait for the guide to fix her speaker and then we waited 45 minutes for the guide to get our tickets. So it was an hour just waiting to get in Coliseum. We only spent about 45 minutes in the Coliseum. It was a large and impressive site. It was amazing how they built these huge structures so many years ago.
We then went to San Paolo fuori le Mara, which is the church where the Apostle Paul is buried. This was like St Peter’s Basilica but not as big. Next we parked the bus and started walking. We walked to the Pantheon, but they were having a special mass and we could not go in. We looked through the doors and then they started closing the doors. We got there 5 minutes before they closed. This happened way too many times on this trip. We then walked to la Fontana di Trevi. This is a big fountain that has been shown in many movies.
After the fountain we had free time. We walked a little while and then had lunch. We went with the sisters and the couple from Maryland. We ate in a sidewalk café and both Eva and I had spaghetti. Mine was spaghetti with bacon and eggs instead of tomato sauce. Eva had regular spaghetti sauce. So we ate both pizza and spaghetti in Rome.
We then walked down near the Coliseum and walked by the Roman Forum. This is a big collection of ruins. Next we went to look for the church that has Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. We got some bad directions, but finally found it.
Finally we walked back to the hotel. We stopped for some Gelato and got ripped off by the vendor. They charge all of us too much, they told us $5 for a cup of Gelato, but charged $5 per scoop. And then they would not take credit cards. I told Eva that it was like getting pick pocketed without being touched by a stranger.
The rest of our group went back to the hotel, but Eva and I kept shopping. We got some stuff for the kids, and then went back to the hotel. Later in the evening we went for a walk through the streets of Rome. We got lost for a little while but we finally found our way back.
Nov 2, 2012
Today was the last day of our trip (we thought). We left the hotel at 7:30 am and made it to the airport on time. The airline messed up our reservation, so Eva and I were not seated together. As we were boarding the plane, we found that another lady from our group had the seat next to mine, so she and Eva switched. The flight from Rome was delayed 3 hours, so we ended up missing our connecting flight in Boston. This gave us one more day for our trip. We spent the night at the Airport Hilton Hotel. They gave us meal vouchers for dinner and breakfast.
The next morning we boarded the flight for Salt Lake and had no problems getting home. Zac and Alyssa picked us up at the airport.