Monday, February 07, 2005


Well, today was another busy, tiring day. This traveling stuff is starting to kill me. Waking up early, walking 20 miles and seeing 10 million things, then going to bed late is not a healthy way to live. :-/ Anyhow, got up around 7:30, showered and stuff, then scarfed down some breakfast and then went off with the big group at 8:30 back on the grubby, nasty, smelly, crowded metro train to Vatican City. We wanted to go in the Vatican Museum and Sistene Chapel because we didn't on Saturday when the line was so long. We thought it would be shorter since it was a Monday, but it was actually a ton more crowded. We would have probably been in line for more than two hours, so Liz and I decided it wasn't worth it and decided to go to the Catacombs instead. So, we walked 40 minutes across town and then waited almost an hour for the bus to come. We did get to climb the massive Victor Emmanuel monument though, so that was neat. The bus finally came around 11:30 and it was going to cost us 8 Euro each for the whole trip/tour, but we only had a 50 euro bill and they wouldn't give us change back, so that was really stupid and we didn't get to go, so I went away fairly angry and sad since we didn't get to do either of the things I really wanted to today. :-( So, we headed off towards the south side of town just to wander since we'd never been down that way before. It was neat, but really worn down, trashy and kinda ghetto. Around quarter to noon we stopped at this very small deli shop which was cool because it was very Italian and I doubt that tourists have stopped by there in like 20 years. The guy working hardly knew any English, but we found a way to have him makes us some great salami and cheese panini sandwiches for very cheap. :D Liz and I took them outside and sat on a wall by the river to have lunch. The sandwiches were grand and then we spent almost 2 hours there chatting. :) We had a really fun talk about remembering how we met and our past two years of being friends and stuff. It was great and we continued to "Rescue and Reconcile Romantic Relationship in Rome". <-- That's our slogan for this trip. :-P So, then we finally decided to stop talking, then realized that it was 2pm, and we had to find our way back to the hotel even though we were off the map, change into nice clothes, then walk to another part of town to the Italian parliament building for a class meeting at 3:15. Panic set in and we raced across town, through ruins, dodging traffic, etc at breakneck speeds. It was ridiculous, but we made it back to the hotel in very good time, around 2:40 or so. Changed into nice clothes, then left with Liz, Pam and Stevie around 3:55 to find our way to the parliament building in 20 minutes. We were also at breakneck speed once more and I navigated us through the streets by map and we were doing great until we got to an area where all the streets were closed that we needed to go down and then I made a weird wrong turn trying to circumnavigate the closed stuff and we ended up south of the parliament building, failry far away at 3:15. Really got me mad which wasn't too fun. :-/ We were able to grab a taxi however and make it there by about 3:25 which was late, but doable, so that was nice. We all took a tour of the parliament building and had a little sit-down conference with an Italian parliament member, but I was so exhausted the whole time, that I kept falling asleep and found the whole experience largely unenjoyable. :-/ We finally got out of that place around 5 and headed back towards the hotel. Liz and I stopped in a ladies store and she tried on some fun clothes. I find it rather fun to shop with her. :) Funny thing was, as we found out later, we didn't have any money anyways! After that, on the way back, we saw this cool Chinese sreet vendor who would custon-paint these pictures of any name you wanted for very cheap. He would make each letter into a beautiful, colorful design and it was just marvelous. I found it very entertaining to watch, and I got one for Kristin Liz got one for Laura. When we went to pay, we found out we only had a few coin euros and we had to short the vendor a little money, but he was nice about it. I felt horrible though, cause he did such a nice job. :-/ We made it back for dinner at 7 which was incredibly slow, but good. After dinner, I vegged on the couch in a semi-unconscious state because I was so stinkin tired, and Liz came and we talked and stuff for quite awhile whichw was nice. Around 10, I went back up to my room, but got locked out and it took them over 20 minutes to let me back in. :-/ Then packed my stuff up since it was the last night of our stay and that took me up until about 11, and now I shall get to bed early because I'm exhausted!

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