This morning we decided to do something pretty much unheard of for us on this trip and sleep in, and then use the rest of the morning to get a few things organized and taken care of before we headed back into Rome. We’ve quickly discovered that being full time travelers doesn’t exempt us from all the routine stuff like laundry, email, dishes, and cleaning up that is required for daily living, and our decision to journal our trip has made for a lot of time spent writing and photo editing as well. It was good to have some time to get organized and for once start the day at a slightly slower pace.
Our first goal for the day was to make it to church in Rome where we had scoped out and LDS ward that met just off the subway route. We allowed ourselves an hour to get there and headed out into the beautiful blue day wearing our “Sunday best” which truly are the nicest clothes we have with us, although frankly they still aren’t very nice.
With even a few minutes to spare, we arrived outside the meetinghouse where a few other members were gathered. They too were from the states, were on vacation, and had looked up the meetinghouse online. Unfortunately, the gates around the building were locked tight. We paged the building, and sat around for probably close to a half hour, but not a soul ever showed up. We don’t know if there was some kind of regional conference or what went wrong exactly, but that was as close to church as we ever got. In any event, we met some really nice people and hopefully they have a lovely European vacation!
Our church plans failed, we figured we’d head to our next destination: the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. The line to get tickets was the biggest mess I’ve ever seen with people weaving in and out of pillars, making two lines for no reason, and no way to exit the line once you had your tickets. It was a bit maddening, but once the line got moving, it didn’t take very long before we were in.
The Colosseum itself was really quite a feat and it was hard to visualize seventy thousand people crammed in there and what it must have been like to see battleships fight on the “stage.” It is hard for my brain to comprehend the ‘oldness’ of the places we have been seeing as well.
As always, we underestimated ourselves and figured the Forum would take us an hour at the absolute most. We were seriously surprised by how big the place was and we walked it for hours trying to envision the ruins as a functioning society. Pretty incredible that there is still this much to see after so many years.
Once we had seen enough (and were starting to get hungry) we realized that we had somehow failed to photograph (and initially to recognize) the aqueduct for Ben’s mom like she wanted for her class. We retraced our steps for a pretty solid 15 minutes to take the following photo for her. (Kim, I hope this is what you were looking for. I couldn’t have even recognized an aqueduct if it hadn’t been labeled on the map…) Happy Mother’s Day!
With our Roman tour nearly complete, we put the prime lens back on the camera to put it away so I convinced Ben to let me shoot his portrait in front of a few of the ruins by the exit sporting his fancy Italian haircut (and without the beard).
Soon we had decided to make a family photo out of it and we spent another half hour trying to take our own photo with the remote control. As it turns out, it is exceptionally hard to pose ourselves in a way that doesn’t look terrible, but the pictures turned out better than when we have a camera impaired stranger snap them! We must have a bit crazy as we set up and snapped endless pictures of ourselves, ultimately only ending up with couple that we liked.
Returning to camp, we noticed our clothes line had been taken down and our clothes had been moved to a proper drying rack outside our tent. We have no idea who moved them, but it was a nice gesture! We fixed an enormous pot of gnocci (which Ben is in love with) and downed another tub of gelato before putting away the laundry and holing up in the tent to go through our photos and write for the day.
And as a final sign off, we are thinking of our Mothers and Grandmothers today! Thank you for all you do for us, we are so lucky to have such amazing family. Happy Mothers Day to all the incredible women in our lives who have been such an blessing to us!