Rome, Italy I (Day 40)

St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica

Monday morning I woke up after two-and-a-half hours of sleep to load my stuff into a cab at 3:30 am and go to the airport.  Blegh!  It ended up costing 77 pounds.  Made me sick to my stomach.  Not sure how a 14ish-mile trip to the airport in London with zero traffic for thirty minutes costs 77 pounds, while a 40ish-mile trip in traffic that takes an hour costs 70 Euros (and the Euro is weaker than the pound).   Once the line for my airline opened and started moving, they charged me 49 Euros to check my LAPTOP bag!  And the Euro is equal to about 1.5 USD, so it was even worse than it sounds.  Bahh.

St. Peter’s Square

When I arrived at the airport in Rome and got my luggage, I pulled out my laptop to try to figure out my mom, aunt and cousin’s flight number when I saw them!  Yippee!  So good to see family!!  Once we got their luggage, we had to wait two hours for the tour bus to come to take us to the hotel.  Thankfully that time went by pretty fast.

St. Peter’s Basilica: this is a MOSAIC!
St. Peter’s Basilica
Our hotel room (mom and me) is SO NICE!  Woah!  It’s huge.  We definitely weren’t expecting that.  And after 40 days, it’s so luxurious to be in a clean place!!  When I moved into the apartment in Paris with my roommate, girls had been living in it for four months before us and it wasn’t cleaned until a week before we moved out!  And the hostel in London wasn’t very clean either of course.  Thank goodness I’ve grown up showering/sleeping in barns and horse trailer living quarters during horse shows!  Oh, and it’s exciting to have a towel.  I was having to dry off with my washcloth at the hostel!  One more lame way that I’m excited.  Mom brought me a shirt that I had wanted to bring but had then been told to leave at home!!!  I’m so tired of the shirts that I’ve been wearing for the past 40 days, and had been missing this shirt since the day I arrived in Paris!  YAHOO!  Something different to wear!  Ah, the little victories.
St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica: a Swiss Guard
St. Peter’s Basilica: even the floor was fancy
St. Peter’s Basilica: the outside
Triton Fountain
Trevi Fountain
When we got to the hotel around 12:40 pm, we got situated and then mom and I left to find the metro and go check out the Vatican.  Thankfully as we walked out of the hotel I suddenly remembered we needed to have jackets or scarves to cover our shoulders, so I ran back up to the room and grabbed a jacket and scarf.  We easily got to St. Peter’s Square (hooray for a nice little picture map the hotel gave us) and then stood in a huge, VERY fast-moving line (thankfully) to go inside of the basilica.  Woah!  I know I’ve said this before, but above all of the others, this place was H-U-G-E, and boy was it EXTRAVAGANT.  Wow.  Crazy.  We didn’t have much time to spend in the Basilica because we had to be back at the hotel by 4:00 pm to meet our tour director.
me and mom throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain
Trinità dei Monti
The Spanish Steps

After the tour director meeting and everything, mom, aunt Nancy, Jennifer (my cousin) and I walked back to the metro and took it to the Triton Fountain and walked from there to the Trevi Fountain.  So pretty!  I think I must just have a thing for fountains.  We all threw coins over our shoulders into the fountain.  On our way to our next stop, we bought paninis for dinner.. yum!  We ate our paninis by the Trinità dei Monti and the Spanish Steps, and then from there took the metro home.  The line that our hotel is on stops working at 9 pm!  Crazy.  I can’t imagine any city having a line that stops running that early.  Oh well.  We made it just in time.