Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rome and Beyond

The secret is here to reveal...

The Hubby and I have been traveling again.  It has been a few years since we took an extended vacation and boy did we do a big one.  Nearly a year ago three of my painting buddies and I started planning to go to Italy, a Mediterranean cruise and finally, FINALLY, on September 10 it was on.  Euros in hand, bags packed, lots of bags, cameras and extra batteries and discs, passport in hand it was on.  

One of the best ideas for this long flight over was First Class on the plane.  When we first sat down, not even buckled up we were served champagne in real champagne glasses!  We are now forever spoiled.  Well worth the bucks.  Our first flight out of Tulsa, Charlotte then to JFK was at 7 something and by the time we arrived in Rome it was like 8 in the morning there.  We had a whole tour the minute we hit the ground which I think was a good thing, so we didn't make the mistake of sleeping.  Man it was so very sweltering and my legs were on fire.  We had pasta right of the bat and finally were able to check in to our rooms in the middle of an area in Rome called Trastevere.  Beautiful and a cafe or restaurant on every corner or what we considered alleys.  

Our first tour guy Giovanni, fresh off the plane.  He was wonderful.

The Vatican tour was hot, crowded, and beautiful. The next morning we were up very early to visit the Vatican.  We had a guide and had the early time to go inside before the hordes of other people came in.  Hot, hot, hot and our legs, oh my goodness.  The guide was great and the place is beautiful.  We walked up steps, down steps, long hallways, stand, stand, stand.  By the end of the tour I was done and so was Linda.  We opted to not visit the catacombs that afternoon and it was a wise decision The Hubby said as there were steps, steps, steps.  The next day my calf muscles, quads and arms were spent.  Sore, sore, sore.  I couldn't figure out why my arms were so tired then I remember I had to grab railings to pull, going up or down.  

You see that dome, well around the top was an enclosed walkway and when I zoomed in... 
EGAD...I could not do that.

Have never been so thirsty before.  We drank gallons of water, still or bubbly, didn't matter, wet was what mattered. 

Gnocchi with bolognese sauce...little soft pillows of YUMMY!

The walking tour in Rome in the area called Trastevere was the best.  Worn out from walking and we were all sweat bombs every single day. 

Our sweet tour guide for the food tour was from Wisconsin.  She came 6 years ago, met a guy and never left.   

One day we had an eating tour in the Trastevere area that was probably my favorite day.  Quaint stores of cheese, meats, pastries, gelato, and much more.   


The Borgese Museum 

This statue is marble, carved...look at the hands pushing in the marble like it was flesh.  Just stunning.

And look at the tears in marble. 

Our favorite little restaurant just a couple blocks behind our rooms.  We went back twice we liked it so much. 

Then it was onward to the cruise ship.  Celebrity Cruises, the Silouette, our home away from home for 10 days.  

Our cabin attendant was a sweet kid, Elroy.   

We took several day trips in ports along the way back to Rome. 

Our guide for Positano, Salerno, Sorento and Pompeii, Giovanni #2.

Yes we were on that eyes were closed and I tried not to think about it but I have to admit a few scared tears were shed.

Coming into Positano (a bucket list place for me.)

There were so many stores in Positano.

One morning as the sun came up on the cruise ship.  Blue, blue, blue.

Oh gosh there were so many places we went to...Pompeii, Sorrento, Salerno, Florence, Marseille, Corsica, Nice...

As Linda said, "We started out as friends and returned as family!" Great traveling buddies.

Karaoke...yes that is me.

These alleys were roads and you would NOT believe the cars going through them.  What was so weird is that they had all these small cars but rarely did we see a dent.  They parked everywhere too.


Lunch among the lemon grove. 

What we walked on most of the time in Rome. 

It was soooooooo hot that I finally had to find a place to just sit and wait, unfortunately it was by a convenience store in the middle of Pompeii.  So sad.

On our trip around Corsica we saw this out our cabin window and found out it is an active volcano, Strombolli. 

The ferry traveling to Strombolli... 
my goodness people live there.  It has not erupted in many, many years, just churns inside. 

Markets in Nice. 

Cassis, France 

Taking time to Facebook!

Olives, olives everywhere. 

and boats, boats...Oh boy...I will paint! 

Can't quite figure out the gold Elvis on the gold sea turtle. 

Among all the marble wonders. 

Trevi Fountain