Rome & Home… the final leg of our journey!

There is just something about doing all of Rome in one day… the first time I went to Rome with Amanda we got up bright and early, which is kind of shocking after the previous night where we each ordered what we thought was a glass of wine…. Turns out it was a bottle for each.  Well, that was an exciting evening… :)Anyways… I digress.  We woke up early, map in hand and took off to see the sites.  We went to every major destination except the Vatican in one day, and we were beat, our feet were raw, our shoulders sunburned, but it was a great day!!!! This time, I certainly went to bed earlier, having not had any wine for oh say three months… and we got an early start off at the Vatican with our personal guide. We spent several hours touring around the museum, then St. Peter’s and again, it was fascinating.  I learned so much this tour that I didn’t on the last, and I can only imagine that continues to be true each time you visit. I mean the place is HUGE.  This trip, I learned there is a room all covered in thick canvas wall paper so as to not disturb the paintings behind the paper.  Why are they covering the paintings you may ask…? Well, it is because the Cardinal who used to live (like WAY back when)  in this quarter was known for throwing, um, co-ed get-togethers (catch my drift) and they were spicy, and he liked to have memories of these spicy engagements of co-eds and thus the paintings were painted, then later covered up because of the racy implications in the pictures.  This was funny on many levels to me, one being there are naked pictures all over the Vatican, that left me wanting to look beyond the canvas some kind of bad!!! Just needed a pair of friskers!!!After the tour was over, we walked or perhaps…roamed hehehehe the streets for a little while down to the Pantheon where we had a little time for lunch and shopping.  You can never have enough time for shopping and eating when in Rome.  Lunch was SPECTACULAR and we got to sit down for a little while, which for a last day, was very much appreciated. After lunch we hightailed it to the Coliseum where our guide clearly was not as interested because we were in and out of that big guy in like 30 minutes! Kids and adults were panicking and taking every picture as our guide announced time to move along! She was not my favorite!! The rest of the day we toured around the ruins, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, had some more gelato, espresso, shopping time you name it!   We stayed on the move and busy this whole day!!!  We ended the night with a little panic shopping, Mom, McKenzy…ME…. And an absolutely incredible meal!!!  A perfect ending to an excellent trip!!!Until the next morning………………… We had to be on the bus at 3:00 in the morning the day we were leaving, and GOOD thing we had plans to leave as early as we did because it was not a smooth check in process. First off, I think across the board all of our suitcases had gained a good 10-20 lbs on the trip… not a good start.  Second, it was very early in the morning, and no one had gotten much sleep because we didn’t get back until after 11 that night LSo we make it to the airport, unload our bags from the bus and got into the lines to check-in.  At this point we were all expecting to check-in, walk the mile to get our bags weighed, secretly hold our breath and then pay the fees for overweight bags.  What actually happened is we all got into lines, the check-in machines were not working, the customer service agents, while beautiful in their designer duds, were less than helpful and more than angry.  By the time we got into line we discovered that not only were they weighing our checked luggage, they were also weighing our carry-ons, purses, and us!!! No, I’m just kidding, they didn’t weigh us, but they did weigh everything else.  At this point I have began to sweat, because I know my checked-bag is overweight, my carry-on is bulging, and my purse is huge and HEAVY.  So doing the only responsible thing I could think of… I started parceling out my belongings to the kids with light-weight bags.  Yes, I did this, no I am not proud of doing this….But it worked! I squeaked by without having to purchase any additional weight fees and made it to security and on the plane no problems.  The rest of the trip was pretty smooth sailing.  We met up with the Mr. in Minneapolis and took the girls, who never tire of shopping, to the Mall of America for a quick 6 hour trip!!! It was a blast, mom treated me to a few maternity shirts, and the girls bought prom dresses!!! HOW FUN!!!!  That night I feel asleep around 8 and then the next morning we packed up McKenzy, sent her home, then packed up the pugs and hit the road!!!I am sure I’ve left off great moments, because I know we basically laughed our way through every situation, as all good international travelers do, but those were the highlights!!!! Now, if I can just find a way to head back over in a few years with the Mr. –I may have some scheming to do!

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