7:45 - Woke up way too early
8:25 - Depart
8:35 - 1st ride on Rome's metro
9:05 - Enter Vatican's piazza & getting in line for the Basilica - metal detectors!
9:15 - Show up late to mass... how typically Catholic!
9:45 - Mass ends. Italian or Latin? My guess is Italian
10:00 - Light shines down on the ladies & I take pics. Lots of wandering to view mosaics, sculptures, and other cool art
10:15 - The waxing machine almost runs me over
10:30 - Kristin and Lily touch St. Pete's lucky toes
10:45 - Walk around Bernini's Bronze Baldacchino. The bronze was stolen from the Pantheon. Supposedly St. Pete is buried beneath it
11:05 - We buy official Vatican rosaries - we liked the photos of Pope John Paul II better than his ugliness, Benedict XVI
11:15 - Climbed the 551 steps to the top of St. Pete's Basilica, opting out of the life despite Kristin's whining and wussiness. Hehe...
11:30 - Our sweat dried once we reached the top. We were blessed with glorious views!
12:15 - Ate lunch at Franchi's - a picnic-like restaurant. I had a delicious tomato, rice, and potato antipasto with a panini & red wine. Mmm...
12:45 - Wandered over to the fresh fruit market, where Kristin passes out for a 1/2 hour. Lily journaled, and I read more of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
1:15 - We head back to the Vatican to get in the ridiculously long line
1:30 - We play Rage while standing. It required some intense coordination to balance the cards, score sheet, walking, & suffering the heat
2:15 - Old, cantankerous lady tries to shove us out of the line & butt in front of us. I step in & take charge, which leads to a stare down contest. I suggest she take a pre-booked tour to "officially" jump queue. She backs down only to begin her passive-aggressive approach to move up the line, one-family-member-at-a-time method. "Excuse me, my family is up ahead..." :(
3:00 - Enter the Vatican museum! A/C!!!
3-4:30 - We navigated the sea of endless people in the overcrowded, but priceless museum. One of my favorite parts were Rafael's frescoes
The Sistine Chapel
4:30-5:15 - Hangout at the cafe, play Rage, & then browse through the museum gift shop
5:30 - Send 2 postcards via the Vatican's postal service
6:00 - Pantheon! An astounding structure built nearly 2,800 years ago, & is considered one of ancient Rome's most magnificent structures. I can see why!
The Pantheon's dome
7:30 - Dinner at an unnamed restaurant, simply known as #18/19 on Via del Governo Vecchio. Delicious!
9:00 - Wander the streets and explore the cool shops while drinking beer & eating gelato. 2 shops of note: nostalgic wooden toys & pop culture books on music, movies, and art
9:45 - Hanging out at Plaza Navona - we heard opera, saw breakdancers, listened to funky bottle music blowers, & watched various artists do their work, which included a spray paint artist
11:00 - Finally catch the metro back "home"
Verdict: A good day! :)