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Showing posts from 2013

Five Minute Friday: Truth

Truth is, I don't know how good I am at this blogging thing. Here I am on Saturday doing the Five Minute Friday. I have it in my heart to help people with my writing but some days, let's face another truth - I'm too lazy to pick up the computer and write.

Truth is, I could really work harder at my day job. I think working harder at my day job would ease the 3:30am thoughts that won't let me fall back to sleep. And I think working harder would give me such a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day that I would be energized into picking up the computer and writing on my blog.

Truth is, I am amazed that I can function as an adult. I don't know what I'm doing. I can't believe I own a house, how did that happen? I know that my birth certificate says I am 51 years old but I feel like an ignorant teenager who still needs her parents to raise her. Every day that I go to bed without experiencing a major mishap, I thank God for keeping me safe and s…

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 31 - Finale

This photo is a re-creation of one taken of my sister when she made her first trip to France. I framed hers as a symbol of how proud I was of her for taking that trip. I wasn't able to go with her that time and I have to admit that I was so envious of her for getting to see all of the places I had dreamed of.

This trip to Europe was that dream come true and I am so glad that I made it. There were times I lied awake at night wondering if I was doing the right thing. Should I spend this money on travel instead of my house? How would we navigate these cities on our own, would we get lost? Would my travel insurance cover me losing my nerve and cancelling the whole thing? I am so glad that I fought through the fear and uncertainty and took the leap of faith into the adventure waiting for me on the other side of the ocean.

The more I look back on my vacation, the happier I am that I took it. It is so much fun to be watching a TV show or a movie that is set in one of the places I visited…

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 30 - Returning to the Real World

I was so lucky to not be struck down by jet lag. I think the secret is to return to your normal schedule as soon as possible. My first day back home was jam packed with activities so I wasn't able to go to bed at 5:30pm, which my internal clock thought should be bedtime.

I was only 30 minutes late for work and had three weeks worth of email to sort through - no time to even think about being sleepy. When the 5pm whistle blew,  I went to my parents' house to celebrate my mother's birthday. After dinner out and opening of gifts, I headed to a friend's house for a going away party. I finally returned home around 10:30pm. I tried not to think about the fact that it was 4:30am in Rome. I just went to bed and thought about how in one more day it would be 4th of July and I could sleep in as late as I wanted and do it in my own bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I said a prayer thanking God for everything I had experienced and seen on my trip of a lifetime.

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 29 - Flying Home

It was a pleasant surprise to see our ride to the airport waiting for us in the hotel lobby. It was an even more pleasant surprise to see that we'd be riding to the airport in a Mercedes! It was one last chance to see Rome and we got see a different side of it, a more suburban side.

We navigated customs and check in and then found out our flight was delayed for over an hour. We finally get the go ahead to board the plane and it was the strangest system ever. We lined up according to our group then were directed to an escalator. Down the stairs we went and that's where we realized that the groups were useless. We waited as we were put on buses like cattle and driven to the plane. Our biggest fear was that there would be no overhead storage by the time we got to our seats but the luggage gods were with us and we were able to store our bags full of souvenirs.

Our next stop was Washington D.C. Several of the people on our plane were in danger of missing their connecti…

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 28 - Our Last Day in Rome

Our first stop of the day was Circus Maximus, the chariot racing stadium.

Next we saw the Bocca della Verita. We were so surprised that this was in the portico of a church, not by itself like it seems in the movies. Neither one of us stuck our hands in the mouth.

It is a bit odd to visit churches on a Sunday, especially when a service is being held, so we tried to be very respectful when we went inside the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano.

The oculus was the star of the show at today's visit to the Pantheon. It was magical to see the sun rays coming down from the ceiling.

We had to wait for the Church of the Gesu to reopen for the afternoon, but like every church in Rome, it was worth it.

Before heading to our hotel to pack, we made one more visit to the Pantheon.

I can't believe we fly home tomorrow. What a wonderful trip this has been!

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 27 - St. Peter's and the Colosseum

We took a bus to Vatican City and lined up to get into St. Peter's, only to find out that there was a special event there and it was going to be closed to the public until 2pm. So we go to plan B and walk over to the Vatican Museum to see the Sistine Chapel. Amazed that the lines were so short, we finally make our way to the front and see the sign that tells us that we are there on the only day of the month that the museum is closed. Plan C, go to the Colosseum.

What an amazing place! It is so unbelievable that it is still standing after all these years. We spent some time walking around it. the Roman Forum, and the Palatine. Everywhere in Rome there are ruins like this, on city streets along with modern buildings. I love that kind of respect for history.

Another thing that has struck me about this city is how people honor God by erecting such beautiful churches. And St. Peter's has to be one of the most stunning examples of this devotion.

These photos don't do the majest…

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 26 - Roma

We started our first full day in Rome looking for Campo de Fiori, an open air market. With the help of a very friendly nun, we finally found it.

We then went back to the Pantheon. What an amazing place! It was wonderful seeing the excitement on my sister's face as she visited her favorite Roman sight.

We climbed the Spanish Steps.

We ate a sandwich and had some gelato at the Trevi Fountain and then spent the rest of the day visiting churches.

We had a dinner of pizza magherita and some more gelato then went back to our hotel room to plan our next day in Rome.

31 Days of Traveling to Europe: Day 25 - Venice and Rome

Before we left Venice, we had a wonderful boat ride to one of the Murano islands to tour a glass plant. We watched a demonstration of a man forming hot liquid into animals. It was amazing how quickly he could create something out of a blob.

After the tour we took the boat back to Venice and walked to our hotel. Even though our tour guide teased us about worrying about getting to the train station, he was very nice and walked us there and even helped us get our bags on to the train.

The last train ride of our trip was not uneventful. At one stop, a man boarded the train, wearing his pants almost around his knees. He carried what looked like a large juice box that turned out to be a box of wine. When a woman came through the car to check our tickets, she discovered that he did not have a ticket and the police boarded the train at the next stop and escorted the man off. It was like being on an episode of "Cops". 

We made it to our Roman hotel and hit the streets to see some si…