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August 14th 2017
Published: August 14th 2017
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Baby birds!!! By now you are full-grown adults but I still feel the need to feed you every now and then. I hope you don't mind, nay, rather enjoy this little feeding. The wife, Lauren Fisser, fka Lauren Shoemake aka Shoe, agreed to travel with me for 16 days across Italy. The trip started normally with us racing each other to see who could finish two beers the fastest at the airport. Of course, I won but Lauren was glowing and in high spirits. I hate to have a flashback already but I need to for what I perceive as a great story. As Lauren and I were waiting in line to print our boarding pass for our connecting London to Rome flight, past security mind you, at a majestic place called "American Airlines Customer Service Center", I decided it was time to relieve myself. Upon departure of the restroom, I was parched. What better way to end that feeling than to grab a drink from the drinking fountain. So as I turn out the restroom, I stand in line to grab a drink. I was standing behind a family of three people of Asian descent. After a minute, I realized they had no idea what a drinking fountain was (how? because one was sitting on their luggage and turning the spout while the other was waving around the entire fountain). So I kindly asked if I could go ahead of them...with a nod they agreed. I pushed the button, took a sip, got applause and a sigh of relief from the family. To them, I was their Captain America. As luck would have it, they bought Lauren and I drinks for the rest of the evening before the flight. (That last sentence is a complete lie). Anywho, so we land in Rome around 7:30 pm. We get to our hotel (Hotel Smeraldo...shout out, we love you!) and settle in. Grabbed a beer on the rooftop and then went to Piazza Compo de Fiori to enjoy a late dinner.

Our real first day in Rome started that next morning. I awoke to a "crap! my alarm didn't go off!". Which meant, Matt was in a hustle mood ready to go in five minutes. Luckily, we missed our alarm by only a few minutes. We were able to meet Sylvia (our tour guide from Germany) and Massimo (our freakin' private driver!) in time. We drove by Victor Emmanuel Monument and the tower of Trajan (which displays all of Emperor Trajan's victories) but our first true stop was the Colosseum. As Forrest Gump has said many times before this, "Not much needs to be said about that." Amazing that something about 2,000 years old still resembles college football stadiums. We, as humans, have seeked entertainment since the beginning of time and nowadays we find it in video games and football. Anywho, it's straight mind bottling (as if someone could bottle thoughts). about ROmans engineering skills that far back in time. As if a ritual, I leaned down and rubbed dirt between my hands and refused to say the traditional, "We are who about to die, salute you, Hail Cesasr!". I then told Sylvia we could and go she agreed it was time. We briefly visited the Arch of Constantine, Arch of Titus, Baths of Caracala and Circus Maximus.

Now after that, I hope I do this justice, we visited a hole...a key hole to be specific. It is the key hole of Malta aka Knights of Malta. This is something that is told in legend...or written about in Angels & Demons. It is another sovereign territory. So as we stand on Italian dirt, we look over another "country's land/garden", to see St. Peter's Basicalla, yet another separate territory. It was as glorious listen to Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis for the first time...probably even better. The picture doesn't do it justice because you can't see St. Peter's. We then visited the Roman Forum, which if you don't know I love history so this is a big deal to me, where we saw so many amazing things. The tour guide found out 1. I knew some stuff 2. we're sarcastic 3. we're easy going. All three of those things were verbally confirmed. By they way, all through this, my wife has been a trooper as she has been dealing with some swollen feet/ankles. I have been telling her that everything will be okay but I have no idea...I am not a doctor. Update: she's doing a lot better so I was technically right.

Moving right along...wait. I forgot to let y'all know that the leatherman has made it! The multi functional tool has accompanied me on my side throughout it all. Gioia, our transfer agent in Venice, saw it and immediately got intimidated. It's doing its job. Back to Rome. We then went to the Pantheon, which in my mind is the greatest architectural wonder in Italy...maybe all of the world. The original building was built around 23 BC and re-done at 130 AC with a fountain that has an oblesik that's over 3,000 years old. Yet, when you walk in and see the light come in there is nothing that takes your breath away quite like it...unless you're Matt Fisser and you decide you want to marry the woman of your dreams...but that's another story. After that, we went to the church of St Ignazio. When you walk in you think the atrium is domed but in fact it's a painting on a cloth! It looks 100% like a dome until you get closer...well done painter.

That woman of my dreams mentioned earlier almost left me for a Roman waiter named Mickey at Osteria belle Cordelle. Truth be told, I would have been like, "His beard is good." Other than that, the food was amazing. We ate like Emperors and Empresses yet still had room for their amazing cheese cake...and I know my cheese cake. Anywho, this post is getting way too long. You probably haven't even read this far and went straight to the pictures (I can't blame you because my entertainment/puns were not my A game here..darnit MacGyver would be disappointed that I was not great today). The last night in Rome, Lauren wanted to make memories so we went exploring and that just ended with her picking the nose of Marcus Aurelius.

We are now in Venice! When we arrived we took a water taxi to the hotel. As we checked in, I was told to place my bags down. Easy enough. Any dog, gorilla, gerbil can learn to drop. So I back up to throw my back up off and I hit a wall chandelier. The front desk girl stares at me and says, "gently place your bag down please." I will never forget that look or the feeling that I am a bull in a china shop. Luckily, our transfer agent (a true born and raised Venetian) told me that those are cheap and Moreno. I was like so I am good until I break five of them..which is a real possibility. Venice has been beautiful....not as beautiful as my travel partner though. More to come. I love you and promise to be the best I can be tomorrow and the day after that. Enjoy the pictures because lets be honest, that's what you are all really here to see.


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15th August 2017

What an adventure, thank you for posting! The read is fantastic (that's oddly weird) and feel that I am reading one of those romance novels that our cousin, Guinevere, is addicted to.... I can only imagine how much fun you both are having! I LOVE the pic of Lauren and the nose pic, classic. This baby bird is tweeting love songs to you both... Here's to being the best you can be tomorrow and the day after that..... xoxox Kristen

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