Still finishing up.....

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June 16th 2007
Published: September 7th 2017
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Geo: 38.4543, -76.6907

Hello again,
As I was rereading my last entry I think it may have Louis Vuitton that had the line and not Yves St. Laurent.... sorry, just trying to be accurate. Kind of hard to be with a fuzzy brain about these sorts of things....

On Monday, June 4th we:
Bought our train tickets for our journey on Wednesday to Venice. Found Largo Argentina, the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered. Amazing to see the actual spot! It is fenced off and you look down into a large square with the remnants of temples and the temporary meeting place for the Senate at that time. There are busy modern streets surrounding it and the spot is actually a cat sanctuary for stray cats! Volunteers staff it and take care of them and feed them, they take donations...
On to Galleria Doria Pamphilj- a palazzo still used by the family. Cool to see the public rooms, ballroom, art galleries, bought a poster of one of the pieces of art they had on display. On our way from the Palazzo, we walked past Trajan's Column, Market and Forum as it's on the way to the main Roman Forum and saw the Mamertine prison where Peter and Paul were held. Walked through the Forum on our way to the Palatine Hill where we took an English guided tour. We saw the 80 ACRE ruins of Domitian's Palace! It overlooked the Circus Maximus! It was huge, hard to imagine a "house" that large! It did have public rooms that were used for government business but still......
After this, it was up the hill and several centuries later (figuratively and literally ) we visited the St. Peter in Chains Church. It had an amazing amount of steep stone stairs to climb, this is one of many places where the t-shirt slogan I had seen was very accurate. I came, I saw, I crawled!!! We felt triumphant when we made it to the top! Here we saw the supposed actual chains that held Peter in Rome and Jerusalem. After walking down another set of very steep stone steps we made our way to the same great restaurant we ate at a couple of days earlier. Another great meal, we probably had the best pasta at this place. Great Pasta Arrabbiata and Pesto, yummy! 😊

Tuesday, June 5:
Left the apt. later than usual today, a bit slow after the big day before. Made our way to the Trevi fountain, I made sure I threw my coin in 😊 bought a sandwich and coke and ate our lunch on the bases of 2 of the columns of the Pantheon, great!
Went around the corner to the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church, this was the church Galileo stopped in to pray before going to the inquisition where he was forced to say the sun revolved around the earth! I looked at the same stairs we both walked up and was amazed that I was in the same spot he was! Hard to explain.... Michaelangelo's Christ Bearing the Cross is in this church also. The art that would be in a heavily guarded museum here is just where anyone can walk in off the street and see it, fantastic....
On toward the Tiber we walked and visited the Jewish Museum with 2 synagogues (the oldest continuous Jewish population outside of Isreal). Wandered the Jewish Ghetto and right behind the museum was Marcellus' Theatre. Very well preserved! Went over the Ponte Fabricio (bridge) into Trastevere. Visited several churches here. One was the Church of St. Cecilia, it was built over her house, which you can visit. It was huge, very much intact for something 1900 years old! You could see where they had made the first church in her house, it was intact and beautiful!!! they would build an official church over the house (that had been used as a church when it was illegal) when Christianity became legal.Got that?? Cecilia was a martyr and had had a church in her home. She must have been well off as it wasn't a plebian's home.
After dinner did the night walk from the Trevi Fountain through Piazza Navona, to Campo Di Fiori. Ciao Roma!! 😞

Wednesday, June 6:
Mauro picked us up at 5:50 AM!! I think I only got about 3-4 hours of sleep! Made it to Venice, told you all about that before I believe.

I think I'm now all caught up....

Favorite Memories:
One of the best things I enjoyed about Venice was catching the Vaporetto ( water bus) getting very lucky by actually getting a seat in the back and not having to stand up! So since I had an actual seat I stayed on and rode the bus all the way around Venice looking at the sights! It took about 1 1/4 hours I think.....beautiful weather, great view from where I was. As I was across the lagoon from St. Marks square and could see the Doge Palace and part of St. Marks Basilica the nickname for Venice was so true at that moment. They called it "the most serene republic" it looked so serene and peaceful from my vantage point and I think I will always have that view in my mind when I think of Venice.
Another of my favorite memories will be listening to the medley of "My Fair Lady" that the orchestra played in the square one evening, beautiful!!
Finding a "secret" restaurant tucked away with homemade pasta, sitting under vines outside, listening to people speak Italian.

My thoughts are sort of out of order and not very organized, perhaps because there was so many new things to see and experience...

Things learned:
Several lessons cemented in my mind from this trip are that people are really the same all over. I really hadn't thought any differently than that but it was really reinforced by meeting so many people from different places.

I totally enjoyed seeing history in its context and not just from a book!!

A larger lesson to me was to not wait to "do things" until some magical time in the future. We don't know what the future will hold and we should enjoy the time that God has given us right now and when it's in His Will, to go out and experience this world that He has created. To me, that includes enjoying the everyday things right here in Richland, Washington, as this "time in history" seems to be flying by also.

I've been grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with all of you and appreciate you sharing my journey with me!


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