A few weeks ago, Enrique told me he had planned a weekend trip for us. He planned to keep the destination a secret 'til the end, but he agreed to answer one question a day since I was desperate for some hints. I had to plan my questions carefully, since I could only ask one, sometime two if he felt generous, each day. Question 1: Do I need to bring my bathingsuit? No. (So it can't be Andalucia which I had thought it might be) Question 2: Is it in Spain? No. (ooh-la, la.... getting excited) Question 3: Is it a capital city? Yes. (But which?) Question 4: Have you ever been there before? No. (I know he's been to Paris and London so it can't be either of those) At this point I'm thinking it may either be Lisbon or Rome. Question 5: Is it famous for great food? Yes. And that was it, ROME, ITALY!
I was thrilled, I hadn't been to Rome since I was about 15 with my family. This would surely be a different experience.
We left Thursday, April 10 at 7pm. It was only a two hour plane ride, shorter than flying from San Diego to Denver. We got a taxi as soon as we arrived and headed towards our hotel. It turned out to be a precious little B&B with just 4 rooms, situated in a little square that had a gorgeous fountain in the center. The B&B was called Kame Hall, very clean and comfortable with a minimalist decor. A friend of Enrique's named David, was also spending the weekend in Rome with his girlfriend Beatriz. We met with them the first night in front of the Pantheon and sat down for a nice candlelit dinner together complete with pasta, pizza and wine.
The next day we woke up early and headed straight to the Vatican. It was raining and quite grey out so it we though it a good idea to spend this day inside. We started in St. Peter's Cathedral and then moved onto the Vatican Museum. The memories of my last visit were coming back to me, it was the last time the whole family traveled together. Danny hasn't come on any trips since. A student of mine had lent me a Lonely Planet for Rome and she suggested that before seeing the Sistine chapel, we pick up some binoculars. Enrique heeded this advice, and spent 18 bones on a pair. Sadly he couldn't even use it himself since he was wearing glasses, then just after lunch, it broke in his hands while he was adjusting the magnification. WE all found it to be pretty funny, especially since the packaging was rife with print concerning the unmatched quality and five point inspection it had undergone. The last time I was here I hadn't seen the Sistine Chapel, I was too young to appreciate it and felt that waiting an hour in line wouldn't be worth it. With a bit more maturity this time around, I found it to be breathtaking. I only wish a bench had been available for me to sit on because there was so much to see and my neck couldn't take much more contorting. After the Vatican we had lunch on the terrace of a cute little trattoria on the east side of the Tiber. I got the spicy Penne all 'Arrabiata... the Spaniards couldn't handle it (minus Enrique whose secret ingredient in cooking is tabasco). With our bellies filled, we headed towards the Pantheon where we came across a big political demonstration and realized it was election weekend in Italy. We kept walking until sunset and then parted ways, planning to meet each other again for dinner after a few hours of rest in our respective hotels.
DAY 2 and 3 COMING SOON>>>
PS Pictures posted in backwards order