Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year...
What's this time of year without a little Charlie Brown?!?
I think I have watched it every year at Christmas time... only to find out that James has never seen it! A must fix!
But before we get to all that... Since Thanksgiving, we had game night with some of James co-workers, some I knew, some I didn't. It was a blast. We chatted, ate home made Mexican tacos, then played Catch Phrase (awesome), followed by Quelf;
(a random and must experience kind of game!)
I was also able to take a trip to the Naples Duomo...
This is the side chapel, with the Roman pillars still in tact.
In Italy they aren't allowed to tear down old structures, only work around them... and why would you? They are clearly still functional... and very cool!
I also brought James and our new buddies, Danielle and Stephen (who I met at the game night), to the Eat, Pray, Love pizzeria.
We then walked around Naples some and walked down a popular shopping market/alley (Spaccanapoli), where you can buy pretty much anything and everything! And they were awkwardly welcoming;
And Santa stopped in for a visit...
Moving on... being in the Christmas spirit, and Mommy's baking-less *tear,* I took the time to try out my Grandmother's old fashioned fudge recipe... Oh, sweet success!
Charlie Brown time!
On "our" Christmas Day (Dec 22) we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas to get into the Christmas spirit and then opened our gifts! We decided to celebrate early because we would be in Rome for the next two days and then at our friends' house all day on Christmas.
Don't laugh... this was the extent of our Christmas decorations;
Oh wait, there was a wreath on the door and a bowl with pine cones and red, green and silver disco balls on the table...
I know, I over did it this year, hah!
OK, time to open- you first!
I think this is the only present James had absolutely NO clue what was inside, go me.
James did a wonderful job wrapping... I wonder what's inside??
I actually didn't see that part because he had it against the wall, strong work James!
I'm official Navy now, hah!
After playing with our new toys a bit, we packed for Rome and went to bed.
The next morning we headed out around noon (via train) and got to Rome about two hours later.
But not before a cappuccino of course!
Upon arrival in Rome, we checked into our hotel, which was conveniently close to the train station, grabbed some pizzas and were on our touristy way!
Day one was mostly spent on an open top/Hop- on, Hop-off bus because we didn't know where to go or our way around. Our first hop-off was at the Colosseum.
We rented audio guides and it was a little hard to figure out where we were supposed to be, but once we figured it out it was pretty interesting ;-)
I didn't know they tortured Christians as entertainment at half time... so sad :-/
Next stop - the Spanish Steps!
Then a window shopping pitt stop... at Tiffany's ;-)
And a stop at the beautiful Trevi Fountain
Hugs and high fives for Santa...
Break for banana and Nutella Crepes...
(Danielle and Stephen's first experience... which started an unsatisfiable craving within them... no joke...)
Finally, dinner at Hard Rock...
We were all craving American burgers... and most importantly; free water WITH free lemon slices, Mmmm. Oh the little things!
The USA holdin it down...
(American Embassy in Rome)
Then we walked to the hotel and passed out!
Now onto day two!
We started off with a nice breakfast spread, as the hotel served continental breakfast (again I forgot to snap a picture, though this one was not quite as good as the previously mentioned...). There were several pastries, Nutella (of course), bread, ham slices, cheese slices, cereals, juice, milk, and all sorts of coffee drinks. Then we headed to the train station and hopped on the metro towards Vatican City!
I really wanted to see the live Nativity in Vatican city. I read and heard that it's a pretty big deal for Italian Catholics, it's kind of like a pilgrimage or something. It begins at dusk, so we planned to spend the whole day at Vatican City. Which, by the way, is it's own country, weird, I know. I tried to get them to stamp my passport, but they weren't havin it... And yes, I'm kidding about the passport.
Anyway, we made a quick run through the museum... well, probably more like a long stroll, as it's a rather large museum, regardless... We finally made it to the beautiful Sistine Chapel... where we didn't take pictures because you're not allowed to *whistles & twiddle thumbs* ...
I saw my first real mummy!
And looked into Medusa eyes...
Then headed down the cool stairs...
...and out to stalk the Pope!
With no luck on a sneak peek *shrugs,* we went inside Saint Peter's Basilica, where it is believed that Peter and some late Popes are buried underneath.
I think it's also the biggest church in the world... but don't take my word for it, Google it for yourself...
Regardless, it was quite a site!
(Sorry you can't see us but you get the idea...)
You can't really see it... and even if you could see it, not sure you could read it, but the scripture "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church..." (Matt 16:18) is engraved up there under the windows... If you can see the "TV ES PERTVS..." that's it... or you can just take my word for it :-)
That scripture is in the dome right above the platform area;
Random group shot in the Basilica...
The original plan was to stay til dusk then head out, but the rain would not let up and we couldn't take it anymore, so we grabbed some lunch, Italian hot chocolate and headed out.
I hope you had yourself a Merry Christmas!
We sure did :-)