Friday, December 28, 2007

First Day in Roma!

The Hoeys are on a family vacation to Rome!!

Our apartment is fabulous. The guy who met us there that owns it was a little overly enthusiastic in pointing out places on the map he gave us. We now know where 2 wine shops, 3 grocery stores, all the churches, a pastry place, 3 restaurants, and the Colosseum are. Apparently that's all that matters. Everything else, meh, not so much. :)

We have a kitchen that is stocked with milk, juice, coffee, pastries, and everything else a kitchen needs. The shower is a little intimidating - it has 2 different heads, and then jacuzzi jets going down the side, should be interesting in the morning! Took a few minutes to figure out how to flush the toilet, forgot about the big button camoflaged in the wall. We have a dining room too, and a bookcase stocked with every Rick Steves' Rome version that has been printed. And there is a Christmas tree!! Its such a cute place, I love it. Its up on the fourth floor, and I'm the only one in the family who will walk up all the stairs at the end of the day.

Today we had tickets to ride one of those Hop-On Hop-Off neon green double-decker tourist buses, so there's no mistaking that anyone seen on this bus is a tourist. As soon as we board, Dad promptly nodded off. KK and I went up to the top level, and even though we could see everything, we froze  so we went back down to the bottom, and were lulled to sleep by the elevatorish music playing in the background. How bad is that? Passing out while actively being a tourist on our first day in a place we were so excited to finally be in. Oh well.

Photo: Eskimo KK freezing on the top level of uber-conspicuous tourist bus

We got off at the Colosseum and since I had the guidebook, I ended up being the tour guide for the family.

Photo: KK's schtick this trip is to hug the down, 999 to go!

The Colosseum was pretty incredible. So incredibly old, and yet still standing. I mean, not many groups of people can say that they've built something that has lasted anywhere near that long. The Greeks. The Egyptians. The Inca. The Celts in Britain. And that's about it. Makes you wonder, 2,000 years from now, will there be any evidence of our civilization? Will there even be a viable planet for people to live on? Or will it all be lost and people will be living on Mars.

So back to the Colosseum. Nice place, what with all the brutal gladiator fights, getting killed by big scary aminals and other gladiators, who were all slaves by the way, pretty much fighting for their lives. Yeah, nice. And free entertainment too - it was the emperors' method of mob control. Keep the people happy by letting them watch other people get killed in bloody sporting matches and they won't revolt against you. Really nice. Good people those emperors, really compassionate.

A lot of the marble was pulled off the facade of the Colosseum to be used in the Renaissance by popes and the rich people for their summer homes and big massive churces and necessary things like that. I guess not much changed in those 1500 years of civilization.

Photo: Dad, the tired tourist, fell asleep standing up at the Colosseum

We wandered around for the rest of the day, enjoying the sunshine and just basically getting to know the city. Stopped at the Castel St. Angelo, which is only a few blocks away from our apartment. If that name doesn't ring a bell, go back and read Angels and Demons. Tomorrow we're actually going on a walking tour that comes straight out of that book, nerd alert! We all totally re-read the book before the trip. Dinner ended up being soup from a pouch (Mom thought ahead and brought soup mix, what genius) and whatever was stocked in the fridge for us, pastries probably. So sleepy!

Photo: Seesters in front of the Castel St. Angelo

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