For previous honeymoon posts, click on the links below:
Chapter 1 – Arriving in Rome & Wedding Memories
Chapter 2 – The Vatican
Chapter 3 – The Sunset Bus Tours
Not quite two months since the last honeymoon post, I’m improving! A quick note for anyone that hasn’t read previous chapters, the information is broken up because of journal entries written while on the trip. Anything quoted was written while traveling, and usually written the day after the events, so when you’re reading it in past tense, it’s not as strange as it sounds. I’m really happy that I kept a journal as we traveled, it reminds me of things that I might have forgotten.
This particular day is cut short after the Pantheon, continue reading and you will see why.
I’m up earlier than I have to be this morning, so unlike me! But it’s my last morning in Rome, and my last chance to take advantage of my happy place here. Well, one of them. our balcony, with my camera, my journal and some insanely strong coffee. Apparently Europeans like their coffee STRONG. No complaints, just takes some getting used to. I love sitting here and watching the sun rise over the Vatican wall. Today we leave for the cruise ship, which means Tom will switch into drill sargeant mode. I know he’s just looking out for me, but sometimes it makes me want to smack him and tell him to chill out! We will have a balcony in our stateroom, but I wonder if I will have a coffee maker and another happy place there?
WOW our last day here. It’s gone so fast. I feel like this journal has been boring so far, a step by step of what we’ve done, blah blah. But these are the details I want to remember, so I will keep writing. Speaking of blah, there is a man below me with crazy hiccups! And another man just peed on the sidewalk below me. Awesome LOL!
So where did I leave off last time… we finished our day at the Vatican, St. Peter’s at night – another happy place. Our second full day, we were ready to go! We ate breakfast, where Tom told me that sitting and relaxing with me on our honeymoon was a waste of time. LOL oops! He didn’t mean it that way, he’s quite the wordsmith sometimes. Thanks honey! So we ate QUICKLY because he wanted to get going. We walked to St. Peter’s, past the insane line for the Vatican museum, and the tons of people selling plastic models of statues, to board the hop on/hop off bus.
The moon was still above St. Peter’s and was VERY cool to see!
The bus ride was rather uneventful, although it was pretty cool to see the sun rising behind the buildings.
We took the bus to the Trevi Fountain stop, although we quickly realized that while the stop was labelled clearly, the directions to the fountain were not so clear. Despite the fact that it’s a HUGE fountain, it was not easy to find. It’s surrounded by buildings, so we wandered for a little bit, feeling a little inept. Eventually I heard rushing water so I figured we were getting close, and we turned around and it was right in front of us.
The Trevi fountain was big and gorgeous, but within about 15 minutes of our arrival it was absolutely PACKED with people. So much so that it was difficult to move arround. Cameras were everywhere, of every type! I was trying to be polite and not walk into pictures but eventually it became inevitable. I decided that I wanted to have some coffee and enjoy the fountain, so I went to find some espresso. I wanted to get something for Tom too, but they didn’t have juice, which was his only request. The only options were coffee, wine, water or beer. So, being the awesome wife that I am, I got him an Italian beer. Because we are in Italy. It’s cultural, right? WHEN IN ROME – oh yes, I just went there. The only size they had was a liter though. So I walked out of this coffee shop holding a TINY cup of cappuccino (which was fantastic by the way) and a liter of beer. BUT IT WAS ITALIAN BEER. And Italian coffee. That makes it okay. It was also about 10 o’clock in the morning at this point. When I brought it to him, he started laughing at me. I was kind of offended – I was pretty proud of myself! The top wasn’t opened, and Tom didn’t have his keys (with the bottle opener) with him, so I opened with my hand, on a marble step. Again – PRETTY DAMN PROUD of myself. But Tom was too busy looking for cops to be proud too. I assured him that I asked at the coffee shop if drinking beer outside was okay, so he took a drink. We sat down on a rather strange seat, and a cop approached us. Tom was immediately freaking out and I knew he was getting ready to be very annoyed with me, but get this – we were sitting on the wrong side of the railing. The cop didn’t care about the “20 gallons” of beer that Tom had, he just wanted us to move to the other side. So we moved and enjoyed our beverages. When we were ready to go, Tom hadn’t finished his beer, and we ALL KNOW how much it kills Tom to throw away beer. I think that it actually causes him physical pain. He chugged it. We are at the Trevi Fountain, surrounded by tourists and cops, and Tom is chugging a beer in the morning. This is how we roll.
We came, saw, and conquered the fountain and when the crowds became unbearable, we wandered around looking for the Pantheon. I had no idea what to look for other than a big building, so when we came across an ancient temple – well, ruins – I thought maybe that was it.
I was going to ask someone, but now I’m so glad I didn’t. Two more blocks and we saw it, looming in front of us. Duh, how stupid would I have looked? The Pantheon was definitely more interesting than I expected. It is the only ancient building in Rome that has been consistently used since it was built, and not left in ruins. It started as a pagan temple and was changed to a Christian church. The math behind the building is amazing – definitely an engineering feat! We walked around and took it in, and I took entirely too many sun flare photos. I think I may have an addiction, but that flare is just gorgeous!
I was amazed at the sheer size of the doors – Tom is a tall guy, and that’s the top of his head. That’s how HUGE the doors are!
We did our tourist duties and photographed the Pantheon, and I wanted to walk around the neighborhood.
The neighborhood surrounding the fountain and the Pantheon was by far one of my favorites. There were a ton of local people, fun shops and cool buildings. Guys painted to look like statues that would move and laugh if you threw money in their hat. Men’s aprons with statues’ penises on the front. Women’s aprons with statues’ boobs on the front. WHO WOULDN’T LOVE THIS NEIGHBORHOOD!? I totally wanted to buy these aprons for all of our family members, Tom convinced me otherwise. I’m kind of wishing that I had, maybe I can find some at the airport.
I’m still not entirely sure what this building was, but it spanned over the street and had a huge courtyard. I fell in love with it and wanted to buy it, Tom said no. What a bummer! ;)
We had confirmed a tour of the Coloseum in the afternoon and started looking for our bus stop to move to that neighborhood, and it took awhile to find the bus stop. Eventually we found it – right by Burger King. It was a little odd to be in this beautiful foreign city, and see Burger King – ha! We climbed back on to get to the Colosseum. The plan was to get there and eat before our tour, have some lunch and hang out for a little bit. Sounds pretty simple, right? It only half worked that way.
We got there and found and exorbitantly priced restaurant to spend $50 for horrible pizza and water. By this point, you would think we would have known better – restaurants near tourist attractions, bad, local restaurants, great. We were kind of stuck though, short on time and needed to eat. The pizza was like a saltine with tomato soup on it and was definitely not enticing – but we gulped it down. We were starving and there was air conditioning in this restaurant, which was rare, so we relaxed for a little bit. We were seated at a table near a window, and the window had a display of seafood on ice. Not a big deal, right? UNTIL THE LOBSTER MOVED. Oh. My. GOSH it scared the crap out of me. I’m sitting here, eating my tomato soup saltine pizza, and I see antennae move. I screamed, everyone looked at me, and when I could finally explain to Tom what had happened he was laughing at me. Yes, the moving seafood scared me. One would think that seafood on ice, on display would be dead – right? Apparently not at this restaurant. I calmed down and moved my chair a little further from the moving lobster, whom I’m sure was calling out for help as he suffocated on ice, so that I couldn’t hear his cries. Or see his antennae pleas. We finished our water – no gas – and stepped back out into the sun.
When we steppped out of the restaurant we were exactly across from the Colosseum, and because of the curve of the stadium, there weren’t exactly a lot of crosswalks. We jaywalked. I was shocked that my rule-following husband was willing to do it, but both of us knew that it would be a LONG walk otherwise. We crossed halfway and stopped in the median. I must have been so shocked that Tom was actually jaywalking that I stopped paying attention to where I was walking. I stepped into a pothole, turned my ankle, and heard the all too familiar sounds of crunching and popping. The sound boomed in my head and the red waves of pain flooded every inch of my body. I screamed and fell into Tom, who wasn’t quite sure what was happening. All he knew was that something was seriously wrong, and we were in the middle of a street in a city where we had already been concerned for our lives several times while in traffic. Being an injured pedestrian didn’t seem like a very appealing opportunity to him. He comforted me and told me that it would be okay, and I kept screaming no, no, no, it’s not going to be okay.
I knew what this sound meant. I knew what this pain meant. I was in the middle of a crazy street in horrible pain and I was terrified that this would ruin our honeymoon. I was VERY upset, completely devastated. Tom helped me to the side of the road and I sat, in ridiculous pain and crying. I could tell that Tom felt completely helpless. I encouraged him over and over again to go on the tour – I didn’t want to be alone, but even more than that, I didn’t want him to miss out because of me. I felt TERRIBLE that this had happened and wanted to make sure that this stupid mistake wouldn’t ruin his vacation too.
I was so scared. I was in pain, unable to walk, and in a foreign city where I knew no one. Even though I was in horrible pain, I was trying to get Tom to go on that tour so that he would enjoy the history that we had traveled so far to see in person. I was trying to muster every survival instinct in me to survive, in pain, sitting on a street in Rome while he was gone for a few hours.
He refused to leave me.
We walked – well, he walked, I hopped – across the street where we could see taxis waiting. We got into one – me in the back, sobbing, and Tom in the front. The drive to the hotel was very long and very painful. Roman streets fit right in with the rest of the city – ancient and beautiful, but the vibration from the cobblestone streets is not exactly fantastic for pain. We arrived at the hotel and the cab fare was 18EUR. Tom gave him 20EUR – which is a blue bill. Tom turned towards me to help me out and the cabbie stopped him, and said that Tom had only paid him 5EUR – another blue bill. At this point we both wanted out of the cab so much that we gave him another 20EUR. I wasn’t seeing straight at this point so Tom was handling all of this, and when we got to the room, Tom told me that we had been scammed. A lovely end to a horrible afternoon!
The front desk had seen us arrive and sent up some ice. At this point we were both so out of it from the heat and the events of the afternoon, so we slept. Siesta, right? We decided to forego dinner and relax when we awoke. I sobbed and apologized over and over again. I told Tom that I had ruined Rome for him, and I truly felt terrible. The whole time he comforted me and assured me that I hadn’t ruined Rome. He tried to make me laugh, and kept reminding me that we were still spending our honeymoon together. He said that the Roman Forum was just rocks in a field and we had already seen it on the bus tour, and the cab ride back to the hotel. I still felt horrible. I fell asleep though, exhausted from crying, with his arms around me. I knew I was safe. The fear from earlier, the survival instinct turned exhaustion, had subsided and I knew that I could sleep. I was broken, I was pretty seriously injured and had no idea what the heck I was going to do, but I knew that Tom would keep me safe.
I’m typing this out from my journal, almost exactly one year later, for my blog. I’ve always said that my blog is not just for my clients, it is an extension of me, a way for me to remember my own stories and thoughts. And this particular collection of memories from this bittersweet day, still brings tears to my eyes. Remembering my pain and fear, and then that feeling of just being able to let go… it is an amazing thing to have someone that you can trust to take care of you and keep you safe.
Chapter 5 to come soon.