it was a buffet, just like we'd had in paris.
my favorite thing was the ever-present trays of delicious prosciutto and salami. i'd developed quite a liking for the yogurt, too.
now that we were aware of the dress code in the vatican, we were able to plan accordingly so that we could take a tour the next day. the hub was convinced that our new friend gianni from the day before was...shall we say, not completely trustworthy? so he spoke to the hotel concierge and managed to get us on the 1:15 tour, which promised a speedy entry without the 3-hour wait in the sun.
finding something suitable for the bean to wear was a snap. that kid's got a bigger wardrobe than i do, and it was easy to pack her stuff because it's half the size of my shit. the teen and i ended up being black maxi skirt twinsies, which probably looked silly but was our only option. and the poor hub had to put on a pair of dockers with a long-sleeved dress shirt. it was sweltering outside, ugh.
we had some time to head out and do some sightseeing and grab something for the hub and the teen to eat, so into a cab we went. our destination was the one and only thing that the teen said she absolutely had to see:
so now that we've tossed our coins into the fontana di trevi, we're totally guaranteed a return visit to rome some day. actually, i hope it just means that we'll come back to italy in general - i'd rather see other parts and not go back to where we've already been.
after a quick stop in a nearby restaurant and yet another cab ride back to the hotel, the bus arrived to pick us up and take us to the starting point.
our tour guide was friendly and cracked a lot of really dumb jokes. when we arrived at the vatican, we all received headsets that were connected to his microphone. while some of the information that he spouted off was interesting, he was a really wordy mofo.
i think we all tuned him out after the first ten minutes. but hey - we were in, without waiting in those crazy lines.
the bean was fascinated by...none of it. but she's a good sport.
after a very long, drawn-out explanation of every piece of art in the sistine chapel (i exaggerate, but it sure seemed that way), we were finally traipsing through the vatican museum.
poor bean was again, bored to tears. and it was hot. there really wasn't much here that redeemed the entire joint in her eyes. all i could do was promise her a nice, healthy scoop of delicious gelato when it was over. luckily, ice cream is her love language. however, she was again full of questions about stuff like this:
and a little creeped out by this.
finally, another checkmark on the ol' bucket list:
if you've been here before, you'll know that inside the sistine chapel there are two rules: you must be silent, and photographs are not allowed. the majority of the folks in there ignored the first rule, i tiptoed around the second. don't yell at me.
cool view of st. peter's square.
again, i'm no catholic - but still, i was in awe at the fact that we were standing inside st. peter's basilica.
the guards were very...colorful.
this is the bean's version of "standing at attention like a soldier."
here, i bought a kick ass pen with a picture of the pope on it for the teen to use on a postcard for her dad. and i convinced the hub that it would be really cool to buy a bible from the vatican bookstore.
and how convenient - a post office right next door.
we were 2 for 2 - buckingham palace, no queen. vatican, no pope. but hey - at least we saw adele at harrod's, right?
on our bus tour the day before, we'd heard that pieces of the actual manger that held jesus christ were kept at the basilica santa maria di maggiore. the hub and i both felt like this was something we needed to visit, so we did.
now, i'm not gonna lie. it felt like we'd been to so many churches over the last week or so, and while we thought they were beautiful and incredible and all that, they all kind of start to create a big blur in your head after awhile. but when we came upon the crypt of the nativity, i found myself a little teary. even now, i'm having trouble finding the right words to describe how i felt as i gazed down at it. holy crib...literally.
and then i ended up with "away in a manger" firmly stuck in my head. for hours. oy.
by then, it was dinnertime. it seemed like we went from bus to a church to food and back around again, all day long. probably because we did. anyway, i'd gotten an e-mail that told me that delicious food and a fabulous chocolate tartufo was waiting in the piazza navona at a restaurant called tre scalini. so that's where we went.
we all drank a crazy amount of water during this trip. the bean stuck to it, while the teen and i decided to indulge in some adult beverages. after all, the drinking age is 18 in europe.
this ended up being one of our favorite meals in rome.
plus, the piazza was awesome. it was built on the site of an ancient roman stadium from the first century AD, and there were beautifully sculpted fountains from the 1500s. it had a great vibe, and everyone was smiling and happy. there were lots of artists selling their works, which would have been fantastic had we room in our suitcases for any.
this kid is happy to toss coins in any fountain.
and show her love for her favorite frozen concoction.
she even managed to find a toy store to browse in, although the teen and i thought the dolls in the display case were creepy as all hell.
when we got back to the hotel, it was cute to see her reaction to how the maids left her beloved toys.
another successful day of sightseeing, check.