Friday, 4 June 2010

Rome Part 3 – 4 people, 7 bottles, and MANY a laugh…


And a good evening to you after another GREAT DAY in the Mother Country. Okay, so first off, an apology to UK rappers everywhere. Thanks to KJ, I now know that apparently the US is responsible for that “Bedrock – call me Mr. Flintstone” song. I am ashamed…can I brother get some Canon in D or something to calm his nerves?

So today was a big day for Sammy – I ran a 6 miles!!!!! Mike Branca and I took a run along the water (PERFECT day) and logged 6 miles in 52 minutes (with a negative split, no less). I can’t believe it! The foot held up great – the rest of the body, however, is now starting to sloooooooooow down. Maybe if I shaved my legs like Price I would be lighter and more aerodynamic. Then again, it could be that entire block of cheese I ate last night (AFD for the first time in 6 weeks, for the record).

Today was another great day. I met Brother Morgan and Muffin Puffin for a few pints at the Star and Garter before rolling back into Marylebone for some Thai (so guuuuuuuuuuuud). The Tacy family had a LONG day of it, hitting Windsor, Stonehenge, and Bath before rolling home. However, they got some great pics!

Okay, and now I bring you the conclusion of the Roma Trilogy – a story of good friends, great wine, and joys of drinking yourself sober.

Sunday: So we woke up about 8:45, got some breakfast, and were just about to check out when we got a phone call in our room. As fate would have it, 2 friends of ours (Mindy and Craig Miller – Mindy was Jenny’s roommate in Charlotte when we started dating) had just finished a 2 week Mediterranean cruise, and they booked an extra day in Rome so they could hang with us! Consequently, we got cleaned up and headed out the door about 10:30, making our way to Trastevere.

Trastevere is, by all account, “old” Rome. Not “ancient” Rome, but the city as it was before Mussolini. It was SO CUTE, filled with tiny, winding streets, lots of flowers and colors, clothes hanging along lines to dry, and myriad other sights that hearken to thoughts of “old Europe.” It was very neat, and we passed time by walking along the river (all the way from the Vatican down into the neighborhood). Once there, however, we were “thirsty,” and we stopped in at a CUTE little café to wet our whistles. 3 bottles later, we were guuuuuuuuuuuuuud to go. Ray – you should know that we were planning to get up and leave until I mentioned our future retirement plan. Craig’s response: “I think I need a third bottle of wine, as I REALLY want to hear more about the Donkey and Doorknob.” I’m thinking we’ve finally got our backer…

We then wandered over to Campo de Fiori, where we met mum (now sporting a STYLISH new hat – it was AWESOME). We then headed over to Piazza Navona, where we had ANOTHER bottle of wine in a back street café before settling down for dinner at this AMAZING place called Cul de Sac. Seriously, I ordered TWO pasta dishes (lasagna and spaghetti pesto), as well as 2 plates of cheese (spicy gorgonzola and fresh goat’s cheese – both AMAZING). Seriously – it was perhaps the best meal of the trip, and they even had bottles of wine for less than 10 euro (we took down 2 more, for the record)!

After that, it was a cab back to the hotel, where, reluctant to say goodbye, we walked to a local wine bar and had ANOTHER bottle. Yes. 7 bottles among 4 people. Life was guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud.

Monday: “You are the rock, and I will build my church upon you…”

Having learned from Craig that you could visit the papal tombs for free, we got up on Monday morning with an agenda – see the papal tombs. Mom was as mobile as a gazelle at this point, so we didn’t waste any time. She even WANTED to use the Metro!

Consequently, at 10 AM we were in line at St. Peter’s Basilica on THE BEST WEATHER DAY of the entire trip – talk about PERFECT. 15 minutes later, we were in the papal tombs. The 2 most famous would be Pope John Paul II (you weren’t allowed to stop at his grave) and, of course, the tomb of the first pope – the Apostle St. Peter. Seeing it down below, at eye level with the tomb, was just more than you can really wrap your head around. Talk about just AWESOME.

After that, we did another loop through St. Peter’s, where we tagged along (discreetly, of course) to several tours in English, gathering what fun facts we could. Honestly, every time you go in there, you see something knew and realize how many things you still haven’t seen or looked at long enough. It truly is amazing, and worthy of the distinction as the “First Church of Christendom.”

After that, we strolled down to a café, where we had a final GREAT meal, other than the fact that homeboy tried to tell me his tip (included) was the VAT (“table tax” as he called it). He did get another 3 euro from me, but there was a table of ENRAGED co-ed’s behind me who had NO INTENTION of paying that extra charge. I really hate I didn’t stick around to see the (most likely bloody) conclusion.

After that, it was off to the airport, where we bid mom adieu for the solo portion of her European adventure. I am happy to report that she’s loving it and doing fine.

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Chat tomorrow! HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!


Sam and Jenny

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