Sunday, March 20, 2016

Back to reality....Paris and Rome Mega Post!!!

 Well, Lance and I have returned from our 20th Wedding Anniversary Trip to Paris and Rome.  We had an absolute blast and just so many memories...we hope to go back one day with the kids.  The rich history in both of those cities is mind-blowing. We arrived in Paris at 6am very tired of course, adjusting to being 7 hours ahead.  Our hotel room was not ready of course, so we struck out and had our first croissant and French coffee.  The coffee was thick and strong enough to put hair on your chest, but it did the trick! The croissants were amazing to say the least.
 We immediately started sight seeing and went right to The Musee de Orsay.  Just amazing to see all the art and sculptures in what used to be a huge train station.  I can't explain how big some of the framed art was....see below...

 One of the many Van Gogh's in the Orsay.

 Next museum of the day was the Rodin Museum....this fellow was the first thing we saw!
 And then off to our reservations at The Eiffel this point my hair was blown the death and we were so exhausted...but we trekked on.  Lance got to the second level and refused to go to the top with me...he just panicked and it was funny to see me be the brave one for a change!

 All by my lonesome at the top....
 Yes it was super cold and windy but totally worth it!
 Day 2 was started off with a band at The Louvre....there are no word for how big this place is.  Truly amazing!

 The size of this painting is not justified in this picture.  But it was one of my favorites....The Feast at Canna.
 Lance and Mona having a little time together.
 One of Michelangelo's Sculptures with not a line in sight!
 Who know they did selfies way back in the day!
At this point in our walking the Louvre, I was wanting to soak in that Roman Bath by now!

 The uber famous Venus di Milo
 Apparently there's a super famous brand of French Handbags named Lancel.  Of course I had to snap a pic...
 After we walked like 4 miles in the Louvre, we made the walk to the amazing Notre Dame Basilica.  Pictures do not do it justice. At all.  It is huge and fascinating..and free!

 Day 3 started off with a walk to The Arch de Triumph built by Napoleon (well, by his slaves), for Napoleon.  He sure liked his stuff big!
 After that, we found our way to Montmarte....a beautiful part of Paris that is artsy and white buildings everywhere...and so neat!  This is Sacre Coure Basilica and it did not disappoint!
 Did I mention Montmarte is on the highest hill in Paris? Well, we walked up but the views were totally worth the burn.
 This was my reward....A salmon crepe that was out of this world.....
Not sure what goes on in this building, because they didn't let us in, but it is beautiful.  The "Unification Building" is what we called it?? This marked the end of our time in Paris....of to warmer Italy...we hoped!!!!
 Our first day in Rome with a gelato in hand we found this little hotel on one of the hundreds of quaint little streets! I represent!
 Turns out The Pantheon was close to our hotel on this lovely Piazza, so we spent some time "people watching"!

 Day 2 in Rome was much anticipated by you can see why....we had a small tour of 12 of the Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill.  Truly amazing.
 This was excavated only between 50 and 100 years ago!

 In our tour included a visit to a small area underground the Colosseum of where they kept the Gladiators and was dark, cold, and creepy.  I can only imagine how it must have been for those about to meet their fate in front of 100,00 spectators.

 Finally, a Claire sized car!!!  These were called Twizys and were everywhere.  Like a mini golf cart!
 Day 3 was entirely dedicated to The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Square, and St. Peter's Basilica.  First of all, let me say that pictures do not do any of these places justice. They are massive, adorned with beauty I can't put in words...but it was the highlight of my trip.  I just loved every second of it.  Every hall was adorned in some way better than the last.  Of course, they don't allow pics in the Sistine Chapel, so I have nothing there...but enjoy the rest!
 Making our way with our small tour group on our private tour of The Sistine Chapel....we then were guided through SOME of the Vatican Museum, St Peter's Square, Gardens, and of course, St. Peter's Basilica.
 Our first glimpse inside of St. Peters upon entering.

 The name of this statue has escaped me, but apparently is good luck to rub his feet upon I did!
 I actually made my way as close as legally possible to the altar. We were watched everywhere!  This pic does not do it justice!  The white altar is below the giant wooden sculpture.  A group of nuns making a pilgrimage were allowed to the altar.
 The famous inscription above the altar when Jesus proclaimed to Peter upon this rock you should build My Church.....St. Peter is believed to be buried directly below the white altar.....

 St. Peter's Square apparently set up for a mass or something with the Pope from the prior day...big screens were everywhere. Hate we missed that.
 The Swiss Guards who guard the Pope.....well, some of them...I'm sure there are more than just 2...LOL

 After hours and hours in Vatican City, we decided to see the Pantheon up close and personal on a sunny day. Amazing considering there were no electrical tools or electricity to build this mathematically perfect building.  They did have unlimited slave labor though.....Cool stuff....

 Our Rome Hotel on a busy street lined with Italian Restaurants and out of a book...

 A typical Roman cobblestone street.  I don't know how all those women in heels do it!
 Yes the streets are this narrow....The cars will NOT stop if you are in their way...I learned that very quickly!
Saying goodbye to Rome and ready for the 11 hour flight to ATL....So blessed that we could take this trip and that our kids were taken care of for the time we were away.  Blessed to have a husband who let me plan this trip without any complaints!!  Enjoy! Can't wait to see what the next 20 holds!!!

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