Thursday, February 27, 2014

I can't believe I'm blogging about this dog again

The other day, we took Jasper on his first walk. The weather was lovely, crisp, and not too cold. Perfect!

We took him to a trail nearby. He sniffed a few dogs, licked a little kid on the face, and was admired by countless adoring walkers. We also discovered that he is scared of bicyclists when he jumped about two feet backwards as one sped toward us.

Above is Jasper looking at his first cat. He was intrigued.


This is the sweetest little puppy you will ever see. I've never been this crazy pet person, but I can't get over this dog. It's a strange new experience for me.

I can't believe how big he has grown already. At 14 weeks, he weighs 32 pounds and his paws keep getting bigger and bigger.

P.S. Jasper on his first day home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Months and months ago, I went through all of my Rome pictures and selected the ones I liked best. These photos have been sitting (bookmarked) for a very long time.

No longer!

I feel a little guilty like maybe these photos think I don't love them anymore. 

So here are a bunch of pictures mostly of the Colosseum (..from June 2013. Eep.)

So the thing about Rome in late June is.. it's really hot with 1000% humidity. Especially when by comparison, I have been living in places my entire life where the high in the summer is 85 with a light breeze. HOT. So if we look hot, tired, and overall pretty grumpy in these pictures, it's really because we are. 

We had a tour of the Colosseum at about 1:00 (underground, thank goodness) so we headed to the Roman forum first thing. Our cruise ship was docked on the coast in Civitvecchia which was an hour train ride away, so I think we ended up in Rome at about 10:00.

It's still really hot in Rome at 10.

We had been to Rome the year before and had already toured the Forum. But the ticket was included with the Colosseum tour and it's right across the street, so we figured why not? I'm glad we did because different parts of the forum were open this time (and some of the parts we saw last time were closed). Seeing anything in Rome is difficult when there are only about 10 hours scheduled in your cruise stop, so I was very glad we had already been and were accustomed to the train system, etc. (validate your train ticket, people!). 

After we sweated our way around the Forum (seriously, the next time we go to Italy, we're going in the fall. Holy humidity, batman!), we headed up the street to find some lunch. We ordered a pizza for five euro and found some shady steps to sit and enjoy our favorite part of Italian culture. Foooood.

Then, off to the Colosseum!

We took the special underground tour of the Colosseum which included access to the lower level tunnels, the rebuilt main floor, and the third level on the very top. A normal ticket only includes the first and second floors. I was somehow under the impression that we were going to be able to walk through the uncovered tunnels in the middle, but I was sorely disappointed. I kept waiting and waiting for the guide to take the ropes down, but she never did. It was still cool though! The tunnels we did get to walk through were very dark. The whole time we were down there, I couldn't help but think how black (and scary!) it would have been when the whole bottom level was covered up and there were no electric lights or big open spaces.


All of those people up there were wondering how did they get down there and why are those people so special? I know because that's what I was thinking when we did our ordinary tour the first time.


The top level was breezy and had wonderful views of the Forum and an even better view of the entire Colosseum. If you ever get a chance to visit Rome, I would definitely recommend booking the more extensive tour. It's not much more than a normal ticket and you get to feel like a VIP going up blocked staircases and things.

P.S. Fun fact: do you see all those holes in the upper right corner? Those are the most apparent ones in this photo, but they're actually all over the entire Colosseum. Those are the spaces left over from where people stole building material and metals. I know.

After our Colosseum adventure, we headed on over to the Appian Way which is one of the oldest roads in Rome. It took us a while to find the part where the traffic-y part ended and the ancient part started, but we had a nice little stroll to end our afternoon.

Here are some things we saw along the road!


I would not recommend traversing the Appian Way on foot unless you have an entire day to spare. It's a long walk and the scenery is kind of spread out. There were a lot of people who were much smarter than us on bikes. Next time.

So, once we were too exhausted to continue on, we found a taxi to take us back to the city. And then back on the train we went to the port.. where we bought ourselves another pizza.

Next stop: Genoa!

P.S. to see more pictures from this adventure: