Scanning through Facebook this morning, I saw a number of posts from the new friends I made on my recent Rome trip. “It’s been a week since we were in that magic place. I celebrate today the opportunity to have met you all. Your good energy still runs all over my body. I love you my friends!!!!! The best time of my life!!!!!!!!!!” wrote Sandra Lopez.
At last night’s concert, it was the first time I had seen a number of people since I had returned from my trip, and everyone wanted to know how it went. I did write a few posts while in the fabulous Massimo d’Azeglio Hotel, and added a few pictures, but they were only a snapshot of my many experiences and hundreds of photos I took. Of course, seeing the Pope up close and personal (See my post “The people’s Pope”) had to rank as one of the greatest moments of my trip, but so was seeing Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Pompei. And all those beautiful churches! I will have to go back to visit more of them — I only visited a few on this trip. I was so distressed this week to learn that Rome may be on the terrorists’ hit list! (“U.S. warns Italy of terror threat”)
My late husband Carl Crosier and I went to Italy three years ago, along with son Stephen, but because we went in the height and heat of summer tourist season, we complained that Italy was overrun with American tourists and it was HOT! Yes, all we heard was American English spoken everywhere we went, and the food was not good and very over-priced. We avoided Rome on that trip, thinking it would be very crowded in July.
This time, the November weather was just gorgeous — about 68° F., clear blue skies, and the food we ate was all fabulous and melt-in-your-mouth delicious — and that was because we were steered towards local restaurants rather than tourist traps by our wonderful tour leader, Barbara. So here’s a quick slideshow of some of the wonderful food we enjoyed:
I can’t say enough about the new friends I made on this trip — there were altogether 12 people, which included a couple from Pennsylvania, and the rest were all women and/or their family members (two mothers and a sister) from a community college in Lumberton, NC. I signed up for a GoAhead tour, not knowing a soul, and I came back finding 11 new friends. Here are some of the pictures I took of people in our group:
“Why did you go to Rome?” several people have asked me. I guess it was a birthday and retirement present to myself — first of all, I had never been to Rome, and because I so-called “retired” from my St. Elizabeth’s job in September and had a milestone birthday in October!
I had the time of my life — and thank you for asking! I’m ready to go back any day.