Thursday, January 17, 2013

Europe: Day 1: Colosseum

I'm finally getting around to sharing our European adventures with you all. 
Day 1 was Colosseum

We arrived in Rome around 11:00 AM local time and had scheduled a tour for the Colosseum a few hours later. So after finding our room, thanks to the help of a tall, dark and handsome Roman (with a smart phone), we set off towards the monument. I was really not feeling well (can you tell from my face in the pics?) what with jet lag and poor mealtime planning, not to mention not having showered in 2 days, but weathered through the 2 hour tour nibbling granola bars and sitting whenever I could. As we exited the metro station and saw the huge structure immediately across the street from us we were reeeeeaaaaallllly glad we had scheduled and payed for our tour ahead of time. The lines for getting in were absolutely Ridiculous, throngs and throngs and throngs of people. I'd hate to see it in high tourism season. Plus with the payed tour we got to explore some of the "dungeons" in the basement, off limits to the non-tour-guided public.

This was our first view of the inside. We're standing at what would have been ground level in the arena, behind where we're standing would have all been covered with a wooden floor and lots of sand, and like 30 trap doors or so for letting out the tigers and fighting animals and clean up. This is where the gladiators fought. It really is Huuuuge. The people you see waaaay in the background of the photo are standing at the other end of the arena.

These are photos from the basement. Above is a view of the labyrinth like halls and rooms underneath the floor of the arena. This is where slaves, gladiators, and animals were kept. Below is a hallway built of gigantic stones underneath the seating part of the structure.

Standing just inside one of the 80 doorways leading into the Colosseum. 
 These doors at the ground level (76 of which were used by regular civilians) and many hallways like below on each floor of the structure allowed the Colosseum to be seated and exited in a matter of minutes.

View from one of the upper floors. I never realized how oval shaped it was, it always looked so round in the pictures.

This is a view of the ancient Roman Forum (marketplace) from the top of the Colosseum. This is the oldest part of the city.

Where we Finally ate lunch after the tour, right across the street (just outside of the metro station). It's pretty incredible how these huge monuments dot the city and are part of the daily views people see here.

A triumphal arch right next to the Colosseum

Details in the stone carving of the archway. Such beautiful work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 Things, Plus 1 - Explained

I put that post up late late last night, without reading through it, and today realized it didn't really make sense.

Here are some explanations.

1. I started making a baby quilt in my Relief Society's (church ladies group) quilting group in March or April (I think) of last year. It was a fun project and I look forward to making more under the instruction of our ward's quilting guru. Here's the final product:

2. Rootbeer - for a while during my first trimester, last November when I started writing the post, rootbeer was about the only beverage I could manage to get down.  Sounds pretty nasty now, but I sure loved it then.

3. Mr. Rogers!!! While I lay sick and unable to move on the couch, Alice watched episode after episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I hadn't watched it since childhood and fell instantly in love with it as I watched it again with Alice. The lovely piano tunes, simple songs, sweet puppet characters topped off with Fred Rogers' charming, compassionate, sincere and gentle personality are very endearing.

4. Potatoes - eaten every day for lunch after being baked in the microwave for 6 minutes and mashed with butter and salt. (another first trimester thing)

5.Alice also fell in love with Elmo and Sesame Street during those weeks. She Loves Elmo. What child doesn't?

6. Alice was an ewok for Halloween. It was extremely cute, pretty sure you all saw the pics on FB

7.-11. (self explanatory)

**More on Europe is coming.

Monday, January 14, 2013

10 Things, plus 1

*****I started this post like 3 1/2 months ago. Never really finished it, but here it is*****

I haven't blogged in so long the thought of playing catch up is toooooo much, So I'm going to get it done quickly in list fashion, including events that have passed and things I'm experiencing now.

1. I finished my quilt, finally

2. Rootbeer

3. Mr. Rogers

4. Potatoes

5. Elmo

6. Halloween

7. First trimester is almost over, and I'm beginning to notice

8. Europe?? ...we went...

9. JoAnn's inspiring holiday coupon book came in the mail a few days ago. I think I want to try and make these cute little crocheted ornaments...

10. My Pandora Christmas station has been playing several times a week since before Halloween. When I was growing up this would have been unthinkable. It was tradition to pull out the Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving as we put all the fall decor away and took out all the Christmas stuff. The waiting made that day very magical and cozily Christmasy. I guess this year I just didn't want to wait. Maybe it had something to do with my feeling miserable and wanting to try anything and everything that might distract or bring happy thoughts.

11. I just read Stephanie Nielson's book Heaven is Here. Couldn't put it down, I read it in 1 day. Very highly reccommended. Honestly, I didn't think I'd enjoy it much because I've already heard so much about her and her story, but I'm so glad I read it. It was truly inspiring, motivating, and uplifiting, and has caused me to look differently and more pleasantly at my own life. You should read it.

(for more info - it will take you to her blog where you can find an advertisement for her book in the sidebar and places you can buy it)


I gave my blog a face-lift.

Maybe now that I like the way it looks more I'll want to write on it more.

One of my goals for this year is to do just that.

Also, since I've been feeling so much better (no more first trimester misery) maybe I'll want to write more.

I think the main problem is that my new chromebook laptop is kind of hard to upload photos onto. I'll have to figure that out so it's easier.

So here's to the new year, and new looks, and more blogging (hopefully)