No Place Like Rome For The Holiday...

My sister, Christy, braved the budget airlines and disregarded everything she had heard about Southern Italy and decided to come down for a visit!

First on the agenda (after pizza on base and a few other equally lame American things) was a trip to Rome!

We had heard that driving into the city isn't a very good idea, so we opted to take the train.  Of course this involved some waiting outside in the rain, but luckily Ava was well-prepared.
Nobody gonna get me down.

Promptly after boarding, we learned we didn't really have seats, but more like tickets which allowed us to stand in the hallway.  Luckily some nice Italians let the girls sit down next to them and it made the trip pretty easy (we are discovering that blonde baby girls are basically Italian Kryptonite... or Catnip... or something).  Either way, it works out well for us.  After arrival at the main terminal in Rome, we took a cab off to our hotel, then again braved the mass transit system to get out to see the Colosseum, which is about as amazing as advertised:
320 Degree view of the Colosseum.

Everybody needs to take this picture at least once.

Hey, that's where they kept the lions!

From the inside, looking out!

Add caption

I think its broken...

Following this, it was fairly late, so we returned to the hotel/supermarket for some dinner.  Next came Day 2, wherein we checked out of our hotel and spent most the day seeing as many sites as we could downtown.     Highlights included The Pantheon (which, really IS better than advertised.... Seriously, look up stuff about the Pantheon and then be amazed and how well preserved this ancient, ancient building is), the Trevvi Fountain (just a fancy dam ending), and eating at a restaurant right behind the Spanish Steps (Ristorante Alla Rampa... decent buffet, decent prices).

Nice horsey.

Linds & Ky outside The Pantheon

Side view of La Fontana di Trevvi

Linds having an after lunch elation...

Don't know what this building is, but it looks awesome

The Pantheon complete with horse service

We had an enjoyable train ride back filled will hardly any terror of missing our departure time and our awesome landlords picked us up again.  All in all, a good trip to Rome.

Because I'm clearly too lazy to create an entire new blog post for it, I'll also include some pictures that I put up on Google Plus regarding our trip up the Amalfi Coast with all the same key players:

Blooper Reel

Despite what our blogs would have you believe, most of our time isn't spend taking in the culture and being ever increasingly enlightened.  Most of it is spent like freshman the first day of college... just sort of wandering around being overwhelmed, making an idiot out of yourself, and at the end of the day finding those three people who seemed to like you okay and having a beer/wine/eating marathon with them.

In the spirit of total transparency, here are some of my / Scott's / our friends' experiences.  (anything spoken in Italian but translated into English will be italicized)

Laura: Would you like to go outside?
Me: I do like music~ this is internet radio!
Laura: You don't understand... let's go water the plants
Me: You want a glass of water?
Laura: No thank you, let's go polish the plants
Me: *confused look*
Laura: Will you help me?
Me: You want a towel because it's sunny?
*Laura gives up*

Scott: *calls restaurant, asks what hours they are open*
Me: Look at you fancy-pants, speaking in Italian
Scott: *full of pride* Yeah, I think I'm finally getting the hang of this Italian thing!
(is interrupted by a text message from the restaurant... that he didn't ask for... in English... because they assumed he had no idea what they were saying when he called.  *Scott Note*  If this happens again, I will respond to their text in Spanish.)

~for privacy's sake, all others shall be anonymous~

Friend: *walks into Italian grocery store*
Italians: *all stare at him and watch him walk awkwardly around*
Friend: *ducks behind vegetable stand, and when blocked from Italian's view, runs outside to the car empty handed*
Friend: *decided to just shop on base, gets to the Italian run checkout and decides to practice in a less intimidating environment* Good day!
Italian: *we have no idea because friend understood none of it*
Friend: Sorry, I didn't understand
Italian: You don't really speak any Italian do you?
Friend: *hangs head in shame*

Italian: Do you like to smoke?
Friend: yes, but not cigarettes, I prefer the pipe
Italian: *stunned silence*
Friend: *confused look*
Italian: Ummm... don't say that to people
Friend: Why?  Are they really into cigarettes or something?
Italian: You just said you don't smoke cigarettes because you prefer the penis
Friend: Ah.