Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rome, coming to a close.

Our trip to Rome was a delight. I LOVE Italians! There were many times that someone would offer me their seat on the metro, be patient with my incompetence at the grocery store, or give my kids googly eyes!
Needless to say we felt VERY safe in our apartment. I think we had 9 locks on our door! It's hard to see all of them with the picture.

In the evening we would come home and put the kids to bed. I would rest my legs and Justin would go exploring. He took some really fun night pictures. Below is a picture of the Trevi Fountain.
I really liked his Colloseum pictures and how he framed the moon in the arch!

On our last day, we decided the kids earned a "kid day." We went to Borghese Gardens and rented a huge bike. Our entire family fit into it and we spent an hour cruising. We passed the Borghese museum, just to say we saw it.

We spent several hours letting the kids play at the park and resting my legs!

What cute girls we have!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Colosseum, Forum and more

WARNING- a lot of photo's and commentary. Remeber, this is my scrapbook, so I don't care if you quickly browse.
We were very lucky to have a day free from rain! We took advantage and spent the day viewing the outside sights. Below is a picture of us getting onto the metro. This was always a high point for our girls. Ayla would often respond with a "cho, cho!"

The Colosseum was built 2,000 years ago. The main structure is Roman, but was decorated with Greek colomns. It was built at the peak of the Roman Empire in 80 A.D by the Israelites.

Can you imagine watching Gladiators and animals kill one another. A little violent for my taste.

Once finished 50,000 people could watch from the arena. It could be covered with an enormous canvas top, to ensure a more comfortable viewing.

I'm sorry for all the pictures. It was just an amazing place. Even the girls were excited to be here.

The floor of the Colosseum is missing, but you can see the underground passages where animals were kept and then raised by elevator. The Gladiator didn't know when or where he would be attacked.

Ayla found this perfect piece of stone to sit and play on. I of course think my children are adorable, but I did see a couple of tourists snapping pictures of our adorable kids throughout our vacation. We even had someone ask if they could have their pictures taken with our girls.

Justin is such a great father, always patient and kind! I wouldn't want to do a trip like this with anyone else.

Keanna became very interested in maps during this vacation. She carried her own map of Rome in her pocket and would be quick to help direct us if we became lost.

A family photo on top of Palatine Hill

The girls enjoying a drink from a fountain on Palatine Hill.

Spunky Ayla

Below is the Arch of Titus (70 AD). The Romans were busy conquering other nations. All they asked was to to worship the emperor as a God, for most this wasn't a problem. However, the Iraelites believed in only worshipping one God. After a short war, the Romans won, took over Jerusalem and brought home 50,000 Jewish Slaves. Those slaves built this arch and also the Colosseum.

Here I am overlooking the Forum area. You really can't see anything, oh well.

Below is the Temple of Antonius Pius and Faustina (138-161 AD)

The Temple of Saturn was built in 497 B.C. and is the Forum's oldest temple. Rome reigned the area for 1,000 years and after that the population shrank from a million people to 10,000 people. These buildings were covered up by soot and dirt, eventually excavated in the 1800's.

I was trying to get creative by using the Arch of Septimius Serervus (203 AD) to frame other parts of the forum.

A good view of the Roman Forum
We ate lunch looking at the Captoline Hill, home of Rome's city government. Michelangelo designed a square on top during the Renaissance. Later we would hike to the top.

Our cute Keanna resting as we hike to the top of the Captoline Hill. I now understand why all the women in Rome have beautiful thin legs.

View from the top of Capitoline Hill

This was the view from the top of the Campidoglio Square, it was beautiful.

This was the view from the other side othe Campidoglio. It's too bad I am standing in the way of the best scenery.
Justin was suprised that this Ferrari was bascially parked in the middle of the road. I guess if we spent that much money on a car, we wouldn't trust it in the middle of the road.

Keanna definetely won "Best Traveler" Award! She walked up and down staircases like this throughout the city of Rome, her only request was ice cream.

What a day, gelato anyone?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vatican City

We began our day at the Vatican Museum. This is a 4 mile museum that we essentialy breezed through. I am sure without kids, we would have spent a little more time, but our goal was to reach the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, before a breakdown.

Although, we quickly walked through this museum we had a glimpse at some Greek and Roman statues, ancient maps, tapesteries and the kids favorite--statues of animals!

Justin was careful to cover this man's "privates." However, Keanna did have a few question about the male anatomy.
Justin's favorite part of the museum was this fresco by Rapheal. This was one of Pope Julius II rooms of his apartment. Rapahel included some of the great thinkers including Aristotle, Plato, Diogenes and Michelangelo.
The part that impressed me is that a fresco is actually painted into the plaster as it is drying. I imagine that it's an incredibly difficult medium to work with, requring speed and accuracy

The Sistine Chapel is Pope's personal chapel and where a new Pope is elected. Michelangelo, shows the story of the creation through Renaissance beauty. Michelangelo was 33 years old and it took him 4 years to complete it. We weren't allowed to take pictures, so I took these off the internet.

After lunch... we were off to
St. Peters Square.

The pope will give a blessing from his apartment at noon on Sundays, which can be seen from St. Peter's square. Seeing the Pope, wasn't on our agenda, so we came at a different time and were lucky enough to have short lines!

We finally had a break from the rain, we decided to enjoy our break and let the kids roam St. Peters Square.
It's official I did go on this vacation
Keanna enjoying herself.

St. Peter's Basilica is the largest and most amazing church on earth.

There are marks inside indicating where other large churches of the world would sit in comparison.

This was certainly an amazing church to visit; the professional pictures can't even depict the vastness and beauty of this church. It was clearly a site of great solice and reverance to many of the other visitors. At times I felt like my kids and I were disrupting "moments" for others.

My camera does not have a suitable flash to capture the beauty of this building, but I included a couple of my photo's, just for fun.

Peter was actually crucified here when this area was just Vatican Hill.
Below is a picture of a Bernini's 7 story bronze canopy. Underneath the canopy is the tomb of Peter.

At this point our batteries in our camera died, how sad :(