January 19, 2017: Day Two in Rome

Day 63 of DuoLingo Italian Streak!

Jet lag is still kicking our butts and we were struggling hard to get up today.  This is what happened to us in both Spain and Greece last year.  We have decided that the experiment of doing a “vacation” upon arrival in Europe is a failed one and something that we need to avoid.  We need decompression time ahead of trying to do anything.  We would be all far happier if we were in our final apartment, had time to unpack and relax and did Rome as a jaunt or something.  Then we could be traveling lighter and not be dealing with the “getting to Europe” fog of jet lag and have an apartment that we fit in.  We can’t even walk around here it is such a mess with all of the luggage everywhere.

By the time that we finally got everyone up and moving it was super late.  Our one project of the day was to go see the Pantheon which is a decent hike from our apartment near the Colosseum.

Before anything it was a light lunch at a local upscale place where I got a fishburger which was two fish fillets with loads of veggies on a giant toasted black bun. Delicious.  I got it with chips (fries for the Americans) but only ate a few.  My healthy European eating is already kicking in.  We did get coffee, though.  But being this close to major attractions, coffee is six Euro per cup!  Ouch.

We finally got the family underway and talked the kids into doing the whole thing by allowing them to do a Pokewalk on the way and by strapping me up with a backpack that lets me carry one of the girls on my back while we walk.  Ciana just cannot handle long walks at all and we knew that this would go badly if she had to walk all of it.

It took quite a bit to get Ciana comfortably situated on my back but eventually we figured it out and it worked pretty well.  This is good because I can carry Luciana 80% of the time and Liesl 20% of the time and that makes them able to walk with us without getting overly exhausted and gives me more of a workout to even Dominica and I out a bit more as my ability and desire to get out and just walk so dramatically exceeds everyone else’s.  This also gets me a lot more exercise as I am lifting forty to fifty extra pounds with every step and they tend to ride when climbing hills and walk when descending.

We started by walking along the Roman Forum, which starts right at the end of our street, and then to Trajan’s Column.  From there we went to the Altar of the Fatherland and visiting the eternal flame memorial.  Then through the Piazza di Venezia and to the west to the Pantheon, which was amazing.  The Pantheon is definitely one of the most amazing things to see in Rome, or in the world.  Breathtaking and in continuous use for 1,900 years!  It’s insane to think about all of the people who have been in there and what a completely solid, intact structure it is.  And it goes through earthquakes all of the time, too.  And it is open in the center so it rains into it regularly as well.

We spent a bit of time at the Pantheon.  Then the girls demands some gelato because I told them the other day that they could have some.  But it was cold, so they froze as they tried to eat it.  Banana for Ciana and vanilla for Liesl.  On the way back we finally found a grocery store and stopped to get some supplies.

We walked back home in the dark.  We got home and we did some posting of our pictures and stuff then everyone, except for me, climbed into beds and just watched videos.  I set out for an evening walk since no one wanted to hang out as a family any longer.

I did a far, far longer walk tonight than we had done as a family.  We did about six kilometers as a family, I did an additional twelve on my own.  I went back to the Altar of the Fatherland and climbed the hill behind it, which was really neat and gave some incredible views of the Forum.  I walked a lot of the streets to the west and ended up along the Tiber River, which I explored for a very long way.

I was so far west and north that I decided to continue on to Vatican City.  It was after midnight when I made it to the Vatican walls.  Then I came back through the city along a different route than I had taken so I ended up doing a large loop and coming back the way that we had come back from the Pantheon.  It was nearly two when I got back home.

I had some bread and butter back at the house, my only food other than my fish burger today.  Everyone was still awake and stayed awake for hours yet.  I put in a tonne of time working on SGL updates and got caught up almost to December and I have nearly all of January completed already and bits of December.  So progress is very solid at this point.  I did not manage to be totally caught up by the time that we got to Rome, but I managed to get decently close.

It was nearly five when we finally all got to bed.  Jet lag is taking its toll.