Friday, February 29, 2008
Holland / Netherlands
Gelato flavors tried:
Banana – Jaime’s fav
Strawberry - Laura’s & Lucy’s fav
Berries with vanilla
Choc Chip – Jessie’s fav
Mint Choc Chip
Neutella – Jenna’s fav
Cherry – Leah’s fav
Pistachio - Jarod’s fav
Cream & Neutella (Roma & Tonti I think) – John’s fav
# Of pictures taken up until 7:15pm on Feb. 28th (Germany time)
All packed up and safely in our sweet rental van, it was time for our last Parisian crepe. Seeing the rain that today brought, we were even more thankful for the beautiful day that the Lord gave us yesterday. We didn’t really appreciate the gargoyles spitting on us while we waited for our crepes though!
The last order of business before we left Paris was a drive down Champs Elysees and the round-about at Arc de Triumph. Talk about some crazy driving! We saw the magazine stand where we stood watching the last stage of le Tour de France in ’05. It looks pretty much the same! :-)
John was in need of some protein, can’t men live on crepes???, so we stopped for a Big Mac in Belgium; another country to add to our list. You should all be proud, this is only the second time we’ve had Mc Donald’s this trip! We skipped all the Mc Donald’s restaurants in Italy and France! The rest of us shared cheeseburgers, and laughed again about how Steve Martin said hamburger in the movie the other night!
The kids managed to finish up most of their shopping here,
then we stopped for a look at Sacre Coeur.
We walked down the steps, much nicer than going up!, and set off towards the Eiffel tower. We were being flexible as our plan was to go up during the day but the night came upon us too quickly. We were also delaying our date night. Jess and Lucy were prepared to hold down the fort one night so John and I could go out for our anniversary. We were going to go while in Italy but it never worked out. Going to an Italian restaurant actually ON our anniversary seemed a fine alternative.
The lines were much smaller now, nearly non-existent compared to earlier in the day. While in the elevator going up, someone asked who was going to propose tonight. John of course raised his hand! He jokingly asked me to marry him again on the ride back down the tower. I of course said “yes”!
Andy & Michelle, we’ll be shipping Delilah to you for your Germany trip!
2. A handy pop-out map of the city you’ll be traveling around!
Ok, maybe three things, our radios have proven a handy tool as well!
We met back at the wrong Meridian, gathered our luggage
We didn’t mind the drizzle at all, fo’ shizzle! :-) We decided to do the Musee d’ Orsay, but when we got there we had missed the last entrance, 1 hour before closing. Again, be flexible or be broken. We decided go see the Statue of Liberty next. It was a picture of this statue from our, mine and John’s, first trip here in ’05 that grabbed Jarod’s attention. He’s loved the Statue of Liberty ever since!
John was much obliging and set up the camera to take this pic of us. I absolutely LOVE it! Once back at the hotel, John ran to the grocery store and bought stuff to make sandwiches for dinner and lunch tomorrow. While eating we watched/snoozed through, The Pink Panther.
Next stop, the Colloseum! It was fascinating to walk through. We had read a little from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs about Christians that were martyred here in Rome. It’s sobering to realize the numbers of people that died here.
Walking back to our apartment, we stopped by the Mammertime
Prison where it is said that Paul and Peter were held.
We stopped off at a local market where John picked up supplies for dinner. We decided it was time to go cheap and make it on our own since we had the apartment with stove and pans etc. Boy do we wish we had done this sooner! I think the total cost was about 15 euros. Well below our average dinner cost, even at the cheap street vendors! He met a wonderful man who told him what to get and how to fix it. We had B-something-celli pasta, sauce, bread, and wonderful Italian sausage! We were all excited to taste Dad’s fantastic-o good-bye Italy dinner! This is where the checker gave us the “Mama Mia” exclamation upon realizing all 6 were our own children!
I had three paragraphs typed out about this next bit of drama and decided to simplify. The check we had written for the apartment ended up being to the wrong person. We had used the other check so I had to go with a couple to pay for the apartment. After a few failed suggestions and 45min. down the hill while John made dinner, we ended up paying it with our credit card and paying the 4% fee that they would incur. After being gone for so long, I decided that it was worth it just to be done with the ordeal. I arrived back at the apartment just in time for the wonderful dinner John had prepared.
It was a great ending and just about my favorite part of Rome.
This is Jarod and Laura posing with their medallions from Sunday School, we knew they wouldn’t survive being packed. Jarod, of course, chose English while Laura chose Italian. Jenna helped write them in class. Don’t they look quite chipper for it being about 3:15am? We set our alarm for 3am that morning to walk down the hill and call a taxi from a pay phone. This was the smoothest execution of any of our plans for Rome. We cleaned up, loaded up, and headed down the hill at about 3:30am. We called the two taxis which arrived while I was still on the phone! It was 15 euros each, 30 total euros to get all 8 of us to the Termini train station to catch the bus for Rome Ciampano airport. We arrived there about 4am, got on the bus at 4:15am and headed to the airport. We checked in on time with no problems, boarded our plane and were off to Paris by 6:45am. John and I are continually in awe at how well the kids are doing. There has been very little whining and complaining, just a few moments from Laura but what more can you expect from a 4 year old? All in all, they’ve been fantastico!
They have these “street performers” all over pretending to be statues. Jarod loved trying to figure out which ones were real. This one is a real person. He shook Jarod’s hand!
Castel & Bridge of Sant’ Angelo
These guys (what are they? Soldiers? Gladiators?) insisted we pose with them outside the Pantheon.
I think this is one of the most impressive churches I’ve seen. The hole in the ceiling is awesome!
I’m completely amazed at the crowds this time of year. I cannot even fathom what this place is like in high tourist season. We made our way to the Spanish Steps where we enjoyed not Gelato, but a grocery store package of drumsticks, the Italian version of course.
We headed out for our 5:30pm reservation at the Borghese Gallery to see Bernini’s David and some other art. We showed up at 5:20, checked our belongings, again no pictures etc., and went to pick up our tickets. Unfortunately, I didn’t double check my cheat sheet. (The cheat sheet has each stop, reservations, opening times, costs etc.) Our reservation was for 5pm and that is the last entrance of the day. And, they are closed on Mondays. So, our decision was made, we weren’t going to the Borghese Gallery after all! :-) Again, be flexible or be broken! At least we didn’t lose any money in the deal, you pay when you pick up your tickets.
Exhausted but pressing ever onward, we stopped by Porta del’ Popolo.
The buildings looked beautiful at dusk!
Waiting for the metro, we thought the Colosseum might be awesome at night…
On the way, Laura found her prince in shining armor!
We stopped and got some dinner on the corner. Italian sandwiches of some sort. We devoured them on the lawn taking in the awesome site!
That night, while trying to fix our cell phone charger we blew the circuit, and our cell phone, oops! Gotta love the 220 here! It’s all good we kept thinking, be flexible or be broken!