On our way to the leaning tower of Pisa. By the way, in Pisa, they run their bus lines backwards of EVERYWHERE else we have been. I just assumed when looking at the bus stop so we got on the wrong bus. We still have over an hour until we have to be there at least. And it's only a 10 minute bus ride. So we will be fine.
21 June 2015
Church in Florence! My first time attending relief society. Then to Sunday school. Then sacrament. I recognize pictures we have at home! And can read some of the signs and words.
20 June 2015
Enjoying a little garden off to the side. It was just the 2 of us!
Taking it easy today. Dropped out stuff off at the train station. Bus tour(s) and no stairs! Goal: walk under 6 miles today.
Goodbye temporary home! It's been fun! Thanks for the home CasaMia!
19 June 2015
As I was saying before, always make sure you can see prices. We got a small bowl of fruit and some gelato. Not too bad. We knew it would cost a little bit, because we were near the Vatican City. Just this right here costed over 30 euros ($36 ish)! Crazy! Needless to say, we did not eat anything else that day (other than our granola bars and fruit snacks we bought on our way to the airport).
So these 4 guys (yes there's 4) were walking around in the Vatican museum near the end and one of them kept clicking kind of quietly but loud enough we could hear it. My mom told me to click back loudly, so I did. Immediately I started smiling so I looked around and was talking to my mom. I looked towards them at one point and they were looking everywhere for where it came from. They started clicking again, I waited until they couldn't see me very well and clicked loudly again. They started looking everywhere and stepped outside even looking out there and started clicking out there. Eventually they came back in. We started walking down the stairs. I couldn't see them so I clicked again, which echoed this time because we were going down spiraled stairs. They looked over the edge and I acted like I was (actually I didn't act, I was actually taking pictures) looking up so we had pictures all the way up. It was pretty funny. I love messing with people. They never figured out who it was!😝
18 June 2015
Pictures from the roman forum. Most of them are on my camera, but this is what I have via my phone. My mom also posted some on Facebook and tagged me so you can see them on either of our Facebook pages! It was very different than Prague in the way that everything is open for exploring. Way cool. And way older than what we saw anywhere else. It was very enjoyable! Highly recommend Rome and Prague as vacation cities! Vienna as well.
Proof we were there, hearts we saw, and gelato, very expensive gelato, in front of the Collusium. By the way, never get food from right in front of anything important or popular! And always make sure you can see prices...i'll get to that later 😜
The Collusium. With a pigeon picture just for Gevin. It's was being maintained (as it is just a little old) so ignore the construction part. I promise it's real and not just something being built as a replica! Like Stonehenge...
Rome ambulances. They are everywhere! And you can almost always hear sirens!
These guys are everywhere. Terrifying but some pretty cute 😉. I told my mom I was afraid of them because they had guns. They might shoot me for stepping on the wrong cobblestone. I was only kidding of course. Sort of. She told me I should go talk to them. Shake their hand. Give them a hug. Take a picture. Touch their gun. All of the above. I was like nahhhh.
St. Peter's basilica. This was alright. The Egyptian thing in the middle is just one. There is also one in New York and Paris. As well as other places.
17 June 2015
Tonight I get to sleep in a non moving bed, wake up when i want to (as long as we get out of here before 9 ish), and have my rain on. Plus i'll read my scriptures tonight too. Yes, tomorrow will be much better. Also, ironically, today I am wearing my "smile. It's just a bad day not a bad life" shirt. Today wasn't horrible. I mean I am still in Italy. And I am still on vacation. And everything is still good. Just i had such high expectations for italy...it's been my dream place for so long. I know I haven't seen anything yet though so it has still 8-9 days to reassure me.
As we are going, we turn to see our bus, headed in the right direction, turn down the street we just crossed. So we turn, knowing we missed that bus, but at least we see the stop. So we go wait again. Once it comes we make sure to get off the right stop this time (instead of the first of seven). We head up to our room and sit on the bed. At this point we are planning tomorrow and figuring out what routes to take and charging extra batteries and chargers! I didn't think I would need them for the couple of hours we were supposed to be gone. Plus they were dead due to the trains lack of plugs on the night train of all trains. Even my hour long train ride had a plug.... Eh what can you do?
So we decided to leave the house after all. We decided to go to the Rome Temple. I used google maps and this is what it came up with. After letting my phone charge as far as possible (57%) we headed on our way. We got on the bus. And another. And another. Just like we were supposed to. Well, when we got off, we realized the building we had seen so far back, was the temple. Of course I still don't have the data I paid for, so I don't have access to google maps. All I can see is the little red marker over the Rome Temple and a general idea of where I am. Across town. Why the heck did google take me over here when it clearly knows where the temple is. Our bus pass just expired 8 minutes ago, so we go into the shop. No tickets left. We decide to walk and see if we can find a shop with bus tickets. After walking a ways, we find the store for my phones carrier. We stop in and he, after trying every option he can think of, finally gets my data to turn on. Yay me!
At the mall, we find a place that sells tickets and buy some for tomorrow as well. After that we decided we were hungry so we head over to get some italian pizza. And american sprite. Man I've missed my american soda. I didn't even drink it much when I was in the states, but I was sure craving it today. Plus, I hadn't had lunch and all I had for breakfast was a little bit of bread. It was nice. My phone at this point was at 10%. Something about using the GPS for over an hour straight takes battery life down. So we walk out hoping to find a bus stop. We find one (not the one we want but I recognize the final stop so we get on). Once to that destination, we barely missed the next bus we had to take, so we waited. And waited. Finally it came so we took that one, to almost the last stop. Once we stop i realize that this is the wrong bus. It's the right number, but wrong direction. And the other direction isn't in view. So we walk, hoping to find it. Down a ways we see another stop.
Now that I have data i Google map the temple again. Walking this time because we still don't have tickets. We accidentally take a wrong turn because Google maps doesn't like the slowness of our non bus pace apparently. Anyways we got to see football (soccer) which was ok ish. We kept going. After walking for what seemed like forever (over an hour with no sign of accomplishment) we got to see a glimpse of the temple. But low and behold, there was more than just one busy freeway (rush hour) between us and it. Not happening. It's also starting to rain at this point. Tired, wet, and more than disappointed, we head for shelter (the mall) and hope to find some tickets so we can just go home. There's no way we can get any closer to the temple.
Want to know why my day has sucked so much today? Because for the first time in 314 days (44 weeks 6 days, 10 months 10 days) I missed a day reading my scriptures...I'm so disappointed in myself. I've been doing so good...until yesterday. I can blame it on vacation, I can blame it on being on a train, but the fact of the matter is it's all on me. I read on the airplane. I finished a book last night too. All I had to do was switch apps. But I didn't even think about it. So now I have to start over at 1. 😰😔
We made it to our room. The host was here thank goodness. And we have wifi. And air conditioning in our room. I still don't have service. And I think we are staying here the rest of the afternoon. We are pretty tired already. Plus my phone is about dead.
So instead of getting on the bus again we decide to walk. It can't be that far right? Eh actually it can. Downside 1: it's nearly 80° and I'm stuck in a coat because I didn't change at the train station. Downside 2: I have no idea how far we are supposed to walk. Downside 3: the guy may not even be there and I can't message him to let him know we are coming because I don't have data. Downside 4: we have all of our stuff with us. Upside 1: we are walking off those calories we got from the lunch we didn't eat... Bleh. Still not turning out to be the best day. In time. In time.
Well you see, we got off the train. Onto the metro. Off the metro. Attempted to locate our bus (luckily our host had told me which one). Found it. Got on. Tried to figure out when to get off. While already on the bus. We were looking for Romanista. Finally the driver pulled up enough so I could see the sign saying where the bus would go. Romanista was the next stop. Good thing I saw it. So next stop we get off. And look around. And see nothing. My data has stopped working at this point. For some reason I don't know. So I can't GPS our location or destination. I see a little shop. I ask for directions inside and show him our desired destination. He points to the bus stop and says 5 stops then look around. At first I'm confused because my host said this stop. So I walk. Away from the bus. We get to the next bus stop. Also Romanista. I read the sign closer now that I'm not on the moving bus. Romanista-7 stops. We wanted the 6th stop. We got off at the 1st.
Well we made it to Roma. Still no data. And can't connect to any wifi...went and got a new SIM card. They said it wouldn't work for an hour but it worked. Now we are finding our way to our destination to stay for the next few nights. Turns out the service of showing someone where something is costs money...I didn't expect that. Anyways, right now all I've seen is crowded areas and people desperate for money (people showing people where things are for money and people begging on the metro). Not the best first impression Italy...oh well. What's to come will be worth it!
So this is Nothammer. Or Notfall Fensterscheibe Einschlagen. This is Jeder Mißbrauch Wird Bestraft.
16 June 2015
Sure enough, after we started moving the train person came and explained what to do and what he would be able to do for us etc. And he said to lock the door when we went to sleep. Meaning when we were ready we were to lock it and no one could enter. We had an entire 6 person sleeper room to ourselves...plus it was cheaper...we moved around a ton since we had the option. Switching seats, beds, sides. It was awesome. Also we could put our legs and feet wherever we want because there is no one else to bother by them.
We've been on the train now for about 13 1/2 hours. We are nearing Roma (Rome) now. Just over a half hour to go. So when booking our train we wanted to get a 2 person sleeper. They were booked full. Our next option was to either rearrange our entire schedule to make it work, or get a 4 or 6 person sleeper (not knowing who we would end up with). This made us a little nervous, but we decided to go with a 4 person sleeper. No biggie. Just 2 extra people. Hopefully everything went well. Plus, on the bright side, it was cheaper. We went with it and yesterday when we got to the train station (nearly 30 minutes early mind you) we boarded the train. The most early and unrushed we have been to the trains that really matter. The others we have pushed by the single-digit minutes. We boarded our car and found our room. A 6 person sleeper! But there was only 2 waters, 2 bed sets (sheet, blanket, pillow), and only us 2. We knew there was still 30 minutes, but we stayed hopeful.