30 September - 4 October
Before our Mediterranean cruise with Brian's parents, we met some friends in Rome for a pre-vaca vacation : ) We rented this room at a bed and breakfast that was conveniently located very close to the Rome metro and served us a little medley of breakfast foods every morning on this little cart. And it was a great place to crash in the evenings : )
When we arrived in Rome and finally made it to our hotel (metros were closed, buses were confusing...it was basically Italy), Brian and I were starving! So we walked down the street and found a fun Irish pub. We found the perfect table outside and had a great time considering how long our day had been!
The next day, we met up with Anne and Steve! It had been about a year since we had seen them, so it was great to catch up! And what better place to have fun with friends than Rome?? So much delicious food and wine and so many beautiful sights!
We drank cappuccinos at the little cafe on the right
We did LOTS of walking and saw so many amazing historical spots.
And while the sights were spectacular, I have such fond memories of finding great piazzas with snacks and wine and just having the best conversations with wonderful friends.
Reviewing the map, making a game plan
Anne and Steve are adventurous eaters, so we got to share and try lots of fun dishes. This squid, although probably not too appetizing in this picture, was grilled to perfection and was so tasty.
Our second day involved just as much walking and a great variety of spots to visit. We started with the Colosseum - just walking by for now.
We made our way to a local flea market that was bustling with people. No purchases were made, but it was a fun thing to see and experience.
As we continued our journey, we found some breathtaking churches.
Some "who in the world is lucky enough to live here" spots
Time for a gelato break!!! Mmmm... Anne's friend lived in Rome and knew the best gelato spots, which of course were all visited by us. Did I take a picture? No, because I was too consumed by the deliciousness of the creamy dessert I consumed. And really, a picture would just be torture.
Back to the ruins by the Colosseum
And then it was time to make dinner plans. Did we want to go to a nice restaurant? Eh, we were pretty grimy from a day of tromping around Rome, and we were too tired to make it home to clean up...So what to do? How about have all you can eat appetizers and wine on the rooftop of the guesthouse of the US Ambassador of Italy? Now that's a plan!
Buying the supplies!
As you can imagine, the boys weren't into the menu planning. So their job was to find Vespas for us to cruise on the next day (enough with the walking!). How, in the land of Vespas, do you pick a store to rent from? How about by the store's logo?
Need I say more?
Oh yes, this picture was the logo on each Vespa at the store. And OH yes, we rented scooters there for the next day.
So on to the Ambassador's property! Anne, Steve, Brian and I were on the guest list for the evening (so cool) because Anne's friend, Elizabeth, lives in the Ambassador's guest house. Brian and I met Elizabeth and her friend, Betsy, that evening, and we all had the best time chatting, getting to know each other, snacking, drinking, and enjoying the view of Rome's skyline from Elizabeth's rooftop terrace.
The spread of food
I cannot even begin to explain how much wine was consumed. What an amazing night with wonderful people!
The next day was Vespa day! Elizabeth had to work, so Betsy decided to join our Vespa gang and cruise around Rome with us! We had a slow start that morning, but nothing that an Italian coffee and pastry shop couldn't fix!
We had so much fun driving around Rome together. Betsy was amazing - she had never driven a scooter before and decided to learn and brave the streets of Rome with some of the craziest drivers in existence - Italians! She did great. We had a ball. We made important stops like one for a delicious rooftop lunch, one for gelato after lunch...
Also, another fun bonus, Brian's parents came into town on this day, so they were able to meet Betsy, Anne, and Steve, and they joined us for lunch!
Cool scooter helmets!
Coordinating our next move
My job was to take pictures and be the GPS. Slacking on the latter in this pic.
Anne and Steve - so cute on their scooter! Who could be s-cute-r? hahaha
Betsy rockin' out in Rome!
So as we Romed (haha) the streets, we'd just drive up on amazing things. Like this...Oh look, the Vatican! I love this picture so much.
Just drivin' next to the Colosseum
For a scooter break, we decided to go inside for a quick peak.
Time to ride!
We were sad to return our scooters...and also sad to know we could have rented this cool buggy!
That night we all met at this wonderfully unique restaurant. It's one of Elizabeth's favorites, so it was a perfect place to end our little vacation with new and old friends. And Brian's parents joined us for dinner, too! We, of course, ate way too much and enjoyed every second of it.
What a fun trip! Anne and Steve are great travel buddies for Brian and me, and we're so lucky to have them as friends!