Today was our first full day in Roma. We have a new local tour guide who grew up in the states for the first twelve years, so everyone can understand him. I didn’t have much trouble with the others, but some people did. Mostly because they were too quiet. Why do shy, quiet people become your guides?

A priest walked into the bar. No, literally, right now as I’m writing. If he had been cute, I would have said, “Pater, prego,” pointed to a chair and attempted to convert him. But it didn’t work out. He recognized the devil when he saw it.

Back to Roma. We saw so much in so little time. The Colloseum, the Panthenon, Basilica after basilica. Two thousand years of history piled on top of each other. Empires building on top of other empires. So much history, it was incredible. Buildings only a couple years young were hundreds of years old. Ridiculous. Sculptures and paintings by all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artists. Overwhelming.

Again for lunch, Mia Sorella, Rocket Man and I ran off as far away as we could. We found a little pizzeria with a patio in an alley. Sacro e Profano, The Sacred and Profane. When we sat outside without going in, one of the locals saw me taking photos and dragged us inside where we were astounded to see it was an old church, pipe organ and all. The waiter entertained us and the food was incredible. We’ve learned that between the three of us, we do the casa antipasti, one pizza, and a liter of wine. The local approved of our choices.

While we were eating, there were two French girls eating at the table next to us along the fence. One of them screamed and a guy stood up, smiled, and walked away. He had been on the other side of the fence and greenery reaching into the other girl’s purse. We raised the security alert level to orange.

In reality, we were already on orange. We’ve been trying to prep everyone for Roma, knowing there are a lot of pickpocketters. Hopefully we did our job. At some point we have to realize they are all adults and can take care of themselves.

Once rejoining the tour, we spread the story of the French girls in an effort to educate the group. I think it did well to scare everyone.

Along the way, Rocket Man needed to pee, so he told the your guide that some of the group needed the bathroom, as if it wasn’t him. It was easy enough to garner support. So after the Parthenon, which is absolutely incredible, we headed for gelato. The line was long and the gelato was expensive, so we sat down at the bar at the other end of the place.

The bartender said, in Italian, that we had to pay in the line and we were having none of that. After sitting there looking beaten, he asked what we wanted. I said espresso and he said okay, so I pressed my luck, pointed overhead and said, “liquor?” He named a couple, and I said si to brandy. So when gelato was €4, Rocket Man and I had espresso and brandy for €3 total. We won.

The tour didn’t last much longer when we were let lose in a square for shopping. Mia Sorella, Rocket Man and I headed straight for a wine bar for a bottle of wine. We convinced Super Mario to sit with us, even if he wouldn’t drink on the job. We watched the people in the square and laughed with the waiter.

Back at the hotel, we had another bottle of wine at the bar and yet another at dinner. At the bar is when the priest walked in. I still haven’t found religion.

After dinner, the rest of the party went to the bar, but at 21:30, I had passed my limit an hour and one glass of wine earlier, so I’ve come to the hotel room to sleep. This flu is killing me. I feel a ton better, but I cough for an hour before sleeping, so now I try to do it before Roomie comes home.

That and I’ve already had way too much to drink.



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