At the Fontana di Trevi, right after tossing in our coins to ensure our return one day to Rome!
I can finally connect my computer to the internet, albeit while standing at hotel's check-in desk with an ethernet cord plugged in...
I can't write too much because Natalia's patience is wearing thin (it took almost 40 minutes to get the internet connection to work), but here's a quick update:
Both girls developed Strep throat after I did, but we're pretty much over it. As a result, we've only been to the beach once! Ugh! I really hope we can get some sun tomorrow!
Katya is off on a day trip to Pompeii today, absolutely thrilled to be going... They'll actually walk on Vesuvius. Natalia and I will go tomorrow with the older students.
In front of St. Peter's
Last weekend we went to Rome. I went with the younger students on Saturday; the older group went on Sunday and actually got to see the Pope (high up from his window) while at St. Peter's! How cool is that?!
Will: Natalia only let me take these pictures at the Vatican because I told her how much it would mean to you personally! Perhaps that's why she's giving you such a nice smile...
I had forgotten just how much I LOVE ROME. Amo! Amo! Amo! I have to get back there when not accompanying 24 kids, on a very strict "WE WILL PACK THIS ALL IN/STOP NO WHERE/NO CAFES/NO PIZZA/NO SIMPLY MEANDERING" itinerary. We spent almost as much time in the bus traveling there as we did sightseeing... I'm not used to sightseeing with kids in tow, not to mention so many of them! That being said, it went well.
At Piazza della Rotonda, across from the Pantheon
I remembered it so well, as if still in college... We drove by the university where I took a class and the shop where my host mother worked...
The antiques shop where my host mother worked, Papadato
Mid-afternoon, I just couldn't take following the group around any longer, not getting a chance to pop into any of my favorite spots... So when Katya's fever spiked (to 103.6!!!), we ditched the tour in the Pantheon to grab a "granita di café" (espresso slush) and some iced teas from Caffé Tazza d'Oro (The Golden Cup), the best coffee shop ever... That's where I first discovered coffee.
In front of the Caffé Tazza d'Oro
I used to pop in there and pick up a coffee to bring to my host mom at her shop after classes ended. There is also a lovely Murina glass shop near the café where I picked a few really pretty necklaces... Yay!
We ended our day walking around the Forum and Colosseum (but not going in). There's only so much you can cram into six and a half hours in Rome!
Katya hadn't been so sick when we left that morning... Her fever didn't come on until it was too late to turn back, and then it came and went in waves... The school doctor was with us the whole time and we literally nursed her through the the day...
The next day, we had an evening program with trivia about Rome for younger kids. One question was "What is the name of main cathedral at the Vatican?" One girl made us all BURST into laughter when she answered, "Saint Peter Alexandrovich!" That's the name of our school doctor, and we when all see him now, we cross ourselves and crack up! Our doctor certainly has been a lifesaver for me and the girls (we are getting well remarkably fast), but as he pointed out, it's not quite grounds for sainthood...