Well hello there, Rome
You've got to be committed to see the Sistine Chapel. Visitors are herded through about fifty rooms of the Vatican Museum first, squeezing together claustrophobically to fit through doorways, climbing up and down stairs, walking through gift shops, even walking what appears to be an outdoor service corridor before finally reaching the chapel. There has to be an easier way, a quicker path -- we doubt all those cardinals have to walk through a gift shop on their way to pick a new pope.
Each time we shuffled through a large room with a pretty painted ceiling, the dumber tourists thought it was the Sistine Chapel and started snapping photos and saying things like, "Oooh, it IS beautiful...." Those of us who actually knew what the Sistine Chapel ceiling looked like pushed through them quickly until we reached the next room, where there were more stupid people standing around oohing and aaahing at the mediocre ceiling art painted by a nobody. It was like crossing an ocean of stupidity to finally, over an hour later, reach the land of enlightenment.
It's worth it. The Sistine Chapel defies words, and photographs are woefully inadequate. It's an unforgettable experience to stand in its presence, and totally worth the crick in your neck and the loss of feeling in your face for several hours afterward.
That's one talented Italian
We loved the Forum, too. The Roman Forum is where you look at piles of rubble and try very, very hard to imagine what they looked like a million years ago (I may be off on my math there). There are lots of tourists wandering around squinting at rubble, and turning their travel guides upside down and sideways trying to figure out what they're looking at. If you sit in one spot very long, you hear many different theories about the exact same pile of bricks.
Tourist B: I think this is where the Vestal Virgins lived.
Tourist A: I think this is where Julius Caesar lived.
Tourist A: I think this is where Julius Caesar lived.
Tourist C: I think this is the site of the Temple of Bloopitus Bloppitus.
Tourist D: I think this is where Marc Antony did his grocery shopping.
Tourist E: Is this even a building? I think it's some kind of road.
Let's face it, people. We really don't know what any of this stuff is.
Robin and I searched out many works of art in Rome, including The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini. It's a beautiful piece of work, but I think we can all agree Saint Theresa is in full-on orgasm mode. Reading the description only heightens the sexiness -- how she had a vision of being visited by an angel, something about "a thrusting arrow repeatedly piercing" her, her profound "intercourse with God," and -- oh never mind the words, just look at her face:
Add the Cornaro Family over there on the side whispering and gawking at her and you've got yourself a very sexy scene, indeed. Voyeurism much, Cornaros?
That guy on the end really likes to watch
Robin and I thoughtfully analyzed the work and agreed Saint Theresa probably just had herself a good old-fashioned sex dream. Maybe she didn't realize she was dreaming so attributed the whole thing to a visit from God. I just had a sexy dream not too long ago starring James Franco, but I didn't wake up thinking James Franco was God. Maybe I should have? Maybe that's why she's Saint Theresa and I'm not Saint MJ? (In related news, I never thought James Franco was cute before that dream but now -- rowr!)
There's more, MORE, about Rome, but I'm going to stop now because this is getting weird. Suffice it to say, if I hadn't gone to meet my sister in Rome, I would have regretted it forevermore. It was sisterly bonding in a beautiful city, a trip full of adventure and comedy and Italian Wine Guy. It was like a movie -- a really, really long four-day movie. (If it does get turned into a movie, James Franco should play the part of that horny angel.)
OH, one other thing. I arrived at the airport to fly home only to discover my flight left at 6:50 a.m. instead of 6:50 p.m. Remember that part in the first post about how I jumped out of bed in the middle of the night to buy a ticket? Yeah.... maybe that wasn't such a good idea. For some reason, when I scrolled and saw "6:50" I was like, "Evening flight! Perfect!" I can't really explain why I thought that, but it may have something to do with that time I fell out of the shopping cart and hit my head on the pavement in the parking lot of Frank's Nursery and Crafts when I was really young.
I had to buy a new ticket for a flight that was already boarding, scheduled to leave in twenty minutes. I cut through the security lines and babbled at some security people and they let me through right away. Then I became One Of Those People you see in the airport in a full-out run, the ones you point and laugh at and feel happy you're not them.
I screeched to a halt and nearly turned and ran in the opposite direction when I saw the plane. It was so old, there were holes in the seats. I sat and tried to calm myself by reading the airline magazine, of which I understood nothing. Then I saw this ad and I knew everything was going to be all right, because I knew the universe would allow me to share it with someone before I died:
Preaching to the choir, brother
Once at Orly, I found the entrance to the train closed thanks to a piece of unattended luggage. The cop told us we could wait around for it to re-open, it wouldn't be too much longer. While we were all standing around, the police blew up the unattended luggage without warning us beforehand. So there was a loud explosion and some people kind of dove to the ground and others kind of crapped themselves and then the cop standing there was like, "Oh...maybe I should have mentioned that part...."
Love you, Robin. That was epic. Where we going next?