Skyler's Graduation Trip

Trip Start Unknown
Trip End Mar 29, 2007

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Friday, February 16, 2007

I asked Skyler where he wanted to go for his high school graduation gift thinking of a warm tropical climate.  But it was not to be.  The destination of his choice was Rome!  Hmmm.  Not necessarily what I would have chosen but what the hell!.  We went in February since that was about the only time my busy son could make the trip.  Again, maybe not the best time to be there, weather wise, but in the end we were glad we went in the off season as it was incredibly busy with tourists.  More than once we asked each other what it would be like in Summer1 

We stayed in a decent hostel near the train station.  The beds were $12 each and included breakfast and dinner!  What a deal!  And the dinner even included a glass of wine - which meant I had 2 because Sky didn't want his. 

It was wonderful to be in Rome with Skyler as he is quite the history buff and made a fantastic guide!  And what an amazing city!  Everywhere we looked there was some sort of antiquity - a statue, a pile of broken columns, a ruin...At one point we were walking at the Roman Forum and Skyler said to me, "I'm walking on the same road that Caesar walked on!"  I loved it that that was cool for him!

The Coliseum is an incredible piece of construction.  I had no idea that the floor was wood covered with sand.  There is a network of rooms and corridors under the floor where they kept animals as well as set scenes.  All of that could be raised through hatches in the floors! 

Tante Welmoed came for a few days and with her we visited the Vatican. St. Peters was overwhelming.  It is so big and so ornate!  I definitely had to make myself not think about how the church got so rich.  It was an effort but I wanted to enjoy the sheer beauty of this creation.  Once again, Skyler made a great guide.  He had just taken an art history class and was able to point out some interesting facts about the church.  We climbed the dome - no small feat! - we were rewarded with a fantastic view of th Vatican and Rome.   From up there you also get a feeling for how big the church is!

Our next stop was the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.  Again, Skyler had studied much of the art and was able to tell us about it.  I had read to bring binoculars to the Sistine Chapel and I'm glad I did.  The ceiling is very very high and the figures larger than life but the binos allowed For a rally good view.  I was very moved by the beauty of the chapel. 

Later Sky and I went back to St. Peters so that we could get a jar of holy water.  There are several stores that sell little jars with various religious figures on them.  We bought three: one for me, one for my girlfriend Suzanne and one for Skyler.   Skyler's not particularly religious or spiritual but his history teacher said he'd give him an A if he brought him some holy water.  Done!
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