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Gladiators, Gelato, and Goddesses

My travel goddesses

WHO you travel with matters. They can completely change the smallest places and make them even better. Or even worse. Luckily for me, most of my travel partners have enhanced my times. Tina and Brit are two of my favorites– they can deal with me (not always easy), they are excited about a lot of the same things I am, and they are two of the most entertaining people to be around. We traveled though central Europe together, and came back with a ton of tales we still laugh about today. Like…

Rome was so hot. Like 100 degrees, and for some reason Rome just feels hotter than any other city. It’s older, so things are closer together, and maybe that’s why. I think we all thought we might pass out at any moment. Sitting on top of the double decker bus, sweating so much we had to throw all our clothes away.

Then we had what I like to call the European specialty– conditioned air. Not to be confused with air conditioning. We had booked a not the most expensive hotel room. (We actually only paid 1800 for two weeks–super frugal). But we still thought we would have air-conditioning in the middle of summer. Nope. We walked in and it was hotter than ever in that room. We opened the window, and it nearly hit the brick wall of the building next door. We laid on our twin beds with washcloths over our bodies to try and keep cool. Needless to say, we did not get much sleep that night.

We also checked out the Vatican that day. I was not as prepared as I am these days, and didn’t realize we needed shawls to cover our shoulders and knees when we entered the Vatican. Lucky for us, all these kind men were selling them on the side of the street. It’s almost as if they knew desperate women tourist might need them (eye roll). And they gave them to us for the very cheap price of $20 each! The best part is, I actually sweat so much that day that I had to throw mine away. Moral of the story, bring your own shawl.

Outside St. Peter’s Basilica modeling our $20 a piece shawls

Maybe my favorite story from Rome, though, is when we were actually in the Sistine Chapel. Brit is looking up at the amazing masterpieces painted on the ceiling. (Which I defiantly took a picture of, see below.)

I comment, “I can’t believe he laid on his back painting this for hours and hours…”

Brit: “When you say he, you mean the big man upstairs, right?”

Tina/Me: Burst out in roaring laughter

Me (between laughs): “No, Brit, God didn’t paint this. Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo did.” Continue to laugh loudly with Tina, and now Brit…

And that’s the story of how we were asked to leave the Sistine Chapel.

Seriously though, I could not ask for two better people. Tina made sure we stopped and tried every glass of wine, pasta, and seafood along the way. Brit brought a new appreciation for tapestries and the finer art pieces we came into contact with. And both made me laugh until my stomach literally hurt.

Traveling can bring out sides of people that you don’t normally see. They can get stressed, homesick, confused, tired, the list goes on and on. But if you do it with the right people, it can make all the difference. People who love you and know you are going to have some not-so-great moments. And while I love Rome, what I really love is the people I visited it with!

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