From an internet cafe on the Borgo Pio ' these Italian keyboards are a bit different, and I am on a timer, so I'm not going to do any corrections....
We are here! I didn't sleep a wink on the way over, but luckily the children did, so there wasn't too much meltdown. Met up with Angela, whom I had met through the SlowTrav message board, at the Philly airport ' her with her 2 little ones and husband, and us with our brood - they were coming here for three weeks, so we had an interesting time comparing prep notes.
Flight over was fine, not the sardine can I'd heard that flight was. Flight attendants were kind, albeit talkative when I was trying to sleep. Our driver met us at FCO with no problem, drove us to the apartment. I asked Katie yesterday if she'd felt unsafe yet and she said, °Only when that guy was driving us here." Which was true.
Funniest moment of the flight. Riding on the tram between terminals in Philly, Joseph strikes up a conversation with an unwary passenger who clearly did not know what she was in for - unrelenting 4..year old conversation. Where are you going? He finally asked her. She answered, I could tell, confident that this was a good escape. Italy! He said....SO ARE WE!!! You could almost hear her prayer:..Please God...let us be in a different part of the plane.
Anyway, we settled in, and hit St. Peter's right away, then slept for too long, I went over to Vatican Radio and did an interview, and then Charley Collins of VAtican RAdio walked us over to Piazza Navona and gave us the lay of the land and restaurant suggestions.
Sunday morning, back to St. Peter's for a really good tour from a NAC seminarian, then the Angelus ' our first glimpse of the Pope! Wonderful to be in that international crowd, cheering for Benedetto, cheering when he recognized them, Michael pleasing a Polish nun in front of us very much when he could greet her in Polish. Then to Mass at the first church we hit ' I can't remember the name, but it was staffed by Polish priests and nuns ' lots of Divine Mercy stuff around. Teens behind us were rather reverent and rather helpful with the baby.
Then...to buy bus tickets and over, after a lunch to St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major and others, led by the inestimable Zadok! (I will write more on this later, when I have more time)
Last night a rather good dinner in a restaurant in a basement across the Borgo Vittorio from us ' fussy baby, but good food.
This AM ' Pantheon, St. Maria Sopra Minerva (sp) St. Ignacze (not the Gesu) and something else...canàt remember right now. Afternoon: I had an interview with Rome Reports for a DVC special they are doing, while MIchael and the others ended up getting a sort of back of the Vatican tour from a priest of Michael's acquaintance. Grrrr!
Well, that's it for now. I have to say, that despite the language difference, and ocassional brusqueness from shopkeepers ' well, not really shopkeepers, but, okay, just the woman behind the meat counter in the store I just went to - it is very comfortable here in Rome. I think that is the best word for it at this point. I wish I could write more, but ....gotta go!