Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Do Hummingbirds Hum?

Back in California, and I'm not sure I can handle the culture shock. In case you didn't know, bacon is really crispy in the US and they drive on the right hand side of the road. And they all have these funny accents. At least I brought some McVities back with me (aka chocolate digestives), so I can get those out when I start to feel homesick for England. Everything is so different now.

Anyway, might as well talk about the rest of my Roman holiday (haha...). And share some pictures.

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. One of the better sights and it's free. Cheryl and I did our "No Admissions!" dance. Except that it was only me.

Pretty terrible picture of a really awesome hallway in the Vatican Museum which led (eventually) to the Sistine Chapel. The walls were covered with old looking maps of different parts of Italy. And I'm a sucker for old looking maps.

As for the Sistine Chapel itself, it was on the border and unimpressive. Maybe unimpressive isn't the word. Of course it's impressive. But it's just a lot smaller than you expect and much less spectacular. And there's no picture because if you take one then the security guys kill you and once you're dead, God's probably pretty angry at you too. Decided not to risk it.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica. I think it's the biggest church in the world or something. Or at least towards the top of that list. I'm pretty sure that the main altar (the brown structure in the middle) is over Peter's tomb.

Me and St. Peter. I think you're supposed to kiss his foot, but everyone just seemed to be rubbing it, so I did as the Romans do.

Michelangelo's Pieta.

We ate lunch with a view of the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, and the Roman forum. So I guess that was pretty cool.

They took out the floor of the Coliseum so you can see the system of tunnels underneath, like where the tigers that jumped out at Russell Crowe came from.

Here's a better picture.

Anyway, I think we both agreed that the Coliseum was our favorite sight in Rome. Otherwise, Rome really didn't do much for us.

The Arch of Constantine, which I know absolutely nothing about. It's between the Coliseum and the Roman Forum.

A few blocks away at the church of St. Peter's in Chains (San Pietro Vincoli or something like that in Italian, I'm way too lazy to check right now). In other words, those are (allegedly) the chains that bound Peter when he was imprisoned in Rome.

Statue of Moses in the same church, with horns (misinterpretation of "rays") coming out of his head.

Awesome Roman sky.

Possibly my favorite pizza box ever.

We're at the Roman forum!

Another shot of the Forum. Another free sight and pretty cool. We like old stuff. Cheryl's a history major and I almost was, so we're walking around like, "This is so cool! We are so dorky!"

The pillar that Peter was chained to in the Mamertine Prison. There's also a spot on the wall (not in the photo) where you can supposedly see his face, where it was imprinted when a guard pushed him into the wall. It's pretty awesome, it actually looked like a face.

Anyway, that's pretty much it for pictures.

Flying home wasn't too bad. Well, actually it was. I had three flights (Rome to Paris, Paris to Houston, and Houston to SF). Had to wake up at 3:15am for the first one, the second one was delayed 90 minutes, which meant I missed the third one and had to take a later one, but I sure had to run through the Houston airport to get to it and I was still the last person to board.

And here's the real tragedy: I was looking forward all day to the point where I could say, "I have nothing to declare but my genius," but it turns out they don't really have you do that in Houston. At least the Customs Guy was impressed that I was traveling alone internationally and all that.

"Are you by yourself?" (Really dumbfounded.)

"Yeah. I know. I'm that cool." (Okay, I only said "Yeah.")

Anyway, so now I am home again, wearing clothes I forgot I had. I tried to play the piano yesterday and it was pretty mediocre. I guess I'll have six weeks to practice. I'm going to start pulling out my hair if I don't find something to do. At least it's almost Thanksgiving and people will be home this weekend.

Went to a Cal basketball game the other night. We had to leave early, but if Cal won (which I think they did) it was the 500th win for their coach in his college coaching career. So that was pretty cool.

Random facts: I have the worst sore throat within memory and I no longer possess the ability to sleep in. I hope this is temporary. I have woken up consistently between 6:45am-7:30am over the last few days, and it's depressing me.

Anyway, hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever and if you like me you should call me or come over to visit because I'm cool or something. Alrighty, bye.


At 11/23/2005 11:49 AM, Blogger Nate said...

I had that non-sleep-in problem too. Don't worry, it goes away fairly quickly. The 3 AM hunger pangs not so much though.


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