Greetings and thanks for checking back in on us!



Incase you missed the last update, we are now travelling with Alice, Steve and the kids in Italy. After arriving in the Rome train station, we boarded the subway…during rush hour…with 7 people…wearing huge packs. The surrounding passengers were definitely annoyed, but we had to do what we had to do. Fortunately it was only 3 stops before we got off to find our apartment. We exited the Metro at the famed Spanish Steps and walked a couple of short blocks to find the place. The apartment was glorious! It was spacious with comfortable beds, a nice dining room and a huge living room. Of course, the adults spent little time in the living room because it had become the kids romper room. All the cushions and pillows in the room had been immediately piled in the center for the “pit of funness”, a soft mountain of sorts to be launched into from any elevated surface in the room. As the kids played, we planned our two short days in Rome. That evening, we made a quick stop to enjoy the Spanish Steps before dining at one of the many amazing restaurants in the area. After dinner, Claire and Doug made a late night stop at the Trevi Fountain. The fountain was amazing and seemed to still be somewhat crowded at 11 o’clock, we could only imagine the crowds during the day.

On our first full day, we headed over to the Coliseum first thing. We decided on a guided tour which let us skip the lines and get some more info on exactly what we were looking at. We learned the details about the different battles the took place there, who sat where and how the whole thing worked. Really fascinating! The tour also included Palatine Hill, the home of the Ancient Roman Emperors, and the Roman Forum. The sights were incredible and the history behind them intriguing. Really interesting to hear details of how things once were. We exited the Forum tired and hungry having discovered how much time had passed during the tour. Steve and Alice took the kids to an early dinner, and Doug and Claire took to the streets to wander and find a romantic dinner spot. We headed towards Piazza Navona and were highly successful at finding the dinner spot. The highlight was definitely the Osso Bucco, but all the items were amazing. We meandered through the Piazza after dinner before heading back to the apartment to rest up before our next action packed day.

The next morning, we hit the subway and headed to Vatican City. The place was packed, but fortunately we had purchased tickets ahead of time, so we went right in. The place is seriously expansive, and the collection of artifacts religious and ancient was seriously impressive. Thousands of sculptures, statues, paintings, marble tubs and countless other priceless items dotted the halls. The whole group was blown away by the immense collection in the museum. We finished the tour at the Sistine Chapel where the works of Michelangelo and Raphael adorned the ceiling and walls, again, really impressive. We shuffled out with the crowds and worked our way around to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica for a look. The whole Vatican was adorned with detail to the nth degrees and we can’t quite imagine the amount money and upkeep it takes to keep this place running. Steve and Alice then took off for some private time of their own and we took the kids out for lunch before heading back to the apartment. There we regrouped at home. After some more “pit of funness” time Steve and Alice returned and we headed back out for a stop at the Pantheon, another impressive Roman building, before our goodbye dinner and obligatory Gelato stop. We bid the Jennison clan farewell, as they would be departing early for the states, and headed to bed.

The apartment was so empty when we awoke and we were sad to be without our traveling companions of the last week but were excited for our final leg of Italy. We hitched a taxi to the airport and picked up a rental car, as our Eurail passes were now expired. The road was calling and so was the Amalfi coast. We were 3 again and headed back to the beach. Yay!

We’re closing in on the end of the trip, so stay tuned for the exciting final chapters!




  1. Sigrid H Freese

    Will be interested to talk to the kids about their sense of antiquity… when you’re 4, or 8 or almost 10, what does it mean to walk around places that are 2,000 years old.?
    Hope you had room for the glittery skull in your carry-on. Would make a super creepy Halloween decoration!

    • Doug Braam

      The skull was HUGE! Way to heavy for any of us to pick up and probably too expensive based on the store’s window it was in!

  2. Dick

    I sang in operas one block off the Piazza Navonna in July 2005 and July 2007. The gelato stores and the outside restaurants were full and lively. I can see the 7 of you there with great joy. Dad

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