Monday, November 30, 2015

Rome Sweet Home: Part 1

So that reason I was talking about that we waited so long (longer than any other baby of ours at 4 months old) to have Bobby baptized was for this.  We had him baptized in Rome this past Saturday, November 28th by our good friend, Fr. Brian who is currently living and studying in Rome.  Plus his godparents just moved to Italy a few months before and were able to meet us there and share an apartment for the week.  And the big kicker when all else fell into place for this to happen is that the Mass of thanksgiving for his baptism was going to be at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church on the altar of St. Robert Bellarmine's incorrupt body who our Robert was named after.  Doesn't get anymore neon lights than that, does it?  It was like the words,"Have your baby baptized here!" were flashing in neon lights over the city of Rome even though (and it's a big even though) you just made a massive move overseas, have been living in a hotel forEVER with your six kids, and haven't even received your car or household goods or moved into your house.  The list could go on there, but I decided to trust in God and my husband who very much saw the neon lights before I did through my hazy baby fog.  Besides when all is insanity anyways, why not go to Rome and make it even crazier?

So this post is not actually about the baptism itself.  Those pictures are going to take some time to go through.  However I wanted to explain why in the world the eight of us would take off to Rome when we just got to Germany and are so very not settled.  This post is actually about our first full day in Rome and what we did.  There were many places in Rome where, as Bobby's godfather said, we had to "take a picture with our eyes" because there were no photos allowed.  Keep that in mind as you read all about our trip in the coming days.

Day one, we woke up before dawn to get ready and head to St. Peter's Cathedral in Vatican City for Fr. Brian to say Mass for us in St. Peter's tomb.  Talk about a rare and awe-inspiring way to start the week leading up to Bobby's baptism.  Wow!  Father Brian has been trying to get reservations to say Mass there for over a year, so it was a big deal.

The Pieta is in the background.

We grabbed breakfast right after that across the street from the Vatican square.  Then we went back for the tour of the Vatican museum given by Father Brian for us and another family he knew that was in town that week.  This was great mostly because we got ear phones and were able to listen to what was being said by Fr. Brian even if it was loud in the room, four year olds were asking a million questions, or we couldn't squeeze in close enough.  Brian and I were able to hear way more than we would have been able to without the earphones.  We all learned a lot, especially the children.  Fr. Brian kept saying how impressed he was that the children listened so well and asked good questions.  There were fifteen kids in all, but six of them were four and under and didn't listen too long.  

Fr. Brian talking about this painting into his microphone that we could hear in our headphones.

Since you are supposed to be silent in the Sistine Chapel, he had to do all his explaining for that out in the court yard using these posters to explain.

Bobby alternated between riding in the Ergo and my Little Frog wrap, but he sometimes just needed to be free, so I'd take him out and hold him facing out for a while to give him a break...until my arms or back couldn't take in anymore.
 We went stroller-less for the first time ever and it worked out okay, although we could have done more if we'd had it because I could have walked further and the children could have rested more.  We'll have to take it on a case by case (or trip by trip) basis to decide whether to do it again or not.

Drew and his buddy wondering what happened to the rest of that statue

St. Helen's sarcophagus 

Isaac looking at a mummy

The tapestries

The maps of Italy, commissioned by one of the Popes

 After what was supposed to be a three hour tour (think Gilligan's Island here,)  we headed to a late lunch that was a good long walk away. It really was a four and a half hour tour.  The kids were exhausted and wanting the promised gelato.  The adults were wanting some real food.  Adults won out and we did lunch first, then gelato.

This is where we ate.  We took up the whole bottom floor of the place.  Here you order a size of plate and they give you meats, cheese, bread, fruit, and veggies.  It was delicious, but I think I tasted squid ink on accident, and I could have done without that.

Italy turned out to be relatively easy to find dairy-free food for Judah.  They don't do too much butter, so you just have to avoid the cheeses mostly.

This is the big meat plate we got for the group, but it turned out not to be enough.  Apparently Italy isn't known for it's consistency in it's portions.  We asked for 12 medium plates and they gave us this which was not equal to what the medium plates looked like times 12.   This was a common them throughout the trip where everyone ordered basically the same thing, but didn't actually get the same thing.

So what was supposed to be a plan for a half a day of activities turned into a very full day.  We didn't get back until 5pm ish.  Everyone was pooped, but it didn't stop us from staying up way too late visiting.
On our walk home--- Our day was from before dawn to after dusk.

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