These photos are now over two months old but they are too good and tell too rich a story to hide any longer. Having a computer of my own helps the cause for being able to share these memories with you. In late April, I took the vacation of a lifetime to visit my best friend Emilee in Europe. She was blessed with the opportunity to teach in a private Catholic school in Barcelona, Spain. Through the duration of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, the schools were closed for celebration and family time, giving Emilee and her fellow student teachers the chance to travel to farther areas of Europe. This is where I come in. Despite some difficulty traveling, I made it safely to spend a week traveling the region with her. We started off in Rome, Italy and ventured to Assisi, Italy, ending our unforgettable trip back in Barcelona, Spain where I got to experience one day of the life Emilee sooooo loved.
I mentioned my difficulty traveling. This was the worst part of it — A delay in Nashville. A storm in New York City. We hovered over NYC for an hour waiting for JFK Airport to open up for landing. Getting so low on fuel that we had to land in Hartford, Connecticut to gas up. Getting up in the air again, expecting to make it to JFK. Only to find out that all incoming flights were being diverted because the weather was so bad in NYC. This picture was taken the SECOND time we landed in Hartford, CT. My night ended here when my connector flight to Spain was missed. American Airlines put all of the passengers in a hotel and we resumed the eventful journey the next morning.
A good sign. Clear skies and beautiful sights as we fly into JFK the following morning.
So… I missed my connector flight to Spain on Saturday. Had I made that flight, I would have already been in Barcelona at this time and Emilee and I would have boarded a flight to Rome. Instead, I had to reschedule a direct flight to Rome where I would soon meet up with her. My new flight led to a 9 hour layover in the wonderful New York City. Of all places to be stranded, NYC wasn’t so bad. I’d get stuck there again if I had the chance.
While roaming around NYC, I stumbled on this beautiful apartment building. If you know me at all, you already know what I am thinking.
— RENT! —
Just a slight glimpse at my artistic side. As I got ready to head back to the JFK Airport from day-long rendevous in New York, I took two subways and a trolley system back to catch my flight to Rome. On the way to see Emilee now!
The first day that we woke up in Rome, we packed our bags to see the Pope. An experience of a lifetime. We had great seats, only 6 rows from the path the Pope would take to greet the crowd and speak to all those in attendance. Such a neat experience.
THERE HE IS.
And he spoke 8 different languages, I think. It could have been more. Very impressive. We were so close to him!
Our next stop was a tour of the Coliseum. What an incredible place, rich in history. It was HUGE!
And I have to show off my WKU Pride.
Emilee and I – I still cannot believe we were there, TOGETHER!
The architecture, or what exists of it now, was incredible. Throughout the whole city, you could see columns similar to this where part of them had fallen, some remained standing and some looked as if they may still tumble.
The next few picture were taken inside of the Vatican City. A private, self-governing city completely surrounded by Rome but 100% separate from Rome. This large globe rotated, as if it was floating in mid-air. VERY NEAT.
St. Peter’s Basilica. This cathedral was stunningly beautiful.
Another glimpse inside of St. Peter’s Basilica.
No, this is not a costume. Just like the police officers in Bowling Green wear uniforms, this is the uniform of an active, on-duty Vatican City guard. He was on duty and could not smile, could not look away or move from his post. He better get paid the big bucks to guard the Pope and stand there for hours doing nothing.
Oh my! My most favorite part of the trip was our excursion to the outskirts of Rome, into Assisi, Italy. Assisi is a tiny little town almost two hours from Rome. We took a train from Rome to Assisi, not knowing what to expect but hoping for a quant town, lots of green grass and landscape. By the looks of this photo, we were successful. I would go back there in an instance.
Inside of a Basilica in Assisi, this candle lighting station was made available to visitors who wanted to light a candle and say a prayer in honor or memory of someone. Again, a glimpse at my artistic photography skills.
Not so certain what this thing actually was but Emilee sure is strong.
An adorable little gelato shop in Assisi.
Five people and lots of baggage.
I bet $50 you have no idea what is on this pizza… Nope, not pineapples. Not ham.
Actually, it was the best pizza I have ever had in my entire life and it still disturbs me that I enjoyed it. — Potato chunks and sausage. Yummy.
This is the view from the highest point of Parque de Guell. From a 360 degree view, every inch of Barcelona was in sight!
YUMMY! Pigs’ ears. Oh, and feet too. This was inside a Fresh Food Market inside of the heart of Barcelona.
Emilee and I happened to get back to Spain just in time to celebrate a holiday. So, Easter in Rome and then El Dia de Sant Jordi in Barcelona. El Die de Sant Jordi is the equivalent of our American Valentine’s Day, except in Spanish tradition Saint George saved the King’s daughter from the grip of a dragon. The dragon’s blood fell to the ground and sprouted a rose bush. Hence the start of this tradition: All men give women a rose on St. George’s Day and to the return the kind gesture, women buy books for their men. As we walked through the streets of Barcelona, tables were at every corner full of books and flowers. These were obviously my favorite!