December 14, 1961 – Italy

Quirinale Hotel, Rome, Italy – Cold, rain

     I woke up this morning excited and feeling well rested.  I knew today I would have a chance to see in person many beautiful sculptures and paintings that I had read about and seen pictures of.  What I had seen yesterday had really impressed me but I knew today might exceed that.  I was so glad that Edith and I had added this section to our trip because I had always wanted to see Italy. 

     Edith and I ordered breakfast to our room again this morning because it had worked out so well the day before.  We readied for our tour as we ate and drank our coffee.  I had found the Eggs Benedict I’d eaten yesterday so good that I ordered it again.  We had decided to tour this morning and then leave our afternoon free to shop and do some things we needed to get done.

     We had agreed to meet our driver at 9:10am today so we could fit more in before lunch.  When we met up with our driver in the lobby we found our driver was Antonio again and we were happy to see him.  It was raining when we left so I had to wear a rain coat but after an hour or so the rain tapered off and the sun came out.  It was still cold but at least there was a sun.

     Our first stop was St. Peter’s Vatican City where we visited the Popes residence and their museum.  We saw paintings by Raphael and Michelangelo and numerous pieces of sculpture that were spectacular.  I was brought to tears when we entered the Sistine Chapel and I witnessed the work done by Michelangelo on the ceiling.  Even with the aging it had undergone over the years it was most impressive.  I wished I was tall enough to be able and reach up and touch the picture where the hand of God was outstretched but of course that was out of the question.  Our final stop before lunch was at the Spanish Steps and it was a good end to our morning.

Street View of Papal City

Sistine Chapel

Summer Residence of Pope

     Edith and I had a nice lunch in the dining room back at our hotel and we talked excitedly about all that we had seen earlier in the day.  After lunch it was a little cold and windy but Edith and I proceeded to go out and mail our packages.  I was pleased once it was done because it had only cost me $4.  I had worried it would cost more than that.  After mailing off the packages, Edith and I went back to our room where we decided to catch up on our letter writing.  I wanted to make sure Ramona knew there was another package coming:

Dec 14, 1961 – Rome, Italy

Dear Ramona and Everyone;

     Rome is a lovely city and we have been on tours which you will hear about.  Our flight to London has been changed to the 24th so we will be in London Christmas Eve. 

     We haven’t bought anything here but I am sending a package home from here to lighten my weight.  Postage is very expensive here but I can’t carry this box any farther.  We got our money okay and I feel better. 

     We are leaving by bus at 7am tomorrow for Florence and we will stay there one night.  The weather is remaining good but very cold. 

     By the way if Peggy writes for money to buy that material and if is more than $5 or 6 wait till I get home.  You might wait anyway. 

     Well dear I’ll be seeing you all soon.  Love Mother

     I felt good after getting my letter written and sealed up but I noticed Edith hadn’t finished her letter yet.  Rather than waiting for Edith I decided to take my letter down to the front desk to mail and then take a little walk before dinner.  The sun had just set by the time I set out to see the Fountain of the Naiads which was just a half block from our hotel.  I was told that it was one of Rome’s largest fountains and lit up at night.  I had not been disappointed once since I arrived and the sight of the lighted fountain only added to my joy at being in Rome.  It was glorious to see.  There were sculptures of the sea nymphs that were amazing.   As I stood there enjoying the lighted water I saw city of Rome come to life with lights and even more movement than I’d seen during the day. 

     When I returned to the hotel I felt good after having had a breath of fresh air and exercise so I was ready to eat dinner.  The reservation we made was for 8pm again so we could eat, get back to our room and pack to leave the next day.  Our meal was wonderful once again and tonight we celebrated by having a champagne cocktail before dinner.  Edith and I talked about all the different places we had been to on our trip and we agreed that Rome was one of our favorites so far.

     After dinner we went back to our room and got ready to leave Rome in the morning.  I loved the view of Rome from our hotel room and wished that I could have taken a picture from the window but didn’t think it would come out.

     When I went to bed and just as I started to doze off I realized I would be home again in just about two weeks.  I knew I would miss traveling but I was sure that it would feel good to sleep in my own bed and to be able to pet Binky again.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 22:02:25

    I have to smile when I read about Grandma and Eggs Benedict; I am reminded of a story I heard from Mom, and corroborated by Dad (but it has been a little while). You might want to check this with Ramona, Janice. It seems that Grandma wanted to impress Grandpa with a nice breakfast. She made him Eggs Benedict, and made it really pretty. When Grandpa sat down to eat, he took his knife and fork, sliced everything up, and piled everything together. Grandma went into the bedroom and cried. What is interesting is that there is a corrolary in our own family unit: Dad liked catsup on just about everything, but in Mom’s family you only used catsup if the meat was cooked too well or burned. Mom decided to cook a steak for him. When he sat down to eat he, of course, reached for the catsup bottle. Mom – you guessed it – went into the bedroom and cried.


  2. Sandy (Poplin) Robson
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 10:56:24

    Patrick thats funny because im reading to john as i have been every visit he comes, we may finish this time. I told him how much dad liked eggs benidict and it turns out he has never had it or heard of it so this weekend when we go out for a meal im going to introduce it to him! BUT as for the stories of grandma and the eggs for grandpa and the catsup and dad…i can sure relate, must be in the genes…. first time paul added catsup to something i just about cried and asked him why he didn’t tell me he did’t like it! he said but i like catsup…i didn’t believe him, 19 years later it still niggles me but i have to bite my tounge..


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