Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rome!


Hi everyone! We just wanted to upload a few pictures and update you all on our most recent trip to Rome! We had heard that Michael Buble was coming to Italy, and since we're both such huge fans, we decided to do an overnight trip to Rome to see him there as an anniversary get away. It was loads of fun! We got there Wednesday afternoon and checked into the hotel, which was about a block away from The Vatican. We then did a little shopping (mostly window shopping, Rome can be expensive!), and had dinner at a little cafe that we've eaten at before. It's quickly becoming a favorite, and it just happened to be right beside our hotel, and we didn't even know it!

The concert was at 9pm, and it was packed! Michael is definitely a favorite here in Italy. They play his music on the radio all the time, and the crowd was singing his songs (in English even!) throughout the night. It was a very fun concert. He is a great showman, and you can really tell that he enjoys himself on the stage. He has a great voice, and there was one point at the end that he cut all the music, put down his microphone, and belted out a few lines of the current song! We were both amazed that even with the not-so-great acoustics in the building, we were able to hear him crystal clear up in the "nose bleed" seats! Amazing!

The group that opened for him was called Naturally 7, an American a-capella band of seven guys who have gotten to be fairly popular here in Europe. They are described as a gospel, R&B, and pop "band" that has covered songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Broken Wings." They are amazing, and even though neither of us are fans of the genre, we couldn't help but be amazed at the "beatbox" style of music they performed. Every sound was done by their mouths and/or bodies, and it was amazing.

Here's a teenie taste of Michael:

video


On Thursday, we went to Saint Peter's Basilica, took loads of pictures, ooh'd and aah'd and generally had a great time. We spent two hours in the basilica, and Neal, the resident shutterbug (and people thought I was bad), took almost 200 pictures! Of course, not all of them turned out, but he was very pleased with the ones that did, and I'll be uploading those very soon.


Neal at Saint Peter's Basilica...beside a massive marble "thingie" for a former Pope. A lot of the Popes were buried there, and there were these huge pieces all over! We just kept gawking at the massive amounts of gorgeous marble!


This is me before we left for the concert, in our hotel room. It was tiny (probably about 10x12, including the bathroom), but for one night, it worked fine. I even slept really well! And the bed didn't have a huge gap in the middle (Italians will put two twin beds together and call it a King)!


Neal is working this weekend, but we have been told about a store near Naples that we can get lumber at, so we have plans next week to go and get the materials to make a cold frame or two for the garden. We're planning next weekend for our stay at home/gardening weekend.

The weather was bitter cold last weekend, mainly because we had wind gusting up to 25 mph (I think Neal was wondering if he was back in Whidbey Island, lol!). It was around 45 at night and 55 during the days. But yesterday it perked back up, and we're back in the 60's again, so it's really pleasant.


P.S. This is what we saw from our back patio last weekend, in the middle of 25 mph winds!


A close-up:


The Italians like to burn everything: grass clippings, trash, and apparently the mountainside! Amazingly though, it ended up burning a complete circle, then going out as quickly as it started. We asked one of the ladies on base what the purpose of this was (we see random fires on the hills regularly, although not usually that big and close), and she said the shepherds burn all the dead brush and weeds from their pasture land to allow for new stuff in the Spring. Although it is technically illegal, they don't really police it (surprise!), and she said there's never been a problem with one getting out of hand! But with all of the wildfires in California right now, that was just a little bit of a nerve-wrecking sight to see when you walk out to get firewood from your back patio!


We did have fun with the colder weather over the weekend though:



I am back to working out now, so the warmer weather is definitely welcome now that I'm traveling to base daily as well. I have plans next week to start personal training with Mikelauren (the Navy wife I mentioned from Easter Mass), so I'm really going to be busting my rear end back into shape hopefully. The two months off from my ankle sprain were no fun, and I really missed it. Luckily, it seems I haven't lost too much stamina, as I've managed to run three times this week already, and I only had to limit myself because the physical therapist said to do so. Otherwise, I could've kept going, so that's encouraging. Mikelauren is going to help me with weight training, and I'm going to keep running too, so I should be a hot mama in no time! Just kidding, I've got a personal goal to meet by my birthday next year, so Mikelauren's going to be keeping me in line. She's good like that.

Neal has his biannual physical readiness training (PRT) next month, so he's been running again as well. He told me yesterday he ran it easily with only a minute to shave off his time, so I'm not concerned for him at all. I'm sure he'll do fine.

So that's what's going on in our little world! We love keeping up with everyone, and hope you all are doing great! We love you!

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