Roman holiday, starring Peter Griffin

So the second day in Rome was pretty much a waste for me. I slept a lot, and only ventured out after dark with my girls to nosh on one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever eaten in my life, and to drink a chocolate milkshake with Allison. (I had to wash that red PowerAde taste out of my mouth. On another note, at my wise old age of 31, I have discovered that there are two magical hangover cures. One is cheeseburgers, and the other is Jack-in-the-Box tacos.)

Day three started out with us trying to figure out the Roman subway system. We must have done a pretty good job, because we found the Coliseum, no problem. But of course, it IS in the middle of town, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find. We opted not to pay a zillion dollars to walk around inside, instead wandering around the perimeter of the great structure. We made fun of the guys dressed like gladiators. We learned that women and dwarves used to battle each other at the Coliseum. So of course we laughed at that, too. And immediately acted it out.

I know this picture looks pretty dumb. Maybe you had to be there. And probably the funniest part is that Angela, who is incredibly tall, chose to play the part of the dwarf.

So after all of that adventure at the Coliseum, we still weren’t finished. Because we were then approached by a tour guide handing us a flyer for…the Spanish Steps Pub Crawl! Of course, this is incredibly touristy, and at first, we rejected the idea. But then we were told that it was Ladies Night, and we would get a free shirt. Now, if there’s one thing in life I love, it’s free shirts. So we immediately decided that our evening plans were set.

After the Coliseum, we braved the subway and lots of stinky, unshaven locals and went to St. Paul’s Basilica. Or as I like to call it, the Pope’s house.

We made our way through the grand old church, took tons of pictures, and were a bit creeped out by the bodies of former Popes that are still there, under glass cases. Moving on…

We went next door to the Sistine Chapel. Now, I always imagined the Sistine Chapel to be an ordinary church with a spectacular ceiling. No. It’s a maze of about 100 rooms. Each of them is filled with art that pretty much looks the same. It was hot, and I’m not that patient when it comes to paintings. (So sue me. I even got bored at the Met in New York.) By about room 75, I had to pee. Desperately. I was sweating because of the pashmina I was wearing, which was required to visit the Pope’s house. I just wanted to see that damn ceiling, find a bathroom, and some air conditioning. But oh, they had these fans. They weren’t helpful.

So we had had about enough culture for one day. Besides, we had to get ready for our super-touristy pub crawl! We met our guides at the Spanish Steps, and headed off to the first bar with a whole slew of young people, and all of them were from other countries. Duh. We received our free shirts, which had a cute back and a super ugly front. (But yes, I wear it occasionally. I would wear it more often if it didn’t have that stupid silkscreened neck tie and pocket on the front.) After that, the games began. Remember that old saying (I have a shirt with it, in case you want to know) that says “Stillwater is a drinking town with a football problem”? My OSU gals showed Italy what was up. I didn’t participate, because I’m not a chugger. The girls lined up on one side of the room, and competed to see who could finish a beer first. Allison won! Go, girl! Then the boys competed, and Allison faced off against the winner. And she kicked his butt. All those late nights in Stillwater finally did some good. Plus, she won another free t-shirt. Lucky bitch.

At this point, I was tired of chugging beer. At bar number three, I asked the bouncer how to get back to the hotel. He told me how to catch the bus. Uh…no thanks. It’s lucky that I felt that way, because I had no faith in my ability to make it there anyway. I was sure I would end up in another country. (But I guess that would be okay, since I had my cool pink shirt.) Instead, an American couple walked me back (about five miles) to the hotel. And the man looked amazingly like Peter Griffin. I’m not kidding. I wish I would’ve taken a picture with him. But the other girls did see him, and we still refer to the night that I was walked home by Peter Griffin and his wife. And bonus: on the walk home, we passed the Trevi Fountain, which is incredibly famous, and which I had missed on my Lost Day. So all was well.

The next day, we headed to Florence…

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