La Celestial

I started her before the trip to Rome. I'm so very happy that when I got back I was able to pick up where I left off and finish her. She is my mother earth but more. She is everything girly that I love including all my favorites: a pink dress, flowers, butterflies,stars and a halo of flowers. To give her hair texture I used embroidery thread. That was fun doing and I think it really turned out well. This photo does not do the painting justice. There are so many layers and textures you can not see in this photo and the color is much more vibrant.

I will continue blogging about my trip to Rome here soon. 

I'm  trying to figure out what I want to do with my art. What direction to go?  Before the trip I was so scattered with my thoughts and lost a lot of my creativity. I know it had a lot to do with the trip. I was just too excited about going. I have let my Etsy store go to the wayside. I'm tired of the things I have in there, so I'm letting everything expire and then I guess I'll  have to do a makeover. In the mean time I have joined a new art web site that sells your photos for you and gives choices of prints, canvases or framed prints. It is called imagekind. I have always loved taking pictures and I feel I have a pretty good eye. I have tons of photos that I have taken in the past which are beautiful and are begging to be shared. I've wanted to sell them on Etsy but could not come up with a feasible way to offer them to the public. This site does it for you. I don't have to run across town to get giclee prints made, pay for them and then hope they sell on Etsy. Also I ran into the same problem with making giclee prints of my art. This is something I'm working on now. I still have to make a great photo of the art. I think a new camera might be in the near future. Next problem is Etsy. I really don't want to shut it down. I'm thinking and pondering and pondering and wondering. Hummmm? What to do ??? What to do? Change in in order.

Vatican Museum

Exit door
We finally made to the Vatican Museum. This was the number one site I wanted to see in Rome other then St Peters Basilica. I guess I was not sure what to expect. It was a lot bigger then I thought and tons of  unbelievable art! I wish I could have taken more pictures, but it was so crowded. people were always in the way and I felt like cattle being herded through. Even so, I was not disappointed.

 Map Gallery 

Other then the Sistine Chapel, the map gallery, tapestry room and the Raphael rooms are my favorite. You can not help but gawk at everything. I was so busy staring I did not have the inclination to take many shots. No one could take pictures in the Sistine Chapel anyway. I'm not sure why they let you take photos in the other rooms. The art in the Raphael rooms are awesome too.

The School Of Athens by Raphael
This one by Raphael is interesting because it has all the great thinkers gathered together in this one painting/fresco. I like it because he painted Michelangelo into it as well. Raphael was in this room painting while Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel. Maybe a little competition was going on....who knows.

Michelangelo by Raphael

You can get an idea of how big Raphael's paintings are just by the size of this photo. This is a picture I took  of Michelangelo from the painting The School of Athens right above. Pretty cool!

I'm so glad I had my Rick Steves' book. A tour guide would have been needed if I did not have his book. I really don't think I missed anything by not purchasing a professional guide. But I have to stress you do need something whether it's a tour guide or tour guide book. There is too much to see. You might miss something important and may not know what you are looking at.
The Sistine chapel is case in point. There is so much on the ceiling, you can not possibly know what it all means.

Another day in Rome

View from top of Castel Sant' Angelo

View from top of Castel Sant' Angelo

St Peter's Basilica

The day we toured the Castel Sant' Angelo we thought we were going to have it easy. Well, you can't tour a castle without taking a hike all the way to the rooftop. It was a lot more walking then we anticipated. However it was well worth it just to see the beautiful views represented in the photos above.
After the castle tour we walked to Piazza Novona, a busy piazza we visited on our first day in Rome. Jerry rested his knees at one of picturesque cafes while drinking wine and people watching. I shopped, toured more churches, drank a little wine and ate gelato, not in that order  :)
Not a bad way to spend the day in Rome.

Piazza Novona

 Piazza Novona


Around Ancient Rome

Arch of Constantine

We are in the Colosseum looking from a birds eye view over some of  Romes ancient ruins. This is the arch of Constantine. Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in 312 AD. Before that one was killed for believing in Christianity. I'm sure you might have watched the movies where Christians were thrown out to be slaughtered by the gladiators....maybe even in the Colosseum.


Another Church

Margaret here checking to see if the door to this church was open. All the churches in Rome close form 12 noon to 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. We missed visiting  a slew of churches just because we were site seeing in the middle of the afternoon. Oh well that meant we took lots of cappuccino breaks or wine and cheese breaks depending on our mood.  Many of the restaurants close during these hours too (not so much in the touristy areas). I think it's their siesta time.

Guess who this is.

We walked and walked around the Roman Forum and Palentine Hill. Not too many shots were taken during this part of our excursion. These two sites were not my favorite part of the journey, but I'm sure being dead tired on my feet had a lot to do with it.
Oh well.... but.... we still had time to go look for one more church before we left the area and that was St Peter in Chains Church. I had to find this church because it had a Michelangelo in it. 

Michelangelo's Moses

This ended day 3 in Rome.

My Roman Holiday Continues

Ruins around Colosseum

Touring the Colosseum

 Inside Colosseum


Is this cool or what? 
Rome is so old. 

This day was our first day on our own. No Marcia to lead us around. We messed up a little getting off the metro and got really turned around. We did  a lot of unnecessary walking. However, I thought it was a good thing because we needed to figure out how to get around by ourselves with the map.
                 Sooo by the time we were to tour the Roman Forum I was so tired that I did not enjoy it at all. Here are a few pictures of ancient  Rome and the Roman Forum. 

Ok blogger is making me mad. It refuses to let me hit carriage return. It is loading pictures wherever it pleases. I'm not going to be able to finish this post. I'll see you tomorrow.

Day Two Roman Holiday

Fountain of Trevi

Here I am at the Fountain of Trevi. I'm not too crazy about this picture of me.....bad hair day. My flat iron did not fit properly with the converter I brought for the outlet conversions,so it did not work at all the whole time we were there. Everyone said I looked more European with the curly hair...yeah right :) Oh well I let it go and now it's part of my new year, new me motto. I'm not straightening my hair least more then not.

Santa Maria del Popola

This church has two Caravaggio's in it. Wow this boggles my mind. This is just another church out of many that are unassuming outside and amazingly beautiful inside. Unfortunately too dark for pictures, and you cant' take pictures of the Caravaggio's anyway.

Spanish Steps

 This area around the Spanish steps is a fun gathering place for everyone day and night. Streets leading up to this piazza have some high end shopping.

Spanish Steps at Night

 Sorry about the blurry picture, but I'm not that great of a photographer and night time shots are hard for me. I love to take pictures at night though.

Night time in Rome
This street is just off the piazza close to the Spanish steps. Ok we did not spend all day at the Spanish steps. We came back here in the evening on another night.

Inside a Church

I don't know the name of this church. It is one of many we stumbled onto on our second day in Rome. I can't read Italian and it was not mentioned in my tour book. Just another church in Rome, no famous art inside just amazingly beautiful!

Basilica San Marco

Ok here is another church. I hope you don't get tired of churches.

Our third day in Rome we toured the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
More pictures to come.

Roman Holiday


 St Peter's Basilica Square

On the first day we saw Piazza Novona, the Pantheon and St Peters Basilica. Three sites that were on my must see list. St Peter's Basilica is awesome. It is huge! Huge does not say enough. It has some unbelievable art: Michelangelo, Bernini, and Raphael. The best part for me was we attended mass there. I'm catholic so that was a real treat.  The Pope did not say mass at this time because he only says mass on Sunday and Wednesday. I have some beautiful shots inside but some did not come out great because you can not use flash. This was the case in all of the churches we went into. There are over 300 Catholic churches in Rome. We saw a few on the tour list. I could go back just to take tours of the churches. One is more beautiful the next. 

Inside the Basilica
Just to give you an idea of how enormous it is.

My Roman Holiday Begins

My holiday got off with a rocky start. It took forever to get to Rome. We left on a Saturday afternoon from SA to Dallas, just a hop,skip and a jump, a 45 minute plane ride. We were to leave an hour after we got there. The plane to take us to Madrid was delayed 3 1/2 hours. That made us miss our connecting flight from Madrid to Rome. I was not a happy camper because we could not get another flight until 8 hours later. The Madrid airport is a shopping mall but it did not matter to me. The 9 hour grueling ride over the Atlantic ocean and  having to sit 8 hours in an airport did not entice me to shop. I don't care how much shopping. Almost 24 hours later I finally get to Rome about 11 pm Sunday.
The tours begin the next day after a decent night sleep. Marcia had us walking the first day, no buses or metro. The metro is the subway by the way. I really liked the metro.
Ponte Sant' Angelo

This is the bridge leading to Castel Sant'Angelo. All along the bridge are Bernini designed angels. In the middle ages this was the only bridge that connected St Peter's and the Vatican to downtown Rome. 

Castel Sant'Angelo
We toured Castel Sant'Angelo on another day.

Bernini's Angel 
Here is one of the angels. Each statue bears a symbol of the passion of Christ; nail, sponge, shroud, etc. I took pics of most of them. I think Rome must be the city of statues. I love it, but after a while I did not know what I was looking at. I did take "Rick Steve's Rome" with me. I highly recommend it. I learned so much by following along on some of his tours in the book.

Walking along Via dei Coronari
This is where I fell in love with Rome. Yes on the very first day. Marcia led us down Via dei Coronari on our way to Piazza Novona. A lot of the streets look like this, not all. Rome is a very busy city and has lots of cars and millions of motorcycles. There are busy streets mixed in with these beautiful, quaint tiny little streets. This is where I could get lost taking one picture after another.

Marcia, Caz, Diego, Jerry

I don't know where Donna, Doug and Margaret are.....probably gawking at some of the windows. I know Donna and Margaret were maybe not Doug. :)
Window on Via dei Coronari

We walked on to Piazza Novona, the Pantheon and ended the day at St Peters basilica. Pictures of those will be posted tomorrow. :0.

No longer a Secret

Piazza "Novona"

Hi everyone! I'm back! My secret reveals itself. I went to Rome for a two week vacation. Sorry for the zipped lips but hubby did not want anyone to know we were out of the country for two weeks. He hears such horror stories about the internet. I could not post on Facebook while I was in Rome either. That was really hard for me. I cant' tell how many times I wanted to post a shot of where I was. I took over 700 photos and still editing. The shot above was taken the first day in Rome. As you can see it was a dreary day. It started out beautiful and then got colder and colder. This piazza became my favorite piazza.
The first day we were there we saw so many sites I thought I was going to run out of things to see. Boy was I wrong! There is so much to see in Rome! It took a week to see most everything we wanted to see there. The following week we took and day trip to Orveato and an overnight trip to Cinque Terre, both amazing!
This trip was a once in a life time chance for me and my husband. We are not world travelers. We were invited to go with a friend who lived in Rome in the 70's and has gone there many time. She speaks Italian fairly well and led us around like a professional tour guide. We felt so lucky to have her. We rented apartments near the Vatican with her and her husband and another couple. Our best friends came along too but did not stay with us. They stayed in a hotel and were there for one week. 
Our apartment was way down the stairs through these gates.

We walked down these stairs every day to get to the metro. Steps were about a half a block from our apartment.

 Same steps, looking up. We never walked so much in our lives. No wonder Europeans are so skinny!
The Vatican was literally across the street. I thought we would visit it more but the lines to get in were horrendous. 
I would like to blog about my vacation and show as many pictures as possible.  Stay tuned and I will write something about it everyday.