The same day that I finally reach Italy, my long awaited bucket list location, I receive word that my sweet friend, Donna White passed away. I am overwhelmed with sadness. We traveled together, worked together, cried together, laughed together, and embarrassed my children together. Ah the memories! She had sent me a message just a few days ago on my 50th birthday and we were making plans for her to come to Henderson to visit when I returned. I felt a sense of guilt in my grief to be where I was, doing what I was doing as I knew she would have loved to be in the middle of this trip. But I also knew she would demand that I do everything and enjoy it all. After much processing, I have dedicated this trip to her memory and will continue to embrace it the way she did in her life. Live, laugh, love! This is for you, Donna!
The bus picked us up and took us to the airport where we caught a flight to Rome. After checking in at our hotel (a very nice older hotel with suites, lots of room, and lovely balconies overlooking the city), we set out to see some sights and find dinner. We had our first experience on Rome's fairly new metro (subway) and made it to the Spanish Steps. The area around them were beautiful and, since it was still Carnival, we got to see men on stilts and musicians performing in the streets. We finally settled on a restaurant that gave us a great price and we ordered things like gnocci in tomato sauce with mozzarella, lasagna, pizza to die for, cannelloni, and calzones. We passed it around and enjoyed it all. Best Italian food I've ever had!
We topped off the evening with a trip to the Trevi Fountain which was breathtaking and gelato! It was one of those moments you know you will always remember. We have already gotten so close to the kids and the mood was so joyous you couldn't possibly be sad. And this day of sadness and joy was my first day in my long dreamed about Italy!