Tom & Sue’s Excellent Adventure Day 24 Papal Audience in Rome

Buona Sera:

When we got up this morning it was really dark and really raining and really early. I spent half of the night getting up thinking it was time…..I hate that, the wake up call came just as I entered a deep sleep. We dressed and Susan went down and managed to get us a double espresso with a little steamed milk and that got the heart going.

Our plan was to be at Termini station to meet our friend Marilyn at 6:30 am and go together to the Vatican. Marilyn was early and we were late because we had to go back to the room for the tickets. Once together, we made it to the Vatican, albeit with umbrellas in hand, since the rain still persisted. I was afraid that this was not going to be fun and my fears were confirmed later.

Attending the Weekly Papal Audience...a sea of umbrellas
Attending the Weekly Papal Audience…a sea of umbrellas

Seeing the Pope is always special and we sat and waited for 3 hours for that chance and as soon as he was about to get to the high altar were we were seated the rains came again and we were engulfed in a sea of umbrellas, I could hardly see Sue and she was next to me let alone trying to see the Pope, and we had good seats, not a 100 feet away.

Pope Francis speaking at the Papal Audience
Pope Francis speaking at the Papal Audience

The rain subsided for awhile and we got to watch as the Pope gave his address and it was then partially translated into other languages by different priest.  It was difficult to hear, and even more difficult to see with all the umbrellas, but the atmosphere is so exciting that none of us seemed to mind.

Pope Francis likes to get out there and greet the folks!
Pope Francis likes to get out there and greet the folks!

The Holy Father is calming and gracious as was evident after the blessing he went down to the handicapped and shook hands and blessed them. He then made his way back up and walked around greeting newlyweds, dignitaries and others that had the front row seats.

We sat in front of a priest from Pennsylvania with his mom and dad and had a great time with them. We met another priest from Milwaukee and talked to him for almost an hour. Fr Jason is in Rome to study for 2 years. We had given up our seats when the umbrella’s had come up again and went and stood behind the pope. That’s where we met Fr Jason.

I was real proud of Sue today, I was sure she was going to be upset that her seat wasn’t near the Popes and she wouldn’t get to meet him, but she gave up her quest as she saw the multitude of sick and handicapped and knew the Pope would go to them as it should be. No mountains today! It was a thrill just to be there and to get a blessing from the Holy Father and knowing it was also for all of you.  We had planned to meet Marilyn at the Pieta in the Vatican but didn’t re-open until 2 so we search her out to no avail. We would have to reschedule our lunch.

Hopping the subway back to our car.
Hopping the subway back to our car.

The crowds were very heavy and the rains came again so Susan and I went to metro and headed back for the car. We were going to find a rest nearer to our hotel and gave that up because of the weather so we went to the grocery store and pick up a couple of pizzas, which are very good after I doctor them up.

It was already a 10 hour day so even though the sun came out as we ate our pizza we decided to stay in and test the sleeper sofa and watch a movie. The sofa was comfortable and I never made the movie.

We decided to stay at this hotel until we leave and not make the long drive to Offidia and Veterbo. There are so many shrines in the area to see and I am done packing and unpacking the car. This will give us a little rest before we head home Monday and back to a crazy work week starting Tuesday.

Have a Great

 God Bless
 Susan and Tom

Holy Mary,
help those in need, give strength to the weak, comfort the sorrowful, pray for God’s people, assist the clergy,
>> intercede for religious.
>> Mary all who seek your help
>> experience your unfailing protection.
>> Amen.

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Tom & Sue’s Excellent Adventure Day 23 Rome

Buena Sera
Another late night for me, I was mesmerized by the TV since I could get English channels and watched 2 movies until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I paid for it today as I almost fell asleep eating my egg. After 3 regular strong coffees I was ready. We planned to leave for Rome today around noon giving us time to walk around and be able to get to the North American College to pick up our tickets for tomorrows Papal Audience at 3:00 (I like that place, everyone speaks English).

Bought the tickets and we are off on today's excellent adventure.
Bought the tickets and we are off on today’s excellent adventure.

It had stormed hard this morning as I watched another movie while working on the computer and just before we had to leave it stopped and the sun came out. We drove to another city about 12 miles from here to catch the metro at it’s origination point in Laurentina.  We drove in and parked right in front and bought our tickets and were on our way.

The subway is pretty much like subways everywhere. Not too crowded the farther out you are.
The subway is pretty much like subways everywhere. Not too crowded the farther out you are.

The subway here is like anywhere else when you get close to the center of Rome, a lot of pushing and shoving and swearing. We had to change lines and even in all the commotion we looked like pros. Sue was very calm, not like the last time we were here. I figured she thought it was better than the mountains and enjoyed the trip.

Our plan worked perfectly and we arrived at the college at 2:50 and had a nice conversation with another couple waiting for tickets.  When we left we started back for the subway and looked for a reasonably priced restaurant. We were not leaving until we had some calamari and pizza.

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular....and crowded attractions in Rome
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular….and crowded attractions in Rome

One restaurant we stopped at was so expensive I just laughed. A ½ bottle of house wine was 15 Euro, almost as much as the whole meal we had at Maria’s 2 days ago, so we opted out and finally found a beautiful little ma and pa place away from the tourist trap of the Trevi Fountain.

Nice little ma and pa place near trevi fountain
Nice little Ma and Pa place

The calamari was excellent and the pizza was the best we have had. It was still pricey but you are in Rome and it was worth it.

Full and content we headed for the metro and got on the train for the ride back which took less than a ½ hour and no aggravation of driving the city and parking. Tomorrow morning we leave our hotel at 5:45 to repeat the process. At 6:30 we will meet Marilyn Olson on the platform at the Termini station where we change lines to get to the Vatican. We were told to get there around 7:00 for the best seats, we had done this before and I swore I would never do it again, but it’s Papa Francesco, and the sofa bed is not all that comfortable.

EWTN does air the Papal Audience, 4:00 am Florida time, and I’m sure you will all be up to watch as they drag Susan away as she tries to jump the barricade to get to the Pope if he doesn’t come over and say hello.

Sue let Pope Francis know we were coming!
Sue let Pope Francis know we were coming!

She sent him a couple more Facebook posts and tweets, just so he knows where we are sitting and what we will be wearing. LOL LOL.  Whomever reads his mail must be roaring by now with laughter from these messages she has sent. They probably have her photo in the hands of all the security people. If you don’t get a trip report tomorrow just check the 6:00 PM news. I may have to take her for a mountain trip if things don’t work out to get her mind off of it.

The greatest thing about these audiences are the blessing he give when it ends. When he imparts this blessing on us it also imparted onto those we love and pray for and for their special intention as if you where all there with us, also whatever religious objects you have with you are blessed. Pretty neat, so tomorrow all of you will get a papal blessing for yourselves and your intentions and I am sure we will read all the intentions we carry as we wait. After, we will have lunch somewhere that has room since the sisters at the college told us that there were at least 60,000 ticketed people will be there.

It’s time for bed, 5 Am comes early; Wish me luck.
Good night and God Bless,  

Susan and Tom

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