First off, the pictures and videos will be posted here tomorrow or Wednesday.
Secondly, the Keisers are wonderful and I love Rome. It's gorgeous. (You'd have to figure that I'd love a place that has loads and loads of pasta and pizza and gorgeous churches.)
I got into Rome around 9pm on Friday night and then we went back to Santa Marinella where livest Heidi and Kevin and then they gave me pasta.
Saturday morning, Kevin and I went out to explore "profane" Rome...all the old Empire stuff. We also checked out the Mamartine (sp?) prison where Sts. Peter and Paul were held at one point. Then we headed towards the Pantheon and met Heidi who had been home resting. And we had lunch. I had mushroom and potato pizza...which was cheeseless. And then we went a-churching. We started with the Pantheon. And then we went to Vatican City so I could buy icons and rosaries before Sunday when I would be attending Mass at St. Peter's followed by the Papal Angelus where these things would be blessed.
And then we went to Trastevere to the Basilica of St. Cecilia for the Vespers in her honor. Afterwards, I was taken down to the crypt to pray before her relics. There were red carnation and white lilies in the crypt chapel and I decided that I think I want those flowers at my wedding in honor of that day. It was SUCH an amazing experience.
After Vespers, Kevin went to hang out with some friends while Heidi and I went home to make ourselves dinner and then watched Stranger than Fiction and talked for a good long while.
Sunday morning, I went to Confession (in English with an amazing little old Italian priest who speaks English) at the Basilica of St. Peter and then spent some time praying and asking various people for their intercession. For example, I was able to pray before the tomb of St. Gregory Nazianus and a few popes.
And then at 10:30 am I attended Mass for the Feast of Christ the King in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. (I'll post pictures tomorrow but it's where inspiration forthe Holy Spirit stained glass window at CTK in Ann Arbor is.) There were literally dozens of priests and 2 bishops and an amazing choir and oh it was beautiful! Tomorrow I'm going to post a video of the ending procession where you can hear the choir and see all the clergy.
I got out of the Basilica around 11:50 just in time for the noon Angelus that's led by the Pope. I also had some icons and rosaries blessed while there.
And then I met up with Heidi and Kevin and we headed off to St. Mary Major to continue my goal of seeing all four major Basilicas of Rome in one day. We didn't see Cardinal Law.
Then we had lunch (I had pesto and linguine!) and Heidi headed home to rest.
And Kevin took me to St. Paul's outside the walls, which I had been really looking forward to seeing. And it exceeded my expectations. I loved it.
Next up was St. John Lateran, which was also great. And I got to see it's amazing baptistry. And on the way there we saw some awesome Roman baths.
And then, finished with the four major basilicas, we decided to hit two other churches: Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (The Holy Cross of Jerusalem) where we saw some amazing relics and ran into some friends of Kevin's including Heidi's old roommate from her first year in Rome.
After that we went to Santa Maria in Trastevere which was gorgeous.
And then we went home to eat dinner with Heidi.
This morning, Kevin and I got up at 5:30 so I could head to the airport where my flight ended up being delayed for about an hour. And the landing on the flight was horrible
But now I'm in Barcelona waiting for my 4:50pm flight back to Bilbao. I should do some homework.
Anyway, Rome was lovely and I'll put pictures and videos up tomorrow. It was honestly my favorite city I've ever visited.
But now I must head back to Bilbao for three more weeks. I cannot wait to come home. I'm so ready for it.
21 more days............