The Vatican

So, I love the new Pope. I am totally pro-Pope and all of his ideas on poverty, climate change, capitalism and so on. I was excited to head to the Vatican for the day and experience it. The afternoon was the perfect time to visit the museum and the church. Everywhere we looked it was beautiful and filled with amazing history. I really felt like I was visiting a special place while I was there and it is an experience I won’t forget.

Walking Tour of Rome

After heading to the Colosseum we walked all around the ruins and parks around the area and got to learn more about the history of Rome. The weather cooperated and the sun was a welcome change to the already dark Riga days. People were out strolling, shopping and touring the city right along with us. To be in the middle of these ancient structures was amazing.

 

Rome in October

Well, it is better late than never, but I am sitting on the couch with bronchitis again looking through photos and realized that I have not posted since November. Where has the year gone? Things have been up and down this year, but with the sun out and me stuck inside I wanted to share some of the great moments.

In October Dutch came to visit us and we headed to Italy. Venice was beautiful and Rome was amazing. Seeing the Colosseum for the first time, taking a walking tour of the city and some great food were a few of the highlights. It was amazing to lear about the history of the gladiators and see it in real life. I found all if it fascinating.

Canals of Venice

After the train, we stepped out of the station and was welcomed by the grand canal and a miraculous view of the city. It was dusk and the sky was magnificent. I had traveled to Venice before and I got the same amazed feeling the second time as I looked around. The canals and alleys continued to amaze me as we walked around for three days and here are some of the best shots of the water butting up against the buildings, while life continues, including some construction workers.

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October Holiday… Getting to Venice

Rome by flight and 2 hours later, Venice by train… that is how our Italy holiday with Dutch started. We showed up in the city of canals in the dark, eventually found our Air BnB after some tech difficulty, and called it a night after about 12 hours of travel. Of course we had to get some pizza first, but after a pie and calzone, we all headed to bed to prepare our big first day.

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Latvian Countryside with Dutch

We are so happy to have Dutch visiting us for two weeks. The very day he got here, we jumped in the car and headed to a cabin for the weekend. It was just perfect. The fall crisp air was wonderful, the castle in Cesis was magnificent, as always, and the cabin was great (except for the 972 black flies in the house.) Over the weekend visited an outdoor art shop, had lunch at our favorite place in Cesis, and walked around the town. Then we headed back, started a fire, cooked dinner and hunkered in. We spent the daylight hours by the lake waiting for the hot tub to heat up. I don’t think it ever got “hot” but Cody and Dutch braved the cold air and sat outside under the stars for a couple of hours. It was a great weekend!

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First Outing on Rhodes

After Athens we headed to Rhodes, a Greek island close to Turkey. We arrived to our hotel, The Ixian Grand, after a short taxi drive and discovered that it was not only beautiful, but right on the water with spectacular views, especially at sunset. You could look right across the water and see Turkey.

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For our many days there we spent time going between laying by the pool with books in our hands and heading out on day excursions. Cody and I rented bicycles and also did a few afternoons exploring the local town 5 minutes away. It was completely relaxing and just what we all needed to get our minds off of the real world.

One of the first day trips we took was to the larger city of Rodos. It was a hot day, but it was wonderful to walk around the old fortress walkways and see the castles and hidden secrets of this ancient stronghold. The city is a must see and has lots to offer in terms of sightseeing. We loved just exploring by foot and seeing where alleyways would take us. It is really amazing the history that Europe has compared to the US and it is hard to think how new our country is in the grand scheme of things.

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