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This was the street view of the Colosseum from our street corner, on a bright September day in 2008. For our second tour in late November 2012, the weather was not so nice…

On the evening of Wednesday, November 28, 2012 …after our second full day in Rome, I made the following entry in my journal:


We were up by 6:a.m.

My head was in a swirl over the strange dream that I had during the night; scuba diving, flying to heaven and oblivion, my aunt wearing a big blue hat.

The first thing I wrote in my Tardis journal was:

“Today will prove to be a challenge of sorts, as the weather appears to be against us.”


And to make it worse, Frank did not bring a jacket.

And to make that even worse, he refuses to take an offering of one of the spare hoodies that Jen and I brought along.

At 8:30 a.m. we were ready to depart for our Coliseum / Forum tour after enjoying a quiet breakfast.

I had a double shot of expresso, yogurt and a cream filled croissant.

Jen had a bowl of cereal and Frank had mortadella on a bun.

Before leaving, I made sure that our hotel room was in reasonable order so it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge for when the maid pulls in.

In regards to other news: Frank continues to be mesmerized by the balcony. He sits there and watches as life in Rome goes by.

He says he wants to live here and I believe him.

As for Mother, I got an email message from her this morning.

She says that she has had her surgery and is tired.

I wish I knew what surgery she had.

She gave no further information.

We had all known that it would be likely that Mother would undergo surgery while we were away.

From the information Mother gave me before we left home, it seemed pretty clear that the procedures would be only exploratory in nature. Mother and I both waited a long time for these tests, and I had every confidence that this would be day surgery only.

However, it was a certainty that more procedures would lay ahead. When?… who knows, but I was not blind to the fact that things can change very quickly.

And so, I will make every attempt to try and touch base with her on a daily basis, to let her know that she was loved and to give her whatever support I can from half a world away.

Knowing that she had a host of friends with her was an altogether blessing for both her and myself.

Did I feel guilty that I was not with her?

No, not overly so.

Was I worried.

Yes, a little.

But to be honest…

I knew that she was in good hands and surrounded by wonderful people.

The immediate problem at hand was the pending rainstorm that I knew was waiting for us.

And so, with only two umbrellas…

(we did bring three, but could only find two…)

…We bravely ventured out into what promised to be a most challenging day, weather wise.

Little did I know how challenging it would be.

And so…

As we walked outside, we were met by a modicum of drizzle. But I wasn’t fooled one bit. Mother Nature was not going to be kind to us at all.

The one advantage that we did have was that should the rainstorm prove to be too much for us, we would always be within walking distance to the hotel.

Even so, as we trudged along through the thickening drizzle, I remember continually thinking to myself…

“It’s not too late to turn back, after all, we have seen the Colosseum already.”

However Jen had not, and that is what kept me walking.

But, try as I might those thoughts about how extremely pleasant it would be to spend the day in bed, nestled under the warm bedcovers snickering at the rain kept bubbling up in my brain.

But It was travel guru Rick Steeves voice that kept telling me:

“Sleep is for when you are at home!”

And he was right of course…

I would never want to contradict anything travel related with Rick Steeves.

That man was our hero.