Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Roman Holiday: From Riga to Rome

We just returned home from our great mystery trip!

We went to ROME!

We booked a mad trip and toured the Ancient, Eternal City for about 40 hours. We squeezed in magnificent views of the great Coliseum, sat on the Spanish Steps, ate gelato at Trevi Fountain, and walked thru the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, in a whirl wind. Sadly, we chose not to enter the Roman Forum, instead we caught a really impressive view of it from the hilltop and still managed to take some great shots of ancient history.

Roman Forum

Honestly, the trip was somewhat EXHAUSTING. Not only were we dragging our own tails behind us…..
we were dragging the kids’ tails, too. It was worth it!

Let me tell you about those Romans! They are great people! Jekabs and I have crinkled our noses and furrowed our eyebrows in memory of how unkind and ungrateful the Venetians Italians were towards tourists when we visited Venice 5 years ago. So, I was not looking forward to mingling with the locals. But, the Roman Italians…..they are fine folks! They are CRAZY SCARY drivers, but mighty fine people. Our first breakfast, at a cafĂ©, Christian had a complete fit. Instead of giving us dirty looks, we had local people winking at Christian and trying to talk to him.


Spanish Steps

Trevi Fountain

Piazza Navona

Entering St. Peter's Square 

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Basilica

Inside St. Peter's Basilica


I am putting this next paragraph last because it is far too weighty for me to write and then expect anyone, including myself, to be cheerful about reading of our vacation in Rome.

Unfortunately, minutes before boarding the plane (on the way there) I received one of those heart pounding emails, this one came from my sister, Aleasha, asking me to call her as soon as I had a chance. I knew it would be bad news since you wouldn’t just ask someone to call you, internationally, for some minor details. So, I made the call and she tearfully told me that our uncle Cris had died late that night. Cris Mitchek, one of my dad’s brothers, thrown from a car and in an instant….gone from the world. So, I dedicate this trip and the memories we have from it, to my uncle Cris, whose life just ended. And to my dad’s sibling group, a total of 10 boys and 3 girls, I pray for comfort as they experience a new chapter of grief as they mourn thru the first loss of a brother.

Cris Mitchek
June 27, 1960 - July 17, 2011


And I am going to interject and say, if you haven’t thought recently (or ever) about your salvation, you better do it now.  There is never going to be a better day or a better time. Consider how many people you know who have lost their lives in unpredictable and instant moments. If you know that God is chasing after your heart, as I believe He is for all of us, you sure as hell better respond and let Him in. It is far too risky of you to ignore your need for salvation, that only Jesus Christ has been appointed to give. I hope you will pray about that now.

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