it takes me a few weeks after travel to really digest what i've seen & done. for days, & even weeks, after arriving home i will have flashbacks & let my mind wander through the experiences again & again. but to write about the experiences...that comes later for me. i am tempted to say that it is something from jetlag, but it can't be since it happens even when i journey north or south within my own time zone!
after considering this about myself on our most recent trip, i have come to believe that my writing time is something i do from within my norm. when i am outside my norm, i am more fully living in the present & totally absorbed in the moment. writing is a 'something-other' experience...it rarely is about that very moment in time...for me it is a remembering or creating activity. when i am traveling, i just have no desire at all to be anywhere other than in that which is happening & so writing becomes a chicken-scratch pile of disarray to be sorted at a later date. & so be it. forcing things, especially one's muse, is not a good thing.
our trip last month is what i playfully described to D. as cliche-italy. we revisited 3 places that i could never exhaust...venezia, firenze e roma. every time i have been to any of these marvelous cities, i always come away with a 'next time i'm here...' plan! (& yes, this time was no exception.) we had 1 evening & 2 full days in roma on this adventure involving walking~~ miles & miles of walking~~ lots of food, even more gelati, & some in-deep time at the Vatican, which for this theology/art history major was a very big deal.if you ever find yourself in roma, no matter what your spiritual leaning or artistic knowledge, i would highly recommend visiting St. Peter's & the Vatican Museum. there really are no words... even our children who were with us on the last visit (& were ages 10-16) had not one word of 'are we through yet' at the Vatican. now, if you are Catholic, as we are, this is a must-see-no-exceptions kind of place.for our return trip, on the advice of many others, i booked 2 tours (not something i usually do) that made all the difference for D. & i. the first one was the Scavi Tour...a guided journey into the ruins *under* St. Peter's Basilica for a look into pagan & Christian burial sites & the actual tomb of St. Peter. what a history lesson in layers! (please scroll down past the Vatican Museum info in the link i have provided...& as they note, book early, early, early...it is hard to get a reservation now.) your tour ends in the crypts under the basilica & you may go all throughout the public areas of the basilica at that time without going through the possibly long line for regular entrance.
on a side note...for a truly beautiful experience though, i would suggest arriving at St. Peter's at 7 am, when it opens. very few people are there, it is still relatively quiet, & the morning light is quite mystical.another highlight of our time in roma was not just another tour, it was a chance to meet a blog-buddy too! John Paul Sonnen has been blogging for sometime & has recently started offering guided tours of the Vatican Museum & St. Peter's Basilica. when he posted his tour offerings, my first thought was that we've 'done' the Vatican enough times that we wouldn't need a guided tour. but his informative posts kept haunting me & i realized that he had so much more to offer than we have ever experienced...how true that is! we spent an entire afternoon with him & it passed in the blink of an eye. please be sure to visit John at his blog, orbis catholicus, & if your are heading to roma, drop him a line to schedule a very worth-it Vatican tour.next up from roman reminisces...food & GELATI, plus a stroll through some typical tourist sites...