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We waited inside the bus station where they have a small seating area which could hold about a dozen people.

As I sat there I shared my space with a large rotating rack of postcards that looked older than the ones I inherited from my Grandmother. The images of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict were both beaming down at me and Jen as we waited.

I hoped that this is a good sign that the day will go well.

At last we were allowed to board the bus and it shoved away from the terminal at 7:20 a.m.

As always, I practically had my nose pressed to the window so as not to miss a thing as we left Rome.

We stopped briefly at a red light at the Piazza del Republica, a place we were somewhat familiar with.

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It was bathed with a slight glow from the moon that was still visible because dawn was still in process.

We rode by the Villa Bourgase, which we visited the last time we were here in 2008. I thought it unfortunate that we would not be able to see it again this time with Jen. I wanted her to see the Bernini statues that I pointed out to her every time we watched the Rick Steve’s travel videos of Rome. I was particularly fond of the barroque episode where he takes you inside this incredible art museum owned by the Medici family.

I enjoyed watching Rome come to life as dawn crept through the streets.

We passed by a theatre playbill advertising Peter Pan.

Within moments we were driving by the Apennine mountains which go as high as three thousand meters, or so our tour guide on the bus explained to us in English, before she went on to explain the same thing in Spanish, German, and any other language according to the nationalities of our tour group. I found the tour guides patient and charming. I sure hope that they are getting well paid.

Unfortunately, I put my back out yesterday, as I was sitting on the bed and bent over to pick up something up or that had fallen to the floor. I knew it was only a matter of time on this trip before my back would make it’s presence known. Thankfully, the spasm was not too severe. This morning, only the slightest of pinches remains, and so I consider myself very fortunate.

Frank bought himself a navy blue hoodie from a five and dime store just a few doors down from the hotel. On the front of the jacket in large white letters across the front of the right side of the jacket were the letters I -T and then on the left side were the remaining letters A-L-Y. Very cheesy, very touristy, but it kind of suited him, and I was grateful for the fact that he now had a jacket to protect him not only from the cold temperatures. It was December after all.

And I had no doubt that we would be seeing more rain as well.

Looking over at Jennifer, I could see that she is soundly passed out.

No doubt, having her sleep interrupted by her snoring parents plus having a continually upset stomach has taken a toll on her. I was glad to see her sleep.

She had not let her troubles get the better of her, not to mention her sore ankle.

Jen was holding up well and am very grateful for the grace and patience she has shown so far on this trip.

But we still had a long way to go….

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