Today was our first (full) day in Rome – and it was Sunday. So naturally, me being Catholic and Larry being a very tolerant Jewish guy, we headed out to the Vatican (which we can see from our apartment) to get a glimpse of the Best Pope Ever!! Unfortunately, being majorly jet-lagged, we didn’t even crawl out of bed until 10:30 a.m., which meant that after essential Italian-coffee making and sunblock-application, we didn’t leave the house until 11:25, and the Pope was due to address the crowds from the Papal window at noon….with a few other people probably in attendance Luckily, that turned out to be perfect timing. We raced down Via Angelica and into the square, just in time to join the thousands of other global pilgrims … waiting for the Pope to appear in the window and give us a sermon (in Italian, naturally), recite the Angelus. and bless us. I didn’t expect to be so moved, but I burst into tears after I saw Pope Francis, knowing how much my parents would have loved his message of compassion and caring for the poor, and feeling as if I were so blessed just to be in his presence. After that lofty experience, I had a meltdown (because it’s 100 degrees here in Rome and after broiling in the Square, we got on a tourist bus that a) had no air conditioning; and b) had no windows, pant! pant! … but oh well. We still got to see the Pantheon (my favorite!)….Trevi Fountain (in shrouds), the Forum and Colosseum…. …The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II… … and have gelato. Va tutto bene! Ti amo, miei amici!!