|Hi All, I was slow getting access to online so this is the first chance I have had to update this journal. I still don't have pictures to post but hopefully I will be able to upload them tomorrow. We left Southington at 11:30am Monday and arrived in Rome around 2:30 pm on Tuesday. Of course there is a six hour time difference but doing the math it still came out to about 20-21 hours. It was a long tiring flight but well worth it. Our schedule has kept us quite busy. We were traveling with 27 other people, all Americans except one couple from Australia. We all went to dinner Tuesday night as a group and had a great time. However, the time in Rome did not get off to a good start. We visited the Coliseum first thing on Wednesday morning. As we all boarded the bus to continue one woman discovered her husband had stopped breathing. He died of a heart attack on the bus. She and her husband had brought her parents on the tour for their 60th anniversary. The schedule for Wednesday stayed off track. We did visit the Trevi Fountain along with about 2 million other people. I think the consensus is that we are taking this trip about two weeks to late. The crowds are unbelievable. I guess it wouldn't be Rome without masses of people and noise. We did not make it too the Spanish Steps which was on Norma's "Do Not Miss" list. We couldn't get close enough to the Trevi Fountain to toss a coin signifying a return trip to Rome so I guess it will remain unfulfilled. The hotel is beautiful, there is granite everywhere. We have found a few strange things here: once in your room with a card entry key you must insert the same room key into a slot in the wall to get electricity, Italy does not use face cloths, the toilet flushes by pushing a 18"x18" panel in the wall, we are in room 326 on the third floor in order for us to get to the lobby we have to climb a flight of stairs to the third floor elevator and go down to 0, I was excited to realize we had a door that opened onto a balcony until I opened it and found myself enclosed in a three by four enclosed room with a window, it is situations like this that keep travel interesting. Today we went to Vatican City. They Sistine Chapel was awesome. Our tour guide here in Rome has been fantastic. Tonight we went out for our last dinner in Rome as we are leaving at 8am to tour Tuscany and the wine country on our way to Florence where we will spend two nights. I am hoping to have Internet access in Florence where I plan to download some pictures. We hope everyone is well at home. Barbara, Al Norma and Al.