Jennifer Barnes – World Traveler

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I don’t know about you, but I think life is sweeter when you have a vacation on the horizon.  Sometimes the anticipation is as good as the vacation itself.  This last vacation that we had been planning with friends for over a year was one of the sweetest.  I am not sure we would consider ourselves “cruise” people but I will say that it is one of the easiest ways to cover a lot of territory and you don’t have to keep repacking. Sailing sunsets, fancy restaurants, a lovely spa and pool cabanas don’t hurt either.   The highlights were the tours we took, the locals we met, the meals we shared and laughs along the way.

The highlight tour was to Rome and Vatican City.  One of our group had the inside track on the local guide to “the stars”.  Angelo was Oprah’s guide.  As famous to us was that he was the tour guide to the Keller Williams higher ups.  It was like a combination of a religious experience and living in one of the Vatican mystery novels that I binged read some years ago.  We got a back stage passes to the Vatican.  I am not sure how we worked our way into this secret section of the Vatican, but I feel like there must have been some palm pressing going on.

The weeping room where the pope first goes after the Cardinals elect him pope took my breath away. He has a bright red couch and a podium with a potty.  I guess when the Cardinals are voting on the pope they don’t really have a time for a break.  We saw the white and black pellets that they use to let the people know whether they were still voting or had elected a new pope.   We hung out in the pope’s closet with the papal robes and shoes.  Finally, we walked through a secret door into the room of treasures.  Diamond encrusted challis’, huge emeralds on the crown, ruby rings, gold swords-the whole room lit up like a Christmas tree with jewels. Definitely an opportunity of a lifetime.  Awe inspiring.  We are going to have a tough time topping this one.  Time to create some more anticipation!