European Travelogues - Rome, February 2000

People, Not Places, This Time.

Group 1This trip over was for a longer period than normal - I ended being there for almost two weeks. I had quite a large group of people that went around with me to the various and now very familiar sights. I had a visit from a dear friend and of course saw all of my now old Italian friends. New faces were seen and new people were met. It was a great time.

Our first day was a short one; we arrived late and the group was marched over to Piazza Navona for an introduction to Roman ruins and a pizza. Then it was off to bed to prepare for Super Sightseeing Sunday.

Super Sightseeing Sunday!

What visit to Rome would be complete without at least a few hours sightseeing? Well, none. None trips. That's what. We went around and saw a bunch of stuff. Santa Maria Maggiore, with her Renaissance facade and her 12th century mosaic ceilings was first on the list.

We were extremely lucky; we arrived just before a service; the walls and ceiling were illuminated to allow us to see clearly the fantastic medieval mosaics. Usually they are dark and difficult to see; in the light they were beautiful and captivating.

Group 2A group photo in front of the fountain that graces her piazza wrapped a perfect first visit to "Big Mary."

Next was the Ancient Roman stuff. A quick walk down Via Cavour plonked us right into the heart of the ancient sites. Sundays the city closes Via dei Fori Imperiali to car traffic, which turns the area into a giant archeaological park. We went into the Colosseum and then walked down the street to look at the various Forums.

I then tried to get us to the Pantheon before it closed, but the potty break took too long and we missed it. Oh well. We were able to get in a few days later.

On to Saint Peter's, the Pieta and a climb into the dome for a fantastic view of the city, aglow in the late afternoon light. At this point even I had had enough; the famous Zeleznikar Rome Death March Tour had come to a close. We went to dinner and then limped off to bed.

Monday was spent at the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. An early start had us finished by noon.

Super PDR Week!

The rest of the week was absorbed by Ground Segment PDR. I created a matrix comparing Lockheed Martin Commercial Space System's PDR with Telespazio's and passed it around. It was modified by a few others and eventually came back to me.

PDR Comparison
Company Cool Laminated Badges Edible Food Microphone People Security
LMCSS Yes No Slow, ugly guys Rent-a-cops with attitudes
TPZ Yes Yes Fast, good-looking babes Hot-looking blonde chicks with attitudes (but who cares?)

Super Miscellaneous Stuff!

Group 1Dixie came to visit me and to meet my work friends. They all loved her, of course (who doesn't love Dixie, I ask you? Who? None. None persons, that's who!). We spent the weekend around Rome, everyone else went to Orvieto on Sunday and had a great time. And now they have all been someplace in Italy I haven't! Cool!

I met "The Paolos" this time. These two guys are Ericsson engineers in Rome. I'm sorry, did I say "engineers"? These two guys are the definitive Italian stallions/dogs. Scammers to the bone. We became pretty good pals. After our meeting was over on Tuesday, the Paolos came up to me and said, "We need to have another meeting. In Los Angeles!" Paolo 2 asked me a little later, "Will my method of meeting girls work in LA?" I burst out laughing and said, "Paolo, all you have to do is say, ''ello, my name is Paolo. I am from Roma, Italia. What is your name?'" I've since taught Paolo 1 the proper way to use "dude" in a sentence, since he had used the "formal" pronoun "man" to me in an email. These guys are truly dangerous. I think we could be good friends.

I've got a bunch of photos for you to review at your leisure.

  1. Sightseeing
  2. Eating
  3. Work