Tag Archives: trevi fountain

Rain & Legos & The Theory of Everything

Well go figure – it’s raining in Los Angeles.  Not only today, surprisingly, but also it’s going to rain this week and apparently quite a lot.  I love that we’ll get the rain but I dread the traffic that’ll arise from it.  UGH.  I took some pics today of the rain because it’s always an event when we get it!

For the final day of November, I figured it was finally time to put together my other LEGO gift from Larry, the Trevi Fountain set.  It was a blast to see it all come together and I am now needing to get many more of these LEGO Architecture sets. I long ago got the Rockefeller Center one and that sits in my office, but this Trevi Fountain one is likely staying at home. I like the memories it carries with it as it makes me think of our trip to Rome.  I added some of the photos from Rome we took in 2011 to show some contrasts with the LEGO set and the real place.  I should put a LEGO guy where we sat when we tossed our coin into the fountain!

Here are the pics of the set I took after building it today:

This month’s posting schedule was certainly lacking, wasn’t it?  I think I’m going to try to finish off the year strong, as I had intended when I started this renewed effort to post much more regularly at the beginning of 2014.  Here’s hoping I get to post about good stuff in December.  I’ve been quite stressed about certain things going on and I have a feeling that one way or the other I will find some stuff out this week.  I actually feel confident about the situation, but I am well aware that things can definitely not go your way.  I’m ready for that too.

Oh, I think regardless of how the above turns out, I’m dragging Larry & myself back to Disneyland.  This time, we’ll spend the night there and go for 2 days though.  Not wanting to do the 16-hour adventure again!

2014-11-11-movieposterThe Theory of Everything (2014)

Saw this at the Hollywood Arclight Cinemas on Nov 29, 2014

Oh Yeah!  Larry & I went to the movies yesterday.  We went and saw The Theory of Everything, the movie that tells the story about Stephen Hawking’s life with his wife, Jane, and the ups and downs they experienced from when they met, when he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and his eventual great success in the world of astrophysics and cosmology despite his physical conditions.

I have to put it out there that I fully expected this to be a romantic and a defying-the-odds portrait of a superhuman couple that pushed through the hardest of circumstances and came out the other end even more in love and successful.  It’s clear I hadn’t read a Wikipedia entry on Stephen Hawking, isn’t it? As while the movie starts off on a path of being a beautiful biopic of someone with a fantastic intelligence beset by terrible tragedy and the strong woman beside him through it all, about halfway through, that movie goes away.  Something much more interesting and real ends up on the screen instead, and while jarring at first, you end up thinking about these characters as real people who aren’t perfect and superhuman.  They do their best but aren’t afraid to face the facts when they need to be faced.

It’s a fantastic movie about a very fascinating couple and will likely get nominated for quite a few awards.  Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking is amazing and becomes unrecognizable once he starts portraying the stricken Stephen Hawking;  Felicity Jones is also quite good as Jane Hawking, and both give performances that make you like and respect each of these real persons.  This is NOT a movie that will help you to understand what Stephen Hawking’s scientific theories are about though – you’ll need to watch Cosmos or go ahead and read “A Brief History of Time.”  Honestly, I think I do want to read that now, as in this movie you are reminded how interesting and awe-inspiring Mr. Hawking is.

Day 2 in Rome (2011 Trip)

August 27, 2011 – The Vatican, Trastevere, and Nighttime Walks!

On our first full day in Rome, which was Saturday, we got up early as I had booked us on a private tour of the Vatican museums and St Peters. This was also the first time we ended up using our Roma Pass for the subway there. That was quite easy especially as I had read before that with the Roma pass you just hold it over the yellow sensor, which isn’t at all apparent. So we got a bit dressed up, wearing our nice pants and a button down shirt as you have to dress respectful for the Vatican, although from what I saw later, that doesn’t to seem to be enforced too heavily. I’m guessing that it comes down to really just not wearing a g-string or something!We took the subway though to the Ottaviano stop, which was a stop too early although it didn’t really matter.

After getting our bearings thanks to the iPhone’s GPS, we got to where we needed to go that early morning. Our meeting point was at the bottom of the stairs across from the entrance to the Vatican Museums with the Dark Rome tour guides. We met at 7:55 to get in early and the group was guaranteed not to be more than 10 people, with us it ended up being a group of only 5. Two of us, another gay couple but older, and a seeming lesbian. Awesome group actually. And the tour guide, a beautiful Italian woman, made six. The tour was amazing and lasted about 3 hours, with our guide giving us fantastic explanations about all the rooms and galleries, including the many Vatican museum chambers such as Raphael, the navigation corridor, the courtyards, but of course it all led to the Sistine Chapel. Still so breathtaking, but just very crowded. You can’t take your own pictures, apparently because the Japanese funded the restoration and also own the copyright?  Flashes hurt the paint too, and it’s dark in there anyway. Looking at official reproductions of it later will be better than any picture you take yourself.

After the Sistine Chapel you then head into St Peters which is never disappointing. It’s enormous. We didn’t climb the steps up the cupola as I think we both were a little hot, as it was very hot still in the city and we were wearing pants. Also, I had forgotten to bring a second camera battery and the one in my camera was nearly spent from yesterday, so I was sparing with my camera, well, kinda, as if I turned the camera on, took a picture quickly, then turned the camera off, it was fine. Still can’t believe I did that. After the tour ended and we said goodbye to our tour mates, the gay couple actually are on the cruise with us, but we haven’t seen them yet and it’s day two of the cruise. Larry and I went to grab lunch north of the Vatican and had a good but early lunch. We were exhausted as it was effing hot so we took the subway back to our hotel so we could change out of the pants. We ended up also just passing out and having a siesta. A few hours later, and we were then ready to head out for the evening.

Touring the Vatican / St. Peters

Larry wanted to eat in Trastevere and I still wanted to see the Circus Maximus so we took the subway south to the Circus Maximus stop. Amazingly enough the Circus Maximus itself is right there and while they haven’t done anything to preserve it, it is still kinda impressive. We walked from there across the river Tiber into Trastevere, a stunningly beautiful section of Rome that is medieval and quaint and picturesque. It’s all cobblestone there too and you just can get lost wandering around its little streets filled with restaurants and merchants and squares. After walking awhile around the town, we found a little place that when we got there was decently crowded but by the time we left was packed. Very charming outdoor seating with the lights above, great food and all for a great price. Larry finally had his flora di zucca friti.

Circus Maximus

Exploring Trastevere

After dinner, it was nighttime and it was time to do Rick Steves’ nighttime walk across Rome. Such a great thing, as he even tells you how to link up from a dinner in Trastevere and start the walk at the Campo di Fiore. It was a beautiful night to do this as at that point it’s dark but the temperature has fallen enough from the heat of the day that it is now perfectly comfortable. It was also a Saturday night so everyone was out and about. I took a ton of pictures from the walk but we ended up going to the Campo di Fiore, the Piazza di Navone (an amazing and huge plaza with lots of performers and vendors), the Pantheon (which at night is dramatic, but when you add an opera singer becomes stunning), Giolitti’s (apparently one of the best gelaterias in Rome – I accidentally got mango and chocolate in mine….chocolate was great but mango was a bit strong), then to Trevi Fountain (amazing to see in person and quite crowded, but Larry and I both tossed coins in the fountain), and finally the Spanish Steps. It was a huge itinerary and well worth it but exhausting. So we got a cab for the ride back to the hotel. If we had made it there faster and by 11, we might have caught the metro, but this way we got to experience a car in Rome, and those guys especially in tourist areas, feel like you are driving on the sidewalks at some points as the road is so narrow and pedestrians and cars alike are sharing the way.

Nighttime Walk

We got back and promptly passed out. It was a long day!