Wow, I really enjoyed having the day off yesterday. I went to the gym and did a 20 minute warmup on the elliptical before hitting some weights. I focused on biceps mostly.
- 3×10 lat pull downs (60 lbs but then progressed to 75 for one set)
- 4×10 push-ups
- 3×10 bicep curls (20 lbs)
- 3×10 seated incline press
Then I needed to head out because I had errands to run including a trip to TJMaxx before driving over to meet mom at my Grandpa’s house. It was great to visit with mom and Grandpa, and mom had brought Miss Abbie along as well. Abbie absolutely loves Grandpa and it is the cutest thing ever. I think he really enjoys when she comes over, plus she is a little vacuum cleaner and gets every last crumb that may have fallen. I hung out with them for a bit and then headed home to finish up some laundry and clean a little.
Lunch was a whole lot of snacks here and there (not all snacks captured):
For dinner we had plans to meet up with our Priest, Father Mike, at Chianti Grill, which is a great local Italian restaurant. The inside of the restaurant has a very cozy feeling with a red, tan and brown theme throughout, along with the lighting, decorations, and fire place. What made it even more cozy was when we were at dinner, it started snowing outside. It was beautiful. I had the spinach and mushroom ravioli with red sauce and basically licked my plate clean. We also got a delicious mixed green salad with house balsamic.
Besides wanting to catch up on what’s new in eachother’s lives since the wedding, Father Mike also really wanted to hear about our trip to Italy, most specifically, getting blessed by the Pope in Rome.
Backtracking to pre-wedding…we met up with Father Mike to talk wedding plans, ceremony decisions, etc., and we got to talking about our honeymoon plans. As soon as he found out we were going to be in Rome, he asked us if we were planning to to go to see the Pope, for a blessing as part of the papal audience in Vatican City. We told him that we were absolutely planning on it. Father Mike then proceeded to tell us about a blessing for newleyweds. He said that there is a special blessing for newleyweds (I believe within 1 or 2 months of getting married) and it required a formal invitation. As soon as we showed our enthusiasm for this amazing opportunity, Father Mike contacted the appropriate members of the Vatican and requested formal invitation for us to attend. He needed to send them some basic information about us, and got it all set up. All that was left for us to do was bring a copy of our marriage certificate from the church, our I.D.’s of course, and pick up our tickets the day before the blessing when we were in Rome.
We were informed before we left for our vacation that one of the requirements of this newleywed blessing was that the couple needed to wear wedding attire. My initial plan was to lug my big wedding dress out there but decided against it and went to a consignment shop to buy a lighter dress instead. I wore a cardigan because it was required that shoulders be covered. Picture in St. Peter’s Square when we arrived. We had to arrive a couple of hours early hence the lack of people present at this point.
Our seats were unbelievable.
There he is seated in his chair and giving blessings to different groups of visitors. We were about 20 yards away. We couldn’t believe we were that close to Pope Benedict XVI! It was a very surreal moment for us. When he was all done with his blessings he walked back towards his mini automobile, which was back our way a little bit. He gave a wave and Dana captured such an amazingly priceless photo! Isn’t that truly amazing?!
He drove around and then did one more final good-bye wave and we were even closer for that moment.
We were officially blessed by the Pope as newleywed’s. Talk about a great way to start your marriage! After the blessing, we also received rosaries that had been blessed by the Pope. We made our way over to the special doors where we were to receive our rosaries, found our way inside this beautiful building and each got one to take home with us.
If you are planning to visit Rome, I highly recommend going to see the Pope whether it is as part of the general audience, or as a newleywed. It was the highlight of our trip and such a special way for us to begin our life together.
We cannot thank Father Mike enough for enabling us to be a part of this special event. Without him, we would not have gotten to sit in the special seating up so close, and we would not have received the formal blessing as newleyweds. Thank you times a million Father Mike. It is a memory that will last forever.
This was the abbreviated version of our experience but it gives you a good idea of what it was like!
I’m off to work! Happy Fat Tuesday…today is my last day for sweets.