Tuesday, August 23


We went on a family trip to Europe via a Mediterranean Cruise
Here are some beautiful pics from Italy.  We had such a great time!
 Here we are in beautiful Florence Italy in front of "The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore" (St. Mary of the Flower)
 Look at this beautiful Church....The rounded building to the left is the "Battistero di San Giovanni" (Baptistry of St. John)...can you believe that they built that beautiful building just for the sacrament of Baptism!  it just shows how important the Catholic faith was (is) to the people of Florence
 What a beautiful way to use the talents of these people to give glory to our Lord!
 The alleyways were so tiny and the cars did NOT slow down for people!!
 There was this gorgeous Carousel in the middle of a square in Florence
 These humble artists would all have a square on the sidewalk that they would make a "chalk" masterpiece in EVERYDAY!  They would start over each morning and then at night, wash the image away.  Wow, can you believe that.  They were truly works of art!
 My Little Nicholas
 Another skinny street
 We ate lunch at a beautiful old Palace
 They truly used their blessings to honor and serve our Lord.  Here is a Coat of Arms depicting the Lamb of God over one of the sconces on the wall of the palace.
 This is an shrine in a back alley way in Florence....these were all over Italy!  There were altars set up and holy pictures/paintings on the side of random buildings!
What a beautiful expression of faith.  They honored our Lord in every place and kept His images in view at all times!
 On to Pisa to see the leaning tower!!
That is not snow on the mountains....that is marble!!
   Here we are in Pisa....Everyone just had to do the traditional "holding up the tower" shot
 Savannah's turn
 Now, here is Madison....there were so many people taking this same pic.
 The leaning tower is in "Piazza dei Miracoli" (Miracle Square), next to another beautiful cathedral "Santa Maria Assunta" (St. Mary of the Assumption)
 Inside "Santa Maria Assunta" (St. Mary of the Assumption)
 The pictures just do not do this most holy place justice
 The church also contains the bones of St Ranieri, Pisa's patron saint.  Some relics were brought to the Cathedral during the Crusades
 This is where the Tabernacle, where the holy Eucharist is kept
 You can see the Tabernacle light hanging above the area to show that our Holy Lord is physically present.  It was roped off for special prayer.  We went in and prayed for all of our family and friends.  what an inspiring place to adore our Jesus!

 Sleeping on the way back to the cruise ship.  Such a long and tiring day.  So many beautiful things to see.  We felt like we were in a Social Studies book!
 Caught me taking her picture...such a cute baby girl!
 Daddy and Madi!
 The girls before we went to dinner back on the ship.  The kids had so much fun!

 Woke up in another city....traveled to Rome today and saw the Vatican!
 It was amazing and so beautiful!  we took a TON of pictures
 The "Piata" in St. Peters Basilica (I looked up the word Piata in the dictionary and it literally means "A representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Jesus")
 Some Religious Sisters praying in front of Pope John Paul II's tomb (only priests and sisters could enter this area)
 More Basilica Pics.  It was so breathtaking that we could not decide what to photograph!!  I just kept shooting pics and praying!!  We got to go down into the Catacombs where the popes are all buried.  We could not take photo's down there, but what a special and reverent place.  We were so blessed to have the sacrament of Confession at St. Peters and got to do Adoration in the Eucharistic chapel.  There were people there silently praying from all over the world.  We are truly one Holy united Church! It was beautiful and powerful!!  The roped off chapels were my favorite places.  People were reverent and prayerful there.  The main areas was more like a museum to most.  It wasn't as intimate
 Drinking from the fountain outside of St. Peters..they had these old water fountains in a lot of places around Italy.  They were so beautiful and refreshing
The Swiss Guards protecting the enterence