Here we were. Sunday, April 17th, 2022, and it was Easter Sunday. We were in Rome, Italy. My mother, my sister, and I were all together again, and we were all testing negative for COVID. Jenn was feeling better. We could all fly home together on Tuesday. Our world was settling down.

We’d been warned before the trip that the entire city of Rome could shut down for Easter, and that no restaurants could be open. We’d planned ahead with reservations a local nice-quality restaurant, Contrario, for a midday Easter meal. As it turns out, quite a number of restaurants were open, so we needn’t have worried. Still, it was wonderful to have a place all chosen and set.

Just after noon, we arrived at Contrario, just a few blocks away. They had even reserved a delightful ‘wine nook’ area for us to sit in. It was wonderful.

I wore the earrings and necklace that my godmother Steph had bought for me on our trip to Kiev. Thank you Steph!

We had a leisurely, delicious, quiet meal. There were other people in the restaurant, but it wasn’t crowded. It was just perfect for Easter. The three of us were together. The wait-staff was attentive. All was well.

Once we were finished, we walked the short distance to the Colosseum and recorded a short “Happy Easter” video there for our friends and family back home. Then we headed back to the apartment.

Jenn and Mom rested. The weather was beautiful, and there hadn’t been crowds out, so I decided to explore. I changed into another Etsy Ukrainian t-shirt and went back over to the Colosseum. I video-called my god-sister Kris, who was just waking up in US time. I gave her a virtual tour and chatted with her while I walked around. It was great fun.

Here’s the Etsy shirt, the Ukrainian flag done with butterflies.

On the way back to the apartment, I stopped in at the ice cream shop on the corner. I sent a photo to Jenn asking if she’d like an ice cream delivery. She said yes :).

Our apartment even had a pretty poppies painting in the living room. I’ll have to try to paint that. We think of Ukraine when we think of fields of poppies.

I did some more work in the living room for the afternoon.

Finally it was time for dinner. We decided to go casual for dinner, and chose the Ristorante Volare around the corner. Again, like the others, there was no checking of vaccine cards or anything else. The servers wore masks but, once seated, nobody else did.

The menu was fairly extensive. Jenn ordered one type of ravioli. I ordered another type with completely different insides. The waiter seemed to be saying there was only one ravioli. Maybe the second one was sold out? In any case, Jenn and I both got the same ravioli flavor and it was fine. And Jenn even got to have creme brulee for dessert, which she enjoys.

So our entire Easter from start to finish went incredibly smoothly. Jenn, Mom, and I were together. There were plenty of open restaurants. The streets weren’t crowded. The weather was stunning. It was restful and relaxing. Just what we needed.

The one and only item on our task list for Monday was to find a pharmacy to each get a COVID test done. The requirements for flying on Tuesday were that the COVID test had to be done within one full day of flying. So we either had to get tested on Monday or, in an emergency, Tuesday morning. We of course preferred Monday. The pharmacy right near us wouldn’t be open on Monday, but others in the area would be. The tests cost about 30 euros each and would take about 20 minutes to wait for results. You had to take a ‘proctored’ test – you couldn’t just self-test.

So the two questions were, could we find an open pharmacy tomorrow to do the test, and would all three of us test negative? If one or more of us did test positive, we hoped Oceania would still honor putting us up at a hotel and feeding us. It could be they’d claim at this point we were all negative ‘after the cruise’ and any new positive test would be our own responsibility. That situation could be tricky to navigate. If we tested positive, who would we even call to find somewhere to stay? Hopefully the pharmacy would know. How would we get all our luggage to this new place? These were all questions we hoped we wouldn’t have to figure out.

For now I was grateful that everything was fine and on track. We would tackle Monday when Monday came. We headed to bed.

Ask with any questions!

Roman Colosseum –

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/JDaWEoobmRw

Roman Colosseum Up Close –

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/6nQtBV6WGys

Easter Church Bells –

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/-2FyIp6sLzU

Next day:

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