Two easy ways to see the Pope in Rome

There are two easy ways to see the Pope when you’re in Rome. Kathryn and I were able to see him both ways during our visit to Rome earlier this year. As long as the Pope isn’t away from the city for his vacation or for an apostolic visit, you should be able to see him too.

Last day in Las Vegas

It turns out I didn’t get the sunrise photos I wanted on our last day in Las Vegas. It was raining when the sun came up and still raining when we left the hotel, although the rain let up early in the morning. We did find a decent donut shop, found a beautiful Sunday Mass, and had lunch with our friend Kerrie, with whom we couldn’t connect Friday evening.

Eating and relaxing in Las Vegas

Our weekend trips to Las Vegas tend to be busy. We usually cram everything we possibly can into the less-than-48 hours we’ll be here. Sleep comes only out of necessity. So it’s a little weird that I’m starting a new post at 6:20 am, after getting a full night’s sleep and then some. I think we were in bed by 9 pm. That’s pretty lame.

New day in Las Vegas

It’s just after dawn here in Las Vegas. I’ve been awake for an hour or so, and I’m working on my second cup of shitty in-room coffee. Our room at the Orleans has a view of the Strip. Since we’re west of the Strip, I’ve been watching the sun rise over Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and the McCarran airport.

Richmond, Virginia: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

When I lived in Richmond, I wasn’t much of a church-goer. In the three years I lived there, I can count the number of times I attended Mass on one hand. Zero. Now, seven years later, attendance at Sunday Mass is part of my life. I don’t intentionally miss it. When planning our recent visit to Richmond, I found the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has a Mass at 5:15 pm on Saturdays. It was a particularly convenient time, shortly after our arrival in town. It was also within walking distance of our hotel. We had a winner.

Richmond, Virginia: Splurge at the Jefferson Hotel

I looked around a little bit and found out we could get the Jefferson Hotel, a landmark, historic, five-star hotel in the center of Richmond, for $179 a night, if we prepaid. I don’t like prepaying for a hotel, but I decided to jump on this. I’d been to the Jefferson Hotel once for a Christmas party, but never to spend the night.

I usually pack shoelaces

The easiest way to travel light is to limit the amount of footwear I pack. I typically travel with at most two sets of footwear. More often than not, it’s just the one set I’m wearing when I leave the house. This one set of footwear is often a pair of well worn hiking shoes. If any part of such shoes is going to fail, it’s most likely the laces.

Puerto Vallarta: Running the gauntlet at the airport

Immediately upon leaving the customs area, we were forced to walk through a narrow corridor, maybe 50 feet long, with white desks and video screens on both sides. I now refer to this as the gauntlet. In the gauntlet, roughly a dozen men and women with official-looking badges work over the fresh arrivals, trying to convince us they are our ride to our hotel. They’re not.

Puerto Vallarta: Day trip to Sayulita

Kathryn and I decided to take a day trip yesterday to Sayulita, a village on a small bay some distance north of Puerto Vallarta. We traveled there by bus, one of the ones the locals use. I’m not sure how long the ride was, maybe a bit over an hour. The trip there and back only set us back 100 pesos for the two of us, so it was a cheap excursion, at least for the transportation. It was a different look at Mexico and an interesting change of pace from Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta: Much ado about nothing

Well, after all the preparations, Hurricane Juvo was a bust. Kathryn got some internet time today to track the storm. It has already passed us and has been downgraded to a tropical depression. The employees of the resort, who just this morning were bracing for the worst, have already brought back the chairs and umbrellas around the pool area, and it looks like dinner service will take place by the ocean as normal.

Puerto Vallarta: Still awaiting Juvo

We’ve been gearing up for Hurricane Juvo since Monday, but it’s taking its sweet time getting here. The latest report is it’ll come ashore as a category-three hurricane much further south in the state of Jalisco, then follow the coast north toward us, probably having weakened to a tropical storm by then.

Puerto Vallarta: Weathering the storm

We knew before we left the States that a hurricane was looming off the Pacific coast, and the forecasts at the end of last week were that the eye would pass over Puerto Vallarta this afternoon. We can’t seem to find a weather report on the television, but folks we’ve talked to seem to think the storm is now tracking south of here.

Confession at St. Peter’s Basilica

During our trip to Rome earlier this year, Kathryn and I recognized how long it had been since our last confessions. Far too long. The gift of the Holy Father’s blessing at the General Audience earlier in the week, and the possibility we would receive it again after praying the Angelus on Sunday, increased our desire to receive the sacrament as soon as possible.