While at The Vatican, and in general, it's rained almost every day while in Italy.

All this rain in Italy.

Currently, I'm sitting outside in 40 degree wet weather so I can have Internet access -- but this is a good thing, because I just discovered I am the recipient of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters 2008 Lanier Finch Scholarship.

That's a good thing.

Anyway, this morning we left Montepulciano at 7:30 AM, got stuck in traffic and didn't arrive at the Vatican until 11:30, when it's only a two hour drive.

Blah on that.

When we arrived, it would stop and start waiting, which was an annoyance in this ridiculously long line to enter the Vatican -- lots of footage shot there. After about 40 minutes, we got in and visited some of the galleries before arriving at the Sistine Chapel.

Now, this is amusing.

They have a no camera/no camcorder/no flash/no laying-down-on-the-floor-to-look-at-the-painting rule. Despite the guards, when you round the corner, what is everyone doing? Using their camera/camcorder/flash/ laying-down-on-the-floor-to-look-at-the-painting .

It is indeed gorgeous, and I have more filmed footage of that. However, shockingly, I preferred St. Peter's Basilica. I thought it was gorgeous, and since it is so ridiculously expansive and intricately detailed (as though the Sistine is not), it makes me appreciate how horrible our modern architecture is.

Functional, but pre-packaged.

One of the girls I'm following, Leslie, was really in awe of the place. She has never traveled before, and the look of wonder on her face as shooting was going on was simply priceless -- in fact, she was about to cry.

Gelato is way better than Ice Cream. I've had it several times now -- the best way to describe it is much creamer than the American variety.

Last night, I had the best Lasagna I've ever had. It was sensational.

Interestingly enough, even though I've been here a few days, it feels like it's been much longer -- but in a good way.

One of the downsides to this is not hearing anything about what is happening in the U.S.

This is an interesting phenomena, because we as Americans feel so entitled to everything, it is refreshing to go somewhere and realize there is a whole part of the world that functions just fine without us -- though our products are seen occasionally (Coke).

I received some sad news from home via email; a lady at my church died, someone who had been very kind to me all my life.

She had a heart attack. I would periodically help her with things when I lived at home.

As I sit here late at night in the mist and the cold, I wonder if she got to experience anything like this...I know she traveled, but I don't know how much or often.

So many people live their whole lives to never see beyond the radius in which they were born.

I have been very lucky.

Ciao,
James