Italy: Part 2

My second day in Italy, we took another free walking tour that ended at the Vatican. It was a perfect opportunity to check out St. Peter’s Basilica!

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St. Peter’s is enormous! There are markings on the floor to show how many of the world’s other large churches would fit inside this one. The dome inside is the largest in the world, reaching nearly 450 ft in height!

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Entrance to the basilica is free, and Noah and I did a Rick Steves’ walking tour while inside to learn all about it. Afterwards, we walked to lunch, passing through Piazza del Popolo:

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Lunch was something I have looked forward to for approximately 2.5 years. No kidding! About that long ago I went to Italy with my fabulous besty for a fun-filled 10 day tour. While we were in Rome, we ate lunch at a vegetarian restaurant that had THE MOST DELICIOUS BUFFET IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Part of our obsession with that lunch may have been due to the fact that we were super hungry when we got there. Nonetheless, I have thought of that restaurant ever since, and it was probably the #2 thing I was looking forward to on my visit (after seeing Noah, of course).

The restaurant: Il Margutta RistorArte.

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Could the lunch buffet live up to my idolized memory of it?!

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Why yes, yes it could. So good! I wish this restaurant lived in Minneapolis. Or maybe I don’t…it would probably put a dent in my wallet. And have the opposite affect on my waistline.

After lunch, we decided to check out the Rose Gardens.

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We sat on a bench in the garden for a while talking and enjoying the beautiful weather/surroundings. Look what we found – a beautiful heart!

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tots.adorbs.

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My second day in Italy wouldn’t be complete without….

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Gelato! Gelato is seriously EVERYWHERE in Italy. Every other storefront seems to sell it. So, obviously, by the end of the day, it’s pretty hard not to have some. Noah and I found a great little gelato place near the B&B where we were staying that had a wide range of flavors (listed in English as well as Italian), plus some interesting gelato pops and balls:

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We went to this place several times during my visit and always tried different flavors:

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Mollie: “I feel guilty eating gelato twice in one day.”Noah: “That’s okay. One time I had gelato twice in the same lunch period.”

Other Italy Posts
Italy: Part 1
Italy: Part 3
Italy: Part 4
Italy: Part 5

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Muscle Massage and Everest on Grand

This is my new best friend, Mr. Shark:

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Mr. Shark was given to me by my physical therapist. It works like this:
1) Butter up your IT band, hamstring, knee, (problem area of your choice) with baby oil
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You could also use cocoa butter or any other sort of lubricant that won’t absorb.

2) Rub Mr. Shark down the length of the muscle you are focusing on, applying enough pressure that you can feel where the sore areas are.

3) When you feel one of the said sore areas, focus on it by applying moving pressure multiple times.

4) Marvel at how much better that sore spot feels the next day.

Seriously, Mr. Shark is a wonder tool. I ran 9 miles on Tuesday as part of my last-ditch effort to still try to run a half-marathon I’m registered for at the end of April. My hamstring was really bothering me after the run and throughout the day. I used Mr. Shark that night, and immediately afterwards my hammie felt better. It was incredible!

In other news….
I finally tried a restaurant in St. Paul that I’ve been meaning to get to for literally months. I went to Everest on Grand, a Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian restaurant. Several months ago, I had a friend tell me that they had a good lunch buffet, and I’d been interested to try it for myself since then.

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The restaurant was a lot smaller than I was imagining. There was one room with about 12 tables or so, and the buffet was served on two carts:

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One of the carts had hot food and the other was a salad bar. Here’s a close up of the hot food:

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There were a few vegetarian dishes, one type of bread, basmati rise, one goat dish, and one chicken dish. On my plate, I had a sampling of the vegetable dishes, some rice, and some chicken. Afterwards I had a few bites of kheer:

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The food was fairly spicy and my stomach was not the most appreciative after. I’m glad I finally can cross this restaurant off of my ‘go to’ list, but it sort of reminded me about my love-hate relationship with Indian food. I don’t think I actually like it that much. Weirdly, every several months I get an Indian food craving and really want it, but then when I eat it, I remember why I don’t like it very much.

Next time I want to go to Indian, someone remind me that I don’t really like it, okay? Thanks. 🙂

Speaking of love-hate foods…I have that same relationship with cinnamon rolls. Do you have any love-hate foods?