Rome was a wonderful, incredible experience. An overwhelming city, a city where five days of exploring was nowhere near enough time. I think the easiest way for me to share the experience is to break our adventures up by day.
Day 1: Tour of Vatican gardens in the morning and museums, Necropolis tour in the afternoon. The tour of the gardens was great - a small group of 15 people led through the "back lot" of the Vatican. This took us through areas not open to the general public - gardens, Lourdes Grotto, Vatican Radio and various residences. After the garden tour, we went through the paintings gallery. There was so much beautiful artwork, I wish we had more time to just enjoy it. After the paintings, we proceeded over to the main Vatican Museum. Honestly, I was a tad disappointed. It was so crowded that we weren't able to really see/enjoy much. After the museum, off to the Sistine Chapel. Tons of people crowded into a small chapel, all craning their necks to inspect the ceiling. Again, beautiful artwork with incredible attention to detail. I tend to feel claustrophobic in large crowds, so I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I hoped. But, maybe someday when Darian is Pope, he will be able to let us sit and inspect it more carefully :)
After all this, we had our reservations for the Necropolis tour. By far, one of the coolest things we did. A small group of about 12 people taken on a tour through the archaeological areas of St. Peter's. The finale of the tour - viewing St. Peter's bones. I can't even explain the awe and wonder at being able to do this. Definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Sadly, I didn't get many pictures on day 1. Because many of the areas we were in didn't allow photographs, we both decided it was easier to leave the camera in the hotel rather than take it in the morning and try to get back to the hotel to leave it in the afternoon. Don't worry, I took plenty of pictures other days!