One of the cool things I noticed in the Philadelphia airport was the Service Animal & Pet Relief Area, basically an enclosure with Astroturf and a fake fire hydrant, plus a poop bag dispenser and trash can. Apparently, while I can't embed a friends-only photo from Facebook, I can link to it, so here's the Pet Relief Area. (Link to the whole friends-only album, which anyone can view with the link, is below.)
I had something like a six-hour layover in Philly on my way to Rome, and it was well worth it to pay for the day pass for the AAdmirals Club. (Even better, my parents paid for it as a bon voyage gift.) Mostly the food isn't that exciting, but they had a GUACAMOLE STATION that opens for a few hours each afternoon where they make guacamole to order with whatever you want in it. Also, it was nice to have some whisky and some wine while I waited.
If you ever find yourself in an airline lounge, and take advantage of the free alcohol, don't forget to tip. This is one reason I like to carry singles and $2 bills with me when I travel. Not only is tipping the right thing to do, but bartenders remember the customers who tip even when the drinks are free. My glass was never empty for long.
I'm NOT good at sleeping on planes, but I took a shower at the hotel after I got to Rome and went out sightseeing for the afternoon. Needless to say I slept VERY well that night.
I have clear memories of visiting St. Peter's Basilica on my trip to Rome after I graduated from college, mostly because I remember climbing the very narrow, curved stairs inside it, but I honestly don't recall what else we saw at the Vatican. I made a point of exploring the Vatican Museums on this trip, had a very simple lunch in one of the museum eateries, checked out St. Peter's Square, and then went for a long walk to explore more of that section of Rome.
The Bistro at the Courtyard I was staying at in Rome seemed to have a much more thorough menu than the typical Courtyard eatery, i.e. not just burgers and sandwiches, so I opted to stick to the hotel for dinner. I should have gone exploring, or at least eaten in the hotel's nicer restaurant. The food was OK, but I could've done much better.
[ Check out my photos from the flights and Rome sightseeing on Facebook... ]