Monday Smiles – 9/22/2014

imageOur flight out of Chicago to Rome, scheduled to leave at 5 pm, was absolutely full.  We’d chosen the center section bulkhead seats, hoping the third seat was open but no such luck.   We did, get second best … a small woman in the seat next to me.   After sharing a row with a guy even broader shouldered than I on the flight from LA to Chicago, the space was much appreciated.  Takeoff was an hour late but since we had nothing planned for Monday when we arrived, it wasn’t a problem.  For Muri and I, the problem was sleep.   Our flight was scheduled to arrive in Rome at 9:00 am, which is precisely midnight at home in Anaheim HIlls.  Muri usually goes to bed about 11:00 pm and I’m a night owl, neither of us were really tired.   I slept maybe half an hour and Muri didn’t sleep at all.  The truth is, next time, I won’t even try to sleep … I’ll just stay busy and if I doze, I doze.

We had prepaid for transfers from the airport to our hotel and expected to have a driver waiting with our name on a sign at out terminal in room, but although there were probably 100 dirvers, our name wasn’t there.  When we went to the counter, I began to worry.  The first words out of the woman’s mouth were, Yesa, we hava your nama.  But pleasa be patient.  We have three carsa broken downa.  We were shuffled over to a waiting area with about 15 other people, and after an hour, the group had swelled to 50.  Still no drivers and the airport was hot and humid.  Everytime we tried to speak to a receptionist, she’s give us the same run-around then dash off in search of her drivers.  We finally went to a different counter to book another car company and were on our way in ten minutes.  We’ll see if I can dispute the charge to the first company but it didn’t matter.  I suspect the rest of their victims … er, customers … are still there.

Our hotel, the Crowne Plaza St. Peter’s, is an older low rise, a bit dated but comfortable and very friendly.  After checking in and freshening up, we decided to walk to a restaurant the consiergedownload recommended about a mile away. It was our first adventure with Rome’s early autumn humidity and traffic, the I-dare-you-to-cross pedestrian crossings, and the narrow sidewalks.   After hearing about the friendliness of the people of Rome, we seemed to have chosen the one restaurant that didn’t want to bother with English speaking tourists making an effort to get by on minimal Italian.  Still the food was good, we were with good friends and the whole point, after all, was to stay awake until local evening to expedite our transition to Rome time.  After lunch we walked back to the hotel and sat drinking wine in the blessedly air conditioned lounge until dinner time.  We had a very nice dinner in the hotel restaurant and retired early.   Tuesday, we are scheduled for an eight hour Rome in a day tour, so we need our rest.

So, we’re in Rome but it really doesn’t feel that way, except for the drivers … and everyone speaking Italian.  Tomorrow, our adventure really starts.  I’ll tell you about it when Iget a moment to write and internet access so I can post   And yes, it’s Monday as I’m writing this and I am smiling.

P.S. – I seem to have left my SD Card  adapter in California, so you’ll have put up wit internet photos until I find one or get home, whichever comes first.

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2 Comments on “Monday Smiles – 9/22/2014”

  1. jenihill Says:

    Hope your “See Rome in a day” tour went well for you and also,that you found some more eateries where they welcomed Americans with open arms and some English too! Enjoy!


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