Monday, April 25, 2016

Rome with Karen

I really didn't mean to take a blogging break. It just kind of happened.  Well, it just kind of happened when we went to Italy and Munich for ten days.  Woops!  I'm back now and I'll try and recap our adventures so we can get back on track.  

Ever since I met Karen, she has talked about her dream of going to Italy.  She's signed up for Italian word of the day emails, cooked copious amounts of Italian food and even taken an Italian class in Baltimore's Little Italy.  This girl loves everything Italian.  When we confirmed that she would be coming to visit for a month, we knew we had to get her to Italy. After a little complication called an evacuation, we smoothed things out and made our way to Rome. 

We arrived in Rome on Thursday morning and took the bus into the city.  We flew into the smaller airport (Ciampino), which is actually about an hour outside of the city.  Luckily, there are huge buses in the parking lot that everyone takes to get into the city.  Unfortunately, our plane arrived right around the same time as two other planes, so it took about 45 minutes to get on the bus and then another hour to get into the city.  When we arrived, we realized that our hotel that looked like it was in walking distance of the train station online, was most definitely not within walking distance of the train station.  We hailed a taxi and found our hotel, although the driver definitely over charged us and took us on a roundabout route due to a "protest."  Yeah, sure buddy.  Once we arrived at Hotel 1&2, we were disappointed that WiFi wasn't included in the price, but paid the extra ten euros for WiFi, dropped our bags off and hit the town.  It was a rough start to our two days in Rome, but we were determined to rally and rally we did. 

We grabbed lunch at an Italian restaurant near our hotel because we were STARVING and nothing sounded better than a big bowl of pasta.  I was a little hesitant, but my Penne Arabiata was incredible and Karen's pasta met her very high expectations. After a glass of wine and pasta, we were ready to start the sight seeing.  I am glad that Mike and I were in Rome a few months ago and did most of the sights because I kind of knew what to do and the order in which to do them.

Karen was as amazed at the Colosseum as I was.  Despite the fact that I had been there in February, I still enjoyed going in and it's so fun to be there as Karen as experiences things for the first time. The Colosseum is incredible and, every time I'm there, I'm amazed that people thousands of years ago with none of our current technology, were able to construct such a massive structure.  What is almost as amazing is that it's still standing today!

She made it to Italy!!

I really just wanted the Colosseum in this picture, but this lady was doing a full on 30 minute photo shoot with her friend as the photographer, so I had no choice but to add her in.

After spending some time at the Colosseum, we headed next door to the Forum. I think the Forum is extremely interesting and provides a lot of insight into the every day life of ancient Rome.

After the Forum, our next stop was the Trevi Fountain.  I personally think the Trevi Fountain is coolest at night, but going during the day is not a terrible decision (can you make a terrible decision in Italy? I'm thinking no). It's pretty cool, regardless of what time of day it is. 

By this time, it was dinner time.  We had filled up on gelato on our way to the Trevi Fountain, so we weren't ready for dinner quite yet (we're becoming European and eating late, I guess), but we couldn't resist the idea of a glass of wine and possibly an apertivo. We found a restaurant around the corner from the fountain and snagged a table outside to enjoy a glass of wine and some great people watching. We ended up sitting next to another American couple who was on a three country European adventure.   They had been in London, Paris and now Rome. It was nice to end the night sharing stories and and tips about our travels. 

Overall, it was a great first day in Italy and I think Karen's expectations were met, if not exceeded.

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