Today we leave Venice. It was amazing to stay up late with the sound of the boats-it was a very foggy night em which made for an even louder then normal Venice with all the boats honking and making their paths known to the others in the water.
We decided to make a time to meet and do our own thing until the water taxi pick up. 10am. So Nicole went shopping of course, and mom and Dad slept in and then went for a short walk, and Chris and I slept and sat on our balcony and went for breakfast.
We had arranged our water taxi for 10am, so be showed up at Italian 10am-which is 10:20am. (Jamaican 10am would have been 10:45am….. so….)
We get to the train station and the prearranged price for the taxi is being paid when the taxi driver says “no. $100”. To which I say “no. You said $85 when we called to arrange it” in my broken Italian. He says “no. Many bags. $100”. To which I say in colorful English-“listen buddy. $85 was the prearranged, I’ve given you $90-and you were 20 minutes late. If you think Italian women are scary when their mad, you haven’t ticked off a Canadian woman, now leave before I Throw this suitcase full of wine bottles and panty snickers at you”. He backed his taxi away slowly with his $90. And we waved at each other. One finger at a time.
This train was easier. Our car was at the front instead of the back, and we have this luggage thing on lock. We quickly find our platform, car and seats. And because we were so quick we have the luggage racks all to ourselves. Now for the 3.5 hour journey. I get out my keyboard and get a beer, and blog. I feel like such a world traveler! All cozy on the train talking to all of you. I blog and drink and eat the snacks we bought in the train station. Mom and Dad sleep most of the way. Nicole is beering like me and talking softly to the purses she bought in Venice this morning about how much they’re going to like Nova Scotia-and how she would have brought all their brothers and sisters if she could have, but purse Angelina Jolie only has so much room in her suitcase (I believe these make purse number 10 and 11 for her-I’m not far behind at 6? Or 7?).
Off the train in ROME and to our prearranged pickup. He is standing at the end of our exit waiting for us worth a sign. Rome is one of the worlds busiest city’s-I’ve never seen traffic like it-even Athens wasn’t this busy. And this is a SUNDAY. Last time we were here during the week so I half expected it might be less congested on a Sunday. Nope. But our cabbie is swift and a good driver and he gets us to our hotel rather quickly-stopping to swear at one man who is refusing to move-standing in the middle of the road we want to go down-with his child no less. I know enough Italian to know that what the cabbie told him to do to himself is physically impossible. But it’s effective. And he moved. And we got to our apartment. We have never stayed here before-last time we were at a hotel near St Peters-this apartment is in the affluent area of the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain. We meet with the check in staff and are brought to our home for the next 3 days. We have to open a record 5 coded doors to get to it, and we are beginning to wonder if we are going to be staying in the Vatican itself. But when we finally get it, it is revealed why it is so heavily guarded. Omg this apartment. Absolutely stunning. It’s funny, I find Europe loves modern design. I guess we live antiques and rich old design because everything we live in is new, and they are be opposite. This apartment is clean lines and see through chairs and modern art in the rooms. And the juxtaposition of the ancient city that you can see out the windows and the modern design here gives me goosebumps. Sooooo coooooool. And not usually my thing. But neither is renting Roman apartments.
We run around like kids in spring break and look at all our rooms. Mom and Dad given the downstairs room with no steps and with its own bathroom, and the OM’s upstairs. Nicole and gary’s room has Club Muppetto-(the Rome muppet bar) an outside sitting area that I hear serves amazing rum and Coke’s-and chris and I have the other room-with a bathroom in between. We have a quick drink on the balcony, and off we go for a walk to the Spanish steps, Trevi and dinner. Rome. ROME. I just love Rome. I think if I had to rate my favorite cities Rome would be first. With Shanghai and Paris battling for second. THe people are friendly and busy. I’ve referred Italy in general as a “she” in my writings, but Rome is definitely a man. Stone and age marks and rugged lines, but still devastatingly handsome. He takes good care of his male guests with beer and pizza on every corner, but likes his women to be beautiful and perfumed, with Hermes, Louis, and D&G-all with guarded doors. And he’s a jealous lover. You’ll see no Paris or American paraphernalia at his street venders like you do in Paris.
We walk to the Spanish steps and see the crowds. Mom and Dad agape the whole way. I take advantage of the “free hug” people in the square. I get a hug from a stranger-a woman- and listen-before you judge- there is nothing more comforting then a hug. And imagine a hug from someone you don’t know that is strong and gentle all at once-and heart felt. No baggage. No reason to feel a “but” attached to the hug. Just a HUG. I enjoyed it more then I can admit. And after I pulled away I felt loved and rejuvenated. And Nicole frisked me for 5 minutes to make sure I still had my wallet and personal belongings. No worries!! That’s what this movement started for. So that those in the population who don’t have family or friends can enjoy a nonjudgmental hug. Its amazing. And my family thinks I’m nuts.
From there we go to the Trevi Fountain. It’s white Marble with the turquoise of the water is so beautiful. Hard to imagine how important it was to them to make their city beautiful (most works in Rome was commissioned by different Popes)
The one sad thing I note from last time is that there is a much bigger Police presence now then there was 5 years ago when I last visited. We notice this with a foreboding feeling of what our world has become. Most of the things you could once drive up to-like St Peters-you can’t now. Which I’m great full for unfortunately.
We then make our way to dinner on a little Piazza. Its incredible. Pasta and bruschetta and wine. During dinner Chris is sweet and buys all the girls roses from a street vender. Nice long stem red roses. So pretty.
Then we make our way home, pasta drunk and in love with the city.
We get back to the apartment after a brief visit to the grocery-and gary is carrying the roses. Remember I mentioned the many many gates and codes? Well, gary has the roses in his backpack…. and having fallen behind, he is the last one through the gate to the apartment building. He slips in though the doors,
Only to have them close. On the roses. They jam the door. And he can’t remember the code. We don’t know anything about this until he comes in to the apartment, and hands me 3(ish) roses. One about 3 inches long and one missing most of its pedals. But one fully in tact. So gary tried to play it off like he saved the day and the roses.
Good try Hersey.
Nicole and I go upstairs to look at our purchases and talk about the day. And hear whispers and noises from the deck downstairs. Apparently Nicole didn’t tell the other muppets how to enjoy their evening- so they are all down there bumping into walls because she didn’t tell them they could light candles. And she didn’t tell them to pour wine. So basically their starving to death in the dark waiting for instructions.
After everyone gets a night cap and a nice chat the OM’s retreat to this apartments night spot. Club Muppetto, For the nightly rum and coke.
Tomorrow our Rome Time really begins with a tour of the Vatican for Mom, Dad, nicole and I.