Saturday, April 24, 2010

when in ROME...

Ah, after MUCH drama, we're here. 'Settled' in Rome.
This blasted volcano has created such a mess... it's quite tricky trying to reorganize everything from it.

Thursday night, Dad was livid. 

Let me tell you, cuss jar: FULL. 

We took an EasyJet flight from Geneva to Rome. Originally, we were supposed to arrive here yesterday from Dublin. :( [Still a bit sad about all that!] So, we took the 18:55 flight last night Geneva -> Rome. The flight was a bit rocky (which had me with all the volcanic ash cloud in the air). We landed fine and on time... Dad had booked a hotel while we were waiting in the Geneva airport (we weren't scheduled to arrive until FRIDAY, remember.) This airport was said to be close to the hotel. Once we figured out it was actually over 55 km away - over an hours taxi ride AND well over €130 (MORE than double what he'd paid for the room)... that is when the shiza really hit the fan. 

He decided (through a painful process of elimination: couldn't get ANY phones to work, taxi to Thursday night's hotel would be RIDICULOUSLY expensive, Dad was paranoid of pick-pocketers and scams after reading Rick Steves' info on Rome,) we would just show up at the B&B he'd reserved for Friday and Saturday. Thanks to a less than friendly, NON-anglophone, Italian cab driver, we made it here to About B&B. It's hidden in a modest neighborhood apartment complex. We pulled in just before 23:00- frantically buzzed the B&B - somehow we were buzzed in only to NOT find any trace of what may be About B&B. After waking the elderly neighbor, we discovered the nearly secret door beholding About B&B. Problem #63: nobody's home. Super. *sigh* Amazingly enough, I was calm and collected and completely unstressed. Dad, unfortunately on the other hand, was not. I guess at the bottom of it all I just figured, at worst, we would check in at noon. Thirteen hours away. Not to forget the fact that everything always seems to come together - God would provide. And he did, of course.
As we were walking out of the apartment complex's door, feeling pretty defeated, ready to start the hotel hunt we encountered a heard of English-speaking French-Italians (and INCREDIBLE combo - if I do say!) Ah, why do we ever doubt?! These people were staying at the B&B, called the owner, let us in - were fabulous hosts - making us feel right at home, and even assisted us in getting a room for the night at another nearby HIDDEN B&B.
The room we ended up in Thursday night - honestly, from the front of the building, you'd think we walked through the wardrobe in one of Lewis' novels! I'd never imagine there was this much space behind those walls!

Necci. *Word to the wise... Italians don't make coffee for the faint of heart.
While 'killing some time' between check-out and check-in Friday, we stopped at a local cafĂ©/restaurant, Necci. Mostly, the help was not-so-helpful, harsh and lacking the stereotypical Italian hospitality, but compensating for all of the others was the great barista (are they still 'baristas' when they're male?) Funny, kind, and generous, ah, we are in Italy after all! We checked into About B&B where Enrica, the mastermind behind it all, is kind and informative and the ambiance is amazing.
The architecture and decor of this B&B were RIGHT up my alley... I loved every bit of it.
From the built in desk and bunks made from concrete...
to the 'punk rock green' walls in the bathroom.
(The view out our window.)
We had more phenomenal meals we cooked on our own here than we did from the streets of Rome! Major disappointment!

As for the Roman Holiday touristy-travels: yeah, they've been nice. We saw the Roman Forum ruins, San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains), the outside of the Colossuem and the Vatican (so many people and the queues were HOURS long! It's been fun and interesting to see these ancient sights and sculptures and such, but I'll be glad to be out in the open again. :)

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