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Trip Report Holy Week in Rome - Traveling with my parents (AKA Oh my god am I out of my mind?) with many Restaurant Details

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Trip Report – Rome, March 31 – April 7, 2007

Before departure

I had decided, against my better judgment, that it was time to get my parents to Italy. My last vacation there was in 2004 (with my husband, see trip report http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34621770 ) and was, while amusing, less than ideal for at least one of the travelers (i.e. not me).

During the two years that I lived in Italy, from 1998 until 2000, my parents did not visit. I think they were in denial of the fact that I was living in another country and were waging a silent protest via their refusal to get on a plane and come over to see me. I went home about every six months for a visit, but they did not reciprocate. Understandably. About a year after the trip with my husband, my desire to travel back to Italy starting to grow, and for some ungodly reason, I decided I would plan to take my parents with me.

We purchased our tickets early in 2006, and received an excellent deal through Expedia. We would be flying on United and Lufthansa, from Washington Dulles to Fiumicino, switching at Frankfort. Considering the fact that we would be visiting during Holy Week, the tickets were cheap at $607 each round trip, including all taxes and fees.

As soon as the tickets were purchased, the questions began. I didn’t know two people could possibly have so many questions about what to pack, bring, wear, eat, etc. And matters only got worse when the plastic-baggie-3-ounce-liquid rule was introduced. Approximately three emails a day were in my inbox from my mother (my father abhors the computer and therefore asked no questions).

Somehow we managed to find and book an apartment through sleepinitaly.com. I had wanted a central location, but due to the mass of religious pilgrims descending on Rome during that week, we were unable to get the desired spot near the Pantheon, and thus ended up at an apartment on Via Gregoriana near the Spanish Steps. The apartment had two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living area. It also promised a washing machine, essential for packing light.

In spite of the million questions, emails, and phone calls about the trip, eventually the day of departure arrived.

March 30, 2007

We arrived at Dulles International Airport approximately three hours before our scheduled flight, just as we had been advised to do. We went to the United ticket window. In spite of the fact that the flight number on our tickets was a United flight number, we were told to check in with Lufthansa since the flight was being operated by them. Over to another ticket counter with all of our luggage. Once we arrived at the counter, we were informed that, despite having called to book seats in advance months prior, all three of our seats were in different parts of the airplane. And all three were middle seats, despite the fact that we had been booked for two aisle seats and one middle seat. This was an irritating development to say the least, particularly since my father suffers from back and leg problems and would suffer being stuck in a middle seat. Thankfully, most people on the plane were in the same boat and the two very nice people seated next to me were willing to change and the three of us could sit together.

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