Rome I Loved it...

Dec 11th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 248
Rome I Loved it...

Hi All: First off Thanks to Everyone for all Your Help with My Trip to Italy. I couldn't have done it without You all. The Posts that I read Helped Me so Much I can't even begin to tell You. Some of those Posts had Me laughing outload (My Husband thought I was losing it) and Cry.

Me and My Family (8 of Us) Left Detroit for Rome on Air France, making a connection at CDG. Things really started off bad 5 days before Leaving. A Friend's Mother Died, and because of the circumstances surrounding the Death, They wouldn't be releasing the Body to quickly, so I was stressed, because I really wanted to be there for Her, and I prayed that things would work out and I would be able to attend the Funeral. Well the Day We Were leaving for Rome was the Funeral, and I had offered My Restaurant to the Family afterwards for a Late Lunch. I got up at 3:30 that Morning (After staying up late to finish last minute packing) and My Husband and I packed our Car with Luggage and Went to the Restaurant to prepare Food, and get our paperwork Straight for My Employee's while I was gone for 2 weeks. The Viewing at the Funeral Home Started at 9 am and the Funeral at 11 am. So I was able to get there for the Funeral. My Car was loaded with all Our Luggage and I prayed that no one would break into or steal My car while in the Parking Lot at the Funeral Home. I had to kick Myself in the Head, My God! All I'm worried about is My stuff, and My Friend is burying Her Mother. Afterwards, I drove Like Mad back to the Restaurant and don't You know We Were rockin the House (Busy) and I had about 25-30 People coming back to the Restaurant for Lunch. Thank God for Great Employee's, We got everything Set up, and as the Family arrived, it turned into a Nice and Enjoyable time for The Family and Friends that came. They Loved the Lunch and Dessert We served, and It made Me feel so Much better about the day. I can get through this.

Our Flight was leaving at 7:30 pm out of Detroit. Via Air France. Now I had really searched High and Low about Reviews and Posts about Air France. I booked through Expedia, and was also assured by them that Air France is a Great Airlines, and We had the pleasure of Newer Planes and a First Class Staff. For Round trip Air and 12 nights Hotel it was 1616.00. I knew this was a great deal. The Hotel alone was going to be worth it. I was really excited about the Deal I got and booked it after researching the Airlines and Hotels On Fodor's, Trip Advisor and other Travel sights. I did encounter many negative reviews about Air France, but I hoped for the best.

So After Getting done with the Lunch for the Family, Kissing everyone Goodbye that Works for Me, and getting out the door and into the Car it was 2 pm. I had hired a Car Service to take Me My Husband and His Parents to the Airport. The other 4 Were meeting Us there. The Van was to arrive at 3:00 pm. I had called and emailed the Company to confirm, and that Morning in all the Madness I called to confirm one last time. Hey I had the number logged My cellphone. At 2:50 pm NO VAN. So I call the Company, they put Me on Hold and 7 Minutes Later (I love the timer on My cell, ain't no disputing that) the Lady came Back on and said the Driver is running behind and should be there by 3:10. OK I can deal with that. But by 3:15 NO VAN. So My Husband called and they gave Him the B.S. Line about the Driver, and He should be there no later than 3:30. My Husband told Them NO WAY, that's unacceptable, and We no longer needed their Services, and hung up, and proceeded to Pack Up My Inlaws car (Your Grandfather's Oldsmobile) with 8 Suitcases, 4 carry ons, and 4 back packs, and 4 Adults. I didn't say a Word. I thought I was going to Cry, I had tried really hard to get all these arrangements Made. And It's starting off Bad. My Husband wasn't Mad, He Just took control of the situation and Got Us to the Airport in 55 Minutes (a Record) dropped Us and the Luggage off, and drove to the Blue Lot ($6.00 a Day, a Deal for DTW) and took the Shuttle to Air France to Meet Up with Us. Our other 4 Family Members were waiting for Us, and they had been getting worried because We weren't there ontime. They had already checked in. We all walked over to the Air France counter. As We were walking twards the Counter I could see the Line had about 100 people in it. I didn't have the nerve to turn around to see the looks on My Inlaws face, but Thank God, it was British Air that had the Line from Hell and 3 Staff Members checking them in. Air France had No line, So I checked My Inlaws first while I waited on My Husband to be dropped off by the Shuttle. I sent My inlaws to the Gate with the other Family While I checked in. I had My Husband Give Me His Passport while He was dropping Us off at the Terminal, as I was being Check In, I said to the Lady (Who was very nice to My Inlaws) This is probaly a stupid question, but could You check My Husband In too, He would be there any minute, and explained our Transfer Company never showed up, and She said She could not, but did take His Passport and Ticket to make it easier when He did get there. She had Me stand to the side while I waited for Him, and Told Me when He did got there come right up to Her area. So 4 Minutes later, Here comes My Honey, with this Big old Smile on His Face, Kissing Me and telling Me Were on our way to Rome. It made everything Perfect. We went right to the Nice Lady at the Counter, She took Him Next (now the line was starting to get busy) and it took like 2 minutes to finish up, and through security with no problem. And unto the Gate. The New Terminal at DTW is very nice, and has WI-FI and lots of Food and shopping choices. So We wondered around for a while had a lite snack, and Boarded our Air France Flight. We were assigned 2 Four Seat Rows, and it worked out Well. The Plane was very Clean and Neat, and The Flight, Service and Food was Good. We all had a TV with Movies, Games and Music. We were also given little bags with Sleep Masks ,Ear Plugs, Ear Pieces for the TV and Handi Wipe. I got alot of Use out of the Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs on this trip. I used them everynite. The flight was smooth and after everyone was feed, they turned out the Lights and it got very quiet. I didn't sleep, I was too excited about Rome, and stayed up studying all My Maps and Books. Got Served Breakfast, and an Hour later We landed at CDG. We were Told by the Air France Crew that it would be no problem getting to the Gate to make our connection to Rome. Now I had read online several times that 60 minutes is not enough time to go from Terminal to Terminal at CDG. I called Air France and Expedia, and Both assured Me that I would make the connection with No problems, and Air France told Me they know what planes are making that connection and the Plane would be waiting for Passengers getting to that Gate. So now, the Moment of truth has come. After being bussed from off the tarmac to another Terminal, figuring out where to find our Gate, and getting through Customs was Awful. When We finally got through Customs, I ran ahead of My Family to get to the Gate and start checking in. Well after running from one gate to the other I started to check in and I told them My Family and Many others were on their way to catch this flight. Well He informed Me that They would only wait 2 more minutes for Them. I was nervously watching for Them, but by the time they got to the Gate. They would not let any of Us board. Are You Kidding? Nope, He wasn't. He said it was too Late to board and We all Had to get our tickets changed for another flight with another airline. By this time several other passengers showed up and they Were as Mad as Me. We could see the Plane sitting there, and it sat there another 15 minutes before it pulled away. I was livid. But What could I do. My Family and I were directed to the Customer Service counter to have our tickets changed. Now No one is happy about sitting around CDG for 3 Hours waiting for the next flight to Rome on Aitalia Airlines. So after alot of shuffling of tickets, and new ticket issued and questions about our Luggage they gave Us Vouchers for Lunch. Air France assured all of Us our luggage will be on this new flight, and there will be no problems. Now I was whipping My Rosary out at this point. It kept Me from going off. Now I had read numerous posts about Air France losing Your Luggage, and how so Many People had advised NO CHECKING IN LUGGAGE, only do carry on, because they are so notorous of Screwing Up on Baggage. Great, What next. Well,We Were able to get some Yummy Salami Sandwiches on French Bread and a Cappacino with our Lunch Voucher. So We sat down and had a Picnic, and tried to make the best of it. However, in the Meantime, I had made arrangements with Stefano at Romecabs, to Pick all of Us up and Lug Us all to our Hotel. And the Pick up was at 1:15 pm and now we wouldn't be into rome until 4:30 pm. Of course, I had programed His Number in My Phone, and called Him to tell Him the situation, and He said No Problem, He would be Outside Customs waiting for Us when We landed. So We boarded the Plane and off to Rome We go. The Plane was clean, and 1/3 full and the Attendants Very Friendly. But when it came time to pass out Lunch and drinks, anyone that got a voucher for Lunch at Air France Service counter were not given a box lunch. I didn't want it and They did try to serve Me one, but I turned it down, My Husband was in another seat sleeping (Like I said, the plane was 1/3 full so You could sit anywhere) but they counted all the boxes of Lunch and gave them to everyone but the Passengers from Air France. Some People were very offended, and tried to complain, and the Crew explained that they didn't have enough Lunches ordered because of the unforseen extra Passengers, they only had enough for the People who were already booked on the Flight. So what. Nothing could have been better than the Salami Sand. I had earlier, and I saved 1/2, So I was content with a Pepsi. The flight was smooth and We got to Rome at 4:05 pm. Now Here was the scary Part, worring about our Luggage. The Handsome Attendent on Aitalia who spoke excellent English told Me our Luggage was in the belly of the Plane, and Not to worry too much about it. Well at our Family Rome Meeting, one of the Must do on our check list was pack a Carry on with at least 2 outfits and must haves, just in case of this. We got off the Plane, to the Luggage pick up area easly. While waiting and Praying for the Luggage to come shooting down on the conveyer belt, I strolled over to an area where there were about 150 suitcases stacked in the corner. I thought Holy Shine Ola, could our luggage be sitting there? So I went to take a look, when I heard the belt start moving and My Husband was like WAHOO there's My Luggage. Yeah, something went right. I was ready to start doing the Happy Dance. My Nephew brought Us back to Earth when He said, Well Lets hope all 16 pieces are Here. And they were. Now getting through customs. NO PROBLEM, no one said a word to Us. There were Federal Police at the Glass doors, but they didn't stop Us or ask Us any questions, we all just walked through, and Lo and Behold, there is Stefano standing there with a Sign with MARINO written on it. Now I have never seen this Man Before, and other than the Phone call from CDG, and 4 emails, this Man seemed so Nice and was very quick about returning all My emails and awnsered all My Questions. So I was so Happy to See Him there and Couldn't wait to Meet Him Face to Face. He was Wonderful. He grabbed a cart from My Father in Law that was loaded like the Leaning Tower of Pisa with our suitcases, and We all followed Him Out to His Van. It was Spotless and Looked brand new. It was a Fiat Van, and He was able to get Us and all our bags in the Van. Though it was Dark now, and all the Plans We had made to do when We got there, had fallen through since we are now 4 1/2 hours later then Planned, but We are in Rome, Happy and Excited. Before We got Dropped off at Our Hotel, Stefano gave us a Mini tour of Rome, and It Blew Us all way. It was amazing, and It just totally gave Us a Second wind. He took us to St. Paul's Church and We got out and looked around for about 30 Minutes. It was Too much to take in. I had been to Paris and Madrid but nothing prepared Me for Rome.

When We arrived at The Empire Palace Hotel, It was just like the Pictures on Their Webpage. The Doorman came right out and Helped Stefano and the Men carry in all the Luggage. I went to the Desk to check Us all in, and it was the Gentleman I had been emailing for several weeks before we arrived to ask a million questions, Simone. He Greeted Us with a huge smile and said He had been waiting for our arrival. He was a Handsome Italian with Light brown Hair and Blue eyes, all Us Girls were like Mama Mia! So We said Ciao to Stefano, paid Him 80 Euro's (It was worth every penny and a Large Tip)and in the Elevator for 3 (4 if You didn't eat pasta earlier) and went to the 4th floor. We had room 412, and it was a Perfect. The beds (2 twins pushed together) were turned down for the night, the room smelled good, the sheets crisp and a View of the Street below. We all decided to Meet in the Lobby earlier to go for Dinner and find an internet cafe (some of us had to do alittle work via online while in Rome). I took a quick shower and dryed off with a plush Bath towel that was warmed on a rack in the bathroom. I was ready to hit the town. Everyone met up in the Lobby an Hour later. We all agreed the Hotel was Beautiful and the Rooms Fantastic. So now We have a Map and direction to the Happy internet cafe in Piazza Barbernini. But the real challange has begun. 12 Days with My Husband's Family. The fun has just began....More Later....But only If You want it. It gets really Funny. believe Me. Well it's Funny now, but not at the time.

THERESA10 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,349
Theresa, I'm looking forward to more of your report. Please do two things:
Break it into more paragraphs.
Do not capitalize everything in the middle of the sentence (unless it should be capitalized!). It makes it hard to read.
Sounds like a good report coming!
SusanP is online now  
Dec 11th, 2005, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 588
Loving your report. Sorry about the difficult start. Your husband sounds like a gem! You're brave to travel with your in-laws! Thanks, and looking forward to more
SusanEva is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 82
where in CDG did you get the good salami sandwich?

I had one on the way back at Terminal 2A that was disgusting. I can't remember the last time I've had something that bad.
Londonlover is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Looking forward to hearing more.I second SusanP's suggestions for making the report a little easier to read.
massagediva is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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Hi T,

Glad that, after a rocky start, things went well.

ira is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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I wanted to read this report -- I really did.

But what's up with all the random capital letters???!!!
wliwl is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,411
I, too, would read this report if it weren't so amazingly odd with the random caps and no paragraph breaks. I'm sure it's interesting, and I did read at least enough to get the gist that your trip began badly and am sorry for that, but this is just not readable. So I'll second Susan's two suggestions so that people will actually get to enjoy your report.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I'm enjoying this! I feel like I'm watching a movie. Please continue!
Catbert is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
Theresa10, You are am amazing young lady. You took your bad start in stride and kept going. Can't wait to read more of your report, as I've enjoyed the 1st part so much. Best Wishes, Joan
chatham is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 677

Often, the best lessons from this forum are about what happens when things go wrong. You intuitively understood that your connection times were unrealistic despite the repeated assurances from the airline and booking agency. Fortunately, you only missed a few hours rather than an entire day.
smueller is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 248
Sorry about the typing, I will try to do a better job of it. I'm not sure what You want of Me. But I do want to make it easier on Your eyes to read and understand. So here goes.

We leave our hotel to go check out the internet cafe. It's 13 Euro for 7 day unlimited use that's alot better than 23 euro a day at our hotel. I had in my mind to try Tullio's restaurant that was not far from our hotel, it got rave reviews online so I really wanted a nice family dinner in rome. just about every restaurant has their menu displayed in the window. Some of the family thought they were too high on prices. I tried to tell them at home and on the way there Rome is not a budget town, so be prepared. The restaurant was packed and the smells were driving me nuts, so instead of dining there we went down the street to another place I'm not sure of the name but it was like Frieze Ristorante (blue neon sign).

We were given a Wonderful Roman welcome when we sat down. The hostess was really nice and offered us a bottle of champange on the house, well don't you know, I'm with People who don't drink at all. I wanted to drink wine in Rome, but Me and my father in law were the only one to take them up on the offer. Great way to start the meal. After many questions on the Menu and I just sat there and let the family act like real tourists. you know raising their voices when they think know one understands them. Look I said these People are not deaf. Fettucini Alfredo is not the same here like olive garden, let Me order. So after 20 minutes of confusion, I ordered 3 Mozzarolla and tomato dish, 3 mixed salads, salami/prosito plates 5 pasta dishes and 4 bottles of Water, while I'm doing the ordering My inlaws kept interupting, and the poor guy taking our order was trying to be polite and stop to listen to them. I had warned everyone several times, do not speak english right off, say Hi in italian ask how are they doing, then ask if they speak english. Gheez I'm with Italian relatives who can't speak a right word of Italian. So finally the order is given, and within minutes here comes dishes after dishes of Fresh and wonderful food. We must have ate 5 baskets of bread too. Everything I ordered was Great. the pasta with cheese and pepper was so good, and hot, I ate a whole dish myself. There was nothing left on the plates ewhen we finished. Everyone was really quiet while eating. I think We were all tired from traveling for so long, and only Me and my Brother in law have traveled to Europe, and the others were starting to feel the effects of jetlag. So I asked for the Check, and the man that waited on us was also the owner, I told Him how much I enjoyed everything, and that I would be back to try some of the other dishes, thanked them for the glass of bubbly. The bill was 120.00 euro. Great, I thought that was a deal. My Father in law insisted on paying for the Meal. ok I have no problem with that. So the rest of us walk out to the street to get out of the way of the locals who are now coming in for late dinner.

My Father in law walks out of the Restaurant with this huge smile on His face and I'm so happy to see He had enjoyed His meal the first night, and He walks over the the rest of us and proceed's to tell Me how he told the owner he charged too much for the meal. and that he should adjust the bill. OH MY GOD, I almost died right there on the cobblestone street. I wanted to throw myself in front of a smart car and die. After a few moments of silence, My Husband gave the old man the one two three about manners while at someone else's home/restaurant, and what would happen if people came into my wife's restaurant and bitched about the bill? We as you can picture the walk back to the hotel was tense. I didn't say anything about this incident after talking with my husband that night, who kept saying he was sorry about his dad.

While eating this great meal, we all agreed to meet in the Lobby at 10 am to take the metro to the Vatican for mass and to see the Pope. Well I hardly slept all night I was so excited to finally be in Rome. So at 5 am I was up and ready for coffee, however the breakfast that was included in the Room didn't start until 6:45 am. So I got up showered dressed real quiet as not to wake up My wonderful sweet Husband who was thrilled with the Hotel, and we explored the whole place before going to be really late the night before. So at 6:40 am I was in the Lobby to get coffee. As I came down the elevator I heard all these voices, and I was thinking WOW where are all these voices coming from. In the Lobby. A huge group of American Old People, they were up early because the tour they were going on started at 7:30am and they were loud and acting like Ugly Americans. Great. Last night wasn't enough to deal with and now I'm surrounded by the Geritol Gang who can't hear so they shout, or talk and think no one can hear them. I could see the sheer Horror on the restaurant staff when they opened the door to let these maniac's in. I just stood there waiting patiently, because I am in the same situation every weekend at my restaurant, everyone wanting to be taken care of NOW. But the Host was a true Gentleman, He walked over to Me when He saw I was not with this AARP Gang, and sat me down at a table set with beautiful dishes and silverware. Coffee He asked. Yes PLEASE. within a minute a small pot of coffee with warm frothed milk, I was in Heaven. My journal, hot coffee, the hearld to read, I was in Heaven.

After 40 minutes of craziness with the old people getting fed and out the door I got up to check out the Breakfast that was layed out Beautifully. All sorts of Meats, cheeses, fruit, crossiants, eggs, bacon, sausage and lots of good little foods. I got some meat and rolls and it was really good. I called our room to see how My Husband was getting along. He had already showered and would be down in 10 minutes. In the meantime I have not seen or heard from anyone else from our group and now it's 8:30 am and I was already to take off ontime to the Vatican. My husband came down looking handsome as ever, and smiling. My life is good, and I Thank God again for blessing Me with so many Wonderful things. So I watch My husband eat, and in the meantime 4 other family members show up but no inlaws. I tell My Man I will go up and check on them. I get off the elevator, and in the hallway is My mother in law wondering around, with PJ bottoms on and slippers, Her hair sticking up in the back like alfalfa, and She didn't know it was Me walking twards her. Mom, what's going on? She says I need coffee, where do I go? So I walked Her down to the Restaurant and when We walked in the look on My husband and his sister's face was priceless. I got her seated, and poured Her some coffee, and within minutes She was doing better.

Hey My Husbands parents are in their late 70's, and this trip was for His Dad who's father was born in Calabria and His mother was born in sicily. His whole life he wanted to go to Italy to see where his parents came from. His Father stowed away on a ship at 13 and came to America. Can you see yourself doing that? not Me. I'm Detroit tough, but stowing away on a ship to a country I have no idea about or the langauge and never seeing My momma again. No way. So I finally talked the family into going to Italy, and I was starting to regret it.

So now My father in law is awake and down to breakfast too. By this time there in no way they will be ready for the trip on the metro to the Vatican. Mass starts at 11 am and the Pope at noon. So after much debating. My Husband would stay behind with this Sister Parents and Neice while Me My Brother in law and Nephew hop on the metro and go on without them, we'll meet up later in St. Pete's square.

The metro was really easy to use. But it take us several trys to get our tickets out of the machine. A nice lady came over and told us in italian, first make your selection, then put the money in. OHHHHH now we get it. The Couple behind us were glad for that info too. When we first got up to the ticket machine they were there first, and were having problems, so when we stood behind them for our turn, they stepped to the side and let us go ahead well they were having trouble too with figuring it out. So now My first ride on the metro in Italy, and I'm on my way to the Vatican. A lifetime dream for Me too. It was very crowded when the train pulled up. I was shocked. We pushed ourselves in and I wasn't worried about pickpockets (there are signs everywhere warning you about it)I kept my money and copy of my passport in my bra. Trust Me I'd feel someone pickin that pocket. Had no problem finding our stop and now We were really running behind because We didn't leave the Hotel until 10:20 and mass had already started. The line into the Church was huge, and there was close to 30 thousand people there. People were taking cuts and no one really there to give you direction. I asked a Police officer, and He told Me to stay in line go through the metal detectors and right into the church so 10 minutes later We ended up against a metal fence that was stopping us from getting through the Church doors. Man I didn't get this far and not get inside. By some miracle, a Man who worked there came over and started talking to People who were shouting Italian at Him, so He came over and opened the gate, and people started pushing to get through. Me my nephew and Bro grabbed onto eachother and pushed our way through. Hey it's the Italian way. You better learn it now, because it's the only way to get Your way.

I was so Excited to finally be there, Big o tears just rolling down my face. I'm a Catholic Girl From St. Ambrose in Detroit. Went to School there and Member of the Parish My whole life, and I was going to Mass at the Vatican. We got there just in time for Communion, It was a mad house trying to get to the alter to recieve the Body of Christ. I bummed into a Little old lady inline, She turned around and gave me a dirty look, I said I was so sorry in my best Italian, and she smiled and said it's alright, and her and I held unto eachother and fought our way into the line going up to the alter. She went to the right, and I went to the left. I recieved communion with tears in my eyes (I wasn't the only one) and I was able to kneel and pray in the front row. I had to pinch myself after I sat back after praying on My knee's. I got the best view of the Alter, and sat there for awhile just trying to absorb it all. My Husband and His Family are not Catholic. Yeah I know, everyone in Italy is Catholic, but My Father in Law attended baptist church and joined. So I was the only one recieving communion. My Bro and Nephew waited while I did my thing, and met Me later at the place we talked about earlier.

Mass was over and now everyone is in the mad rush to get outside to see the Pope. It was crazier than earlier. Now the entire Plaza was jammed with People. All kinds of People, from all over the world. Black White Priests Nuns Muslims Asians Old Young Babies it was Fantastic. Now I'm wondering where is My Husband and the rest of the gang. Our Cell works in Europe (Me and my honey's) so I call Him and They are in the Plaza and they are watching the Pope too, and videoing Him. Great. Now the big problem is trying to find them, we had walkie talkie's and it still was a pain trying to get to them. Finally We are all together, and it was Beautiful outside and I had suggested We board the 110 bus to take a tour of the city to get our bearings straight. It is highly recommended on this travel page and Trip advisor. We all agreed on it. Cool.

Hope this is eaiser to read. I tried to break it up paragrah wise. More to come later.
THERESA10 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,323
Your report is very enjoyable and this one was much easier to read. The only suggestion is do not capitalize words unneccesarily in the middle of sentences.

Welcome back to Detroit!
motor_city_girl is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
I'm enjoying your report, Theresa, especially since I'll be taking my mother on her dream trip to Rome in March.

How thoughtful of you to help out with your friend's mother's funeral lunch arrangements considering your impending trip. You sound like a real gem.

I laughed out loud about your FIL telling the restaurant that the bill needed adjusting. And here I was thinking that the price was a steal for that many people. Parents...gotta love 'em.

Can you tell me which day you went to see the Pope? Was it Sunday or Wednesday? I'm just trying to get a feel for what it'll be like when I take my mom there. She's an ex-nun so the sighting will be a huge thing for her, too.

Looking forward to reading more!
Statia is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 105
My wife and I are going to Rome in June before heading to Bologna. Enjoying your writeups. About resturant bills - My wife and older son went to Rome 5 years ago in January. They went to a resturant and had a great meal. When they got the check (in was Lira's in those days) my wife discovered that the waiter had made an addition error and should have charged more. When my wife tried to explain this to the waiter and his manager, they thought she was complaining about the price, so they lowered the bill. With my wife's lack of Italian language and the wait-staff's lack of English caused the confusion.
dhoffman is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 603

Your trip report is a blast--almost as much fun as being there. I hope you are laughing as much as we are.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 248
The day We saw the Pope was Sunday. And I highly recommend it. It was a Life Moving Experience. I begged God to Help Me become a Better Human Being, no matter how many people took cuts and shoved their way past Me to be taken care of First. Little did I know how far the begging to God would take Me.

So I left off at we were all taking the 110 bus around the City of Rome. you can catch it right at the Vatican. We could see the buses lined up and a long line to get on them. So We got inline while My Husband talked to a driver in a bus about the 4th inline. While waiting on him, the sun was out and it was becoming a Beautiful afternoon. as we were in line we noticed the bus would only let like 5 or 6 people on at a time i was thinking what's this all about. well come to find out they can only let so many people on at each stop so that there is room at other stops to let people on, ok, in the meantime my husband came back and told us the busdriver he spoke to told him we'd get on the bus faster if we went across the street and got tickets. so he and my bro went over to get tickets. in that time a lady come by selling scarfs for 5 euro each. they were beautiful and she had a huge array of colors and patterns. so i bought 4 for myself and i used them everyday while there in rome. i really needed them later during our stay when it go really cold. here comes my husband with a face that could kill. i thought oh no what happened. well some lady that was well dressed had reached into his pocket while waiting inline for tickets. but he grabbed her arm, and she acted like she didn't know what was wrong. i told him dont be too mad at least she didn't get anything.

after some pushing and line cutting by other tourist, it was our turn to get on the bus. Yeah...I sat inside the bus with my inlaws, 4 of them went upstairs to the open air part though it was nice outside i knew it would get too cold. the bus is so worth doing. it went to every major attraction in rome. it was a well spent 13.00 euro. the streets were filled with traffic and people. all the cafes and shops seemed to be open and you got a real sense of life in rome and see where all the good shopping is. we got to see some crazy stuff while on the bus. 2 women in a car were trying to get down this little alley, and a man with a motor bike who wouldn't move over from where he had parked it and it was in the lady's way of getting through, she honked, he ignored her and continued on his cellphone, in the meantime the momma got out of the passengers seat and proceed to chew him out, and she tried to push his bike over and he shoved her, now the driver who was much younger hopped out and started pushing the man around and everyone in the bus was yelling at him not to put his hands on the ladies, and the light turned and off we went leaving the madness behind. another american couple asked us what did we think of that? I told em my money was on momma, i think she could have kicked his ass right there. we'll never know.

I was not even prepared to be speechless at the sites and ruins around rome. the bus took us to termini quirinale colosem piazza venezia piazza navona san pietro piazza cavour dontana di trevi and via vento. you can get on and off at these stops and the bus pass is good for all day. we rode around the route 2 times taking pictures enjoying the sights and talking to people on the bus. they give you headsets to use that narrates the sights but i didn't use them i wanted to use my memory and take it in all on my own. yeah i'm a friut cake. my husband calls me that, and i love it.

Now everyone is getting hungry and looking to me to tell them where were eating. well after the night before i am really gun shy on going anywhere with this crowd. i suggested we stop for a quick sandwich and coffee near our hotel and go out to dinner later. we hopped off the bus at at piazza barberini and had yummy sandwiches and cappacino's right down the street across from blockbuster. put you order in first and then go to the counter and get your coffee and food and stand at the bar and eat it perfect.

We got back to the hotel at 4pm and agreed to meet at 6 in the lobby for dinner. i was sweating it about dinner I knew where i wanted to go (tullioi's) but no way with this bunch. as we were getting ready the family called our room and said they all wanted to go to hard rock cafe. my husband hangs up and tells me what they want, and i'm thinking your kidding were in rome and they want to go to hard rock. well i didn't want to make him feel bad so i said no problem. well we got there at 6:30 and there was an hour and a half wait. i thought they were joking, this place ain't worth the wait. i had never eaten at a hard rock cafe, to commerical for me. i suggested we go up the street for pizza, but the kids wanted to stay, so finally my husband and bro scored 2 tables at the bar area. i love music so it didn't bother me in the least, but My father in law whips out these earplugs they gave us on air france and stuck them in his ears. we all laughed our butts off, and he looks at us and goes WHAT? need i say more. well no one will wait on you at these bar tables, you have to go up and place your order at the bar. for the life of me i can't figure out the system this family uses. they say dinner the night before was steep, but they will sit in this dump and pay 11 euro for a burger and fries. i didn't see anything on the menu that thrilled me so I just had some potato skins and my husband had a nacho. we all waited forever for our food, and my sister in laws food didn't come until we were all done. my potato skins were cold and awful, my husband liked his nacho and it was huge too. we had to ask for silverware and a very nice young lady came and gave us silverware napkins and refilled our drinks, when got ready to leave we tipped Her and she was so grateful, you'd think we gave her 100. euro, so 3 hours later were back on the street to our hotel, i'm thinking to myself, we'll get his family back to the hotel and we'll go out and get a roman thin crust pizza that i have been thinking about for 3 months planning this trip, but BAM right on the way back to our hotel was this ice cream shop, and i got lemon and it was huge and the best ice cream i have ever had. i got head freeze bigtime. but i didn't care it was sooooooo good.

Got back to the Hotel and got everyone to their rooms, and we ran out the door. we went to the internet cafe to check the train prices and schedules to naples i had to go to pompeii. it was the only other thing i insisted on. i had studied it most of my life, and had done school reports and a play about it. no not a real play, but one at school that got high marks and a standing ovation. so anyways we get that info did some emailing about our trip so far, and head to a pizza place up the street off san tolentino, my husband got the cheese and tomato i got cheese and garlic they were freshly made and huge i mean really big. i didn't think i could eat the whole thing, but i gave it the old college try and finished it all. the waiter couldn't believe it, he wanted to buy me a limecello (?) and i said no thanks, i thought i'd explode right there. we walked back to our hotel sat outside next to a fountain in the courtyard and didn't say a word, just kissed and listened.

We are tippers, what can i say. other than i have been in the restaurant business since i was born. worked summers at a aunt's restaurant, lied and said i was 15 at 12 to work at a little restaurant not far from where i lived. and tips is what has helped me out my whole life, paid for all the little extra's in life. I put my daughter through MA school with tips so anyways, we left the maid a tip on the bed for turndown service and she piled our room with extra's, tons of shampoo, body oils big bars of soaps extra towels and wash clothes. if you don't bring your own, it's likely your not getting any. tried to in paris and madrid and the hotel didn't have them. i had brought some with me but didn't have to use them after all. Yes our room was on the small side but it was perfect for us, well the bed wasn't long enough for me I'm 6 foot and all legs so my legs were hangin over. my husband loved it cause i couldn't get to far away on these twin beds pushed together. My body was all jacked up, i didn't sleep more than 5 hours a night. I was up and ready every morning for coffee downstairs, and they knew i was coming and had a table ready in the back where i liked to sit looking out the windows at all the romans going to work and parking their cars and bikes in every direction they could fit them. there is a harley shop right across the street from our hotel and it's got some sweet machines in there and i had not heard a harley the first couple of days at the hotel but when i did it was like thunder coming into town. i don't think it's legal to have a loud bike like this one was, but it was the owner of the shop and he had a lowrider and when we heard it we stuck our heads out the window and watched him park it, then we went down to look at it up close, and you can also watch the machine man work on the motorcycles in a window they have set up unto the street. I thought it would be cool to buy some harley rome stuff but the prices were way out of line 55.00 euro and i thought it was a rip off. so i passed on the shirts. and one day during the week we stayed at the hotel so my husband could get some rest and the police showed up outside our window and started towing cars away. one after another tow trucks pulled up and towed car after car away. I mean if you've ever been to rome they park like idoits. no offense but they double and triple park, they park on sidewalks and blocking handicap ramps off the streets, smart cars parked sideways in between 2 cars, just unbelievable, we took tons of picutes being from the motorcity just to show our customers the park jobs and the cars small enough to park 3 in the back of my pick up truck.

We leave for Naples/Pompeii the next day. and it's a crazy begining and end to the trip, I will tell more later.
THERESA10 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 187
was in rome in November. really enjoying your report. keep it up
gfeibleman is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 07:10 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 84
Theresa - Your personality shines through your account of your trip to Italy. I'm thoroughly enjoying your report and your sense of humor. Its a little different than the norm on this site and delightful.
ehughes is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,820
Theresa, I laughed so much reading your report that I had tears in my eyes..
You are a very adaptable and funny person..
I am glad that you enjoyed and loved my beautiful city..

PS. I could picture your MIL, going to breakfast with her Pj..
kismetchimera is offline  

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