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Trip Report Rome I Loved it...

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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.

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  • Report Abuse

    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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. :D 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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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..:)

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    Hi Theresa10, I personally am really enjoying your trip report, LOL. You are a good sport, and a good story teller. I look forward to the rest of your trip to Italy with your family! BTW, your dear friend that lost her mother is so fortunate to have you as a friend. Now, more of your time in Italy please!!

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    Hi wliwl, thanks for the nice comment. Yes I have been busy the last weeks, then I was without an internet connection for several days, then my dear grandson was here "hogging" my computer, LOL. Finally have some "quiet" time and my computer for my own personal use. Oh happy days!!:-P

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    Good Afternoon All; Today has been a very bad day for Me. If anyone Who has lost a Parent, you can relate with Me. I lost My Bestfriend/Father 5 years ago today, and though I know He is in Sweet heaven, my selfishness wants him here now to kiss and talk too. But all the kind,wonderful compliments by everyone on fodor's has made my heart swell with love and I do see the goodness that keeps us all living. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. look no caps, i'm getting better...

    Now My Husband and I sneak away to be alone, and so we decide let's go to the train station check the prices and times right on the customer service machines that are right at the front entrance leaving for Naples in the morning. wow, hot date. Well I'm from detroit and as you know it has it's share of the underbelly world, homeless, drunks, drug addicts and just plain nutty people wandering around downtown and in the subs, but the ones in front of termini should win an oscar. It was a melodrama everytime we went, and i am a fruitcake and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. don't get me wrong it is not dangerous at all, so i highly recommend going there for cheap eats and a show.

    So we walk to termini for our hot date and 2 grown men who are drunk are fighting, not fists flying fighting, but hand open wide and pushing eachother in the face and slapping eachother like a couple of girls, they were stagering and screaming in italain which really made this oprea hilarous. so we stood there for 15 minutes watching them, my husband had to drag me away. the train station is nuts, people rushing with suitcases to the trains, people exiting the building faster than elvis, with their cellphones stitched to their face. don't even get in the way, they will run your ass right over. I got respect for the italians, they don't discrimniate (/) they are rude to one another not just us tourists. we found the self serve machines, and a 6 year old could understand and work them. But of course my husband had questions only a human being who can speak english can answer, so we head to what seems to be a customer service office, we walk in and you have to take a number and wait your turn, yeah right, i've seen how this system works, this number is better for toilet paper not the number that's written on it, aha, as we stand there a man dressed up to look like a women, who really looks like a man trying to look like a woman, did you get that? He/She had on white go go boots (i'm not joking) fishnet stockings a purple raincoat and a long brown wig wearing big jackie o white sunglasses who rushes in and walks past everyone holding the toilet paper ticket to ask a question in italian which i couldn't make out because of the rapid talking, and the lady behind the counter starts to say something back about the fact she'd take care of her when she was done with the person sitting at her desk, well that wasn't good enough for nancy sinatra, she stomped her white go go boots and shouted and of course she got her way, and 2 minutes later she was walking out with a piece of paper in her hand that made her smile and see the lipstick on her teeth, stuff only in the movies. finally it is our turn, so we walk over, there is one chair and I sit down and My husbands says hello and had some questions regrading the train going to naples in the morning. the woman helping us started to raise her voice and say THIS IS NOT INFO, GO OUT! I would not budge until she told us exactly where we should go, though I was really tempted to tell her where to go. But i sat there and asked her in my best italian where exactly we needed to go to get this information, well after the stare down, she calmed down and said go out and to the left a green sign with a i is for information, i said thank you, and walked out. sorry i was too under dressed to get the same respect as nancy sinatra. so we find the info place walk in to get the number paper since no one was inline a lady waved us over and say hi can i help you? Wow someone who was nice, maybe this will be eaiser than i thought, because now i was gunshy, the majority of italian women i have encountered so far are not very nice or polite, and i can handle it, but not in customer service, you have to be at least decent to people, and this lady at info was nice right way, I let my husband sit down and do the talking, and this women was wonderful, she checked all the times and prices. She explained that there is a slow, medium and fast trains, and the fast non stop train was the best. she wrote down the info for us and I was so appreciative of her kindness. she had a cold and poor thing looked tired, and she still did her job with a smile on her face. we said good bye and she said if we need anything else let her know.

    We walked around the train station afterwards, and there are alot of shops and restaurants there. a grocery store too. we spotted a place making fresh orange juice out of blood oranges, so bought a large one and a bowl of fruit and took it back to the lady that was so nice helping us out, we thought this is just what she needs, to give her a pick up and some vitamin C, when we walked back into her office and we gave her the juice and fruit the look on her face was unforgetable, she was shocked that we went out of our way to come back with juice and fruit for her. we told her how much we appreciate all her help. that made my day, and was kind of sad, because random acts of kindness seem far and few between in Italy.

    They had a huge christmas tree in the entrance of the train station, and people were putting notes to santa on it, so I did too. That was sweet, and i got a huge kick out of reading the ones i could understand. world peace is really popular, i wonder where you can buy that. We had to end our date, we knew they'd figure out we were mia and get worried. so as we left the train station guess who walked by us hand in hand just happy as can be, the drunks who had been slapping eachother around earlier. my husband and i laughed so hard, i almost pee'd myself. We got back and told everyone of the train schedule and prices and that we could go there anytime and get the tickets out of the machine. so we decided to do that after dinner. now earlier that day, my BIL pulls me to the side to say that if me and my husband wanted to go out to eat somewhere special or whatever feel free to go without them because they were happy with getting something on the go and we liked to sit down and take our time. if i didn't know any better, i'd say he didn't want to spend too much on dinner like we were willing to do, and i understand, but you get what you pay for. i live by that in the food world, hey i'm in the business, i know better. So We fianlly got the chance to eat at Tullio's, i was so excited, i had read so many good things about this place, and it was highly recommended on tripadvisor and fromms forums. I got all dolled up model style (sorry no white go go boots) for my husband and off we went, got there when they opened at 7:30 pm, got seated and we went over the whole menu. the bread was Awesome, it was warm and i ate a loaf myself. we had soup minestroni for me and tortellini in broth for my husband, we got mixed salad and a salami plate. I love salami and i had the best everywhere we ate it. Italy has got some good salami and so many differnt kinds. I ordered lamb chops with sauteed spinach and my man got spaghetti in meatsauce. by now the restaruant started to get packed, all locals and regulars, we were really enjoying all the fun and noise that goes on in the restaurant, we felt at home, until a huge party of men came in and proceeded to smoke in the restaurant, well that's a no no in Italy now, and My husband said something to the waiter, who said something to the boss, who said something to the men smoking, and they put out their cigs, but not for long, after they had a little antipasta, they lit right back up, if might not have been to bad, but their table was basically pushed right next to ours, not even a inch between them. in the meantime, my lamb chops and spinach arrived and the spinach was great, but the lamb chops were awful. Fatty with a bone in the center, and very little meat. I tried to pick at it, and they just were not good at all, and they forgot to bring my husband his pasta, but he was full and was glad the waiter forgot, but don't you know it was on the bill, and when my husband pointed it out the waiter was very upset, and we told him it was not a big deal, we just wanted to pay. He seemed really upset that we wouldn't let him go get the pasta and stay and eat it, but we tried to be polite, because we know mistakes happen and it's not a a big deal, but for some reason it was to him, so finally he brings the check back, we leave the money with a tip, and leave. The food was great other than the lamb chops, and i would go back.

    Now I'm beat and can't wait to go back to our room and crash out and watch cnn and get caught up with my journel and get ready for naples the next day. We run into our family in the lobby and they want to go to termini and get the tickets to naples for the morning. we debate should i go or not, I am tired and i want to get these heels off, but i decide to go with them, so all 8 of us walk to termini, it's a beautiful night and it's a nice walk. we get to the front entrance and 2 men are peeing in the corner and me and my niece just crack up when we figure out what they are doing. I'm thinking why don't they just go inside and use the bathroom? those lazy dogs. So we get to the self serve machines, and we are having a problem purchasing the tickets, so my husband and BIL go to the info center to see if the nice lady is still there in the meantime the rest of us are waiting at the machines, her comes the nice lady with my husband over to the machines, she helps him buy all the tickets, and somehow finds a deal on the tickets that saves us about 200.00 euro's. she explains that many seats are dicounted but you can only buy 4 at a time and that we may not get the same deal on the other 4, but we are just so happy to have her help us, and my husband BIL FIL are bombarding her with question after question while she's trying to take the money put it into the machine and press the buttons, i tell them to shut up and let her do her job, and they do, and she finishes about 15 minutes later, mind you, it's about 10 pm and we had been there earlier about 2pm and she was still there, we tried to give her a 50 euro tip for all her help and trouble and she refused, told us it was her job, and a pleasure to help nice people, i had tears rolling down my face, how sweet.

    Got back to the hotel, but not before getting ice cream, i got chocolate, and i knew there'd be no sleeping tonite. The ice cream was so good and smooth, i could get addicted. We all agreed to meet at breakfast so we could leave for the train station at 8 am sharp, the train leaves at 8:55 am. I was leaving with or without them, no way was I missing pompeii.

    finally back in our warm room with a full moon and alone. Didn't fall asleep till 2 am. Got up at 6am I had got all my clothes and backpack ready the night before, so I was down at breakfast at 7 for coffee. All my family showed up not long after I did, and we all ate breakfast together for the first time, and it ain't a pretty scene. at 8 am Me and My husband and His parents are the only one down in the lobby, now we had arranged for a cab to take his parents, because it had rained through the night and we thought the streets would be slick and we didn't want his parents to slip and fall. The cab was there, and I got the parents loaded and my husband came outside and said the rest of the family was running behind and they would meet us there. well my MIL starts getting upset because she thinks they will not make it intime and miss the train. Oh well, if they want to let their teenagers run the show, that's their problem. The nice lady at termini told us the tickets were NON refundable, she made that very clear to us before she'd stick 1 euro in the machine, so if they didn't make it not only were the losing out on money, but one of the greatest places i have been in god's world. We get to the train station, and stand there like in a movie and watch the arrival and departure board fan/change numbers every few minutes to let you know what train was at what bin/track. it's now 8:29 and still no lost family members, My MIL is sick with worry, I had to tell her, Mom look, Me and Randy BIL have been all over the place together, Mexico for missionary trips, europe and through out america and with teenagers i mean like up to 70 at onetime. I ought to tell you all about that, but that's a whole new story, and he will be there ontime. We have never missed a flight or train ever (Well then there's air france) they will be here, 8:40 they came running in. Yeah, all is good, now all we need is the bin number and we'll be on our way. Do you have the tickets?

    More later. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. It sure feels good to recall it all again. It's funny now, but wasn't then.

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    Theresa, I just started reading your latest installment, but wanted to jump in and tell you to keep on "capping" or "not capping" whatever you want. :)

    I, personally, am enjoying every bit of your trip report. You are so funny! What fun! I only wish I were a fly on the wall with grandma in her PJ's in the dining room, amongst many other "memorable" scnearios.

    Just think of the fun stories you are going to have to tell your grandkids one day! :)

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    Theresa, I have been to Italy several times and have not been able to get my husband to go. But after reading your posts, I convinced him he should let me take him for his birthday in May. I am REALLY enjoying your saga, and since I have made the trip from Rome to Pompeii via the fast train and circumvesuviana train many times, I can't wait to read about YOUR experience! You go, girl!

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    Hi Theresa, your trip report has me enthralled. You just write anyway you want to..I am enjoying your trip to Italy, your adventures and your thoughts about your trip so much! What a fun and lively report. Thank you for sharing your time in Italy!

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    Well it's going to be a crazy day here at the restaurant. It's cookie night! that means all my kid customers come in a decorate cookies and have a blast. no one will sleep tonite, it's a sugar addicts dream. Last year about 50 kids showed up. I loved it, but the parents are the problem, they want to tell the kids how to decorate their cookies, cupcakes pretzels etc. I let them do what they want and let the little Monet come out of their little hearts. They are the future of this world, and I pray they can fix all the screw ups the adults did to this world...

    Were standing in Termini station and of course we have the tickets, my husband was just messing with me, that dog. The numbers on the arriv/depart board is going crazy it changes fast and you better be watching good. our train finally is posted and off to the tracks we go. we board the train and ewwww it's nasty, it stinks like BO and needs a bath from the top to the bottom of our car. dang, i knew we should have gone first class. but not many people were in this compartment, and that was a good thing, that didn't last too long because the train makes many stops and we pick up more as we go south. it's rainy and cloudy all the way there. i thought i'd pass right out and sleep since i have only had about 10 hours sleep in 3 days, but no. everyone else just falls asleep and i enjoy the scenery, even all the clothes hanging to be rained on. as the train approaches the coast it just blew me away, the water and the islands are surreal. I wake everybody up and they are amazed at the coast too. It got me daydreaming about the man who wrote a journel while watching the volcano erupt and destroy life at pompeii.

    Finally we have arrived at naples train station, and what a seedy place and shady people hanging around. I had been warned on TA about the station so I'm prepared, but not for the children that are there begging with their parents standing to the side giving them advise, it was really sad. some old man comes up to us and he's wearing these pins that make you think he's an employee of the station, but i know better and tell everyone to ignore him, but my inlaws start talking to him and they say oh he wants to help us get our tickets for the next local train to take us to pompeii, so they all follow him and i just do my own thing figuring out where to buy the next set of tickets, and it's downstairs, where i see my family behind the old man who's talking in italain to the boxoffice guy, all the tickets are bought and money given to the boxoffice guy, who BTW is smoking in this little space You won't see that at amtrack station, so now the old man leads everyone to track #3 and turns to my FIL and asks for payment, and My FIL takes the coins out of his pocket to hand the guy and now the old guy gets all offened by the FIL giving him change, well i go over tell the old man to get the hell out of here in Italian/Spanish cause i wasn't really sure on the italian version, and he starts yelling at me and my FIL takes a 10 euro bill and hands it to him now i'm pissed, and the old man turns to my husband with his hand out saying this is not enough, i reach in to grab the bill back and my husband tells me no, so i retreat, and off the old guys goes yelling as he goes, great now everyone is stareing, which i feel makes us a target and sure as i thought here comes the kids, begging and playing their insturments, so i shoo them away, which of course makes me look like the bad guy, I told them i won't give money to anyone, but if they wanted we could back up stairs buy some food and hats and give it to the kids, but we didn't have time, and here comes the train to pompeei..

    I had read on TA not to get off at the green line stay on the blue line and it drops you off at the little town of pompeii, so we do, now i'm getting some slack from the rest of the gang telling me maybe we should get off and go the way it's advised on the board of the stops posted on the train, but i say no let's do it this way, when we got the train station there was some really shady people there too and dogs all over the station and everywhere we go, they are not roaming gangs of rabid dogs, just friendly dogs who want to be petted, now everyone melts cause the dogs are not shabby, they are well groomed and so cute. We need to go use the restroom and get directions straight, we walk into a little cafe, order cappacino's and use the bathroom and the kids buy some munchies, the girls making the cappacino's seemed to be intriged at my tallness, and come from behind the counter to stand next to me, well i'm used to this, so they giggle and the old lady behind the register with a frown like someone stole her last danish yells at them in italian and they run back around the counter. It's getting cold and windy now, but we all start for the entrance to pompeii.

    It's not the entrance, it's really the exit, but they tell us no problem you can just go in, well it was like 20 euro to get in and some balked but I insisted I was going whether anyone else wanted or not. so everyone got a ticket and well what can i say it was worth every penny and more. Pompeii will just blow your mind. the citizens were living large and incharge. they were way ahead of their time, and the ruins are very well perserved and it's more than i ever wished for. there were dogs all over pompeii, and we had quite a few following us around, we named one elvis cause he had that whole lip thing going on, he even came to the train station with us, but he would not go inside, because there was dogs who were having no part of elvis invading their territory. After 2 hours it got so cold and windy at the ruins the girls were getting cold and tired, so we had a little hudle going on, and they all said if me and my man wanted to stay we could and they were going back to naples and shop. well i knew my man wanted to be with his parents so i said no that's ok, i just waited my whole life to come here, and i was as cold as them, but i decided to myself, I will come back here on my own and stay in the little town and give the ruins my undivided attention. so we started back the way we came in and ran into quite a few tour groups. we had hardly ran into many tourist at the ruins, so i guess it was good timing. all the shops in pompeii had closed for the afternoon which made our teenage neice very upset, well i'm sorry honey, we can't stop the stores from closing, so now she's pouting and i'm doing the pee pee dance, so we go into mc donald's to use the restroom, and the kids want to eat, so we stay there for about 30 minutes warming up while the kids eat, what's funny is they have no coffee, they don't serve it. dog, i could sure use something hot. oh well, we get to the train station, the train leaves in 25 minutes so we stand inside and all these people are there and one guy is vandalizing the public phones, he's really into it, he's got all his tools in this back pack and it just jammin the phone with a screwdriver, than starts hitting it with his fist, and slow but sure euro after euro comes out. I am totally entranced by this dude, in between getting the coins out, it had a digital display of somekind on the phone and he would type all these messages into the phone, and i'm trying to figure out what his deal was, and my family is in the corner scared off by all these really wierd people, not me i'm in the mits of it all lovin it, hey I wait and feed people like this all day at the restaurant, i fit right in, so no one comes up to me, but they approach my family for a hand out, but they learned their lesson already so they ignore them, and they do go away. back to the phone man ATT calling;) he leaves his back pack at the phone and walks out of the train station, now my SIL says what if there is a bomb or something in that back pack? get a grip this guy ain't like that, he'll be back and 2 minutes later he walks in with a sandwich and starts tearing it apart and feeds the dogs all of it. Ah, how sweet, not he is no longer the ATT bomber, the kids name him Mr. PETA, so i make up this story to the kids while sitting on the train back to naples about this guy who robs the phones to feed the dogs of pompeii, BTW someone feeds the dogs in pompeii, we noticed all through the ruins and along the streets little neat piles of dog food. Now i love the town even more.

    We get to the train station at naples, and the Niece wants to go to town and shop, well if every shop has closed in pompeii than more than likely in naples too, well this makes her cry cause she must shop. Well when we get back to rome we can shop all night, that makes her feel better, so we go to buy our tickets back to rome, and we find first class really cheap so we buy them. The train is leaving in 20 minutes so we have to get it together and get to the bin, in the meantime i'm looking for the old guy from earlier to shake him down for the 10 euro's. but he ain't there. dang...First class is much better, but the business men around us do not appreciate our laughter and having a goodtime in general, but too bad, the train car is not full and the two that were giving us the evil eye finally moved, so we were able to enjoy everyone telling what they liked the most of pompeii. We get back to rome, and the train station is a mad house, but rome is warm and it's a clear night, stars just a shining like diamonds. the front desk is so happy to see us when we walked in, how was pompeii and did we want something warm to drink, how sweet. No thanks we spotted a family restaurant on the way back to the hotel, and we all decided to go back after we dropped our stuff off and cleaned up. So an hour later we are sitting in the back of this restaurant in a room with no one else, this don't look good to me at all, but lo and behold this man and woman came in cleaned up the table and got us drinks took our order and started delivering dish after dish, and it was really fresh hot and good. they had a pastry counter so we all went up picked out what we wanted and had coffee and relaxed. a little while later my FIL didn't look good, he said he had a upset tummy, so they all went back to the hotel, and my husband and i explored the area and went back to our hotel to check up on this dad.

    Well his dad had thrown up a little bit and was laying down. I felt bad, he's my buddy and I hated to see him not feeling good. Well i had forgotten that when we were at breakfast that morning, some of us had taken some friut and packaged toast for the train ride to naples and my FIL had asked the server for a bag to take a ham sandwich and He gave him a bag of goodies to go with it, and I had warned him that HAM DO GO BAD, that's a whole other story and we use that line all the time at home and at the restaurant, so I think he ate that ham sandwich and it was upseting his stomach, but he totally denied that was why and the sandwich tasted fine, hello you can't always taste food poisoning. We bid them a good night and went to our room opened the window and just layed there together and listened to rome, and some other stuff i can't type. this is a family post.

    More later, I have to get ready for the kids tonite.

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    Theresa, absolutely LOVE your report! Don't stifle your creativity by worrying about caps. etc. Keep your personality and go with it, girl!!

    I want to come to your restaurant too, if I am ever in Detroit!

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    Theresa -
    This trip report is hilarious! I love your attitude and your point of view! You are a pistol!

    I'm going to Rome and Florence in Feb'06 for our first trip (9 women in all) and I'm especially interested in how you dealt with such a large group. Did you have trouble getting seating in restaurants? Also enjoy your description of Pompeii since it is on our itinerary, too.

    Keep it coming, girl!

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    Thank you for your delightful and THOROUGH story.

    For those of you hung up on the occasional mid-sentence Capitalization - surely it can't be making it that hard of a read for you? I certainly appreciated the added paragraphs, but even without them the story is well worth a little extra effort.

    Again, thanks Theresa - great story!

    -Tom Steele

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    Theresa--this is such a great trip report. Keep it coming. I have traveled extensively with my parents and extended family and there's just nothing that compares. Nothing can be more frustrating, and at the same time, there can be no memories more precious. Cheers to you.

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    The kids had a great time. frosting all over the place, the kids had it in their hair on their clothes and on every table and booth in the dining room. nothing warm water and soap can't fix. the best part, their teeth! the gel used to decorate the cookies stains your teeth, and kids were running around with blue or green or red lips and teeth. we took pictures so i can show them at the all the kids weddings. i know, i'm cruel.

    I would welcome you all to my restaurant with open arms, our motto is good food bad attitude. so don't expect a quiet breakfast or lunch, it ain't happening. as for large groups eating in rome for the 9 ladies that are going together, and i am saying the rosary you all like eachother afterwards, it's no problem getting into most places. we did have the hotel call a few with reservations which i highly recommend you do. you get a better table and good service, so that's what i thought. no restaurant wants you to go back and tell the hotel the restaurant sucked, that could be bad for business.

    Once again i am up early and sneak out not to wake my husband, we knows where to find me. when i get to the breakfast room it's pretty busy but i get seated by the host (he's looking cuter everyday)and have some coffee, but no soon afterward i got up to get some juice and while pouring it a man came up next to me and couldn't wait like a gentleman until i finished, so he reached across me and took a glass and kind of cornered me or as i would say in my space, and he then stood there and looked at me said something in italian and i didn't understand him and said pardon me? and he pushed me. i could not believe it, he took his elbow and pushed me. yep made me take a step back from the shove, i was speechless, he just finished pouring his juice and walked away, i was just shocked, i thought i'm gonna sick my old man on him, he'll give em an old detroit ass kickin out in the alley, nah just kiddin, so anywa

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    ooooooops on a laptop at home and hit the wrong key.

    so i was shocked, that has never happened to me and my heart was really beating hard. so i sat down and just tried to finish the paper i was reading when suddenly this huge crash happens and plates fall and food rolling on the floor, i look up thinking i hear a job opening (for those food workers)but it's the guy who shoved me, he tripped and fell going up the stairs to his table and dropped all the food he was taking back with him, he wasn't hurt and the staff ran over to help him up and pick up the food. i was tickled and knew i could put the voodo on that sucker.

    My husband came down to join me and He had talked to his dad and he's still not feeling good and would stay behind for the day. i felt really bad, his dad is my buddy and i wished i was sick not him. so we ate breakfast together and the rest of the family came down and we had set this day for the collosem and the trevi fountian spanish steps and whatever else we can. it's another beautiful day in rome and the sun was out and warm. we took cabs so we could save my man knew i wouldn't go in the colloseum, just a personal private reason so they went in for a tour that was about 3 hours long. i walked up the road to a church i had been wanting to go by. i loved being on my own. i can stop and look when i want and i have long legs and my stride is about 1 1/2 more than the family, so i'm usually haulin with them trailing so i was off in my stride. i get lost and i walk into a hotel that is in the middle of this neighborhood and pull out my good rome map and get's me back on the right track and asks if i want a cab, no way i'm walking thanks anyway, he asked did i need to use the restroom, no thank you, but i thought that was really nice. i must have looked flush from walking so fast and he was concerned, how sweet, i walk out of the lobby and as i get on the street leading to the church here comes this small wedding party and they have these huge smiles on their faces. the bride is beautiful and her cheeks are rosy and the groom has his hand in hers and his moms hand in the other and the bride's mom is holding her hand and it's the most wonderful thing, i'm smiling at them and they are smiling at me, i wish them lots of luck and love and they thank me and off they go, where i'm not sure, but it made my day. i was watching the begining of something beautiful and my family is watching the death story of millions.
    i get to the church and it's empty and dark but the sun is shining through the stain glass and i soak it all in just between my and the big guy.

    Now i have huge issues with

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    Help...I'm hanging off my chair...waiting for the big fight.....

    Your report is full of warmth....and REALITY!!
    So many posters have perfect trips, with perfect friends, with perfect food......
    .............sorta like the familys with perfect kids!!

    We'll be in Detroit for the SuperBowl...what is the name of your restaurant...where is it located??

    Thanks again for taking the time to post!!

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    Theresa, don't stop now! I'll go crazy if I don't get to read more before I get too tired and go to bed. I have been reading this report with great pleasure and lots of laughter.

    Thanks for telling it like it is.

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    I know :( i hit the wrong key please forgive me...

    I have big issues with the whole walkie talkie thing. i won't carry one. i have a cell it works everywhere i go and my family insist i take this stupid thing with me. i take pride in the fact i don't look like a tourist. my man tells me i can put it on vibrate and they would not call me unless it was urgent.but both of our cells work here! he say's please.... so i'm enjoying a coffee at a cafe and writing in my journel and this dang this is making noise, i can hear my family talking to eachother on it out if front of the collesuem, ahhh i turn it down and then i freakout cause something is touching my's the thing vibrating. i pay my check and walk way and ask if someone is calling me, it's my family it's been 3 1/2 hours where am i, i'm catching the bus back to the hotel. no they don't want me to do that come back to the colloseum there are still there and they want to eat lunch and hang out with me..they use the line it won't be fun if your not there, ok so it's about a mile walk from where they are at, so i tell them give me at least 30 minutes ok they say were taking pictures with the now i'm on power walk and i'm haulin. i start to approach the arch that's off to the side of the collosuem and that's when the vibrating starts to scare me again and i want to drop kick the thing for a field goal, it's my man how far are you, i about went off, i'm walking as fast as i can, give me 2 minutes.

    Now of course everyone wants to know where we eating lunch. believe it or not by the time they go round and round we ended up splitting up and going our own ways. great i run for this...oh what happened to all the fun i was. i wanted to go to the gyro joint by the train station, so off we went. it was uphill and my thighs could have cracked a walnut by the time we got there, i was hurting, i would have took a cab or the bus had i known it would be that tough. but we had gyro salad and a coke for 6 euro, that was great. now we walked back to the hotel to check on the old FIL and take a nap.

    I did fall asleep for about 3 hours, in the meantime my husband loaded the pictures and video on the laptop and had it burned on a cd, so i got to see the pompeii shots and they were just awesome, even the dark sky was beautiful. believe it or not things are still in full bloom in rome. roses, bushes, flowers, and orange trees everywhere with fruit still on them, and pompeii was so green and lush the pictures are unbelievable.

    His Dad was still sick and i went down to talk to him and he was really pale and said he was ok and he just needed to rest. i ran down to a fruit store around the corner from the hotel and got some 7-up raspberries and crackers for him. they had the biggest pomagranites i had ever seen, and that's one of my favorites so i got one and the man wanted to cut it for me. no thanks i want to admire it first, then i'll eat it later, he giggled when he figured out what i meant. i wanted to buy a bunch of fruit but i knew i could go back anytime and get what i want. so i took the goodies back to the FIL, everyone else was beat from running around all day. the fountain and steps never got toured, but no one feels like doing anything so me and my man got cleaned up and went out for dinner. Michele's is a family owned restaurant near the train station but far enough to be in a regular neighborhood. it was full of locals and our waiter spoke english and we ordered soup salad anitpasta lasagna pizza. everything was so good, we just ate till we about had to roll out of the place. the lasagna was made out of crepes instead of pasta and it was incredible, very smooth and creamy. i tried to tell my man that if he asked for pepperoni on pizza he'd get red peppers, and sure enough that's what was on the pizza, never had it that way but it was yummy. it was like 63 euros but worth it. we laughed at the fact that a shot of whiskey was cheaper that a can of coke at the restaurant. no we were not doing shots, we saw it on the menu. it was a long walk back, and my man wanted to take a cab, but it was too nice to cab it. the weather was perfect, and after that meal we needed to walk. almost got ran over by a scooter, they tend to weave and bob around traffic, and we crossed the street and the cars stopped at the crossing but out of no where a scooter comes barreling up the leftside of the cars waiting and it scared the hell out of all of us crossing the street, we all ran and dove out of the way. that dirty dishrag, my man wanted to do a right turn clyde (only for the clint eastwood fans) but we survived. thank god my inlaws weren't with us, they could have never moved out of the way fast enough.

    Stood outside the hotel for awhile talking to the doorman, he was born in the dominican and moved to italy when he was really young. he spoke several languages and was very sweet. the hotel employees were like family by the time we left, and i would go back there and stay in a minute. it's late and we don't want to bother anyone, but it's been hours since we talked to his dad and i was getting worried about him. so we took the chance and called the room and they were still up so we went up to say good night and get a kiss, and they were both in their pj's and looked adorable, he was feeling better, he ate some crackers and breadsticks and drank the 7 up. I told him he had to get better so we could go see his cousins in calabria. but his time no ham sandwich....

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    "my thighs could have cracked a walnut by the time we got there"

    Stop, I am laughing so hard that I'm crying!!! This is great. What is the name of your restaurant and where is it? My best friend lives in Detroit and I was just there at Thanksgiving. I have to meet you in person!!!!

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    I get up early sneak out without waking my husband. I get down to breakfast and it's quiet even though most of the tables are filled. It's a tour, but it's all asian women and I feel like a giant. my husband joins my for breakfast and tells me his dad is feeling better, and here he comes! Yea. i'm so happy to see him up and about. He sits down but wants no coffee, our host asks how's he feeling and he tells them he has an upset stomach, the host goes and gets a pot of hot water and mint tea, it smells good, and my FIL eats alittle. I entertain My FIL with the story of the guy falling on the stairs and droping his plates and falling on his knee's, we all laugh, it's usually quiet in the breakfast room until we all show up and laugh, and I think the staff is loving it.

    My FIL has a cousin in calabria and we want to visit him, my FIL has never met him and only talked to him just recently for the first time, however, my FIL can't speak italian and the cousin can't speak english and i'm not clear on how they communicated while on the phone, so we ask our conciegre to make a call for us and translate this note we have to the cousin, no problem, so Simone calls the cousin and by the expressions on His face he is having a hard time understanding this cousin, so after a few minutes Simone hangs up and tells us he had a hard time understanding the cousin, he speaks a calabria slang, and it's old time italian and not what they speak in rome. no one around there speaks english, but he really wants us to visit. So Simone starts checking train times and prices and we walk next door to the hotel where there is a travel agent who gives us the impression were bothering her, but she gives us the info. Round trip by plane is approx 400. euro each. Great, this crowd don't want to spend 20. euro on a good meal, 400. and they'll have stroke. Simone tells us the train is 140. a person and it takes 6 hours by train, and BTW the cousin wants us all to spend the night.
    Well they ask me what do i think, and i say Hell Yeah, this could be the one and only time to see this man. Let's go there and visit, so what if we already paid for the hotel rooms were in now, we can go down there see him, look at photo's eat his food drink his wine meet some cousins and neighbors, make a new relationship, hell he may come to detroit and visit all of his cousins here. well they are going to think about it. OK.

    My FIL is going with us, we are just all going to wander around and shop and sight see. I beg everyone to start at the vatican so we can mail our post cards and have them stamped at the Vatican, so they say yes, and we take a cab so the FIL won't have to do to much walking. You have to have 2 cabs to cart us around. only up to 6 allowed in the cabs, and if caught with more they will get fined. and the police are everywhere, i mean all over and it makes you feel safe. Our cab charges us 9 euro and the other cab charges them 13. what, they can't believe it, hey what can you do? call the cops.

    We run into the asian women from the hotel at the vatican post office, how cool. The shops are booming and everything starts looking the same, beggars are everywhere, watch your back people. One store had a picture in mosaic tile of the blessed mother with baby jesus, it was beautiful and i couldn't take my eyes off it, i thought how much could it be, maybe 2 thousand euro, I asked the salesman to take it down so i could look at it, and the detail was amazing, the frame was gold inlay and I thought to myself, i could pray to her everyday and think of rome. How much? 25,000. euro, OH Thank you, if money were not an object that would be a lifetime treasure and passed to my daughter Thomasina.

    Everyone wants to go to piazza novana(?) and shop, so we walk over the bridge and the river is up over the sidewalks we had admired 2 days before. The sky is getting cloudy and we know it's going to rain. We told everyone to bring an umbrella too. we get to the piazza and we can smell food and were all hungry, My husband picks a place to eat, and we sit outside and the waiters bring over heaters and it's perfect, the other family wants to go get a cheap quick sandwich, not us, we want to sit down and enjoy ourselves. They take off and we order, a few minutes later they come back, they can't find anything they like, so they order pizza and a bowl of soup to split, yep one bowl. So i have to use the restroom and all us girls head downstairs to the bathroom and in the girls room there is an old lady who is the papertowel police, after you wash your hands she hands you a towel. There is a tip plate with change on it, and i noticed when i first went in there was a plate of spaghetti on this little table in the corner of the bathroom, and i thought poor thing, she's probaly trying to make a living out of this, when I got done, i reached over and take a towel and after drying my hands and throwing it away she tell me i have to tip her because she buys the towels I'm using, and gives me that look, in the meantime my MIL is watching this and she backs into the john and grabs toilet paper and dries her hands and gives some to the others, this lady was not happy, she said something to the effect how dare we, and more women came down at this point and she started the speech with them instead. I felt bad, I had every intention of coming back down with some coins, because i felt bad she was eating in the bathroom, and it did gross me out, but i thought maybe this is her only income, and who am I to judge her, she seems to have a mental problem, she had that whole red lipstick around the mouth thing going on and when we first went down there she was talking to herself, I think, so after we got done eating a real tourist meal of pizza salad and soup i went back down to the restroom, as i walked down the stairs she was sitting on a stool and she looked up and saw me, stood up to let me by, but i just reached in put 2 2.00 euro coins. She didn't say anything and either did I, and the plate of spaghetti was still there.

    Now the clouds are rolling in dark and full of rain, it starts coming down in buckets, i have to get out of this piazza, there are birds everywhere and bird KA KA all over the place, the people that sell the bird feed have KA KA all over them, and it really was sick. I tell my family it's bird flu and they all laugh.

    It's really cold now and most of the family want to go back to the hotel, I tell them we have to find a cab stand to catch a cab, but in the meantime my nephew had been promised they would take him to burger king, that's why he didn't eat much, no problem let's find one, we know one is near we saw it from the 110 bus. I also know there is a mall and i want to go by there too, it's got a Zara's and a chocolate store. So we find the burger king, feed my nephew, I go to wash my hands and there is a hand dryer in the bathroom, thank god for small favors, blow dry my hair and hands, it feels good. across from BK is coffee shop so My husband does the backstroke in the rain to buy me coffee, what a guy. The cab stand is right across the street, so we load the inlaws and my husband and niece into a cab and they go back to the hotel and the rest of us are going shopping. The mall is busy, and water and marble don't mix, people were running in out of the rain and sliding on their butts. We shop for 2 hours, the mall is not big, but some cool stores. I buy lots of chocolate from the Lindee (?) candy store and I'm in heaven. There is a taxi stand there and it's raining bigtime, so my BIL stands in line for a taxi and off we go. We are not far from our hotel and it's 6 euros, it's worth it too. It's not raining at the hotel, I go to our room and my husband is sawing logs, so i get in a tub of hot water and bubbles and read the usa today that i got from the lobby and ate all the chocolates, even the ones i bought for my husband, he'll never know. Or will he?

    later in the evening, it's not raining and it's very nice outside, inlaws are in for the evening, Dad's doing good, but don't want to push it. the others are just going to get some snacks hit the internet cafe. My husband sister asks him did he like the candy I got him? What candy?

    So me and my man get dressed and walk to a restaurant past the train station and in a little neighborhood, it's called michele's and we walk in and they were very friendly and invite us in to look at the menu and the cold antipasta bar. it's really clean and they seat us right away and not in the back. We say no wine, and they look at us like were from another planet. We go over the menu, use our translator to figure out some dishes, and I'm ready to throw down, I have a huge appetite and i really didn't eat alot the last 2 days and I was starving. So we ordered the usual stuff and pasta and antipasta, the food just kept coming and i just kept eating, the waiter was like Momma Mia, it goes to her legs, we cracked up on that one, we tried to talk but they speak fast, i speak fast. The waiter was great, the meal was like 65. euros and my husband gave him 85. euros and we walked to the door, the waiter came over and thanked us like we gave him a cadillac. We told him we loved the restaurant the service and the food, and we were going to bring our family back. We said bye and off we went. My husband wanted to take a cab, but i refused after all that food i needed to walk. And it was a beautiful night.

    Remember the guys that were peeing on the side of the building outside of termini and I called them dogs, and wondered why they didn't go inside and use the bathrooms? well i found out why. After the great dinner, a coke, one large bottle of water and cappacino I was in dire need of a restroom, so we decide to go by the train station and use the bathroom there. we get there i through my purse at my husband to hold on to, this was going to take 2 hands and a balance act, and i run twards the restroom sign, and i get there dancing in the spot i'm standing in trying to figure out how to open the doors, i can't and i think i'm gonna mess myself, and i'm standing there like a moron and a lady comes in and goes past me and puts a euro coin in this slot and the doors open, OHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOO i need coin....I whistle really loud (Yeah like a boy) and my husband knows it's me and comes down the hallway and i'm screaming give me coin...He says what, I scream i need a coin to use the bathroom, so he comes over gets the money in the slot i run in there about knocking anyone in my way down, and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I thought i was going to bust..Now I know why those guys were peeing outside, I almost had to do the same. This lesson and not having a coin to give the old lady in the bathroom earlier taught me to carry coins in my pocket, and it comes in handy again.

    That's later, I have a major weekend coming up, We will be busy slingin hash friday sat and sun. So if you all can pray that we are so busy we can't see straight I would appreciate it. Detroit automotive business is in a bad way and it's hurting all of us here in the metro detroit area. Thanks for all your kind words, it really makes me feel good and the first negative posts about the typing and caps almost made me not write anymore, but i'm glad i didn't let that stop me. if one person smiles because of this, i can take any negative stuff they dish out.

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    Not only am I smiling, Theresa, I'm howling with laughter! I can just hear you whistling to your husband! Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us! If I'm ever in Detroit (not really likely) I'd love to find your resto.

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    Theresa, I love your report! I didn't mean to be negative about the caps, they just interrupted the flow of your great story. You notice I did say I was looking forward to more! And I'm a Clint Eastwood fan and understood that Clyde reference :-d

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    I've got to say you make my day and you do indeed make me smile. I've been home sick for awhile and look forward to your posts.
    Stay real and always be yourself - your wonderful;

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    Hello again Theresa, your trip report is still fantastic!! Your writing style makes me go way beyond smiling, it gives me a good laugh. What a joy it is. And prayers indeed for you, your family and lots of business for your restaurant. Take care.

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    Theresa - Everyday when I read a new installment I smile & laugh along with you & everyone else. You are priceless. Don't work too hard this weekend. Can't wait for more installments next week.

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    Home Sweet Home and with a compt. that works. That laptop about drove me silly. I wrote 3 yes 3 posts and the first 2 got lost to internet hell. Even today at the restaurant we couldn't get online, we tried all day. it snowed bigtime here in the metro detroit area and i'm sure that has something to do with it.

    Thanks for all the good wishes, and we were busy today,I didn't stop for 6
    hours straight, even my husband had to work hard today and he's the social buttefly and I'm the warden (busboy named me this long ago) My husband does concrete work, ain't no concrete going down until spring for Him. He only does little jobs now, that business is very hard on your body. He already put in his 16 hour days 7 days aweek raising my family days and now He plays johnny cash. when someone is at the register to pay we yell johnny cash and he knows to go ring them up. Quick cute story, my customer told me he was at a restaurant on the other side of town, and he went up to the register and there was a line to pay, but no one there taking the money, and a lady in line waiting to pay too yells johnny cash and He leans out to see who said that, and it was one of my waitress who happen to be there with her sister who lives on that side of town and they were there eating too, he called me from his cellphone to tell me about it.

    Susanp I took no offense, I reread the first post over and i see your point. flow is everything, kinda like location location.

    I could hardly sleep, The sistine chapel was on our list for the next day and this is something i really have been looking forward too. I get up late today 7:30am and my husband is shocked and it's his turn to sneak around and let me sleep. I come down to breakfast and everyone is there, we have a wonderul family breakfast together. Now it's off to the metro. This is our 3rd trip to this area and i could have gone 3 more times. so much to see,but i would get a tour guide next time. in fact i will be there this march and we have a tour guide and i can't wait to find out exactly what the relic's and art are all about, you know get a better understanding of it all. I had no idea the extent the artifacts. You need about 4 good hours to throughly visit all of it.

    The sistine chapel can not be put into words, for Me I sat down and stared for so long my eyes hurt and my neck was sore. I was sorry that people do not listen and go by the very small rules they have at the museum, do not talk while in the sistine chapel and no picture taking, i think that's fair for the lifetime experience your getting. But people were beyond disrepectful. these rule were posted all over in every language but ignored by many many people, i tried to tune them all out (and my husband who insisted on asking me question after question) and absorb the numerous scenes painted with only talented hands that god gave M.A. as i call him. we took the metro to the vatican to visit the sistine chapel, we had no problems getting there, the train was packed by nothing exciting happened. We did talk to a couple from FLA who had been there a week and they had been having a blast. We say goodbye as we exit the train and wish them more fun along the way, and walk to the museum that has a line all the way around the corner, it's just keeps going and going. As usual i told them i was running ahead to get more postcards at the stand i got the first ones from. they are 20 postcards for a euro, what a deal. I had to walk in the street which is very dangerous, but people will not move to let you down the sidewalk. Yeah i could have crossed the street so i do, and the smells coming out of the cafe's there drive me nuts. I smell coffee and sweets, i have to stop myself from going in and getting something, but i just ate breakfast, and i know they will make fun of me if i'm eating again. They just wish they could eat like me, and get away with it. I find my stand and the same guy is there and we talk about the detroit pistons and ben wallace, he say's i'm tall like ben wallace, i tell him, dud you bumped your head, ben wallace has about a foot on me, but he does not get it. We wants to sell me everything. i don't need anything, but i feel bad for the guy. though the sun is out it's cold. so i buy 2 packs of cards, a book and some almonds. I walk back to where the line is and find my family, the line is moving really fast and i am so glad, i don't mind waiting, but when i say the line i thought we'd be standing out there for hours. alot of people approached us to sell trinkets, scarfs, tours and what not, they are brutal too. they don't give up so easy and keep asking what price to we want, shoo fly don't bother me, my family is cracking up and the guy just keeps going on and on, other people starting buying stuff from him behind us, but he must have smelled a sale, and sure enough my MIL and niece start bartering for the scarfs, they are not as nice as the ones we got at the 110 bus stop earlier and doesn't have the fringe either, so my niece asks him if he has anyone with fringe, like the one i have on, no not me my brother, so he runs off and not long afterwards here comes the brother, and if he don't have what we want he will get someone else, funny but this causes more vendors to come over and now it's really time to watch your stuff, because some of the vendors have their wares in backpacks and nothing in their arms, and they are all around us and other tourists, my husband thinks something fishy is going on now, and steps back and watches our backs, now here comes the ladies with the babies in their arms, all this over some scarfs. up strolls some police from behind, we don't see them but the vendors and women do and they start packing up and moving all their stuff and try to cross the street and the police follow them down the street until we can't see them anymore, thank god for little favors because i was sweating it, because we brought this on ourselves and we put every moron inline who wasn't paying attention in danger of being ripped off.

    When we get ready to enter the sistine chapel area there is a wooden bridge on the outside of the building that you take to get to a hallway, as were standing there inline, this lady behind me says really loud IS THAT A COOKIE LEE BRACLET? i had no idea that she was talking to me, and she tugs at my sleeve, and i think i'm being pickpocketed, i turn around to see who's got my sleeve, and this lady asks me is that a cookie lee braclet, Yes, i guess, i went to a customer's house for a jewelry party and bought some stuff in the fall, and this lady was some dealer of the company and starts going on and on about how she knew that was a cookie lee and she can't believe that in rome of all place she should run into someone who's wearing a bracelet from the company that sells them and how you can't get that braclet any more. look lady i could careless about this crap, you want to buy the braclet or what? Just another way of proving that the people on the other side of the rockies are way opposite of us on the other side of the mississippi. We are about to see the most popular and well known exhibit in the universe, and she wants to talk jewelry. Gheez.

    We are ready to eat now. And i know better than to eat anywhere near this attraction. We start walking back twards the Hotel, we go to a little place not far that i spotted on the great 110 bus. They are not busy and are happy to see us. We get seated and order all sorts of antipasta dishes and they bread is really fresh and i pour olive oil on a plate and add parm. cheese and pepper and we go at it like my cats on a ham bone from the split pea soup pot. we start talking about Cousin Marino in Calabria and Venice. It is my MIL's dream to go to Venice. She bought a painting which is beautiful and it the canals of Venice and she wants to take pictures on the bridges of gondola's. First, Venice is not cheap. the train ride is about 200. a couple and the hotels were not bad price wise, i had checked on the internet before we left and had some idea of costs, and if we go to calabria that would be another overnight trip. My husband and i don't think it's a good idea to take the inlaws on a midnight train to venice get there at 5 am and walk around all day and get on a train that get's back to rome at midnight, we all agree that's too much on them, and the cousin marino thing is out the of the question, they decided it wasn't worth going all the way down there and not be able to talk. But they want to go to Venice and get a room for the night. but not the other family, they have 2 days left and want to hang around rome, and i understand, it's alot of traveling and then getting back 4 hours before their plane leaves for home. They stay 7 days and We are staying for 13. So it's decided, that we will take the inlaws to Venice next week. I'm happy to go to venice and sad no Cousin Marino. I really wanted to meet him and his family, I thought maybe my FIL would change his mind later on in the week, or after we have the Handsome Simone call to translate and things could change. I'm hopeful.

    There was a transit strike the other day and i had read it in the paper i didn't realize it already happened. The maid asked me did i know what the flag in my room meant. Why no, not exactly. It was a strikers flag regarding better benefits for the union workers, something to that effect. The autoworkers at the restaurant will love that, i am always harrasing the union workers of the auto plants, and there are about 6 around me, I know i shouldn't bite the hands that feed me, but this is a free country and we still can agree to disagree. But My husband is shocked that I will still hang it up after finding out what it meant. but hey I believe in fairness and good pay, not fat asses not doing their jobs and the good old boys protecting them because of the old system were union brothers, hey your brother is going to carry your load not avoid it. if your dead wood, good bye. later that week Stefano from romecabs said the strike caused chaos for several hours, ouch.

    We got back to our hotel late in the afternoon. I was beat. Some of the gang hung out in the lobby and I went to nap. I didn't sleep long, there was thunder that shook the hotel, really, i'm not kidding, the thunder was so loud it woke me and scared the bejeebee's out of me, suddenly a flash of lighting, and BOOM thunder, the buildings seemed to make the thunder echo, and it's really spooky. it only lasted for about 30 minutes, but wow.
    They had called the Cousin while I was sleeping and told him they wouldn't be coming, he was really sad, and said he would have his son pick us all up and the airport and he had plenty of room please come. we didn't. The other family was leaving in the morning and Stefano from romecabs was picking them up at 4:30 am. We had the hotel call the restaurant Michele's for a dinner reservation at 8 pm. We took 2 cabs there and when we all walked in the waiter from the other night was there and he and the owner were so happy we brought our family there. They had a table all set up and ready for us. The waiter kept saying our last name that we reserved under Marino, and he made it sound so italian, and we laughed and laughed as we took pictures with the waiter, and he made a hat out of a napkin and put it on my niece's head, and being 16 she was horrified to have here picture taken with this hat on her head, I about fell off the chair laughing. The waiter got some great family picture shots for us. We had a Wonderful time. We ordered so much food, and it was all Excellent and the service Great. My SIL got the cold antipasta bar, and i wish i had too, but i ordered a raw beef dish that has parmesan and olive oil on it. It was bloody and good, and everyone was grossed out about it. it's an italian dish and only my FIL would try it. I ate almost all of it. They gave us huge portions of everything, and there was no way we could eat it all. We all agreed this was one of the best meals and we will never forget it. next door to this restaurant is a ice cream place and they have about 50 kinds, we walk in and the girl behind the counter is sweet and asks us if we want a sample, i want to try the chocolate and red chili one, i taste it and it's good, sweet and then hot, but i want the lemon, it is brighter then the sun and it makes my mouth water, I get the lemon, my niece and BIL are the only others that indulge. It's not raining but it's windy and i think it's great, it smells clean outside and the lemon ice cream is good, I want to walk back, but last time taught me that a cab is better, and no coin incase the large bottle of water i drank myself caught up with my bladder.

    When we get back to the hotel, it's pretty weepy, the others are leaving in the morning and we want them to stay, yeah me too. But my BIL is a teacher and his kids have finals, we try to get my SIL to stay and let the rest go home, but she wants to be with her family and i totally understand, so we say goodbye and leave the parents to say goodbye alone with them.

    Me and my husband go to the internet cafe, and it's in barbernini piazza which is 5 minutes walk from the hotel. he gets on one compt. and me another. He's looking at his mail and i'm researching Venice. Train, times and hotels. I find a great deal on a hotel there, it's palace bonvecchiati it's a brand new place and on the canals for 120 euro. we reserve 2 rooms for monday. The train we want to take leaves at 9 am that's a time that would give my inlaws plenty of time to get up get moving have breakfast and take a cab to termini. After about 2 hours we are all done with the internet, and walk outside. We start to cross the street, when 3 men walk twards us and one goes to the left and one to the right and the middle guy approaches us and asks us do we speak english, this dude is no american or italian. So we just walk past him without even looking his way and walk into the lobby of the hotel barberinin that's right across the street from the internet cafe, as we stand in the doorway and watch the 3 men walk back by, what it was all about I'm not sure, were they going to do anyting I don't know, but you know that feeling in your gut, well my husband said he had that and when he squeezed my arm as the man approached us my husband also picked up the pace and i went right with him and walked into the lobby of the hotel barberini and sat down for 5 minutes. And got up and walked out and back to our hotel with no problems, maybe it was nothing.

    I had packed a suitcase and a carry on. My man did 2 suitcases and carry on. OK i had some shoes in this one suitcase. but i did very good about not overpacking, i have gotten better with experience, but learned the hard way. No,not Me. But i could use some jeans to be washed, and my MIL needed to do laundry too. After we had breakfast we walked to a laundry mat and we were confused as to how to use the machines, and a young lady comes from the back where she is ironing, and tells us that we leave our landry and she will wash and dry and fold it for 8 euro. My MIL is not thrilled with this idea. Me i'm all gain, plus the young ladies dog is there and he is a hot dog, and happy for a dog lover, i was thrilled when he ran and got a ball and dropped it at my feet, so me and the dog played while my MIL gives in and hands her dirty underwear off to a stranger. Mom it's ok, it's her job and she's happy to do it. We wrote our names down on a stick em and that's how she marks the washer and dryer with whoever's clothes. Come back in 1 hour, cool. It's saturday morning, and there are vendors down the entire street. We tell his parents we are running to the station real quick to check the times and likely buy the Venice tickets, will they be ok. so they wander the area, and we dash off to termini, it's really busy and the cops are all over, they are super friendly and I have through the years waited on many police officers, and i have a huge respect for them and the firefighters, and I try to get pictures with the locals when i travel and the cops were happy to take photo's with me. These Police were out front on motorbikes. We buy the tickets with no problem and walk to the info office to see if the lady who taught us how to use the machine was there to say hi, but she wasn't. walked back to meet the parents and they were in the laundry mat waiting, they bought fruit and some snacks and had coffee outside at a table. I was thrilled. the clothes had another 10 minutes so me and my husband checked out the stalls to see what they had. Just got some grapes, but all the stands that had fruit looked surreal, all the produce looked great, and all kept thinking is, I wish this was right in front of my restaurant everyday, with this bright fresh produce, I don't have that. The street is a mess, the vendors are winding down and there's trash everywhere. Laundry is done, the dogs is happy were back, we pay and tip our lovely laudry lady walk to a restaurant we spotted on the way to wash clothes. there are only 2 other people in the rest. we just have salad soup bread and some roasted red peppers, the food was very good and fresh, and if i didn't know any better, i though the salad came from the produce stands i just browsed, i put oil and vinager parm cheese the pepper and it was to die for, had soup too, and i was so full, but i wished i could have some pasta. We pay and go back to the hotel. They take a nap and we drop the laundry and make the break. Band on the Run.

    Good night, and remember, He's making a list and He's checking it twice!

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    But for unions, there would be no weekends. It's surprising that someone from Detroit would be so anti-union and say inflammatory things like 'fat a**es' when describing a union worker. A lot of those union workers are without jobs this holiday season due to the recent massive auto layoffs so a little sensitivity would be in order.

    We don't all have to agree on this forum, but being insulting (especially on a trip report that is difficult to read from a style/grammar standpoint) is not the best route to make friends.

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    Your post was delightful....I would pay for a video of your mother in law in her PJ bottoms!

    Someone sent me this joke about Detroit I thought you might like...


    The coach had put together the perfect team for the Detroit Lions. The only
    thing missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and
    even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who
    could ensure a Super Bowl victory.

    Then one night, while watching CNN, he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan.
    In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier
    with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a window
    from 80 yards away. Then he threw another from 50 yards down a chimney,
    and then hit a passing car going 80 miles per hour.

    "I've got to get this guy!" coach said to himself."He has the perfect arm!"

    So, he brings the young Afghan to the States and teaches him the great game of football ........ and sure enough the Lions go on to win the Super Bowl.The young Afghan is hailed as a hero of football and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants to do is call his mother.

    "Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the SuperBowl!"

    "I don't want to talk to you," the old Muslim woman says. "You deserted us. You are not my son!"

    "Mother, I don't think you understand," pleads the son, "I've just won the
    greatest sporting event in the world!"

    "No! let me tell you," his mother retorts. "At this very moment there are
    gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!"

    The old lady pauses then tearfully says, " I will never forgive you for making us move to Detroit.

    Rim Shot!

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    mah My father was a union man for 33 years. He and I would sit down for hours going point to point about the subject, and i was not trying to insult anyone, and I am very aware of the unemployment in Detroit, we are all suffering. I'm deeply sorry if I insulted you or anyone else. The uaw is here eating right now and they take no offense.

    Wlz, we are all laughing at the loins joke. we have the special boards wrote up with the breakfast menu and it has a list to santa and one of them says
    dear santa, james the dishdog wants the lions to win the superbowl, no if i wrote anything insulting on this or other posts, it's typing lions and superbowl on the same line.

    My FIL still was not 100% and I think it may be why we are not going south to visit Cousin Marino. But Venice is for sure. after our late lunch and we get back to the hotel, my inlaws are in for the night, and want to rest up for the trip to Venice. Were Freeeeeeeeeee for the entire afternoon and night. we tell them if they need anything we will carry the walkie talkie and call us on it.

    We head out to do some sightseeing on our own, went by St. Teresa's church and it was beautiful, looked into some of the shops but nothing caught my eye. I did see some great boots, but i really don't need anything. we stroll past all the fancy shops gucci,D&G,armani and the clothes are very tempting to take a peak at. most stores have the prices of the clothes on the manniquin in the window so you don't have to go in and ask. And I must say the prices are very reasonable. I did buy myself some sweater and turtle necks, but not a gucci or those stores. We go back to the hotel shower and change and head out the the restaurant we had lunch at for dinner, we want the salad and soup again, and we want to try some pasta. we get there and it's packed. so now problem we got all night and don't mind waiting. 45 minutes later finally a bigtable gets up and leaves, instead of splitting up the tables, they set it up for another large party in the meantime about 12 other people are waiting too, one is a family for the big table and they have reservations, my husband had been talking to them while waiting and they were like i wish we had room at our table for you two, that was nice, but we were on the romantic date. so about 15 minutes later we get sat down, and it's right next to the kitchen door, that's great, i love to watch the action of another restaurant, see fow their doing things. Well we sat there and sat there and no one came over with bread or ask us the drink order, the other couple behind us were seated at the same time, and they had beer, water, bread and a plate of anitpasta, wow. so we are in this business, and understand the workings of it, but give them 5 more minutes, and nothing. so my husband get up comes around the table pulls out my chair without a word and helps me with my coat, and we head to the door, the old waiter from lunch came over to my husband and said i am sorry, we are busy. and in a voice i was suprised to hear, calmly with a smile my husband says, yes,however you or the other waiter who didn't utter a word to us should have said that when you seated us and we would have understood. and off into the rain we go. I'm mad, that makes me think of how hard we try at my restaurant to give the best food and friendly service. i'm going back and telling my customers they ought to kiss my grits, they are spoiled. and i did too.

    We find another little place 2 blocks up called henry cow. now that's italian. we check out the menu, looks and smells good in the doorway, and we walk in and a beautiful young lady with cat glasses on say Good evening in english and takes us to a table along the wall and it's perfect. it's full of locals, and it has a plasma tv showing a football (European) game, and it's to italian teams playing one another, and it's loud and friendly. Perfect. we order bottle water as usual and cokes. I get the house antipasta, it's fresh and full of flavor, the tomatoes in itlay are great juicy and red, not like home, all the produce is not that great and top price. the waitress is super friendly and we talk alot during the meal. she is asking us 100 questions and we are enjoying it. God put us out of that other restaurant, and took us to a new friend. Their house speciality is meat sauce on home made Fettuc. so we get that and salad and split a bowl of veggie soup that is out of this world, the waitress U (they call her that for short because she has a difficult name) asks may I? and pours a small amount of olive oil on the soup and a sprinkle on cheese on top. We so this at home too, but for some reason that personal touch was appreciated. When the pasta comes, i'm worried, my husband does not like chunky meat sauce, with chucks of tomatoes or vegs. and this is beautiful for me, but not what i think he will want, but i am wrong, he loves it, he does go around the chunks of vegs, and eats it all. he tells me this is just like his grandma Azzolina who was from sicily. He would go to his grandm's house every summer and help out on their farm. his grandma would make homemade noodles using a broom stick to roll the mix out,flour all over the kitchen, she'd take a small knife and cut the noodles and lay them on towels across the beds. while that was going on she'd be cooking the meat sauce all day. he was having a childhood acid flashback, as we call it. and he couldn't wait to bring his dad there. we ended up sitting there for 3 hours eating watching the game on a plasma my husband would kill for and drinking coffee. thank god we only had about 5 blocks to walk back to our hotel, i was happy and tired, it was midnite and i was ready for bed.

    I will finish later, and i'm sorry about the post before this i know it was hard to read, i was typing it really late last night and i was beat. I am not a novel writer, and don't pretend to be one, so if this is too hard to follow or read, then don't read it and complain, I'm sensitive;)

    I have a short break so I thought I'd write about our trip to venice. We decided to go first class on the euro train, it's wasn't much more and it was a four hours and some minutes ride, and all i kept thinking was sitting on a train smelling like B-O for that long. It's early and we are all up and having breakfast, I tell my FIL no ham sandwiches for the train. I put a picnic lunch together the night before and got some fresh bread and cheese from the hotel and we were ready to go. got a cab to the train station, and it was sunny but cold outside and in the train station, it's open along the tracks and we stand there freezing waiting for the bin number to come up. there is a man laying on the floor yelling and carrying on, and the cops have a EMS truck there and the police would not put their hands on the man, they just followed him as he yelled and scooted on the floor, he was making this big scene, now if this was going on in Detroit, they'd grab him by the seat of him pants and get him out of there, but this police were patient, but seemed to making fun of the guy, everyone was crowding around watching this big drama. What next. we see our bin number and head to the train. First class is really decent. but the seats are not togther. so i take the odd ball seat with my back to my husband and his parents are sitting across from him. the other seat has a business woman who does work the entire time. the condutor comes around to check our tickets and ask's me in excellent english, where are you from, so we have this long conversation about michigan, the sports, the cherries, the weather and he knew i was italian when he saw me. I didn't have the heart to tell him i was lebanese. most people make that mistake. the men sitting across and next to me are really frustrated by the fact me and this really nice gentleman are talking while they are reading the paper and talking on their cellphones, but it seems that the italians don't talk on the cellphones, they yell. and it's really funny because they tend to say Prego about 5 times when they pick up and say ciao about 10 times. there is no resting in first class, it's busy and it's mostly business men and they are on their cellphones the whole time. but the ride is nice and we are heading into nasty weather. Naples train station is nice, it's warm and smells good. we go out to the dock area to catch our boat to san marco stop. it is cold and rainy we packed a carryon to take with us the inlaws had back packs, when we bought our tickets fro the boat they charge you 3. euro a suitcase. wow that's weird, but we pay it. My FIL starts up about how they know it's mostly tourists coming here and they charge everyone for bring a suitcase, I'm like, what we gonna float it there, put a message in it and hope it floats to the canal were staying on. The ride is really slow, but the buildings and scenes are out of a movie. I hope it's going to clear up.

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    I haven't read this entire thread because I have to make lunch for hubby, but I am up to Pompeii.

    Gotta tell you...this is by far, the most amusing, descriptive, and down-to-earth trip report I've read so far. The best part is that you have included so many "tips" seamlessly!

    After lunch, I'll continue to read.


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    Theresa, I'm SO enjoying your report. I DO appreciate your down to earth sense of humor, and the firm, but nevertheless kind way you've been dealing with the nasty remarks regarding your opinions (to which you ARE entitled!) and your writing style.

    You go, girl, you rock, Theresa! Genuine, that is!

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    When I'm in Italy and the cell phone yellers say Prego for what seems to be every other word, I amuse myself and my friends/relatives by saying Ragu! every time they say Prego. The Italians of course don't get it but we have a blast with it!

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    You may be very busy with your restaurant at this time of year, but I was wondering if you intend to finish your trip report?

    I, for one, would be grateful if you did finish it (no pressure, just a little nudge).

  • Report Abuse

    Good Evening You all. It was busy all weekend and I'd like to Thank everyone who prayed for me and the business it worked.

    We finally get to the san marco dock, we go into a tourism office to get directions to our hotel. the woman working there marks it on my map, but we can't find it and some how get turned around and mixed up, the streets are not marked and it's very confusing. my husband goes into a restaurant to get some help and out comes the waiter with him and walks us to the hotel. we are so thankful and my husband tells him we'll be coming to see him later for dinner. tourism lady gave us bum directions, that dirty dishrag. the hotel is beautiful and new. the lobby is all marble and glass. the colors are black red and white, very cool. the front desk staff are very friendly and welcomes us to the hotel. we have double rooms reserved and they comfirm it and the rooms are on the third floor and next to eachother. the bellhop and the 4 of us get on the elevator (that fat eddie my customer would never fit into) to the 3rd floor. we tell the parents to meet us in the lobby in an hour. our room is fantastic, we have a bed that is not 2 twins pushed together and my husband is very happy about that. we have 3 windows and 2 over look the canal, cool. the bathroom is huge and it's all done in tangerine orange marble. the tub is big and the shower head is the sunflower type, but no shower curtain, it will be a mess when we get in there;). the room has all the high tech stuff and my husband loves that. plasma tv with wireless keyboard, fax/copy machine and 3 phones. it is filled with anything you could possibly need personal wise. we are really impressed. We get cleaned up and go downstairs to check out the bar and breakfast room. there is a usa today in the lobby and i'm happy to have one to read later. his parents come down and off we go.

    It is freezing outside, i'm wearing 3 layers and the wind goes right through my jeans and my legs are freezing. we walk around for about an hour and go to the restaurant for dinner. the waiter is happy to see us again and seats us at the window and proceed's to give us excellent personal service. the food was great and they have a seafood bar with snapper, clams, oysters, mussuls and huge flounders. i beg my FIL to have mussuls with me but he still isn't feeling 100 %, and i think the train and boat ride were too much for the day.
    we eat the usual stuff and really relax and enjoy ourselves. we leave about 2 hours later and it's bitterly cold outside, we go shopping in the little streets and i'm so cold i'm shivering. we stop by a little coffee shop and order cappacino's and desserts and now the locals and tourists have packed the restaurants and cafe's. the streets get busy and it's a younger crowd than it was earlier. the inlaws are tired and ready to go back to the hotel, but they want to stop by the san marco square on the way back, the beggers are out everywhere and won't leave you alone or accept no thanks. we run out of there and say we'll see it in the morning. we get them back to the lobby and in their room and we take off into the night.

    We get back about midnight and the streets are still busy and people are out partying. and the italians are late night people. My legs are numb. my husband feels them and gets worried and draws me a hot bath with bubbles, and it feels so good, in the meantime he goes down stairs and asks the front desk about cappacino's near by and 10 minutes later he's back with hot chocolate..YEA your my hero honey, so i take a long bath read usa today and hot coco. I ask him later why he didn't just call room service, he didn't know how to work the phone, either could I.

    I wake up to a woman screaming, i stumble out of bed trying to figure out where i'm at. i hear these voices coming from the bathroom and my husband is in there with the window open and watching the action, i ask him what the &^*# is going on. it seems that the lady is mad at the men and yelling at them like an alley cat. my husband is wishing they were on this side of the canal on the sidewalk, he told me we could fill the bathroom garbage can with cold water and dump it on them and i could video tape it. if only. some old man comes out of his house and starts screaming at them in italian, he tells them f fon goul (we understand that italian) and get out of here i called the poliza, well the fighting 3 start yellin back while walking away. the voices echo through the canals. we can't fall back asleep and watch cnn into the morning.

    We called his parents room when we get up and no one's there, they must be at breakfast already and they were. we ask them if they heard all that stuff going on last night, nope they didn't hear anything. i'm shocked.The breakfast is really nice. we plan on visiting all the sights and getting a late check out and taking the late train back to rome. it is really cold and it had rained most of the night. the wind was wicked and i was so cold, but didn't say anything and just kept walking around. my feet were cold and i could feel the cold concrete right through my boots. we go through most of the streets and finally end up back going through marco square, and it's flooded. they have risers set up to go into the church there. and the church is flooded and the poor priests were doing their best to clean up but i think it was hopeless. confession is going on, i'll pass on that one. and we get outside the church and the birds are all over the place, gross, and there are dead birds all over, and birds dying on the ground, i mean laying there dying, flapping their wings trying to get up on their feet, and then they'd just stop and after a few minutes get enough strength to try again, this was just pitiful. i was horrified by it. i was ashamed of making the bird flu a joke earlier in the week, what was up with the birds laying there dying or dead? that just really grossed me out. i didn't eat lunch cause it just make me sick. my honey and his parents got a sandwich at a little store for lunch, i passed. by noon it was raining pretty steady and cold, my husband asked if anyone wanted to go back on the train earlier or stay until late? we all say let's go back to rome now and we take off for the hotel and inform them were leaving now instead of later. we grab our stuff and run out to the boat dock to catch the 2:30 train back to rome.

    The boat dock is busy, i don't care but i want my MIL to have a seat inside of the boat, but as you might guess, when the boat gets there people just start pushing to get past you to get on the boat, i have my MIL's hand and push my way right along with the rest of them, i get her inside and no one wants to move over and let her sit down, i pick up a man's bag he has on the seat so no one can sit next to him, and i hand the bag to him and tell my MIL to sit down, she does without looking at the man. these benches can sit 3 people, 4 if you want to squish in, but 2 people would sit down and set their bags, purse and whatever down so you can't sit next to them. Hey we are like rosa parks and we ain't standing up for the man. my FIL comes inside after awhile because he is cold, but not my husband he stands outside on the deck trying to talk to the guy maning the ropes and videoing the ride. what a tourist, and i love him, it's cold and rainy and he don't feel a thing and has this huge smile on his face. when my FIL came inside i gave him the seat i pushed my way into and went outside to see what that grin was on his face was all about and he said he was so happy, his dad told him what a great time he and mother were having and venice was beautiful and they got some good pictures and can't wait to get them developed. He felt like he did what he came here to do, make his mother's dream come true.

    First class is sold out but there are seats in first class for the 4:40 train. nope i don't mind going back 2nd class earlier and either does anyone else, so we get our tickets and have 35 minutes to spare. there is a cafateria in the venice train station and they have some yummy looking food too. Mashed potatoes, chicken, beef, pasta's, veggies, salads and desserts, it all looks good, but the bird thing still sticks in my head and i pass on the food. they also have a coffee bar there and a pizza joint which is hopping and the cook is throwing the dough up in the air and making a great show. we are all very impressed and when you bought a piece of pizza they were huge, my inlaws couldn't resist and got a piece and loved it. i ended up going to a little snack store there and getting M and M's and crispers for the train ride. i went to the register and paid for a coffee too and went up the coffee bar with my reciept and no one would wait on me. i was wondering what the big deal was, finally this guy grabs the paper out of my hand and tells the other guy what to make and he turns around and gives me this dirty look and i can't figure out why they were being so rude. i get my cappacino in cup with a saucer and the man throws the spoon down on the saucer and glares at me, i start crying really loud with my hands over my face, i make a 10 second scene and really make a loud crying sound, i had my head down while doing it. when i stopped and looked up both of the men behind the counter along with the other people working are looking at me with their jaws on the floor, i smiled took my cup and walked away to stand at a table and drink it. needless to say it was really quiet for awhile. when i got done and approached the counter to set my empty cup down they all turned thier backs to me and i set the cup down and walked away. when i went back to the cafateria my husband and his parents were sitting there and my husband asks me what have you been up too? i tell him, not much. he asks did i get coffee already i told him yes, and he was thinking of getting some too, i told him he'll have to go get it himself, and didn't say another word about it. that little act has come in handy for me plenty, but that's another story.

    The train ride is crowded, our seats are not together but the seat next to mine is empty and i fall asleep right away. my husband and inlaws are worried about me, and wake me up to ask me if i'm ok. what, you fruitcakes, why'd you wake me and when they tell me that i want to pull a THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN. we just have about 2 hours left to the ride into rome. it's dark and you can't see much, but we do see alot of christmas lights and my MIL is thrilled. The train is no longer busy and there only about 10 people in the train car including us. 2 young ladies sitting next to us are americans and they are traveling by train through europe, i envy them and tell them this is the time of your life ladies enjoy it. they ask us if people have been rude to us. NO, NOT HERE IN ITALY.

    Rome is Fantastic and it's warm and the stars are shining, what a change in 4 1/2 hours. The train station is a madhouse, it's rush hour and this place defined it. when we pulled up to the track to get off the train it was crazy, all the way out was a job. we decided to go out the exit to our right when we get off the train, the cab stand is there too, and it's mass chaos. we try to cross the street and it's almost impossible. my husband is leading this time and he's a freight train getting us through the crowd. but it's a beautiful night and when we get to the back streets it's peaceful. we ask the parents if they want dinner and they say no we just want to go rest and maybe we'll go out later to the fruit market. that's great, now we'll have sometime alone. we get back to the hotel and the staff are so happy to see us and the hotel is decorated for christmas, it bright,warm and cheerful. we are back earlier that they expected us. we gave the handsome Simone our plans. we told him we wouldn't be back until after midnite and leave the key under the matt. that was a doozey trying to explain that one to him. we say goodnite to his parents, go to our room and shower and change. free at last.

    This is really the first time we have vacationed with anyone since we were married. in the last 10 years we have had the blessings and pleasure of traveling to warm tropical places and have been spoiled by the fact we were always alone. and we are loners like that so this is a huge shock for my husband,not me,i travel with teenagers at least 2 times a year. not just a few, last time i went with teens was in august, there were 73 of us. 15 adult sponsers and the rest kids. so i'm used to moving, getting the masses there and in a timely manner, but my husband is on a whole new trip. he has a hardtime dealing with getting everyone together, going in a group and working around other people's habits and timing. he keeps thanking me for dealing with all this and it being his family and all. I'm loving every minute of it and he justs wants to be alone with me. I suggest we make plans to go to cancun asap, he looks at me and says did you bump your head? i thought i had him at a soft spot and was trying to take advantage of him, but dang he busted me.

    We really want to go to henry cow for pasta it was so good, and the service was good too. so we walked over there and AHHHHHH they are closed. now what? we know it's our last chance of being alone in rome for along time. we decide on walking around and look at menu's. we find a cute pizza place. salad's and the pizza is good. we leave and walk back to the hotel. it's warm out, we can't get over the temp. here in rome.

    We made plans the night before to hire Stefano the man from romecabs to take us sightseeing. this is our last day in rome and we want to see place that are unusual and unique. I make my man get our of bed early and enjoy our last breakfast together alone for a very long time. we go downstairs and have coffee watching the locals going to work and parking like idiots. we catch a glimpse of the breadman making a delivery to our hotel, i go outside too peak in his truck, he's got it parked right out in front with the back doors open and he's getting the bread together to take in, i walk up and say good morning and he smiles and says good morning back, he speaks english and i tell him how much we enjoyed the bread while having breakfast in the mornings here. He appreciates the compliment and trys to give me some bread. no no no, i just wanted to say thank you and let you know how good the bread was. and the bread this dude had on the truck my customers would fight over. he had so many differnt kinds and all i needed was a stick of butter and get out of my way.

    Stefano was right on time. He took us to see the church we stopped at the first night, my MIL was too tired to enjoy it and she wanted to go back. we stayed there along time. it is amazing and the grounds are beautiful and the roses are in full bloom. we go to the keyhole. i had read about it and i was interested in checking it out. we took pictures through the keyhole and they came out great. Stefano asked me if there was anywhere special i wanted to go. I told him i wanted to visit the place that has the stairs that jesus walked down after being condemned. they are the stairs from pilate's house and they were brought to rome. He knows exactly what i'm talking about. We go there and You are supposed to get on your knee's and go up praying step by step. there are old ladies on their knee's going up the stairs. i get right in there and do the same thing. i am really moved by this and tears are rolling down my cheeks and i'm praying the rosary to the top. Stefano and my family wait outside pateintly for me. We wander around rome in the van with stefano giving us a great tour. it's been cloudy all day but the sun is starting to peek through the clouds. Stefano bids us a see you at 4:45
    am for the ride to FCO. it's our last night in Rome.

    More later. it's late and this waitress has to be up and go at it early. God bless everyone. Have a great night and hold onto your loved ones, they are only here for a moment.

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    Theresa,you are such a good sport, I laughed so much reading your trip report.
    You know something, I grew up in Rome and never did La Scala Santa, just watched from the outsite.
    San Giovanni in Laterano is my church, I was and all the members of my family including my two older children were baptized there.
    Keep up the good work..

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    The incident in the snack store over your purchase of a cup of cappucino...I don't get it.

    You probably have given this a lot of thought (I know I would). The way you write about the incident, you appear to have been passive, not aggressive. Did you cry because of the treatment you received or were you just plain exhausted from the trip?

    That wasn't a pleasant way to end your trip, if I may say so.

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    Sorry about this misunderstanding on the crying thing. I pretended to cry. I put my hands over my face and just pretended to cry, i let out a small wail and the men were horrified. When I suddenly stopped and looked up the look on their faces was priceless. I just picked up my coffee and walked away. I was just trying to mess with them.

    More of Rome later. duty calls.

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    Hello everyone..My day off. I am not even leaving the house today. This is PJ day as me and wicked wendy (one of the cooks) would call it. Staying in your PJ's all day doing nothing. We have about 5 inches of snow out my door and it's snowing right now. My husband called me and said they are a little busy at the restaurant, and it's quiet without me there. Though i have been home since Dec 1 from Rome, I still have stuff to put away and wash. Any working Momma out there understands all about that.

    Our last night in Rome, very sad. How I Have been scheeming and plotting on finding a way to stay for another week alone with my husband. Hell, even if his parents want to stay another week that would fly with me. I was dreaming of going to Paris by train and spending a romatic week alone. Showing him the beautiful city and the not so pretty side. I was there 2 years ago, and actually got home sick. Paris was so romantic, and other than Italy, I have never scene so much making out in public. I was not bothered in the least by all this public affection and all I wanted was my husband there to make out with too. but I was with a group of french/spanish students and none of that would be going on. I called my husband from Paris and told him I found the city of Love. And i have been talking about it for 2 years and i was now within a train/plane/automobile ride from Paris. I was trying to come up with the best case senerio. I knew my employee's would have no problem with Me staying another week and them running the show, I knew the customers would shreed me to pieces when I got home, but I can handle that. The cost, well I would come home and work my butt off everyday to pay for it. We could eat really cheap and i would find a deal on hotel or apt. on the internet. My husband isn't a big Art Fan so we would't have to buy Museum tix's. I already looked up airfare to Paris and I was sure we could just go home right from CDG a week later same day same time. But the problem was France. My husband didn't want to have anything to do with France because of the disrespect that Air France had shown Him and His parents. Yea I take offense too, but I'm not a hater, and I only hold the people responsible for their actions, not the whole, But that's not the way the Marino's are feeling so that is out the door, no paris or another week in Rome, everyone wants to go home. Could I have stayed another week? No, My Daughter is having her first baby and the Baby (Alyce Simone) was due Dec 19, but they moved the date to anytime between Dec 19-Jan 3. So I didn't think I should take a chance. This is our only child and she is 28, Happily Married, and have a home. All the requirements I drilled into her from age 10 till last year when she got married. I'm going to be a Situ/Mamaw very soon and my husband and I are over the moon about it. So I will thank God for what I did get to do, Be in italy for almost 2 weeks, and determined to get back to paris somehow someday.

    We call Henry Cow's and the man who answers the phone does not speak english very well, but we understand eachother pretty well, and i ask what time are they open today,he said until midnight, no closing during those hours? he says no. Great we tell the parents were meeting at 5 in the lobby and taking them to try the pasta like grandma marino used to make.

    We take a nap and start packing. where did all this stuff come from? did we really pack all this stuff, we have 3 big suitcases and 2 carry on's and we have them stuffed silly. I am checking my carryon this time, and i have to sit on it to be zipped. The maid has left us tons of bath products through out the week, and the turndown maid the night before had left a big bag with products. and i really want to take them home and give it to the Woman's shelter we help support, and these are perfect large size travel bottles. so my carryon is stuffed with bottles. This is great, we are doing christmas boxes for 2 shelters and these are perfect for them. We get all our stuff packed and change for dinner.

    We walk the long way to the restaurant to check out these little shops we admired the other day, but were too tired to walk in and browse. my MIL buys one more tea cup and they bubble wrap it the size of a football. my MIL starts using my phrases,She says to us this sucker ain't gonna break, we all crack up. I splurge and buy a tshirt with sequiens on it and my man likes it. Now I'm hungry and it's time for dinner, we get to the restaurant and the owner is there, he figures out it was me that called earlier, and we all laugh about it. He speaks a better english now, hmmm. He seats us and tells us the waitress will be here any minute, and as he's telling us she walks in and it's U the girl from the other 2 times we've been there, she comes right to the table and asks if these are his parents and she introduce's herself and tell them to call her U for short. that makes us all giggle. We get 2 bottles of water and cokes, and she tells us the cook won't be in for an hour, but we can have pizza salad or bruschetta. But if we want pasta we can wait an hour. She goes to get us bread and breadstix's which I am now addicted too. And i say let's wait, we have all evening and it's just now 6 pm. So we order salad and bruschetta and we'll wait for the cook. The waitress is so happy, she thought we would leave, no way. We are the only customers and the waitress sits down with us and we talk. She is from Albania and is going to Law school in rome and has 2 years left of school. She is going into labor law, and of course I have 100 questions for her about exactly what labor law means in Europe, and what made her take that subject. She is very smart and speaks 4 languages. She has a boyfriend and he was coming there to the restaurant for dinner, and she wants us to meet him. she met him in college here in rome and he's albanian too. He's becoming a doctor. By the time we eat the salad's the cook came in, i have a feeling they called him in early. and not long afterwards 4 huge plates of pasta with meatsauce comes out of the kitchen and on our table. it is hot and good, and even my MIL was suprised her son liked this sauce because it was chucky. They all agree it's as good as grandma marino's. I am so full i can't move. In the meantime locals start coming in and drinking and eating. The owner wants to buy us coffee and dessert, no we can't eat another thing. It's getting late and we have to go to bed soon. 3:30 am was coming soon. U's Boyfriend comes in and we meet him and the two are standing there with their arms around eachother just blushing to the most beautiful red. They were in Love and it shows. My husband asked me do I still feel the same about him, I DO.

    Get back to the hotel, make out all the thank you cards for the staff, and take them to the front desk. The handsome Simone is off until the next evening and I won't get to say thank you and good bye in person. oh well. We set our phone alarms for the ungodly hour to wake up, and lay in bed talking about rome...

    We are up and out the door at 4:30 am. Stefano is outside trying to get into the lobby, when we realize the front doors are locked. no one is at the desk, but as soon as he knocks 2 of the desk staff come out and open the door for him. We bid the staff goodbye and it's a very quiet ride to FCO. Stefano told us the ride to the airport for the others in our family was a madhouse. But it shouldn't be bad today, it's thursday, and when we get to the airport it's not bad at all. we thank Stefano for all his kindness and walk inside to figure out what line to get in. first we stand in the wrong line and I walk around trying to make sure this is the right one, Wrong, we need to go to another line. I didn't know Air France, NWA, Delta and Aitalia are somehow all one company. So we stand in Aitalia line for the Air France flight to CDG. we stand in line which is not long but it's taking the counter staff forever to check people in, His parents approach the counter and as the lady is going through the tickets, the boarding pass from Rome to CDG is missing. I explain that we missed the connection to rome and the Air France customer service had to change our tickets. The lady said they took the wrong boarding pass (what a shock) so we had to go to the Air France customer service counter to have another boarding pass issued. Great this is not looking good. I take My FIL over to the service counter and we are the next in line, I explain to the lady what happened, and she issues a handwritten boarding pass, and we run back to the line, and wait right where the lady told us too when we got the new boarding pass, she is waiting on someone else with a family who has a problem with their boarding pass as well, I can see the look on my MIL and husband's faces, but i try no to look at them, I know it's going to be OK, our plane doesn't leave until 7:20 am and it's just now getting to be 6:35 am the poor man infront of us inline has to take his family to the customer service counter and I feel awful for him. now it's our turn and we get all this straightened out and off to security we go. I need coffee, real bad, I can smell it, I know there are shops open in the terminal. Security takes only a few minutes and I see many shops open and we go into a little restaurant and have cappacino's and fresh hot crossiants, I'm alive...

    On our flight are there is 35 Nuns, Old nuns. Where their headed I don't know, but I did see them in line with us. They are just adorable and I want to talk to them so bad, but all I can do is say hi and smile and they all smile back at me. These nuns can't be over 5 feet and all seem to be in their 60's and all in full habits. It's funny because when we board the plane some are in first class and the rest are back in coach. The Air France staff are very nice, and when service started up they stood there and talked to us for a while. 2 of them have been to detroit and we talk about the city and basketball. I tell the one Man who is so gay and cute about our incident at CDG on the way there, He tells Me He is very sorry that happened. I ask did He think it would happen again, No NO NO he says, and goes to check what gate were at when we land. He comes back and tell us the gate and that we would have plenty of time to make the connection to Detroit, well I want to believe him, but my common sense say NO WAY. We land at CDG 20 minutes early, before we deplane onto the dreaded buses, the crew show us the printed up sheet of connections and tell us we are early and to go right to the gate and the other crew know several of us are making that connection. We get on the bus, go to the terminal and there is this huge line to go through customs, people start freaking out and start yeling they are going to miss their flights, even the Nuns are letting them have it, in Spanish. Some how we figure out this is the wrong line and we must go up these stairs and go to Terminal E, we haul up the stairs, run to customs where 2 jerks are taking their sweet time checking passports, he has to run my passport 3 times through the computor, I'm really getting antsy. Finally he stamps it and off I go to the gate. It's 10:00 am it's taken us 40 minutes and we have 20 minutes until the flight takes off. Now where's my family.

    I get to the gate and as I run up there are 5 Women of Air France standing there, when I show them my Boarding pass all 5 turn their backs to me and start talking in French, one of them turns around and says, You are too late to board this plane. WHAT, no way I am here 20 minutes before take off, and the other Air France crew assured us Your waiting on My family and the others connecting to Detroit. My Family and many other start to arrive too. I tell her this is Unacceptable and I demand to be boarded along with My family. She tells me (by this time the other 4 Women leave) what did I expect when I was holding a discount ticket and She wanted NO DRAMA and my family and i should go over to the Customer service office and change our tickets to a later flight to DTW on nwa. Now I'm pissed, I mean really mad, she treated Me with utter contempt and had a tight smile the whole time. I was furious but refused to stoop to her level, though I wanted to take her outside and beat her up detroit style, but I know God has me right where he wants me and I can't change it, what else could I tell myself to calm down, because now everyone is on the band wagon of yelling and want to know why are standing here wasting time when we could be boarding? I knew we weren't going anywhere now. There is no bus to take us to the plane that we can see, and it sits there another 20 minutes at least while all this Drama is going on. I walk to the customer service counter and ask for a manager,there is no one else in this line. and I start to have my ticket changed while the other 30 people were yelling and arguing. A woman Manager comes over to talk, and explains, there is no way they can board us, we Missed the flight, and who ever told us they'd be waiting is Wrong, and there was nothing they could do. She started to give me the whole story about why they can't hold the flight and how it would put all the other planes on hold and cause this big problem with times on the runway, I understand, but I don't care. I tell her that her company has no business setting up flights that are impossible to catch. She say's We don't set up those flights. How's that? Your company does not know who is coming from where and where their going and we have assigned seats, and our name is on the boarding lists, how is it your company didn't set these times and connections? this is a waste of my time and energy, and I step back and let my Husband and a business man who is pissed that he missed this connection to DTW and was on his way to a business meeting in Chicago, and He DID NOT HAVE A DISCOUNT TICKET. This man was so upset, i felt bad for Him, His cellphone was out of battery and he had no way of calling his clients or his wife to let them know what was going on. It was a mess, and get this, our luggage we there at CDG and would be on the new NWA flight to DTW in 3 1/2 hours. Oh fasten your seat belts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride boys.

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    Theresa, this scenerio wit Air France is like deja vu to me. Exactly what I went through with my family, we were all yelling and the staff was all being very curt with the tight smiles, the whole bit. It was at this point I decided never never to fly Air France again. They have many sociological problems!

    Love your report, can't wait for more!

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    It's a mess at CDG, several people are in the customer service line and my husband and the business man are still talking to the Manager, and getting no where, were all just going to have to sit down and wait for the next flight. My husband asks the Manager for an upgrade to first class for the 4 of us, that's the least they can do in the fact that we got bumped for the second time. the manager insists that it is impossible, and my husband says, nothing is impossible, so they are going around and around. My FIL gets in the action now, it's not pretty either. I had asked if we could get 2 meal vouchers for my inlaws, I didn't need one, and i knew my husband wouldn't either and the lady said NO, we don't give out food vouchers when YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT, that's all it took, it was a free for all, everyone was yelling, I was just standing there just listening about ready to melt into the crack on the floor, when the Manager hands a complaint form to my FIL and I still can't believe my FIL said it, he says really loud "and I'll wipe my a** with that complaint form too. I was just floored. of all the good bad and ugly in 13 days this took the cake. I have known my inlaws for close to 30 years and I never,never ever hear my FIL swear. I was totally speechless. My MIL says SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM, I can't believe you said that, and tells him to apologize. I tell my FIL don't you dare. She deserves worse that that. The manager flips, she is as shocked as the rest of us, and the manager yells to all of us "this converstion in over" and tries to walk away, but hey, we aren't the only people upset about this "missed" connection, and each and everyone of these passangers inline wanted to tell the manager their story too. Me and my MIL walked away and went into the bathroom to get away from this mob scene. My MIL is hot, she is mad at my FIL for using such filth. I try to explain that I felt otherwise, but she didn't want to hear it. After about 10 minutes hiding in the bathroom, we come out and the 2 marino men are still standing at the customer service counter along with the business man and several other men.

    After the Guys figured out they were getting no where with these hags, they sat down. Now we sit there in silence for a very long time. My husband had offered the business man his cellphone to call home. For some reason the man could not get a signal on his cell to call home, so he used my husbands. I felt just awful for this Guy, he was trying to be very mature and proffesional with air france, and he just barely held it together. after calling his wife and having her make calls from detroit to chicago he was relieved, and thought he'd just go home when he got to detroit, if and when that was.

    I'm hungry and I tell my husband i want to get a sandwich and coffee. He and the rest refuse to spend any money at CDG. I feel otherwise. I walk over and get a salami sandwich and coffee. I eat alone at the bar looking at my family sitting there mad and frustrated. I know what I have to do. go make them laugh somehow. I get done eating and walk over kiss each one of them on the cheek, and say it's ok, god does not want us on that plane, and we just can sit here and sulk, or try to come up with why he's got us here. They all look at me like I'm a freak. I raise my voice really loud and say THIS CONVERSATION IS OVER and make the same gesture with my arms as the manager and that did it. they couldn't stop from laughing if they had too.

    Most of the people who missed the connection hang out in the same area. There are kids running around and being cute. I wish i could be like them too, not a care in the world. about an hour later 2 women and a man from security come over to us and ask if we are the Marino's. oh oh,I'm thinking to myself, are we in trouble? Did we go too far with the complaining? did they hear my FIL say he'd buy a large drink just to through on the computors at customer service. The 3 of them ask us to come over to the desk in another area of the terminal and asked for our passports, now i'm getting scared, but i ain't about to even show that, but i must say i was getting worried. we stood there for at least 10 minutes and the man asked to talk to each of us. Me first, great...He asked did i have a copy of my itineraty? yes, i do. He wants to see it. asks where have i been since leaving detroit. Then he asks where is your luggage, i say air france says it's here and it will be on our new flight to detroit. he asks, did someone else pack your bag or did you? did anyone ask me to bring something back? no. what color is my luggage and how many bags did i bring? and did i leave my luggage anywhere unattended. i answer all his questions, and he still has my passport. I ask him why is he asking me all these questions as a van pulls up with 2 other women that i can see as he's talking to me, i'm thinking great were going to jail in freakin france. They ask me to sit down and wait, I ask what about my passport? they will give it back to me when their finished. And i sit down while he gets my inlaws. then the 2 other women who came in from the security van talk to my husband, i can see the look on his face as he gets up to go with the women, i'm really worried now.

    After 30 minutes or so the Man of the security group wants to look in our backpacks, so we oblige. My MIL of course reminds him to be careful she has teacups from rome and they are fraigle. He doesn't find whatever he's looking for and goes over to talk to his possee. after a few minutes he comes over and hands us each our passport with a yellow sticker on them, great were marked. are you doing this because i'm an arab? no i didn't say that. It was no time for jokes and i knew it. I really wanted to say in the middle of his talk to me this conversation is over, but i held myself. He tells us there is a high security and that is why we are being questioned, and do not remove the yellow stickers, or we may not be able to board the plane. all this time i have been doing the rosary that was in my pocket. so when he let us go back and sit down i was thanking jesus and his momma.

    They were taking everyone from our flight from rome to talk to also. Later on the flight home, the flight attendent who sat across from us told us that nwa didn't think air france was tight on their security and after all the switching of passengers they just wanted to double check all the passengers for safety reasons, now she didn't come right out and say it like that, but that's what she wanted to say, but was trying to be discreet. but i got it.

    Finally it's time to board our plane, we could see 2 gates down our air france hosts from when we first arrived to our missed flight gate and they looked misreable, I'm thinking to myself, it's time for them to be rude to the next plane of passengers, and for a fleeting second I felt bad for them, and then it passed. were getting on those crappy buses to go out to the airplane. it took forever to get off the bus and board, they would only let 10 off at a time to board. but once we got on and the friendly crew welcomed us aboard, I knew it was all going to be OK.

    Guess who was on our plane to Detroit? the mother and daughter we met in rome at the 110 bus stop. It seems that this was their flight to oaklahoma, they change planes in detroit and onto Oakl. We are shocked when we see the plane is 1/3 full, and the impossible 1st class had about 12 people in there, we were in row 10, can't use the bathroom within 2 feet of our seats, first class passengers only. but no seats ahead of us, other than the jump seat for the flight attendent. my husband and i were sitting infront of his parents. after the flight took off, people were able to sit anywhere that was open and several people streched across the 4 seaters and slept. god bless em, i was jealous, i would love to sleep all the way home. The service and food on the plane were great. The flight was so long, and all i kept thinking is i will be in my own bed god willing by 10 pm.

    I have been debating about whether to write this or not, but it's the truth.
    As the crew of nwa was preparing to take off, and the french airpot crew were exchanging paperwork with nwa crew, then a truck pulled up along side the exit door at our feet. we could see that they extended a boom of some type, and a airport employee was knocking on the exit door window, the crew did not hear them or for that matter was expecting him, my husband got up and told a crew member, and she looked out the window and was shocked (by my opinion) that there was a handicap passenger in a wheel chair. After a moment she and another crew member got the door open and there is a very good looking man in the chair. it seemed to me that no one told the crew to expect a wheelchair bound passenger. I was humilated for the young man. after much exchange and a place to seat him and put him into a plane wheel chair and transfered to his seat and get his chair stowed it took too long. I mean i think that it should have been handled better. The man is at the mercy of others, He was a good sport about it, maybe he was used to it or something like that. A nwa employee did come over and say yes, your from california (that's the last stop for the plane) she said she was from a city near where he lived. so they were expecting him, but i don't think they expected him in a wheelchair. this is just my thinking, but that is a total lack of communication on someone's part. I will never complain about my feet hurting again, i can walk to where i need to go, and i thank god for this body that pretty much is still working good.

    Thanks for all your posts. the good the bad and the ugly. If you ever in detroit look me up....Theresa

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    Oh Theresa, what a trip you have taken us on...I had chills reading your last post.

    A Merry Christmas and wishes to you and all your family for a beautiful 2006. May you have many more trips..and ones without a lot of problems.

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    Thank you for the wonderful "Trip to Italy" report. I really enjoyed reading every word. Each day I looked forward to reading more. You are a wonderful person and a terrific story teller. Please... tell us the name of your restaurant in Detroit.

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    What a day at Old House Family Restaurant..Known for Good food Bad attitide. Eat it or Wear it. Tip or Die. Tipping is not a city in China. Cash or death by diswashing. I got a barbie apron in 3x sitonmybrainsmothertrucker(it's one word sorry). Eat and get out. Break a dish, it's a death wish.

    Anyone that wants to use these quotes are more than welcome too. I don't hold the patent on them.

    After 12 hours of work and no mistakes on anyone's food, saw a ton of kids today who hugged me like i was santa claus. Laughed until we cried about a little girl telling everyone her mother lost her gift list, and she had her sad face on today! We hooked her up with a mickey mouse pancake with the works and it made here happy, as her mom was paying she showed us the gift list. She was really taking the fall for the lost list. The rent got paid, and to top it off, it's christmas and everyone's in a good mood. generous too.

    I get home and there are posts thanking me for my italy report, and i can't believe anyone liked it. and i'm reading it on a new screen my husband got me for christmas it's a sony something and it's real thin( a refuge could have lived in the back of the old moniter) and the coolest part is you almost think you can jump into the water on the screen saver.

    My Restaurant is 20 minutes north of downtown detroit.

    44474 Mound Road
    Sterling heights, mi 48313
    586 739 5332
    If your ever in the area please drop by, better if you call ahead to make sure i'm there. You know, i have done my 17 year prison sentence there, and i have some freedom. Ain't no stopping me now, I can pack in 30 minutes if i need too. and dang proud of it.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and to the lovely neighbors to the north Canada, Happy Boxing Day.

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    Hey, for all of you who loved this trip report (and who didn't?) I found a site that has a couple of pictures of the restaurant and staff. Can't tell which one is Theresa, but I can tell it is the family from the smiles on all their faces.


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    I pulled up your menu. The prices seem very reasonable, at least for breakfast in the Seattle area. I'm curious why you are only open until 3:00 in the afternoon, and only serve breakfast? Don't you have a lunch or dinner crowd?
    If you make more money, perhaps you can get back to Italy sooner and post us another delightful trip report.


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    Thanks ever so much for posting your delightful, adventure-filled trip report. With your descriptive prose, I was right along with you & your family from start to finish! I especially appreciated the way in which you were able to deal with unfortunate circumstances, put the bad behind you, and move on...
    Your sensitivity with regards to the gentleman in the wheelchair boarding the place shows what a big heart you have. My daughter is wheelchair bound, so I'm especially appreciative of your comments. Thanks for entertaining the readers!

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    Hello Everyone; Hope Santa was good to you all.

    The reason i'm only open till 3pm is when i first bought the restaurant 17 years ago, my daughter was 12 years old and i wanted to be home when she got home from school. it was perfect. i'm a morning person (not so much now) and we'd do breakfast and lunch out by 3. For the first time, i opened for fish fry on friday nites because of popular demand during lent. i don't know how i let someone (husband) talk me into it, some of those friday's i was there 6 am till 10 pm. great just what i never wanted to do, put in a 16 hour work day. I hated it. i was kicking myself for agreeing to do it. all the workers wanted too, but i didn't. the place was hoppin' on friday nites. but i made it very clear that after lent that was it, but we stayed open until end of june. here's where it get ugly, i let them start friday dinners back up early, nov 1st and i'm still kicking myself about it. we won't be open this friday nite though. thank god. we had a vote, open on new years day instead of friday nite.

    Did someone call me...

    1. ignorant; uneducated;esp;., not knowing how to read or write 2. having or showing limited knowledge, experience, or culture,esp. in some particular field language.

    I had to look that one up in the old dictionary, I knew what it meant. not able to read or write. but I don't like to use that word, I consider that not to be in my vocabulary. My Papaw couldn't read or write. He'd use an X as signature, and would have to have someone witness it. My Sita could not read or write english, but she could read and write arabic. I would not say either one of them were illiterate, they both did great with their lives and raised a family and ran a business. I don't appreciate you typing such an insult to me or anyone else on this forum. All I could think of was how sad and what misery you must be suffering. I feel sorry for you. I hope you get a life full of Peace Love and Harmony. Good luck. You may want to try a church, synagone, temple, it could bring you some happiness in your life.

    Had dinner with the inlwaws today for christmas. What a spread we had. We all brought the pictures and video of italy, and reminised. I forgot to tell you all so many things that happened while in Rome. I laughed at the stories of some of the events, but at the time could have died from humilation. We all still Love eachother so much, and considering a cruise in 2 years with the whole family again. Great, it gives Me 2 years to recover and forget.

    God Bless, and I pray God crosses our paths. Theresa

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    Theresa, this is one of the best trip reports I have ever read on this site. I love reading posts from people who write the way they speak. It makes reading feel like we could be sitting in the room with you listening to you share your wonderful experience with us. I got a tear in my eye when I read the part about your husband being so happy after his father told him what a nice time they were having. The only thing my grandmother ever wanted (that she was never able to have) was a trip to the Vatican. She was very old fashioned and wouldn't travel without my grandfather and he refused to travel overseas after his POW experience in WW2. I would have given anything to have been able to experience Rome with my grandma like you did with your family. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your trip. :)

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    Theresa....Many thanks.....reading your post was terrific fun!!!!!

    We'll be in Detroit for the Super Bowl...husband is sportswriter...we'll be there for work....BUT we're planning a field-trip to Old House family Restaurant!!
    We'll call first!


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    Hey, Theresa! Where is Henry Cow? I will be in Rome in March and after your description I want to try it.
    I assume it is named after the British Rock Group.

    (I still think this report is one of the top Fodors reports)

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    Found on a Google search: Henry Cow: Motor-cyclists' pub and seat of "Motoclub Ducati Roma", here you can taste our kitchen, listen to live music and play games. Via Salvatore Dl Giacomo 87 tel. 5404237; open from 8.30 p.m. to 2.00 a.m.. Closed on Sundays.

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    Catbert, that is interesting, after I wrote my question I found one on Via Flavia. How many Henry Cows are there for Pete's sake?

    wliwl, I know what you mean, this one sticks with me, I guess I got caught up in Theresa's energy!

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    I think reading Theresa's trip report was the best New Year's Eve I've spent!
    Sorry I missed it the first time it went around but am deeply grateful to the poster who brought it back to life.

    Theresa ought to sell this to The New Yorker.

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    I read this entire trip report for the first time and had to finally take a break when I smelled my dumplings burning in the oven!
    When I read the part about the newlyweds beaming together at the restaurant and your husband asking you if you still loved him that way too (you said, "I DO"), I burst into tears. I don't know why - it just touched me so. Thanks for an enjoyable read this New Year's Day 2007.

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    Happy New Year! I'm so glad you all are getting a kick out of the post I wrote. I reread it again and forgot about some of the thrills, chills and spills. I had butterflies reading it again. What an awesome trip and can't wait to do it all over again. Were trying to talk my FIL into going again, He said he'd think about it. To me that's I got my foot in the door. By my book anyway.

    But now that I'm a mamaw, it's hard to leave on trips. I can't be away from my granddaughter very long now. I have to get her a passport and start her out early.

    Thanks for all the compliments on this post. It was THAT GREAT! A trip of a lifetime.

    Theresa in Detroit.

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    Theresa, just discovered your Trip Report and don't know how I missed it the first-time around, as I am going to spend a month in Italy in Feb/March and have been reading everything daily on this site. Let me just say this much to begin. I have just now read enough to know that I want to read it ALL, every last detail, and savor every minute of it when I can do so without interruptions to disturb my enjoyment. I mean this in only a complimentary way: You are truly an original character, an authentic personality, and a great writer (and I say this being an English teacher). You make all of us feel that we want to get to know you better, be your friends, and maybe even take a trip with you and your family. For the first time in my life (and I am from Chicago, nearby), I feel like I want to vist Detroit just so I can visit your restaurant and meet you personally.

    Theresa, you are the real deal. Your trip report is filled with the authentic details (the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially the humorous) of travel with your family. As others on this line have complimented you already, I would like to add that this is the most genuine and heartfelt trip report I have read so far.

    Thanks for giving this gift to your felllow travelers. jg

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    Theresa I Loved it...

    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to share all your adventures with us.

    We were in Rome around the same time as you, and you brought many happy memories back. We enjoyed the Christmas tree with the messages in Termini station, the 101 bus and so much more.

    I hope you write more when you have the time, and thanks again for all the pleasure and useful advice you've given.

    Happy travels in 2007!

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    Theresa, yes! Please do write more for us--even if it is just about your daily life in the restaurant and with your amazing family. I know it is not Europe right now--so, OK, just put it on the US forum. You have made all of us want to keep up with your daily adventures in your own special style of telling it jg

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    Hi You Guys!

    It's like 1 a.m. here in Detroit. I have been up since 4 am this morning, and I ain't feelin' no pain. No I'm not drinking or anything. But I can't believe I'm not dead to the world.

    My Granddaughter is spending the night and I had to stay up until she fell asleep which was about 10 p.m. and then I couldn't sleep after that.

    We did not do cookie decorating this year. First time in 15 years. My Husband and I went to Cancun for our 21st wedding anniver. and whenever we go to cancun we visit the childrens home. We take gifts and go by sam's club in the city and get milk, ceral, fruit and whatever else they need. Well this past Aug. we were there and my husband had to work on the stove and oven. He got the oven fixed by the stove was beyond repair and a fire hazard. That bothered us for months. While home here in detroit we surfed the internet until we found what could possibly be the right parts to fix the stove there and had them ups'd to the hotel we were going to stay at. The hotel put the parts together for us which was very nice of them. But when we got to the childrens home (la casita) the parts weren't going to work after all and they had to have a new stove. So a few days later we met the ladies that work at the home at a restaurant supply place in downtown cancun. My Husband and the ladies picked out the stove they wanted and then the ladies from the home proceeded to do a tag team fighting match on the manager there. I mean spanish was flying all over the place. I only understood about 1/3 of the coversation, but I knew they were bardering him about the price. By the time they were through with the manager, My husband was able to buy 2 stoves for the price of one. So what was supposed to be about a 200.00 dollar job fixing the stove turned into another 750.00 dollar stove job. But you know what, it had to be done. They needed a stove and we now go to bed everynight now knowing that over 100 children will have a hot meal everyday now. So no cookie decorating for the local kids (who really have it all anyways)because what extra money we had for cookie night went to set up 2 new stoves and the new parts we sent via ups my husband was able to set up another temp. stove for the girls to learn to cook on and make jelly the home sells to buy those little extra's. When we got home and broke the news to some of the children from the restaurant they were happy that we helped the children's home in Mexico and can they help with something for the home too. It made my heart just melt. Because these kids really mean it in their hearts to help. We are working on getting a freezer delivered to the home asap. So now we got the kids working on helping the kids there. Awesome. But I think were going to let our local kids do easter baskets this year for themselves. I haven't told them yet, I have to start that fund up first;)

    Italy is really calling me back. I did get to go again last year with students to Italy, France and Spain. That was hard work though. But I did fall in love with a town called Montacantini. It was the most beautiful city (well Monaco blew my mind too) I have ever seen. I have to get my husband there. It is so romantic and the food was out of this world. And shopping, forgetaboutit. I broke down and bought an outfit there and can't wait to go back to the same store and shop again.

    Hope your all doing good tonight/this morning. And I can't thank you all enough for all the nice things you said about my italy post. I don't think my head will fit through the door of the Restaurant when I work on thursday. No work tomorrow. That's my grandbaby day, and no one ain't stoppin' that from happening. I'd make my customers flip their own eggs. And it wouldn't be the first time they had to do it either.

    Nighty Night....
    Whole lot of love out of Detroit....

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    Theresa, I just read your Montecantini report. Thank you, kybourbon, for posting the link.

    Please keep us in mind and share your experiences anytime. I'd love to hear more about the children's home. You are now a Fodor's treasure!

    And congratulations on that grandbaby!

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    Theresa is the epitome of the really NICE people that inhabit the Midwest. Thanks for checking back in with us Theresa! Your Rome report still ranks as the best trip report ever posted on Fodors!

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    Theresa: it has taken me hours to read your report, along with the comments made by the Fodorites. It has been worth every second. You are hilarious and your trip would make for a great movie! What I most appreciate is your down to earth, genuine, real life, account of the events, people, and places you describe. It is so refreshing to hear from REAL people who tell it like it is. Without hidden agendas nor vanity. Thanks for the many hours it must have taken you to write up your report. I have laughed like you can't imagine, and even contacted some freinds to read your report. I will be in Italy in September and will think of you and your adventure as I walk the streets of Rome and Venice. Greetings to you and yours from sunny Orlando, Florida. I used to live in Toledo many years ago, so we were once almost neighbors. As they say in Rome...Ciao and buona fortuna!

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    Theresa, I think you need to go back to Italy just so you can write another trip report. You are adorable, and your personality shines through. I laughed so hard at some of the things you did and said, and I felt like I was right there with you.

    One can write a trip report that is grammatically correct through and through and never put forth the sense of self in their writing like you are able to achieve. Nice job, girl.

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    RRT25 and AntinNY

    You are tooooo kind. I am really shocked that the report of our trip would be accepted with all these great, heart warming, heading blowing up can't fit thru the door compliments. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

    Sept. in Rome should be great weather wise if you ask Me. We were there in November (thanksgiving time) and it was like 50* everyday. Except Venice and Pompeii. I froze my ass off, both cheeks. But Pompeii was worth every drip of snot. I will go back there and see it again very soon. I'd love to dress the part. How cool to walk through Pompeii dressed in the clothes of that time period. I'd do it in a heart beat, got any suggestions where I could get a awesome costume there in Rome? I will also take a picnic lunch and hang out on the grassy knolls with a view that is out of a book/movie. I will go to the front entrance this time too. I want to start like normal people (though I don't know any) from the beginning and I will hire a guide. Who will love my outfit. And I'll share my Lunch with them too.

    May I just take a shot at recommending the Empire Palace Hotel to anyone staying in Rome. It is a wonderful hotel with an outstanding staff. Who serves one heck of a breakfast. It is in a great location and I'll be way jealous of anyone going there soon.

    One of my customers is going on a cruise in July. The port is outside of Rome and They wanted some info from me about staying in Rome a few days before the cruise leaves. Well after bombarding her wtih so much info online, travel packages I took the liberty of ordering for them and all my maps and travel stuff I brought back with me (which as been used by 2 other people already) and after all that, they are thinking of doing Rome, Venice and Tuscany. Though I have nothing against cruises, and the one they have reserved looks awesome,I think they just may be changing their minds and doing a land tour.

    You all have a wonderful night.

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    Theresa, you deserve all of the compliments, and not just for your trip report but for being a genuine human being whose enjoyment for life is contagious. As the old yearbooks used to say: "Stay just as sweet as you are." jg

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    Hi Theresa,
    You won't believe this, but I just read an email from a friend of mine in Wales and she said I had to read your Rome review. I had no idea I would be reading all evening... but it was worth every minute. I loved your review... loved your spunk and courage and sense of humor... wow! I could empathize with your troubles with Air France at CDG. Last year I flew through CDG on my way to Rome and of course they assured me the luggage would be on the plane when I switched (I left lots of time to avoid your problems with missed connections!), but of course when we got to Rome the luggage wasn't there. We were going on a cruise in three days and the woman at the hotel said Alitalia will tell you it will arrive in a day, but it will take three days, and sure enough she was exactly right. I did buy some necessities and they did eventually reimburse me for those, but what a headache!

    I travel to Detoit for business from time to time... usually go to Battle Creek. I'll try to get in touch and stop by your restaurant some time. After reading all that I feel as if I know you and would love to actually see you some day.

    Thanks again for such a great read!

    Best regards,

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    jg and linda You guys cracked me up. The yearbook thing was awesome, because so cliche' but so true. "stay Sweet" I loved it.
    Linda a friend from wales emailed you about this? Too wild. But Rome really rocked and it's so stuck in my head, I have re-read my journals and added some idea's for the next trip. I found some stuff in the journals I forgot happenend and I had to call my husband and mess with this head about it. We giggled, some things that happen in Rome, should stay in Rome.

    Linda please swing by the Old House anytime. Battle Creek is a haul from here. I wish I could say it would be worth the drive without sounding big headed. Give me a heads up when your in Michigan.
    Good Night Safe travels and no lost luggage. And may the person sitting next to you on the plane know all about irish spring.

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    Theresa, happy that my "high-school yearbook" quote made you happy. Here is the classic one I forgot: "U R 2 sweet 2 B forgot 10." Brings back memories, doesn't it? Let us hear from you again soon. It's been 2 long. jg

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    I can't believe this post is still going on and on. I got kicked off as Theresa10 for speaking my mind, I know hard to believe.

    I can't wait to add to this post later in the year, Hello to all the Italy fans.

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    Theresa - Who, you? I didn't realize you had been kicked off - I just thought you had changed to this ID because of your new grandbaby.

    I think this has been topped again because so many of us enjoyed it that we refer others to it when they ask about our favorite trip reports.

    All the best in your adventures.

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    I know hard to believe, Me getting kicked off fodor's. I was shocked, all I did was respond back to some haters, and BAM I was kicked off. At first I was shocked, what was I going to do? DUH, just start over with a new alias Mamaw (yep, cause I'm a grandma)

    I am thrilled if anyone is still enjoying this post. I have re-read it a couple of times just to laugh or get info to pass to someone traveling to Rome.

    Our big trip with My Husband's family is a cruise in Dec. and then next year Sicily, and I can't wait. So you know I will be surfing fodor's for info.

    God Bless everyone on this somber day, and remember, pray for someone else, they likely need it more than we do.

    Whole Lotta Love outta of Detroit.

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    Julie The first time My Granddaughter Alyce said Mamaw I thought I'd cry myself silly. My Husband called me on my cell and told her to say Mamaw and she did and I about died of happiness. NOTHING can be better than this.

    Your Right Mamaw Rules.

    Life is good at Mamaw's House.

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    Theresa, it's been a long time. Good to see that you are still here as Mamaw. Just wanted to say hi and send another note to let you know that I remember you and all of your wonderful posts. jg

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    Mamaw aka THERESA,

    I loved your trip report. Many of the incidents and experiences you dealt with brought tears to my eyes - they were written in such a vivid, visual manner. I especially admire the way you dealt with others' attitudes - the family you traveled with, the people you encountered on your trip, and those who criticized you on this site.

    You have received many compliments on your ability to bring meaning into other peoples' lives.

    Thank you for writing.


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    Beth; Those are the kindest words I have heard in a very long time. I have had a hard day. Worked non stop (I'm talking one pee pee break) all day at the restaurant. We all busted ass for that matter, and I finally got a chance to sit down and have some quiet time and Lo and Behold, sweet, kind and considerate words from someone goes along way. You don't know how much that post means to me.

    Thanks and have a wonderful and blessed night.

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    Mamaw Theresa - Thank you for your reply and your blessings. I did sleep well.

    Your writing is very powerful because you are able to retain the moment - the details and expressions and your own reactions and memories. This is a rare gift.

    The main thing - your honesty. Instead of telling you it "brought tears to my eyes", I should've told you I cried through four paper towels and left them sopping on my desk, ruining other papers.

    Thank you for writing.


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    I re-read this last night and I forgot how many spills chills and thrills we had.

    Betsy, truly Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoyed the trip report. It was so worth the critic's stones. And I am so over them. I did a trip report about a missionary trip I took to Costa Rica with Highschoolers, and man did I get tore up. The europe board was grade school, the Latin America bunch were high school bullies. I still finished despite the stones they tossed my way.

    I am going to try to post some of the pictures. I am so not up on how to post pictures, but with my honeybaby's help I will. We actually put all our pictures on CD's this summer. We want to keep it all in tact for our grandbaby Alyce.

    God Bless, Theresa

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    How in the name of heaven did i miss this trip report? Thank you, kybourbon, for the is the best report I have ever read, both in terms of content and style, and in my former life I was a reporter and editor.

    Mamaw, I just have to say it again---I love you!

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    kswl NO NO NO I love you! Thanks for say such nice things about my TR.

    I really am trying to write a book so it's really funny that you should tell me that you did in your former life. The book is about waitressing and restaurant life and stories I have askes family friends and strangers if they would buy such a book and they said they would. I have given them some examples of what I had written and they rolled with laughter. Some said I should do stand up, but that's not me, just a book to keep up the laughter.

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    Theresa I have spent every spare minute the last 2 days reading your report. Priceless!!!!

    You took me back to Rome and Pompeii like nothing else ever has.

    Just a perfect far the best I've ever read.......I loved every minute of it.

    Thank you so much!!

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    timlin, Oh my word! You just made my day! I am so glad you like the trip report. I have been back to Italy not long after but nothing will compare to the first time, EVER! And posting the pic's were killing me. I laughed my butt off remembering some of the funniest stuff. Like the burned out car not far from our hotel. We were shocked to see that, but then again, not really. We are from Detroit after all. But I had forgotten we wrote in the suet on the window, Welcome to Detroit! Now that is funny.

    Thanks again. And if you get a chance check out some of the pic's.

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    Mamaw, I must have skipped this in 2005 because I wasn't planning a Rome trip, but I'm sure glad it got topped now!

    I'm heading there in 6 weeks and I've already enjoyed it--through your eyes!!

    Thanks for a great ride!

    P.S. How is your FIL??

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    mel You will have the time of your life in Roma. And my FIL is doing great. We have taken him on a cruise and florida since then. We are working on getting him to Cancun next.

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    wlwil I'm not sure, but I think you do have to ask me to be your friend. But of course you never have to ask can you be my friend. I have looking high and low for the picture of the momma getting ready to kick the motorbike guy's ass.

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    Mamaw, I have also only recently found this report while researching for my future trip and I absolutely LOVED it. One of the all-time best. I felt like I was taking every step with you.


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    I just got back yesterday from a wonderful week in Rome and tonight I found your amazing trip report. Your story, your family, and your terrific spirit will be part of my happy memories of Rome! Mille grazie!!

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    eastbayer, I can't tell you how wonderful your words made my heart feel. I am at home sick 3 days now (I'll live) and thank God for fodors. It's kept me busy.

    Welcome home and I am so looking forward to your trip report.

    Love Theresa in Detroit

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    I am about to head to Italy with my husband and parents and truly enjoyed your report . . . I feel a bit more "prepared" now, to say the least!
    We are doing venice, florence, and rome (with a day trip to pompeii). Can't wait! thank you for the great report.

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    dcm Have the time of your life...

    If you'd like a good restaurant which my family LOVED (we went there 3 times) is...

    Henry Cow (now that's italian)
    via flavia 59/61

    They open around 7pm. The meat sauce was so good. My DH said it reminded him of his papenia's.

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    Just finished your trip report and you have another fan!!!
    Now I will try to find your pictures and your other trip reports to enjoy.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to entertain us all!
    This thread will probably continue for years to come!!

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    Debbie your killing me! That is so nice of you! Were thinking of going to Mexico next year for our family trip I hope it's as great as this one was.

    Theresa in Detroit.

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    OMG, we sat around and talked about this trip for hours the other night. We (well not me) about fell on the floor laughing about my FIL telling the restaurant owner in Roma that he charged too much money for the food. It was not funny then and not too funny now either. I butted in "hey, that man gave us drinks as a welcome to Italy" but that didn't stop them from laughing.

    The pictures brought tears, laughs and oohhs and ahhss all over again. My family is actually thinking about doing a trip back there. I'll believe it when I see it.

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The next time I go to Italy it will be with my Honey or solo.

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