First trip (Rome, Itlay)
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I have been in the travel industry for 10 years and have only been a few places in the world. Mostly the countries attached to the US. On a whim a friend asked me to go with them to Rome. I said without hesitation, yes. I live in Hawaii, so getting to Rome was not going to be a quick task, and given my job and the fact that I only had 5 days off was going to be tricky. I had to make a flight from Kauai to Phoenix, to Atlanta, to Rome. The only problem was that it all rested on the first flight and if I did not get on I was not going anywhere. So to start the day with a hangover from friends visiting was not a good way to go. I work for a regional airline out here in Hawaii, and I’m based in Kauai, that said I had to get up get packed and head to work and not return for 6 days, yeah that sounds fun.
I got to work with my roller bag, literally flying behind me, (I never have a roller bag because we are home every night here on the islands). So as my day turned out the plane was late and the plane was slow, simply meaning that it was going to be a stressful day to catch a flight that night at 10:30pm, when we are suppose to be back on Kauai at 10:15pm. We had 8 legs of flight ahead and a broken APU (this provides the air conditioning on the plane along with the power to start the engines), and I had a mission get back to Kauai, at 10pm. I CAN DO IT! To shorten this story, a mechanical problem caused us to be over ½ and hour late the whole night I was able to get back at 9:55pm. Let’s just say everyone thought I was a race car driver.
I made my flights, met up with my travel partner and her dad in Atlanta, and it was a 9 hr flight to go.
Got to the hotel and I was under the impression that we were staying with my friends dad, but that changed quickly, so off to find a hotel was the first part of our adventure. We wondered the street for about an hour, and quickly learned that I was for sure in another country. The language barrier was there but not a huge issue. We found a great hotel named Ginvera, near the train station.
I could go on for hours describing the entire adventure, but I am neither good at simplifying nor giving great detail, so I will best simplify as much as possible. The next morning started with Cappuccino at a small café, and set the days plan into action. We plan to start at the Sistine Chapel and walk our way back to the hotel back on the other side of town. From the Chapel museum we went to Saint Peters Square, passed on the St. Peters Basilica, (way too long of a line), Castle Saint Angelo, The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, (which seem to appear out of nowhere.
After the Trevi Fountain, we walked back to the Coliseum and took the tour there. Stand in the Coliseum and listening to the goofy 4 euro handset, the only thought that went through my head was of my father who recently passed away, and the excitement that he would have gotten from me showing the pictures and telling of the story of the Coliseum. . . .After the Coliseum we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit and get ready for dinner and some nightlife. We went to Piazza Novona, where we had dinner and a large beer at Café Jazz. From here nothing seemed too exciting so we hoped a cab to the nearest club.
The next day had no plan, but recovery from the hangover from last night’s beverage consumption. We went to Jewish Ghetto, and then headed to the Pantheon, and the amazingness of it. We were making our way back to meet my travel partner’s dad when we stopped in an internet café and I learned that my travel back to the states did not include me getting back to Hawaii in time to go to work on the 10th.
The next morning was started at 4 in the morning to get to the airport in time to change my travel plans to get me home. The flight I needed was an Alitalia flight at 9:20am from Rome to Los Angeles; we got to the airport at 6:30am to the ball rolling. After hours of stressing on whether or not we were getting on, we made it by 5mins. After getting settled in on the plane which had maybe 60 people on it, one of the flight attendant came up to me and asked me to grab my things and fallow them, they moved me up to First Class. I asked the purser if my travel companion could join me in First Class, for which he said no, because of the other passengers, who cares. After takeoff I informed my friend of this, who was really cool about it and said to enjoy the service for which I had never experienced before.
All in all it was a great trip, great food, amazing sites, friendly people, and an interesting travel partner. I will again visit Rome and finally see St. Peter’s Basilica.