here we are. whew. it was a good trip, it was a great flight.
the flight from minneapolis to dulles was lovely and short, and we were super-excited. the flight from there to frankfurt, which was about 8 hours, was also not bad. it was a bit confusing, though, because i wanted it to be afternoon, but it was later. and i took some nyquil...wasn't sure how to feel. i guess i did sleep for a while though--i didn't even realize that i missed a whole movie!
stepping off of the plane into frankfurt was a bit of a culture shock. first, because the first thing we smelled inside the terminal was cigarette smoke. it smelled like a rockshow before the ban on smoking. and people were smoking everywhere. also, the whole place was very industrial-looking--like a chipotle. and also confusing. what really drove it home: we ate lunch in the airport (which was really like a 6am breakfast to us) and ordered a beer (because it was germany!). the waitress didn't even think to card us. funny.
we got to rome, navigated the entirely unwelcoming airport and found the tren stazione, all by ourselves. when we got to termini station, we still had a couple of miles of cobblestone to our hotel, plus we were pretty sure we'd be mugged on the way there. hey, speaking of our hotel: have you checked out the pictures on their website? well, it's not at all like that. much more questionable. but, mom, there are lots of locks in between outside and the door to our room, so we're safe enough. :)
before we left, there were three things i was picturing myself doing in italy: drinking un cafe and eating a pastry at a streetside- or piazza-side cafe, scampering over ruins, and eating pasta and drinking wine at a little table. first thing this morning, we grumpily made our way to Piazza della Repubblica, where we stumbled across a cafe (which they call a bar) and enjoyed our first cups of real cappuccino--they were good, albeit small. and yummy pastries. then, we went to the forum and i got to walk on some large marble chunks! and we ate dinner tonight at a little table by the street, including gnocchi and the house red! (to be fair, i actually ordered a spinach and ricotta ravioli, but the gnocchi was what came out and and it was good!) and so, after just one day, the rest is icing.
in conclusion: i'm enjoying this!
I can't believe it's already been almost 3 days, but yet my body tells me there's no way it's only been 3! It's nice to finally be in Rome, though. The Roman people have been fairly gracious thus far, and that has been a relief considering our anxiety last night and this morning. Many of the people here are English speaking, so communication hasn't been too much of an issue. But it's always hard to ask questions. We've had to break out the Italian phrase book more than once.
We would be uploading pictures right now, but we found out, after we paid, that they don't allow that here - which we don't understand because there is a usb port directly in front of me as I'm typing this for you. So either he doesn't want to explain it or he's on a power trip. Whatever.
Anyway, so picture us doing a lot of walking. We didn't have a plan today, but we ended up walking about 5+ miles today. Our hotel is on the east side of Rome, just north and east of Termini. We, more or less accidentally, walked to the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Palatine Hill. We didn't spend a lot of time there as we are planning on going back for a full day maybe next week. We had a mozzerella and tomato panino and a gelato for lunch, walked back to our hotel room, took a siesta, and then went out for a 3 hour dinner, because when in Rome...
We love you all! ciao!