Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rome - October 15, 2010

We covered a lot of ground yesterday and we’re both feeling it a bit today. Mostly in the calves – we climbed a lot of stairs – and for me, my hip flexors. Oh well, power on baby! (p.s. we’re old)
So thanks to me being an idiot and leaving our train tickets at home, we start the day at the train station to see what we can do about reprinting the tickets. Well actually, let me back that up. I asked our concierge last night, while showing him my Rail Europe receipt, if he thought we could go to the train station to get new tickets printed. Oh sure, he says. Ya huh.  Well, the answer was no. Nobody at the train station cared to talk to us. In the interim, I’d emailed Rail Europe to see if they could send me an email code to print off the tickets. They’re based in New York so later in the day, they respond and tell me, no, you need your paper tickets to do anything. Sorry. Wait, so we have our name on the reservation for two specific seats on various trains but you can’t cancel them and reissue new tickets or send us the e-ticket? Nope. Sorry.  But here’s a copy of the reservation – try at the station but don’t hold your breath. Well good thing I wasn’t holding it in because they too didn’t give us any better news. You need your ticket to make a change so guess what? You get to buy new tickets. We even threw in “but we’re on our honeymoon!” Yeah, that’s nice. Move it along blondie. Well that blonde move cost $400. Boo!
Anyway, nothing we can do about it now so after the train station, we head to the Colosseum . We stop for lunch – two espressos and two mystery sandwiches. I picked one with nice looking tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. Imagine my surprise when they brought it out and said “hamburger? Oh, I guess that’s mine. Mmmm tasty microwaved meat patty.
And now we’re off to the Colosseum. Amazing to be walking down a busy street and see this structure. Surreal. This time we get in after about a 40 minute line up. Hmm, no mention on any of the wall posters about the lions or gladiators. Do you think they want to forget that part? Well bully on you because I’m pretty sure I found a lion’s tooth, or maybe It was a petrified piece of gum – well no matter, I’m saying it was a tooth. Roar. All joking aside, what an amazing site. That it’s still standing is astounding to me. I was surprised how steep the stairs were. Didn’t those Romans have short little legs?
Now off to the Vatican on the Metro. The accordion player on the Metro with his kid (not a monkey) collecting coin was a unique touch. I’ve always thought that there wasn’t quite enough busking on the Canada Line…. And there were some street vendors selling some LV purses outside. Yes, whenever I think about where to buy an LV purse, the Vatican comes to mind. We follow the crowds and take a bunch of pictures outside, go through security but when we get to the next checkpoint, denied! I’m wearing shorts – go away you hussy. Now this one I blame on Rick Steeves because his book said if you were wearing short shorts you wouldn’t get in. These were not  short shorts! There were women there with shorter skirts. But with a flick of the hand, we were shunned. So, bone-ass move #2 for me today. Sorry Kelly.  Back on the train we go. Noticed that there is no “mind the gap” signs or “scusi de gap”. Guess they don’t care if you drop stuff in the gaps here. To make things better, on the way back we stop at San Crispino’s for more gelato (visit to Trevi #4). This time I had a whiskey and pear gelato. Both excellent. Kelly had honey and banana,
On the way back to the hotel, we stop for pizza and beer. Surprise, I know. Not bad pizza. Then we try to find the elusive store that had the nice ties and pashminas. It’s like the freaking Bermuda triangle. We’ve retraced our steps about five times and can’t find this store!
The parking in Rome is interesting. Sidewalk? No matter, I’ll park here. You’re parked in the parking stall? That’s ok, I’ll park behind you and block two of you in. Amazing that you don’t hear any whatza commin a go expletives from people getting boxed in. Didn’t see any car accidents or pedestrian mishaps either. Amazing since everyone drives like a lunatic and pedestrian walk everywhere.
For dinner, we go to my parent’s favourite, Don Chisciotte, and I have the scaloppini with funghi and Kelly had the rigatoni with lamb. After diner, Kelly mentions gelato…. Ok, so off to San Crispino’s again we go (visit to Trevi #5). We still can’t find the Bermuda triangle store but we certainly know where San Crispino’s is now. I get a different whiskey and a mandarin orange sorbet, Kelly got apple sorbet and creama. We stand in front of the fountain eating our gelato and telling the locals no, we don’t want our picture taken. I said NO, we don’t want our picture taken. Toss a coin in the fountain for luck then head out. Half way home, Kelly asks if we should go for a beer. Well who am I to say no? We end up back at the Spanish Steps and drinking a Pernoi sitting with about 100 other people. Nice way to end the night. And now we’re back at the room, setting the alarm for tomorrow so we don’t miss the train we’ve paid for twice…
Oh and before I sign off, I have to rant about my hair. Yesterday, I plug in my straight iron in the convertor and even though the iron is off, the iron is on and gets really, really hot. When I put it on my hair, it sizzles! Oh, this can’t be good. After a couple of swipes, I stop. I think I fried my hair. Oh crap. This morning, after I shower, I blow dry my hair then try the flat iron in the bedroom. It seems to be going ok – until the smoke alarm goes off! It must have been omitting some steam. Kelly had to call the front desk to get the stupid thing to stop. My hair feels like straw. Part of it is the soft water and that the shampoo and conditioner don’t seem to rinse out. The other part is obvious, I think I baked my hair. Oh my…. Deep conditioning (or a haircut() when I get home.
Well Mr. Snores –a-lot is sawing logs again (this time on the settee…) so off we go. Tomorrow, Sorrento!

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