Friday, June 27, 2008

A long day, long flights

Sunday, June 22
Day 1

After an exhausting Saturday we started our first day as husband and wife with a room service breakfast then a hurried exit from the Adolphus. We had a driver meeting us at 8 a.m. (Sorry Dad Rush. 7:30 a.m. was going to just be too early and the driver said it was OK to push it back.) Even pushing our pick up back got us to the airport more than an hour and a half early. Surprisingly, early morning Sundays are not the busiest time at DFW. The only place we saw many people was in the line for the TSA. Once through the gates there weren't many people around.
We killed time chatting and resting some more in some fancy chairs we found, then boarded our plane for Philadelphia. It was a smaller plane than we were expecting. Two seats on each side of the aisle. No peanuts or pretzels, just drink service.
Once we landed in Philadelphia we found the gate we would be departing from then changed some dollars to euros. Next up was going back and investigating the mall that we saw between terminals. It was pretty cool. They had a Hallmark store, a Gap, and a Fridays among other major chain stores. We were hungry and had two hours to kill so we stopped into Fridays for something to eat. We watched a little soccer and listened to some people talk about their trip to Germany.
Then it was time to head back to our gate. We were supposed to start boarding at 5:30, but didn't get on the plane until almost 6:00, our departure time was supposed to be 6:05. Everyone was finally on by 6:30 and our adventure was about to begin. However, there was bad weather east of us and the pilot said we had to wait about 20 minutes or so. We didn't actually take off until 7:30. We had a 7 hour and 45 minute flight ahead of us, which we thought was good, since we were expecting a 10 hour flight.
Our plan was to try and sleep for most of the flight, so we would be rested when we got to Rome. But when we boarded we noticed that our space between seats was even smaller than the last flight. It was a wide plane, but no room for our carryons under the seats. We had to use the overhead bins. We tried to sleep in between watching movies on the seatbacks in front of us. Gina slept some, but Jarrett barely slept.
Needless to say when we both kind of woke up and looked out the window to see the islands in the Mediterranean. The sun was rising and we were only 35 minutes out of Rome. We flew over the Tuscany coast and were real excited.
We landed here about 10 a.m. Once we got here we got our passports stamped and waited about 35 minutes for our luggage. We went through customs and proceeded to find transportation. Jarrett was really worried about this part. We heard the cab rides are about 90-100 euros. Which is about $150. So we decided to take the train. An airport guide helped us and said the train was more expensive than the shuttle. We ended up paying 40 euros for our trip to the hotel. As we were turning the corners at a fast pace in tight spaces we got a little dizzy and disoriented until we came around this one corner. And there it was. The Colosseo as we call it here. WOW this is definitely ROME!
We got here and checked in at 12, which it was 5 a.m. in Dallas. We are 7 hours ahead of you guys. We had been up with little sleep for about 24 hours. The receptionist got on the tiny elevator with us that is big enough for two, but says it can hold five. Gina can't stretch her arms from one side to the other. So, he showed us to our room and how everything worked. You hold the key to a pad on the side of the door and when it buzzes you better push the door open fast. Then when you walk in you put your key in a slot on the wall next to the door. This controls the air and lights. Without it there you can not use any lights, we have tried. The first thing we did was take a nap. We probably slept for like 4 hours. We woke up and explored the hotel and decided to explore our part of the city.
We are staying in a part called Trastevere. It feels a little like a suburb because we are not in the heart of the city, but it is very nice and only 5-7 minutes from the big attractions. When you stay in the heart of the city expect to pay more. Just like home. After exploring our neighborhood we decided to eat at the Pizzeria next door. When we walked up we noticed it was mainly a Chinese restaurant. We decided that we were so hungry anything would work. We have come to find that our favorite pizza so far is from next door. After dinner we walked our neighborhood a little more and then called it a night. Needless to say it felt like the longest day to us. WE'RE IN ROME!!!!