Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bella Roma

We spent Wednesday through Friday in pursuit of Roman adventures. We found them! Actually it really only equated to one full day in Rome and two part days but it was just enough, (believe me!) Rome is a wild and wonderful experience!

The kids live in a suburb of Napoli so the drive to Rome is a few hours. We had some errands to run before we left town so it was nearly 3:30 by the time we arrived in the city. The driving in Italy never ceases to amaze. Laura is just so good at it and as we have discussed why there seem to be so few accidents, we came up with the idea that you cannot drive in Italy without giving it your full attention! They don't need a law about foregoing your cell phone usage while behind the wheel because you simply cannot do it here. You don't eat in the car or drive on auto pilot because you cannot survive doing it.

We a had our GPS and Laura's and we still had trouble finding the apartment that she had rented for us for the two nights. Travel tip: Lengthen your life by never going to Europe and driving without a GPS! If you saw the movie European Vacation and remember the scene where Chevy Chase is driving around and around the round about to get to Big Ben, then you have an idea of what we went through.

Jim in his glory for the first 30 minutes of the search for lodging!

Our apartment was in the heart of the city and just within walking distance of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, if you are familiar with the area. Think very old, stone buildings and very narrow winding alleys that never see the sunshine in this cavern and you get the idea. Add in every other street being a one way or too narrow for a Honda Pilot to pass through, no real street signs and pepper in people on Vespas roaring by on both sides of you, and pedestrians everywhere and you start to feel the love. And let us not forget we have a car full of luggage and food and even though we all brought just a little, there were six of us with coats, suitcases, etc. There is no place to unload without halting the traffic and there isn't a parking space to pull over in for miles. Imagine now ten cars honking at you if you hesitate for a moment or need five minutes (Mamma Mia!) to unload and you're there. Jim did the driving here and he was phenomenal.

Our GPSs could not get a signal in the caverns. Laura had to get out and find it on foot while we double parked on a crazed, larger street a few blocks away during rush hour. Are you having fun yet? Finally we found it and in the frey, Laura landed up in the driver's seat and then was off alone trying to find safe overnight parking. She landed up at The Vatican and had to walk back (30 minutes) with two large bags and Grandma's suitcase that got left in the car in the panic of emptying the car with all the honking behind us. We were all glad we didn't recognize the cursing in Italian in the background. Once inside the apartment we felt some sanity returning but it was not complete until Laura got back, over an hour later. Only a Mom can appreciate that feeling! Welcome to Rome!...

Our apartment's tiny piazza

We Got Our Girl Back~All Is Well!
(This may be the only photo you will ever see of our naked faces in all their glory!)


Shelli said...

Oh, Bon, I could weep ... I miss Italy so much! Smile at my people for me, will you? :)

Marie said...

Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound Bonnie! Love the view from your apartment! Can't wait to hear more of your European Adventures!! I have always wanted to go to Italy. Perhaps one day I will get my wish! xxoo

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
So glad you finally made it to the apt., wow, sounds a bit risky!! lol
It is so hard to find your way in strange places anyway but when you go to foreign places it is much worse cause you can't speak the language and they drive so differently than here. We lived in Germany 38 yrs ago, and I remember us going to Paris for a 3 days weekend. Oh my heavens, the traffic circle around the Arch of triumph is the most unbelieveable thing we have ever experiences to date! I can even imagine what it must be like now 39 yrs. later.
Frightening I am sure!
You will have lots of fun stories to share.
Hope you have a great time and will pray you make it back to the Napoli area safe and sound,
Blessings, and Merry Christmas