Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When In Rome ... Day 1 (travel and welcome)

Will and I recently traveled to Italy and I have been DYING to post about our trip on the blog before I forget everything.  But, in between showing our house (it's currently on the market), working on building a new house, our regular jobs, and starting Claire in first grade, I haven't gotten around to it yet. 

Let me just say that this was a trip of a lifetime for us.  This was a sales award trip that my hubby worked very hard to earn and we are so blessed to go.  A big thanks to Will's parents for watching the kids while we were gone too.  To be able to see an amazing European city on someone else's dime was AWESOME beyond words.

We were in Italy 5 days, so I am going to do 5 separate posts and link them back up here when I finish.  Here is a little preview of what is to come:

Here is a photo of our lovely hotel.  We were within walking distance (or a short cab ride) to all the big sights of Rome.

I thought our room was beautiful!

Doesn't everyone need a bidet and telephone in their bathroom?

We left our local airport at 3:30 pm and arrived in Rome, Italy the following day at about 10:30 am.  (That means we spent the night of the plane.)  Our flight from home was delayed by 1+hours, which made our connecting flight in Philly VERY TIGHT.  We ran (and I mean booked it ... think" Home Alone") from Gate F34 to F14, caught a shuttle to the international terminal and ran from A1-A21 and made the flight with about 5 minutes to spare.  Nothing like getting on an 8 hour flight all hot and sweaty and out of breath.  We then proceeded to sit in the plane on the runway for about 2 hours due to (1) a technical issue, (2) a cleaning issue, and then (3) a traffic issue.  Honestly, we were so happy to be on the plane, we didn't mind a bit. 

After we arrived in Rome, we checked in, picked out our fancy Italian leather gloves (compliments of Will's company), picked up brunch and headed to our room.  We took a 1-hour walking tour of the city (see pictures below) and tried to stay awake until the welcome reception at 6pm.  It was tough ...

Walking tour pictures.

Lots of narrow streets.

These are caper plants.  They don't need much soil to grow.

Me on the walking tour.  (Notice the mopeds behind me ... lots of mopeds/scooters and smart cars in Rome.  Only saw a couple of SUVs all week.)  Let me remind you, this is how I left my house 24 hours earlier (my time).  I was ready to burn that dress after this trip!!  And that little blue thing around my neck was how I listened to the tour guide.

This is the church (basilica in Italian) atop the famous Spanish Steps.

View from the top of the Spanish Steps.

Don't worry.  We quickly learned to take the blue things off during future pictures.

More Spanish Steps pictures.

Lots of rooftop gardens in Rome.

Very busy square at the bottom of the Spanish Steps (and popular shopping area).

Fountain at bottom of Spanish Steps.

Lots of McDonalds in Rome (I saw one Burger King and one Subway and that is it for Roman fast food.)  Italian McDonalds serve espresso and brioche.  Since we were eating on someone else's dime the whole time we were there, we never ate there.

The bumblebee was a sign of royalty.

More rooftop gardens.

Beautiful roman columns.

View from the balcony of our hotel.

Ready for mandatory "welcome" reception.

After a fun little buffet dinner with about 500 other people, we headed to bed.  We were TIRED after only sleeping about 3 hours on the plane the night before.

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