"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.". John 16:33

Sunday, September 21, 2008

August 2, 2008 1:56 a.m.

BOO! I'm in the airport now waiting to leave. Today, started out as another wonderful day!! We decided to treat ourselves, since we were staying in the most luxurious hotel ever (insert sarcasm) and sleep in until 9:00 a.m. When we woke up, we ate in the kitchen/breakfast area.

Our hotel was hood! The balcony door wouldn't even lock. I freaked because I imagined some masked man coming in and killing us (CSI?). So we stacked all our bags in front of it. I fell asleep to MTV. If anything, our room had good AC. I woke up shivering.

After breakfast in bed at Prestige Guest House, packaged croissants and bottled juice isn't what I had in mind for a place that cost 15 euro more per night, but it was good and I had a good homemade espresso. After checking out, we took the train to Termini Stazione to store the backpacks we were clarrying clothes for Rome in. When we got there the line was really long.

We stopped at the claim section to know how much money to withdraw for our stuff and we freaked out!!!! The man told us it would be roughly 20 Euro per bag, per day, which would end up being so expensive. We were worried about it all day.

After that, we took the metro back to Piazza Barberini and walked down Via Veneto Vittorio to Hard Rock Cafe!! HEAVEN!!! We got there and decided to eat lunch. It was so, so wonderful. We ordered water and actually got two glasses with ICE and a straw. I literraly almost cried sheer tears of joy. I miss free-flowing water so much. I can't wait to stand at my fridge and drink excessive amounts of ice-cold water. I feel so dehydrated. Beyond that we also had Heinz squeeze ketchup and French's mustard for our oh-so crispy fries!!!! It made me so happy. I love Italian. It has always been my favorite, but the menu selection at most places is sparse. A few more pasta dishes and I will turn into a noodle. After lunch, I got my dad a city shirt and we walked to The Borghese Gallery.

It was exciting to see a different side of Rome... not quite so touristy. We got there really early...so I read through a guide in the gift shop! I loved the art and the villa was spectacular. I can't even imagine living somewhere like that! My favorite sculpture was Rape of the Port___ something something. There was so much detail and it really looked so real. My favorite painting (there were two) 1. cupid with a women and bees and 2. cupid and venus blindfolded which (according to the guide) represents that love is blind.

We walked back to the Pantheon where we went to a famous gelato place. I got three flavors... cioccolato bianco (white chocolate), after eight, and champagne. One I got because I didnt know waht it was and two because I just wanted to taste. Champagne was runny and strong. After eight was intense mint and cioccolato biano was perfect. We walked in the Pantheon, just a quick little stop then moved to the Fontaine de Trevi, where the day took a dark turn.......

I was sarting to take a pic of Jess tossing in coins and I thought she should change her settings to s quicker shutter speed. Well,... somehow some function which deletes the entire memory card was pressed....

Needless to say, she freaked out! six weeks worth of memories were deleted. She had some good ones too. So I hopped up and announced that we were going to go visit as many sights as possible with the time we had left. We basically sprinted to the Colosseum...but she got amazing night shots... then to Victor Emanuel monument... also amazing at night. From there we walked back to the Pantheon. I withdraw 100 Euro to pay for dinner/taxi/and hopefully luggage. We ate dinner on a square in front of the Pantheon. It was beautiful. We shared a plate of mixed cheeses and a bottle of sparkling wine as our last meal in Italy...seriously a great meal. Then Jess left to withdraw money. It wouldn't work. We both freaked. I wound up having to withdraw more money to cover taxi and luggage for us both. We got to the train station (hoping Jessicas card would work) and I had to withdraw, yet again, to the 76.20 for both of us. That was better than we had imagined... thankfully.

From there, we walked outside for a taxi. The drivers started fighting over who would take us. I got mad and just walked to a car. Coming into Rome we notcied the fixed rate to Fimicino was 40 Euro. Once we were laoding up, he informed us that we had to pay metered amount for late night travel. When he said it would be only 50-60 Euro we agreed. ... Not that great a difference we thought. He took off so fast!!!!!!!!! I think he thought the faster he went the less it would charge... honestly. Now I know I exxagerate a lot, but this time I have a witness... he reached 200 KMH at one poitn.. At first I was laughing so hard I could not breathe. It was absolutely ridiculous. This man was running red lights and everything... in the center of Rome. My uncontrollable laughter turned into a panicked laugh. It was so terrible. I was seriously scared for my life.

We finally made it, coming in at a cheap and easy 100 EURO!!! I could not believe I would have to withdraw money again!!! Once we got inside, we realized that the jerk dropped us at the baggage claim!! from there we had to walk a dang mile to our ticket counter... which still isn't open (2:44 a.m.)

I don't want to leave Italy, but after this day, I can't wait to be home. I just want ice-water with lemon and a salad with ranch. Other than people, that's pretty much all I want from home.

I try not to be one of the people who misses out on the joy of Italy by whining about all the things better about home. I like it here and despite these last few hours I really don't want to leave and I will really miss it!

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