Monday, July 13, 2009

Rome, take two, part one

Better late than never, here's my travel journal from the epic Strange family trip.

The plan (I always have a plan) was to make the most of every minute. We did a weekend in Rome in April of last year and I couldn't get enough of it. The city is as stately as Colosseum ruins but with all the thrills and surprises of a Vespa ride with a handsome stranger.

Our plane arrived much earlier than the rest of the family's and, seeing as we would not be suffering their jet lag, I made plans to cover ground that we'd missed last go round. We'd check-in, get breakfast, hit the Cappuchin Crypt and then San Clemente Basilica, where you can go through basement excavations back 2000ish years ago. Then a quick lunch and back to the hotel to enjoy some air conditioned comfort before Ryan's immediate family joined us at 3.

The travel gods must take one look at that and laugh. Of course I forgot my notebook filled with directions, opening hours, etc in Berlin. And Ryan left his now-indispensable Blackberry at the hotel. At 11:00am it was already hot. We slogged through the humidity to a TI and got directions to San Clemente, only to arrive at the basilica 5 minutes before siesta time. We foolishly walked all the way back across town to Campo dei Fiori for a beer and pizza. It was hotter than I ever remembered in my life-- I was stuck to my plastic chair and no amount of beer helped. All the real Romans had slunk indoors to siesta through the heat so we decided to do the same. I fell asleep in the glorious air conditioning and awoke to the cheers of a reunited family. At least my plans got the last part right.

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