Gosh, this was our last day in Rome.Tomorrow morning we hop the train to the airport and fly back home.This is the part I dislike the most.I’m so happy traveling and seeing new things.There must be some gypsy in me.
It was nice not to wake up at the crack of dawn and have to be somewhere.So we woke up at the crack of dawn, anyway.Creatures of habit, we staggered down to the breakfast room.I am a wee bit tired of the hotel breakfast.It is all meats, cheeses, breads, scrambled eggs and canned fruit.Although today there was fresh fruit mixed with the canned fruit.Every day I have the eggs and a slice of bread, plus fruit from our room.I’m ready for something different. Eating the complimentary breakfast saves money, and I’m also fond of spending more money. Hotel coffee is amazing however, and I’m not a bit tired of downing the morning brew.
I was hesitant to tell George my desires of the day; I have drug this poor man all over Rome.He wanted to ride bikes on the Appian Way, and today was penciled in for a nice bike ride.But thunder and lightning was forecast.I’m not wild about riding a metal bike in a thunderstorm.Fortunately, George felt the same way, and we decided to go back to the fashion shopping district to pick up some gifts.There were two historic sites that we hadn’t hit yet in the same general direction, and I tried to make George think it was his idea to go there.Subtlety, however, isn’t my strong suit, so I finally gave up and said “Could we go to the Domus Romana and also see the bones of the Capuchin monks?”
George is a very amiable soul, and has agreed to every place I have wanted to visit.He may walk at a snail’s pace.Actually, it is possible that a snail might pass him, but he seems to get there.We looked at the map, and decided to hit the Domus Romano first.
Note: This is a trip we took to Rome in 2017. Chronicling our trips has always been fun, and this is my travel diary from visiting my favorite city.
Day One – Travel to Rome!
It is so much work to get ready to leave and have a good time. There always seems to be a point when I wonder if it is worth it. I have to say, this trip is so exciting to me that the thought was only an occasional flitter. I’m pinching myself that I’m writing this as we wing our way over the Atlantic. Woo hoo!
We weren’t woo hooing at 2:30 am this morning. We had to be at the airport at 4 am, and it is an hour’s drive. George is a man who likes his sleep and the poor guy had to work late and didn’t get home until 11 pm. He got about two and a half hours sleep. As I hadn’t had time to pack all week, I laid down at 1:30 am and popped back up at 2:30. Let’s just say there wasn’t any joyous happy dances or marital hugs and kisses. George’s longest sentence was “Did you feed the cats?” I grunted in response.
Best Friend Hall of Fame Award goes to our friend Cheryl, who drove with us to the airport at that ungodly hour so we wouldn’t have to leave our truck at the airport. That woman is going to find a special place in Heaven.
George has turned the corner into the Old Man Driving Time of Life. I have formally moved from Back Seat Driver to full-fledged Medusa. As a graduate of the Shrew School for Back Seat Drivers, I have honed the fine art of shrieking and screaming repetitive little ditties like “We are going to DIE! “ And the ever-popular “This is a 55 mph zone, could we go faster than 20?”
We took the truck so Cheryl can borrow it to get her husband to take some loads to the dump while we are away. They usually borrow the truck when we are gone, and she knows the first load to the dump will come from the inside of what George has left in the truck. An ardent supporter of the Let Litter Live movement, he believes all garbage has the right to live free, and will forever have a a home in whatever vehicle he is driving. Cleaning his car is like going on an archeological dig. When he realized Cheryl was going to drive the truck, he did fill up a garbage bag and removed enough that we could find the seats. At three this morning, I was wearing a gas mask and towel, trying to wipe the seat free of granola, dog food and bananas.
It always strikes me as odd that we seldom take advantage of the wonders of the world right in our neighborhood. Okay, in my case, the state of Oregon, but unless we have company coming, there always seems to be reasons not to get out and check out some pretty awesome stuff nearby.
Mt. Angel, an hour south of Portland, is home to the World Famous Oktoberfest. They might not have invented it, but it is easily one of the largest in the United States. The town has 3,500 permanent residents, and most own lederhosen or dirndls.. Every September, the city roars to life and 350,000 people descend on the tiny town. The town may be small, but it boasts more giant beer halls than you can imagine. Huge, permanent structures, they each have bands, dance floors, and rows and rows of tables. All of which, of course, can hold gallons of beer.
We attended years ago, when we had six small kids. My memories are of corn on the cob, dipped in butter, and trying not to lose the children. People packed shoulder to shoulder is a great place to misplace short family members, and that’s all I can recall. This time, we came as two old farts, looking for a good time. And found it!
We have a gorgeous view from our room; we overlook the flat roof of the immigration building. As the wind blew and the rain poured, I admired the way the waves of water seemed to dance on the tar paper roofline. Ahhhhhh, the day looks like an adventure.
Our call time for the excursion was even earlier this morning. We had to report at 7:00 a.m. for another ten hour guided mass sojourn to the summer palace of Catherine the Great. Ellie is feeling a bit better, but definitely moody. More than a bit of teen attitude. Grumpy, I mean Grampy, would rather have a case of jock itch than get up to stand outside a palace in the rain, but he gamely agrees to go.
Our best day yet! We didn’t know what to expect in Tallinn, Estonia. I’m sorry to say that Estonia doesn’t come up in my everyday conversations – but it earned a warm spot in all of our hearts today. What a fun place! If medieval cities get your blood pumping, this is the town for you.
We all liked Stockholm, but it didn’t hit a spot in our Top 10 Places to Relocate for Six Months list. But Tallinn is right up there.
The weather finally cooled a bit and there was a brisk breeze in the harbor. Ellie, still a bit under the weather, slept in and George and I dined on the buffet balcony. I love sitting there in the morning. Tallinn is a apparently a popular cruise ship port, the ships just kept arriving. It is fascinating watching the pilots parallel park a 900 foot ship between two giant behemoths. A Disney ship pulled in and blew its huge horn – and the opening bar to the Disney theme played. Everyone on our ship started laughing and smiling. Even on a competitor’s vessel, we all love Disneyland and everything it represents. Continue reading “Day 8 Scandinavia – Tallinn, Estonia is Terrific!”
Ellie’s throat was sore and her ears plugged when she went to bed last night. We let her sleep in to get some rest. We don’t have any rest days until after we leave St. Petersburg. George and I slipped away while she slept and had a sunny breakfast on the buffet veranda. It felt so nice to wake up with coffee in the warm sun.
Ellie roused and we decided to forego another taxi adventure, and took the Hop On and Never Get To Your Destination Bus. The Stockholm Hop On bus really is a waste of money. It would be far quicker to walk. Traffic is heavy and it took us 90 minutes to reach Old Town. Mohammed the taxi driver had got us there in ten minutes. I can’t count Mr. Eeyore, taxi driver number two, because that poor man has some issues that will take more than a GPS to fix. Have to admit that every taxi we saw, we spontaneously called out “Good Taxi” or “Bad Taxi!” Continue reading “Day 7 Scandinavia – Say Sayonara Sweden!”