Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rome, I already miss you

Rome was by far our favorite city to visit thus far. The people there were kind and seemed genuinely happy that we were there visiting their city. When you walked into a restaurant you felt like you were being welcomed into someone’s home. People greeted you warmly and I loved it. On this part of our trip we visited the Vatican Museum, the Vatican church, the Spanish steps, the Trevi Fountain, admired the Sistine Chapel and of course the Coliseum. We walked more on this part of our trip than the others. On average we walked 5-7 miles a day! Husband loves to walk… and walk… and walk. I love to walk a little then take taxis, but since Phil loves to walk and explore the city that way we did a LOT of walking. 10 points for me for being a good wife and making husband happy with exploring the city on foot! Minus 2 points for me complaining when it was 100 degrees and 90% humidity. We can't win 'em all right!?

In the other European cities we visited there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of restaurants everywhere. In Rome, there were only a few by our hotel, so we ate at the same restaurant a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean every dinner, and some lunches. We were regulars there and I loved it. We ate outside under a canopy every night, being serenaded by an Italian guitarist, trying delicious Italian food that I’m still craving, and really got to know our waiter. On our last night there we had taken our time eating dinner (by our American standards), and had been there about an hour and a half, so Phil asked for the check. Our waiter clearly wanted us to stay longer and said, “No, no rush tonight, stay enjoy a while longer. Then I’ll bring your check.” We laughed because we felt like we had been there forever! Of course since we weren’t in a rush and couldn’t leave since we hadn’t paid yet, we stayed and enjoyed ourselves about 45 minutes longer, and chatted about our trip some more. After that our waiter brought our check, we said our goodbyes and headed back to our hotel. I loved that the culture there is very family oriented and people just wanted you to take pleasure in your experience. I loved Italy and can’t wait for us to go back there again someday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paris in the rain

To get from London to Paris we took a 2 hour train ride. This was an adventure, to say the least. We knew the train station was only about a half mile from our hotel so of course we gave ourselves about 45 mins to get there and walked... with all of our luggage... while it poured rain on us… in a city where we are definitely not locals. Also, we thought that the sentence on our pre-purchased train tickets, “Must arrive 30 mins before the train departs” was a suggestion. We were wrong. After running through the pouring rain, pushing small children out of our way, dropping our luggage in the puddles, trying to force the customs line to go faster by tapping our feet and sighing loudly, we made it to our train. 30 seconds after we boarded, the train left the station. What can I say, we live life on the edge.

My favorite moment in Paris had to be on our first day. We decided to take a stroll through our part of the city and just explore. We walked up this tiny, cobblestone, alleyway with a single quaint café, French people walking home with baguettes, and almost an endless row of parked bicycles.  At the end of the alley was the Pantheon. As we inched our way closer to the glorious Pantheon we looked down the busy street our tiny alleyway intersected with and we caught our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! What an unexpected and wonderful surprise. There was a café on this street so of course we decided to eat dinner there and enjoy the moment. About 30 mins into our meal the partly sunny day turned into a thunderstorm! Now the small café was filled with people huddled under the canopy waiting until it stopped raining. It was truly a romantic moment for us to be cuddled together, in a sweet Paris café, as the rain poured down. About 10 mins after the thunderstorm started, it stopped. All those people crowed in our café left on their merry way, and left us with an unforgettable, romantic memory.

Stay tuned for the last part of our trip! Rome!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

London, England and its humor

Just a measly 10.5 hour flight and we arrived in beautifullyovercast London, England. This part of our trip was exciting and fairlyrelaxing. We only walked 2-3 miles a day in this city. (Just wait to hear aboutthe rest of the trip, 2-3 miles a day is nothing!) In England, we saw Steven’sTower (which houses Big Ben, the bell inside the tower), Buckingham Palace andthe changing of the guards, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Stonehenge, met somehysterical coach/bus drivers, and ate at several quaint pubs in the city.

Stonehenge was something husband really wanted to see, andit was gorgeous. You can’t really tell how large these stones are until you arethere, but my guess is that they sit at least 20 feet tall. Driving out to seethem was beautiful too. We saw the green, lush country side, filled withmeadows, red tulips and lambs, and witnessed a part of England that you don’t experiencejust staying in the city of London.

A major highlight to me was meeting the people in England. Ilove British dry humor, and in their accents the jokes sound twice as funny!One bus driver was explaining to us that Big Ben is the bell inside the tower,and the man it was named after was named Benjamin (something…. I never reallypay attention to last names), and the Brits were glad that the bell wasn’t namedafter a man named Richard because the tower would be called Big…… instead ofBig Ben! Ummm yea, the humor was borderline inappropriate ( okay, okay pretty inappropriate) and of course crackedme up.

England was just 1/3 of our trip! Stay tuned to hear aboutParis and Rome!


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