Friday, November 7, 2014

March 18th, 2013

Here is an entry from my travel journal when Nicole and I were in Italy:

up at 8ish - shower - downstairs by 9:30 for breakfast (the Filipino looking guy who rescued us from the balcony when we locked ourselves out is there and clearly is looking at us and talking to his coworker. I chastise him - smack my leg and through gritted teeth and wide eyes say, "Don't be tellin' everyone what happened!" half in jest - he sheepishly looks away because he might not be speaking English, but he got totally busted) - back to the room - chill - still feel sick (it's my nerves - I'm terrified to go out and explore Rome) - go to the shop up the street - pasta for Bishop! and Keith Haring bag for me! the older gent running the shop spoke little English but was SO nice - back to the room - get our luggage and stuff together - check it in with the front desk (for them to hold til our train leaves) - check out
walk in the rain down Principe Amedeo then left onto Via Viminale pass the Opera House then right onto Via Quattro Fontane to the Spanish Steps - 15/20 minute walk - the rain soaked nearly to my knee pit and drenched my turquoise (left) and pink (right) shoes - sad face. - (the steps are beautiful - i feel like i'm not really here, that this can't be happening. i had dreamed of this moment being a clear day where we could sit on the steps and relax but the rain won't allow - everything in Rome is so old and other-worldly and I'm scared of the unknown parts of this trip but I'm so at peace that I've finally made it to Italy after so many years of dreaming - we take tons of pictures - grab two bottles of water from a corner cart)
trudge back to pizzeria on the corner of Principe Amedeo and Via Viminale - relax - dry off - have Margherita pizza (more like plain cheese tho) - it was good tho - Hotel Universo by 12:30ish - get luggage - regroup - peepod - 1pm walk up Principe Amedeo - left onto Via Cavour - then across Giovanni Giolitti to the Termini Station - Binare 29 to board train to Pisa Centrale (thank GOD that Nicole is a city girl and is completely confident and well equipped to read train schedules and find our platform. She is unbelievably calm when I am falling apart and I can't imagine being here with anyone else.)

get off at Campiglia then take the bus and don't get off at Populonia (which is a mere 100 feet from our hotel) but go to Piombino Marritima (ah!). The driver didn't speak English but thankfully a very kind lady (maybe early 50s) spoke English - got off with us at the next stop (we are basically down at the docks next to a tiny little town) and finds us a taxi driver - Monica - who spoke English! (As we helped load the luggage in the back we discussed the silly name of the resort we were stying at - Poggio all'Agnello and that it basically means that there used to be sheep there before the resort was built. The lady who helped us - I never asked her name - told me, when I gave her a thank-you hug, that she asked Monica to help her friends get to their hotel, so as I hopped in the front seat I holler out to her, "Thanks again and I'll see you later!" wink, wink. She smiled - she got the joke. Monica drove us through the town, shifting gears effortlessly and way better than the guy that drove us from the airport to the hotel in Rome. We discussed the recent departure of the Pope. She's an agnostic, but feels that something is up with him leaving - that sort of thing is just not done.) 

Monica dropped us at the hotel and I gave her €25 and a €5 tip and a hug - so nice! checked in at like a weird window (drive thru like) where we stood outside in the Chicago-style wind - lovely gal with short black hair (Clea DuVall): "Miss Star? I've been waiting for you!" walked us to Room 10. Wow! Tiled floor, patio table at front door - pull out sofa - lil' square 4 seat table - kitchen area - linen closet in hall - bathroom with bidet and shower (lots of bright blue tiles!) and a room of my own - queen size bed - armoire - two night stands and dresser to share. Ants on the floor and def not Mama Rose clean but we are happy and comfy. Unpack - much to Nicole's chagrin. Nic makes us tea and we eat the chocolates from my Keith Haring bag - delicious! - out for a smoke at 7ish - chilly and very windy but the lights on the buildings in the distance were so pretty. Oh my god. I'm in Tuscany. It is so surreal. Nicole reads - I go through the train info and score a massage (my neck and shoulders hold ALL of my tension and anxiety) - bed by 10pm.  

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