Saturday, September 24, 2011

Getting There...

There are many things that Em Pea and I experienced on our excursion to Italy... First I met up with Em in Chicago. We ate some sub-par chinese food and then got some Euros. The exchange rate probably wasn't outstanding but we needed some and the lady said I could change them back for free when I came back through. 
We then found out that even though we pre-checked in online and found seats together they had printed off different seats on the boarding pass. The kind very young looking German fellow at the Lufthansa desk helped Em and I get seats together for the remainder of the flights. 
The flight was enjoyable... there were a few times I laughed out loud to different shows and had to watch myself. I was drawing attention... :) We eventually made it to Munich airport and found it to be... silent! In Chicago the carts pass you honking the horn every second. In Munich carts would pass silently, people walked silently. And it wasn't that there weren't people there, there were lots of people. They just weren't loud or anywhere close! One time the moving walkway shut off and the entire terminal was silent. What a change from anywhere in America. 
In the Munich airport we found reclining chairs that were amazing! 
And the set up of the bathrooms made it super confusing for travelers. So Em and I spent the hour layover watching people attempt to find a bathroom in the utility closet. 
We soon went over to our gate and waited to take off to Rome. While we were waiting for our plane to take off we met a man that was from Italy and high fashion with his luggage. We called him our fashion traveling friend. When on the plane we got a pic of his luggage... 
He was rocking a white based luggage with pink zippers and blue, pink and black swirls and flowers. It was intense. But we gave him props for his style choices. 
The flight to Roma was uneventful... mainly because both Em and I were asleep before take-off. 
When in Roma we followed the baggage claim signs, we didn't follow our fashion traveling friend... which turned out to be a bad idea. We ended up in Terminal 1 baggage claim area when really we needed to be in Terminal 3. A man at the Lufthansa desk said (in an Italian accent), "You need to take the escelator around the corner, go down... then go into the doors where everyone is coming out, this is prohibited,  the Policia will stop you but you show them this (boarding pass) and they will let you back in." Em and I did so and had to stand in another couple lines before our bags were sent to yet another baggage claim belt. 
Eventually we got our bags, met up with everyone, got on the train and headed on a bus to our hotel. Had I been alone I would never have found it. The streets are tiny and the signs for hotels and landmarks are nearly non-existent. 
By the time we actually got to our hotel we were starving! I was super crabby because I was so hungry. Some people ate together as others of us decided to go off on our own. M-Ann surprised me with a Magnum sandwich/ ice-cream bar. It was sooo good! 
Then eventually Em and I found some cheap panini's and agua to satiate our hunger. 
The remainder of the evening was spent sitting in front of the Pantheon watching street performers and talking with fellow group members and friends who have decided to spend extended time in Italy. It was a beautiful beginning to a trip. 
I am sure there will be many more adventures to come!!! We have arrived and we are well! 



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