Showing posts from February, 2012

Paris/Chicago Day 10 - Rome Girl or Paris Girl??

February 12, 2012

I was told early on that you could either be a Rome Girl or a Paris Girl. After spending time in both cities, I don't know if I'm any closer to knowing which Girl I am. But I do like to compare and contrast, so here we go...


We had little choice in either hotel. It's not a complaint, really. It just is what it is. And neither of the hotels were bad. They just both had their issues.

Rome - the room was bigger, the beds were as hard as a rock, the bar/dining area was much bigger and served us some fantastic food and drinks. But Adele was crazy allergic to the room and the hot water was nonexistent for a while in the morning. The hotel was very centrally located to the Metro and the neighborhood was very homey with fantastic restaurants nearby.

Paris - the room was smaller, but the beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was teeny-tiny, but the shower was powerful AND hot. I was impressed by the breakfast, even though they just had hard and…

Paris Day 9 - Hello, Wall!! Excuse Me While I Run into You...

February 11, 2012

It is official. I've caught Adele's plague. It's not bad today, but I expect tomorrow's flight home to be interesting. We have two DayQuil doses left. I think one before takeoff and one after takeoff might be warranted.

And I don't think I've totally hit the wall yet, but collectively, the wall has been hit. Adele's been draggy today. I've been rendered mostly mute and moderately passive. I'm sure neither one of us are a total prize today. But since this is our last full day in Paris, we need to make do and keep moving forward.

The breakfast at the hotel has been pretty quiet over the last few days. But this morning...apparently, we weren't the only people who wanted to take it easy. We found a space to sit, barely. And the people coming in behind us had to wait. I'm glad we didn't have to wait.

We made our way to the Museum (Musee) D'Orsay. And here, we encountered the one thing we haven't had to w…

Paris Day 8 - The Cold and The Cold??

February 10, 2012

It doesn't matter where you are in the world. If you are all cozy in bed on a cold morning, you're going to have a hard time getting up and at 'em. Add the light-blocking curtains and you might hit snooze a few more times. Even if your day includes a visit to Versailles.

The news is still heavy with the story of the Deep Freeze in Europe. The snow has mostly stopped (though Italy could get hit again with snow over the weekend), but the cold is completely brutal. CNN is covering stories in Eastern Europe (definitely the Ukraine) and it is really bad. Paris isn't insanely bad, but chunks of ice are forming in the River Seine. And that ultimately affects us. Especially when the majority of a day will be spent outdoors. So when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed, we braced ourselves for the temperature. No matter what you do, you can't totally prepare for the cold. Especially on vacation. You just have to suck it up and deal.

We took …

Paris Day 7 - Si!! I mean, Yes!! Ugh...How About...Ja!! Come on...Da!! Sigh...Oui. Oui...That One Works...

February 9, 2012

It's our first full day in Paris and our expectations are high. We just needed to make it a slower morning. So instead of getting up at the break of dawn, we slowly made our way up when we needed to. Our breakfast is covered by the hotel and we expect to take full advantage of it. Bourdain said we're idiots (or used another more colorful word) if we utilize the hotel breakfast, since there are tons of other fantastic places to eat in the city (he was talking about Rome, but still...). Here's the thing...we don't make Bourdain money. I'd love to find an out of the way place for every meal and not have to worry about the cost of anything, but I just can't. We've been spending a ton of money on food and haven't bought much that's tangible. Any chance I can save a few Euros is alright by me.

Our first stop was where the first stop should be. The Eiffel Tower. I'm not sure what to say about the Eiffel Tower that hasn't …

Rome/Paris Day 6 - Arrivederci, Rome!! Bonjour, Paris!!

February 8, 2012

We knew going in (obviously) that our trip would be cut into two distinct parts. The Rome Part. The Paris Part. When I thought about the trip, I would tend to focus more on one part than the other. Then I would worry that the other city would become the red headed step child and just be ignored, so then I focused more on the first city. Paris was the city that I focused more on originally, then got sad for the lack of attention on Rome. Adele had her list of Paris broken out into three distinct categories - A (must do), B (want to do), C (would like to do). I couldn't mentally get to that point and I basically left on this trip knowing I would see what I could see. I know I won't see it all and don't want to try. Paris will happen more than once.

Adele and I talked about Rome last night. It was such a cool place. We saw a lot, but also didn't. The ruins of Ancient Rome - we saw them, but couldn't go inside. Pompeii - we went, but misse…

Rome Day 5 - Getting our Sea Legs Back

February 7, 2012 - Late Afternoon

After yesterday's saga, our day today could only go up. I loaded Adele up with my DayQuil (learned from Moscow to always have the pharmaceuticals on hand) and after a hotel breakfast, we were on our way. Today's adventure...The Vatican.

Now it's a well known fact that I am not a religious person. I pretty much say that before walking into any church while on a trip. I don't go into churches at any other time...just while on vacation and just while looking at architecture and paintings. Ooh, and statues. I do love me a good statue. So I was slightly wary before going into The Vatican. The running joke was that I could walk into The Vatican, but I'd be struck by lightening once I tried to leave. Scott said he was able to enter and leave The Vatican, so I figured I was pretty safe. I mean, he's pretty much as much of a heathen as I am.

The one thing I did say before walking into The Vatican was that I knew this was a very…

Rome Day 4 - Where all the Crazy Collided

February 6, 2012

I'm not gonna lie. This is going to be a hard one. I'm not entirely sure how to go over this day in blog-form. No, there wasn't a police or hospital visit, but the day isn't over. Ether one of these things could still happen. Right now, I'm writing this as we're chugging through the Roman Countryside. For a while, we weren't sure if we would get out of Naples tonight. Sigh...strap in for the ride...

We knew from the beginning that this would be the hardest day of our trip. We wanted to take the earliest train from Rome to Naples, because we wanted to be at Pompeii as early as possible. The train left at 637a. The Metro opened at 530a. And our alarms were set to go off at 415a. A really early morning. It didn't help that my sleep was completely opposite from what it was the night before. I might have had a few hours of sleep. Then again, I might not have slept at all. This should have been the sign of the day that was mean…

Rome Day 3 - Honors Humanities for the Win!!

Feb 5, 2012

We started out a little later than we had expected to today. It wasn't a big deal. Today is Sunday. We could have been at the Colosseum at 830a. Then again, we could have been curled up in bed. That was our decision this morning. And it was a good decision. It was also a time for a decent shower and plenty of freshening up. After a bit of walking into walls and getting our bearings, the day started.

Well, our day actually started with Adele realizing she was allergic to our room. We don't know how or why she's allergic, but after our day, we're sitting in the hotel bar. Five minutes into hanging out on the beds in the room and she was sneezing like a freak. Plus, there's the potential I could have some tea. So, yay!! I learned this morning at breakfast that they have my favorite tea. As long as they have enough milk to choke a horse and enough sugar to kill it dead, I'd be a happy camper.

Our days have been planned pretty specifically.…

Rome Day 2 - Winter Weather Calamaties

February 4, 2012

I think Scott said it best, "You should have known winter would find you at some point this year." Chicago has seen the mildest Winter in years (and people doubt Global Warming??) and I keep thinking we'll skirt around Winter entirely. I was proven wildly wrong in one day. Today has been so absurd I hardly know where to begin.

I'll start off by saying this...if you don't have a sense of humor about traveling and the situations you get into while traveling, you should not expect to have a good time on a trip. This will come into play later.

I wasn't able to sleep on the plane. Usually I can count a sheep or two and get the job done. This time...not so much. I had the two seat row all to myself, but it was just uncomfortable enough that I couldn't get the needed sleep. It was quite disappointing.

We walked through Immigration without a problem (or smile). They didn't ask questions or say a word. I can't decide if this is go…

Rome Day 1 (kind of) - I am on Vacation!!

Feb 3, 2012

I'm drinking a glass of wine on the plane.

Anyone who knows me knows that it's been a heck of a few weeks. The new client's buying cycle is breathing down our necks. The old client's Buy specs are a week late. We're already understaffed. Our Supervisor gave her notice and her last day was today. There was a Water Adventure in my condo last week (a totally separate blog entry I will write in the next month or so). The trip couldn't have happened at a worse time. Then again, maybe this trip is happening at the best time. I can sit on a plane for many hours and not worry about what's happening back home. I'm not hooked into WiFi, checking work email (yeah, it's happening on this trip) every few minutes. I can finally watch that last episode of Sherlock or zone out with the magazines on the iPad. Or really, I can try to stop my brain from thinking too hard about everything that's going on. That's the plan. That's v…