02 July 2007

First Night In Rome

June 29, 2007
, Italy

We made it. But we were tired. At this point, I had slept in 3 hour increments. Jesse had not really slept at all. We were tired of traveling and buzzing with the feeling of having finally arrived in Rome. The minibus to take us to the hotel was early and we were on our way to Borromini, A Boscolo First Class Hotel in a matter of minutes.

The hotel is in northern Rome, between Villa Ada & Villa Borghese. We arrived right after a giant bus full of people. Thankfully their tour guide had his poop in a group and they didn’t delay us at all. We gave the concierge our passports and she gave us keys. Check in was as simple as that.

Step one was to check out the room. We both really liked it. It took us a few hours to realize the towel rack was heated. We were impressed. Here's the view from our drive to the room.

Step two was a nap. We wanted to go out and see all there was to see, but we were tired. Jesse was literally shaking from exhaustion. We slept for about three hours before showering, dressing, and officially beginning the vacation part of our European Vacation.

Piazza di Spagna

We decided our first stop would be the Spanish Steps. This is what they look like. You can replace those flowers with a lot of people. We had four maps between our own supply and what we got in the hotel room. So it was pretty easy to plot a course. We left just after dusk. And although we had a course, it kept changing because Romans have never heard of a grid system. Streets you need to go straight curve. Roads you need to connect stop. Still, every bit of it was great. We had a compass and a flashlight (2 actually) and we know how to read a map. It sounds like no big deal but the three other people in our group took a cab to the Vatican then spent three hours trying to find the Trevi Fountain because none of them bothered to bring or buy a map. Granted, they were only in Rome for a night, but there were two maps in the room when they got there.

Anyway, our walk took us through Villa Borghese, which is a park. It has two museums, a zoo, and some sort of water attraction inside. That Friday was a holiday, and it was after 8 at night, so everything was closed. But the park itself was open and we strolled right through it.

It was really nice and relaxing. The weather was perfect and although there was a lot of humidity (by Las Vegas standards) it was really pleasant. There were paths and trees and grass and just nature. I guess living out west has made me desperate for greenery.

At the other end of Villa Borghese, we ended up on Via Venetto. There were a lot of al fresco restaurants, including the Hard Rock Café. We tried to head to the Spanish Steps from there, but were denied by the layout of the city. It took us a little longer, but we got there.

Unfortunately, the camera had started to die at that point. And my computer was not enough to charge it. We took the best pictures we could and as of yet, we have not decided if we’ll be going back once we get back to Rome. Just know that the Spanish Steps are a good place to buy a purse or watch that may have fallen off the truck, watch the drunken Americans make fools out of themselves, and see street performers trying to hustle some euros.

We sat there for a little while and took it all in. We were in Rome with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It was a very happy moment. After that, we took a different way back to the hotel. It was longer, but well lit and gave us another look at things. Including a Chevy Blazer.

And that, my dear readers, officially concluded our first day. After that, we had our first full night of sleep in Europe. It was wonderful. And we still had so much more to do.

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