Thursday, June 18, 2015

The day(s) we tried to go to Rome. AKA Rome: Day 0.


Oh, sorry, we're not in Rome yet. Let's start over. 


A few special things have happened in the past few days. 

I graduated to actual bangs and Doug graduated to getting a haircut at a real barber (as opposed to yours truly). 

One of us is totally bang'in.

Brycen graduated from high school. 

Hi Ned!

In honor of these important milestones, we planned a totally awesome trip to Italy to celebrate. With Tanya too of course - who has had several amazing milestones of her own to celebrate this year :)

Pre-Italy, Tanya took a cue and sent me a pic of a nicely organized packing plan on Sunday. We didn't leave until Tuesday, so I was extra impressed.

The night before, Doug greeted me home from work with a super cute little Italy display, and maybe also get us inspired to pack (I hadn't even brought down my suitecase yet).

"Welcome to Italy!"

I have a feeling the note included made up Italian words that sounded Italian.

I believe this is from a Family Guy episode. Peter Grows a Mustache. 

Before we left for the airport I decided to weigh myself. I plan on consuming copius amounts of wine, pizza, pasta, bread, and anchovies and basil (will explain later). If I don't gain at least 7 lbs in <3 weeks, I will consider this trip a culinary failure.

149.2 LBS

Got dropped off at the airport after a pretty significant hike from Doug's parents, who had a class at the airport for I'm not quite sure what. Yes, they are the kind of people who have classes at the airport. Just when I didn't think they could get any more efficient! 

Anyway the international terminal at SFO is nothing special. I got the same mediocre latte I got the last time we flew to Europe. My day was brightened by this guy, who was obviously a SFO Intl' Veteran. I mean, who brings a heavy duty long extension cord to the airport? Someone who knows the secret high outlet: 

I'm not sure if he was checking email, streaming the Warriors game, or watching the latest episode of Teen Mom. Whatever it was, it was stressful. 

OMG. Did Gary and Amber really just break up for good?"

What the heck does Macey even see in that guy? He's a loser!

NOOOO! Farrah, don't buy that car! It's an internet scam!

The captions above mean nothing to you if you didn't watch Teen Mom.

We flew the same airline and knew what to expect. The food is surprisingly decent, the wine is free, the tea is mandatory.

Salad (the same one as 2 years ago), my reusable silverware, lemon cheesecake, roll, cheese ravioli.

Cheese ravioli. Suprisingly satisfying. Limp asparagus, just OK. 

The ten hour flight just flew by!

Tea + Milk. Thanks Jitendar for the tip! 

Surprinsingly, I feel asleep right after dinner and slept throught almost the entire flight. Score! I'm sure it had nothing to do with all that wine. I think it was the tea. Soothing. 

Sadly, Doug and Tanya did not have the same experience. Doug was uncomfortable and tossed and turned, and Tanya was sitting in the senior citizen's section of the plane, where a senile man kept accusing her of stealing his wife's seatbelt (after he used the bathroom without locking it and getting stuck) on multiple occasions.

I had to force myself awake for a breakfast that looked lame but was, again, surprisingly tasty. 

Breakfast box. 

Multigrain scone, granola/dried fruit bar, raisins, coffee. 

Good Morning

So this first leg of the flight was good. I couldn't complain at all... until it became the antithesis of the rest of the travel day. 

Shitty story told short: original flight to Rome was cancelled last week due to a fire in the Rome Terminal. Rerouted to Naples. Bought train ticket from Naples to Rome. We had 1 hour to get from our plane in London to our transfer, which was in the same terminal but took a tram and an incredibly long walk to get to. Bypassed passport check to express line because time was close. Cut in front of the security line to the front because time was close. Left my bag at security (without it going thru) for Doug and Tanya to retrieve so I could literally SPRINT to our gate... which was on the opposite side of security checkpoint. Mind you, this transfer worried us from the beginning. We called the airline to confirm we had enough time. They were reassuring. We alerted terminal staff to our time crunch. They were reassuring. We alerted security. They were reassuring. And incredibly slow. 

So anyway, about a 5 minute spring (with only one shoulder check!) I arrive to the gate, which is closing. I check in and tell her my husband is on his way, right behind me, so close, almost here! But because there were some flagged bags in front of him (and they would not let his bag go thru), he wasn't. They checked me in, then checked me out. I see Doug running and think we made it. She checks me back in, checks in Doug. I run to go grab Tanya's bag (she is a small distance behind Doug), get to the gate, and... we are too late. Gate closed.

I feel they essentially sold us a flight that was impossible to fulfill. Coupled with the fact that we missed the flight by (literally, literallly, literally) two minutes, it took a lot of strength to keep a positive attitude. 

We were rerouted to Rome on a flight that was 5 hours later (and ended up being a half hour delayed) on a completely different airline. I'm withholding the name of the airline now because I'm hoping to get reimbursed for our train tickets, the cab we had to take since we didn't get in until midnight (metro not feasible), and a discount o the original price for major pain and suffering. Will post an update after the claim is filed. Keep your fingers crossed for good customers service mojo :)

The flight from London to Rome, Doug and I caught up on the show Fargo. If you haven't seen it, start now. Its great. This is an unstaged photo of us watching the second to last episode. You know it's serious because I can never resist a staged photo. 

The season finally of Fargo was INTENSE.
We finally, finally, finally got to Rome (via an awesome cab driver set up by Greg and our house rental owner) at about 1 in the morning. Totally stank, totally tired, totally wiped from hanging out in planes and terminals for 24 hours.

The view from my bedroom window, peeking through the screen this morning? Made it all disappear :)

The Colosseum. Built to last in 80 AD. 


  1. Excellent summary Becky. I'm going to add some color commentary. A few things that didn't make the blog cut: the lady in my row somehow managed to lose the buckle off one side of her seat belt (leading to the aforementioned accusation and giving me time to go chat with Becky and Doug while the flight attendant tried to fix it). The husband spoke rudely to his wife and blamed her, then later got mad at the lady in front of his wife for leaning her seat back. This mother of a young child was yelled at, told she was rude, and it devolved into a "shut up" "no, you shut up" situation. So, I had to watch only one movie but was still properly entertained for the rest of the flight.

    1. Tanya I'm glad you got some entertainment on the (incredibly long) flight. Good color commentary :) I love someone who complains about a seat recline. Always inspires an extra kick and table tray adjustment from me!

    2. Travel tip not from Rick Steves: The trick to not have the person in front of you recline so far back is to adjust your air vent directly down on their face. Eventually you freeze them out and they move their seat back up so your knees aren't in their spine (or in your own face). Has worked for me on so many trips!

    3. I am totally going to try this. Update forthcoming.

  2. I knew 1 hour wasn't enough time! Stupid (redacted) airways! I just assumed you guys got held up in customs because my sister brought peanut butter again. (The Brits hate her choice in peanut butter too). On the bright side, Tanya can now say she's spent some quality time in England, and wow, look at all the room she had on the second flight on the other (redacted) airline. No people to break their seat belts in her row. Keep on posting and have fun!

    1. Ha ha Laura. In truth, I forced Tanya to send me that pre-packing picture before we left to ensure that there wasn't a sight of Jif Peanut Butter Product sneaking in to the luggage! She did get three seats on the Italia airline and had a good nap (as well as some good observational photography of me and Doug watching Fargo), so it all works out in the end :)

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