Thursday, June 6, 2013

Honeymoon Recap, part 5

When we left off, Dan and I were schlepping suitcases through the streets of Rome.

We arrived at the lovely Hotel Paba around 11am. Hotel seems like a deceptive term in this case. Really, the "hotel" is on the third floor of a random building that has residential apartments and businesses. The other half of the third floor has a dentist. The hotel has I think 7 rooms, of varying sizes. So not exactly the hotel that my spoiled American self had come to expect.
Nevertheless it was awesome. We were in the largest room because it was not yet tourist season. Our room, called the "Happy Family" room (each room had a name as well as a number) had a California king bed in the main room, and a twin in a small room between the main room and the bathroom. The hotel is run by a delightful old lady (she must be 90!) who is still very tech savvy and speaks English well and was very helpful. Every morning she brings you breakfast- tea or coffee, juice, and croissants. And it's only about a 5 minute walk from the Colosseum and metro station. Not bad!
Breakfast in the hotel.
After dropping our bags, we headed out for lunch. We found a little place down the street to stop for... More pizza!
 


I decided it was chilly, so we ran back to the hotel for our coats. I'm so glad we did because it started raining soon after. We went to the Colosseum:

 


And the Roman Forum:


 


How cool is this GIANT flower?



We had rain coats and our winter coats (well, northerners would call these fall coats, but it's my heaviest coat) but we couldn't fit the rain coats OVER The winter coats. We chose to be warm, but we were NOT dry. And these two activities were pretty much all outside.

Then we walked over to the Pantheon...
 

 and stuck our heads in Piazza Navona:


Then, tired and WET, we headed back to the hotel.  But we got kind of turned around while doing it and it took us a long while to get back. We changed into dry clothes, hung our poor coats up near the heater to dry, and went to the closest hotel for dinner because we were tired of being wet. It ended up being delicious (I'm not sure you can really make a wrong turn in a Roman restaurant).
Mussels in a garlic wine sauce.

Gnocci!
The next day was thankfully a less-rainy day. Too bad we did all the outdoor stuff in the rain the day before. We headed to the Vatican Museum:


A real live (well, once) mummy!
 





and then into St. Peters Basilica.
Then we wandered around the shopping district. I didn't buy anything, but Dan got a Ferrari shirt.
 We were hungry so we stopped at a cafe for a snack, then walked up the Spanish steps.


















On our last whole day in Rome we headed into the Jewish quarter, which we got lost in our first night in Rome. We took the tour of the synagogue (they don't let you take pictures inside due to a bombing that happened a few years ago). Due to the unique position of Italy, both Ashkenazi (Eastern European Jews- like me!) and Sephardi (Western European Jews) cultures have lived in the area. The Jews were only allowed to build one synagogue in the middle ages, so the single synagogue had 2 sanctuaries, each organized and decorated in accordance with the respective tradition (which are quite different!). After the Holocaust, many Jews returned to the area and built a new synagogue on the site of the previous one, again with two sanctuaries, which is what we toured.

Then we went to a kosher meat restaurant in the Jewish quarter. Their specialty was fried artichoke (like the WHOLE artichoke, deep fried) which we scarfed before photographing. Which is a shame because it was beautiful.

We then wandered over to the Capitoline Museum to see more naked statues and antiquities.



These crazy busts were wearing clothes made out of marble. So cool!
Unfortunately I caught a terrible cold towards the end of our trip and started feeling pretty crappy by the last afternoon. So after touring the museum we headed back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.

We got up for dinner and wandered some more until we found a little cafe where Dan could get some more pizza.
 
And finished it off with some gelato!
The next day we got up bright and early, to head to the airport. We had planned to take a taxi, but the old lady who runs the hotel said she could call a shuttle service, which saved us about 10 euros. The shuttle service arrived right on time- a minivan packed full of tourists and suitcases already- we were the last stop.

By this point I was pretty sick- my nose started running when we got to the airport and didn't stop for about 12 hours. I quickly used up all my tissues and had to start hoarding toilet paper from the airport and then airplane bathrooms to wipe my drippy nose. (Side note: At the Rome Airport you can buy Gucci clothes, a Prada purse, a Ducati, and all manner of wine and food, but you cannot buy a box of tissues.) It was so red and irritated by the time we got to the US.. I just hoped they wouldn't refuse to let me into the country while I was carrying plague... but the immigration officer stamped my passport and didn't seem to care (this is how all those people died in Outbreak, if you remember).

We made it back home with only one hiccup- one of our two suitcases didn't make it right away. They delivered it to the house 2 days later. We ordered chinese food when we got home, stuffed our faces, and slept for about 13 hours. I woke up the next morning feeling basically good as new (except for my poor, scabby nose) and ready to start our married lives.
And that is our honeymoon story!

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