It’s only 3:17 AM. My turning off the alarm and going back to sleep is fear intruding into my dream world.
I rule out going back to sleep — sleep’s purpose would not be served.
I settle myself in front of the computer and waste time while waiting for the alarm to tell me it is time to start the day.
The three hours of sleep is three hours more than normal for an early-flight day. Did I sleep enough to make it through the day’s planned activities?
Shower, pack, drive, park and on to the plane for a short nap.
Debark and embark on to the train into the city. I check-in, drop off my bag and, front-desk map in hand, I head off to the meeting point.
As I approach, I slow down. Vancouver, Amsterdam and Paris meeting up for a day and a half in Rome. We be cool!
Two tourists leaving. One knowingly telling the other “that’s why people say they will meet at the Spanish Steps.” I forget to ask Vancouver if it is a line out of a Romcom and if that is why she chose it. The next day when I see the Vespa’s for rent, I remember Audrey Hepburn’s holiday.
Amsterdam missed his plane. The real surprise is that he didn’t try to pull an all-nighter and show up drunk. I don’t say it, but I’m pleased. The trip is about finally meeting the boyfriend. Her brother would be a distraction.
Eight hours in and the day starts with an authentic Italian coffee. Short, not sweet.
We start to look for a place away from the tourist sites and serving something other than pasta. A great view of the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, great pasta and a bottle of Chianti has us smiling as we rush to make our sightseeing rendezvous.
The show-and-tell of the Palatine Hill gets interrupted by storm. We seek refuge in the Flavian Palace and the tour guide expresses his excuses for the rain. I wonder if it his fault. People laugh. I’m louder than I thought.
Self-regulation takes effort and resources are limited. I’m saving my energy for the tourism and the tour group gets a steady flow of bad jokes with a few random (mostly accurate) facts in between.
The rain-delay has us rushing out of the Colosseum to meet up with our evening guide. Once again we are rushing to get places and get to relax when doing things. It is a good thing we have a lot planned.
We go from a day of viewing the excesses of the Roman Emperors, labelled as propaganda, to an evening reviewing the excesses of the Roman Church.
Propaganda, the name given by the church to the congregation responsible for spreading and propagating the Roman Catholic faith.
There’s a street named after the congregation. We’d walked it on the way to coffee and passed one of many stores selling straw hats. I told Vancouver that I’m thinking of getting a floppy purple felt hat if I can find the right one. I think the look would suit me but I need a second opinion (it’s a good idea to get a reality check before adopting a showy accessory).
My mouth keeps flapping as we are guided from Pizza, to the city’s sites and then a gelato finish.
We’re still buzzin’ and look for a place to drink beer. Choices in the neighbourhood are limited and the metro has stop running.
There is only one acceptable reason for going to Mickey D’s in Rome — to show boyfriend that you really can get a beer with your Big Mac. Picture proof is created.
I’m told I snore loudly when tired.