Rome 03/2008 Flight Home



Monday March 24, 2008

We are all up at 3:30 in preparation for our 4am (ouch!) pick up by RomeCabs. Fortunately, everyone has showered and packed before bed so it is relatively easy. David starts to bring the luggage downstairs and right on time, the driver arrives in a minivan. There is a last minute scramble to make sure we have not forgotten anything as we have to leave the key and pull the locked door shut behind us. Once it is closed that's it. As far as I know, we left nothing behind.

The driver takes us on a route out of the city through some residential areas. It's dark and I'm turned around but I trust he knows where he's going. Suddenly he pulls over and tells us to get out. No, it's not what you think. He's bought us to the piazza to see the keyhole view of St. Peter's through the door of the Priory of the Knights of Malta. How sweet! This was one of the few things left of my list we had not had time to do! It's still dark out, but sure enough, we can see the dome of St. Peter's lit up through the keyhole. Both Tris and I try to take pictures but none of them really turn out that well with the lack of light.

We arrive at the airport and have no problems getting our seats together for the short flight to Munich. Today we are flying Lufthansa from Rome to Munich and then direct to LAX. The flight is short and fine and we have a couple of hours in Munich to walk around and get something to eat. We have to go through extra security to get to where out gate is located. Apparently, all flights going to the US have to go through extra security. For the first time ever, I am asked to open my camera bag, remove my telephoto lens and open both caps so the TSA person can look through it. I don't mind, I just found the extra security notable.

The flight back to LA is long, but uneventful. Lufthansa Economy class has seat back video screens with on demand movies which means you don't have to wait for them to run on a loop like on United. I can't sleep so I watch a lot of movies, none of which I remember now.

LAX is a zoo and it takes almost an hour to get our luggage. We leave before J and T because their luggage takes longer to appear (it does) and the baggage area is chaos with 500 people trying to exit customs. Mom is there waiting to pick us up and we are happy to go home to see our house and kitties. We open the first bottle of Amaro Lucano the next day.

And now, I leave you with this:

Top 10 Examples of Bad Tourist Behavior

1. Do you take American? - there is really nothing else to say, now is there? See Day 5 at the Borghese Gallery

2. Leaning on the exhibits - Yes, leaning on the actual 17th Century Bernini statues you traveled half way around the world to see...

3. Taking photos with flash - after you have been told 104 times by a guide not to -in the Vatican!

4. Taking photos when prohibited - because you've decided you can't comprehend the international "no" sign over a picture of a camera!

5 . Not keeping your freakin' mouth SHUT within The Sistine Chapel - even though the guards keep sssshhhhhing you every 10 minutes - last time I checked "sssshhhhhh" was a international word

6 . Urinating on the ruins in the Roman Forum (thanks Francesca for the graphic details on that one)

7. Putting your camera tripod on 2000 year old ruins - and then arguing about why you should be able to do it.

8. Talking at the top of your lungs in quiet restaurant in a voice that could cut glass for 15 minutes straight without taking a breath.
Then, as the wine sets in - speaking louder and louder with absolutely no respect or regard for the tables around you.

9. Ordering steak "well done" in another language and then blaming the waiter when shoe leather is served at your table.

10. Walking into a faux Irish Bar in Rome- and in all your early 20's American glory announcing: "I need to get more drunk!"

Many thanks to Jessica for adding to and embellishing my list with descriptive details.

So, where are we going next?


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