Unless you are doing back to back Trans Atlantic cruises, you obviously have to fly over the Atlantic to get to or return from your cruise. Fortunately, the worst part of that experience with which we had to deal was jet lag and airplane food.
Our long flight across the Atlantic was really quiet easy and uneventful, but it did us all in on our the lack of sleep. We all closed our eyes and tried to sleep, but none of us were quite sleepy enough to actually get any sleep on that flight, despite the fact that we had two sets of two seats together, a window and and isle, plenty of pillows and blankets, we could not get to sleep. So then I started to follow the other jet lag prevention remedy which is to drink lots of water. I also followed that with two cups of coffee and and orange juice at breakfast. Upon arrival at Heathrow we had quite a walk and bus ride to change terminals. By the time we got to the waiting area, exhaustion had caught up with my son and he started to nod off right there. By the time we got aboard our second plane bound for Rome, we were all taking little cat naps as we waited for the plane to take off. My son even took a little cat nap in the Taxi van on the way to the apartment.
The bad airplane food came in the form of the sandwich served on this little flight. It was cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and onion on whole wheat slices. It was just not good at all. Otherwise, the meal served on the trans-Atlantic flight was quite enjoyable.
Arrival in Rome was also a pretty easy process other than having to wait about 1/2 hour for the luggage to start coming up on the carousel. All my cross packing work was apparently unnecessary, as all of our checked luggage arrived in tact. Once we picked up our luggage, we were met by our contracted driver who helped us get to his taxi van and drove us into Rome. My husband says that his driving style was pretty typical, reading, writing things down and talking on the phone and talking to his female friend who he was also providing a ride from the airport, but I would have preferred the old “eyes on the road approach”. That being said, the style of driving apparently is the norm and seems to work here in Italy, as we arrived safely at our apartment. The street with our apartment is a semi-pedestrian street and pretty narrow. At one point the passenger in the front seat has to get out and move a scooter, parked in a whole line of scooters, because it was sticking out too far for us to pass. Once we pulled up to the apartment, the agent was waiting for us and helped us bring our bags up the single set of stairs.
The apartment is from Rental In Rome. We chose and apartment over a hotel because of the extra room it provides a family of 4, extra privacy, and lower price than a nicer quality hotel that could accommodate 4. It is clean, nicely decorated, and has firm but comfortable beds. The location is great, only a block from the foot of the Spanish Steps lots of designer shops for window shopping and affordable shops for real people too.
After settling in, we visited a corner market and pick up sausage, eggs, bacon and bread for breakfast, and then headed out to see some sights and take a pre-dinner walk. We visited Piazza Colonna, and what I think is the most perfect building in all of Rome, the Pantheon. After our visit to the Pantheon we wandered around the general area where one of our favorites is located, until we found it. We enjoyed a fantastic home style cooked meal with grilled prawns, lasagna, spaghetti al Matriciano, spaghetti carbanara, red wine and tira mi su. After dinner, we headed out to see a few more sites. We ended up at the Trevi Fountain which I think should be viewed both at night and by day. We didn’t have any coins, so we will have to come back in the day when we have our coins handy.
We got a great night’s sleep and are ready for a full day of sight seeing which will include most of the Ancient parts of Rome.