I have never understood why people started their recaps with the honeymoon, but now that I am on the other side of the issue, I get it. We don’t have any of our professional photos back yet (I’m sure it will take some time for him to clean up the 1400 shots he took), so why not blog about our amazing European adventure? Right? Right!
Our honeymoon began with Logan International Airport in Boston. Mom and Dad Library had both taken the day off to drop us off (and take a day or two to recover from the wedding), so we drove into the city early to get through security. After exchanging money (thanks wedding guests!) and kissing Mom and Dad Library goodbye, we went through security and let the photographs begin!
Why hello, sexy passport! Let’s travel the world together before I have to exchange you, shall we?And hello, sexy new husband! Mr. Library and I were pumped to get our honeymoon started…So he decided to pull out sudoku and be quiet. Nice… But let’s not forget what we’re really here for, sir. Let’s get on one of these…and not sleep for around 36 hours to adjust time zones!
We boarded the plane, sat next to each other, enjoyed the food (it was actually really good!) and the on-demand movies, and got to London Heathrow at 4:30 AM their time. I was pretty tired, but the first thing we did was try to find our gate (they don’t post them until 60 minutes before your flight is scheduled to leave) and got something to eat. I got yogurt at Bridesmaid Al’s suggestion, as yogurt is much fresher in smaller countries since they don’t have to ship it as far. Good lord was she correct! Yum yum yum yummmm. After breakfast, I took a nap on my new husband and then we waited for our flight. After another two and a half hour flight and a questionable “breakfast sandwich” British Airways tried to feed us, we landed in Rome!
Here’s the funny thing about the Roman airport: While there may be tons of police with big guns in the actual city of Rome, the security in the airport is super lax. Like when we tried to ask what we needed to claim in customs, the woman had no idea and just told us to go through if we didn’t have 10 boxes of cigarettes or 10,000 Euro. Since we only had 9,999 Euro on us, we were free to go.
Enter our first interaction with the Italian language. We needed to call our parents to let them know we had landed, but the phone card we had purchased here didn’t work. Mr. Library tried his darnedest for a good ten minutes with me being a whiney, tired wife, and when it didn’t work, we threw up our hands and said we would figure it out later. We bought two tickets for the Leonardo Express that put us at Termini in about a half an hour. Mr. Library snoozed on the way there, and while I tried to stay awake to keep an eye on our luggage, I dozed a little too. It turns out that this train ride would be the easiest of the day. Termini, the central train station in Rome, is nothing less than a screwed up rat maze. All of the escalators were broken, so we had to carry our heavy suitcases up at least five staircases, down another five sets, and through a trillion tunnels. We were hot, dripping, tired, and on edge. Ideal start to a honeymoon? Not so much.
We got off the train at Barberini, the train station that was supposed to be right down the block from our hotel. The problem with that was actually finding the hotel. We couldn’t find any road signs (they are etched into the sides of buildings, not standing out like American ones), so we ended up wandering back and forth, uphill and down hill, in the blistering heat. The streets were crowded, the sidewalks were small and bumpy, and I was not having it. I was severely dehydrated, and when we got to one spot to consult the map, I let the tears flow. I wanted to go home. I wanted water. I wanted to find our hotel and be done with it. Mr. Library, the champion husband that he is, consoled me, gave me a water bottle we had wisely packed into our suitcases, and gave the map a good once over. Ten minutes later, we finally found the doorway to our hotel and were buzzed in.
Diego, the concierge, was a saint. He could probably tell by the looks on our exasperated faces that we weren’t having the greatest time wondering around with our suitcases, so he took mine up the two flights of stairs to our room. He made us a map, showed us how to get to the best attractions, and let us use the phone to call home with our phone card once we bought a European one. He then led us into our room.For being in the middle of Rome, the room was pretty quiet. Honestly, I can’t say enough about this hotel (I’ll be doing recommendations later). We dropped our stuff, cooled our faces with some water, and changed clothes before heading out for some gelato.
The rest of our afternoon/evening is kind of a blur of trying to figure out the map, finding our way around, eating gelato (it was good, but we found a lot better later on), and finally eating dinner at our first Italian restaurant.
Next Up: Our half-day tour of the Colosseum and Ancient Rome