Thursday, December 8, 2011

Well hopefully better late than never—

I am  writing from my tiny netbook in the car enroute to Burgas sorry for typos.

Wow I zonked out last night. I don’t remember being that exhausted in a very long time. I guess it is understandable after a long wild day.

We landed in Rome an hour ahead of schedule---6:30am wheels down. Wandered a bit in search of an ATM that was not creepy looking. A quick stop for some water and fanta and oops. No Euros yet and the credit card machine is down—no biggie except Marie took a giant swig of her water—crud--- jail time to stealing water?? Young James to the rescue. He brought along a 2 Euro coin from home. Just enough to make the grumpy Kiosk worker happy (well not happy, but no longer wanting to call Police)

Creepy ATM here we come!

Euros in hand and we are off to grab the express train to Roma! We get off at Termini and drop our bags in a locker. It is now peak rush hour on the Metro. We had to wait for the second train--- first was full. 2 stops to the coliseum. Ahhh Roma! I’ve not been in the Coliseum in years. Marie and James have never been in so we spring for the 12 euro tickets to get in there and the Forum. Good call. Amazing visit--- thanks to Marie there are Pics (Picture boy forgot batteries!)

We ate at a wonderful little trattoria. We got a little of everything and shared--- it was WONDERFUL!

To the train station to get our bags and catch the express back to the airport—Ya know that you can’t use credit cards to buys tickets for the airport express? I didn’t. Did you know the machines that take credit cards do not sell tickets for the airport express? I didn’t. After discovering these small details. I went in search of an ATM—I only got a little $$ the first time as I did not want to effect our daily limit to get Leva later in the day.

We planned extra time to get back in case of drama—whew. We will make it back in time even though it took an extra 45 minutes to locate a way to get tix.

FYI—if you plan on taking the Leonardo Express from FCO to Rome expect a very long walk from the platform to Termini Metro stop--- almost 20 minutes with my gimp foot.

We arrive at the airport with 90 minutes or so until the flight. Check the gate information and head for the long chaotic yet surprisingly speedy security line. Then off to our gate at G2. Wait did I say “G2”. Well that is what our tickets said. That is what the first monitor said. We arrive at G, double check the gate and now it goes from H. Argh.

off to the gates—down the escalator, in the tram, up the escalator and find another security checkpoint—with a huge line. 25 minutes til departure. 

This won’t work. 
 Back story—I am possibly the least pushy/nervy person in the world. What to do? The only thing To do…hey, It’s Italy. The line is optional everywhere else. I grabbed the kids and the bag and we walked in front of the first person in line. Said a quiet mi scuzie (sp) and walked through—so grumbles from folks but no yelling or hitting—YAY!

We ran to the gate—but no need. Several other folks also had bad gate info—so we had about 10 min to spare
Onto the plane hot, sweaty and I’m sure pretty ripe from  our airport workout, a day in the city, and the long plane flight prior Settled in for the quick 90 minute flight, I really wanted to sleep—but the sights were incredible. We took off to the west over the Mediterranean-- doubled back and flew over Vesuvius. It seems only a few minutes later we were over the Adriatic with its dramatic coastline and rugged islands everywhere. After landfall, I did manage to sleep. A great smooth flight after a crazy day!
Customs and Immigration in Sofia are a snap and the airport is new, shiny, open and easy to navigate!

The best news of the day? Our bags made it!!! YAY!

Our team was waiting for us and after a bit of fun in Sofia rush hour traffic we arrived at the hotel. Chek in---Check! Plop down luggage? Check!! Call a cab for Happy Grill? Check! We ate a great dinner—sharing a shopska salad, fries with cheese and various grilled meats. (my fave ---I admit it is so wrong—chicken  stuffed with red peppers and cream cheese wrapped in bacon and grilled---oh yea—it’s on a stick.

We walked back to the hotel trying to keep our energy up to skype with the boys. They won’t be home til 10:40 our time.

Trying, trying, trying to stay a…wa………SNORE!

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