Writing Friday, June 27, 2008 while on the bus along the coastal highway between Rome and Pisa, Italy

On Wednesday morning we woke up with excitement and energy to walk to the train station in Maastricht for the first leg of our journey to Rome. Yet we were surprised to see it pouring down rain complete with thunder and lightning. We fortunately had acquired the phone number for a taxi company the day before, yet now that we needed it realized there was no phone in the hotel. Once again Dadís international cell phone saved the day. Whew! On the train in Maastricht on the way to Amsterdam. But wait! The train has technical difficulties and they cancel that route. After some running around the station we were told a new way to get to the airport and settled in for the ride. Everything went smoothly at the airport in Amsterdam. When we arrived in Rome we even bumped into someone coordinating rides for our tour group which was nice since we didnít then have to figure out a taxi. Yet, connecting with her became even more helpful when my checked bag never arrived in the terminal. Yikes!

Dinner our first night in RomeWell, we made it to our hotel in Rome (minus one suitcase) and met with our tour guide and the entire group to get information about the rest of the trip. Dan and I both became more excited and were reenergized as we heard about all of the amazing things we would discover and the options to explore. The whole tour group went to dinner together for a four (or was it fiveÖI lost count) course meal that included singers and roses for the ladies. Our first experience of authentic Italian cuisine was delightful. After dinner Dan and I wandered a bit local to our hotel, didnít see much, and decided to rest for the big day to comeÖAt least I could brush my teeth with the complimentary toiletries provided by the airline with their apologies.

Continue to Vatican City, Italy


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July 2008