Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day Eight: Friday (Going Home)

We didn’t think our reservations all the way through when we booked our trip, so we failed to account for an eleven A.M. checkout in combination with a 10:40 P.M. flight departure. At first we were pretty worried about what we’d do with a toddler for 9 hours with no shelter, possibly in the rain, until our 8:00 hire car picked us up. But the gentleman downstairs was fairly accommodating and let us keep the room until 7:00 for an extra 90 Euros instead of charging us for another whole night there.

We both felt much better knowing we’d have a place to change diapers and relax between walks instead of worrying about walking too much and having nowhere to rest afterwards. We headed out and took advantage of no one else being awake and sat for a bit at the Trevi Fountain. We stopped by a few shops and picked up some souvenirs and then walked around town until Kaden fell asleep.

After a few hours in the room, we headed off to Hard Rock Café Rome for lunch. Because we’d been to the one in Dubai, we figured it could become a thing we do. The Rome one seemed light on memorabilia, but, in true Roman form, the ceiling was painted like a fresco. I loved it!

Kaden picking out his meal.

After lunch we walked around another side of town and ultimately ended up back at the hotel so Kaden could nap before we left. I definitely emotionanlly torn when it came to leaving. While we fell in love with Rome like everyone else does, I was also feeling slightly claustrophobic and ready to get back to a less chaotic pace (and eat food that was not from a restaurant).

While we waited for our really cool Mercedes (a black sedan with tinted windows that time) to pick us up, we chatted with Maximo, the concierge. He swore we were British, from our accents. I think it’s funny because we sort of get that a lot. I insisted that we were, in fact, American, but that we’d gotten used to paying attention to our annunciation after living so long among non-native English speakers in UAE. He laughed and said that we “didn’t talk as fast or as loud” as most Americans. I thought that was funny. Maximo was awesome and quite taken with us. He gave Stu his email address so we could keep in touch as he told us about the history of his family (all Roman) and that he now lives on a farm 15 kilometers outside of town with his wife and two young boys. It made me envious of the picture of good food, family, and loving your hometown that he described.

Signing the guestbook at the hotel.

Flying home was quite a pleasure. Kaden was a perfect angel and slept almost all of both flights, only waking up for landings and even then was just calm and helpful while we waited in line.

Getting back into UAE was HOT. I stripped my jacket off as soon as we left the airport, and then rethought the decision to wear thick jeans home. Kaden wasn’t much happier about the weather:


  1. He will love these pictures someday!! hahaha Humidity does that to a person! You have done a great job of taking us on a virtual tour of Rome, even though we've been there, I'm sure so many others have enjoyed your descriptions and pictures of beautiful AND OLD Rome! Thanks for all this work just for all of us! I know many who read this will be booking tickets for their next vacation. Have you thought about going into the travel agent's business??? You'd be great! LOL Love you!!

  2. I'm glad you guys had such a great trip. Your pictures are great and Kaden is getting so big, he's not a baby anymore, he's a little boy.

  3. I'm so jealous of your wonderful trip and so glad you guys had a great time! Kaden is looking more like Stu every day! Sweet baby. Miss you tons.......

  4. I'm so glad you guys had a great trip! It's so fun to take vacation, but it's always refreshing to get back into a usual routine too. Poor Kaden... humidity = yuck-o.

  5. thank you so much for the virtual tour of Rome also. Reading all about it, and enjoying the pictures was just great! Glad you all had a great time, I am sure it was a blast! Thanks again!