How the other half lives

This morning we went to the Galleria Borghese, which was once privately owned by the Borghese family. Apparently, they had more money than they knew what to do with so they bought fantastic art to decorate their villa. It has some extremely beautiful sculptures including several by Bernini that seem like they couldn’t possibly have been made from marble. For décor at my house I have things like a little ceramic mariachi band that I bought at a market in Mexico…it is not quite the same.

Then we went for a walk down via Condotti and the streets surrounding it where people were waiting in line to get into shops, like Prada, Gucci and Versace! Are you kidding me? These are the kind of places where a scarf costs at least $300 and there are so many people dying to shop there that they have to wait in line outside for their turn!!!

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It Took Me Awhile!

It’s Amy this time. Hey, remember the old adage – “Toss a coin in the Fountain of Trevi and you will return to Rome”  Well, let’s see – I last did that in 1968!!!  Yeah it definitely took me a while but I made it!!

Today we had one of Sarah’s favorite death marches. We hiked all over Rome at least twice and I have seen every monument,fountain and ancient ruin there is to see – and this after 36 hours of being awake (No of course I couldn’t sleep a wink on our over night flight in my cramped upright position)  Where was my nice comfy business class seat?!  Oh right, you have to pay a bazillion dollars more for that.

But of course I am loving every minute of it!

PS Don’t you worry, Andy, I have 500 pictures of Rome’s finest stray cats!!

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2 Things

1) Your bratty child is not as cute as you think he is! 8 hours and 58 minutes of getting to know him was more than enough for me. Also, cut his hair. The white boy ‘fro makes him look constantly a little surprised, like he just stuck his finger in a light socket.

2) How do you drive the Roman taxi driver way? You steer AND shift with your right hand leaving your left hand free to hold your cell phone.

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Sarah gets ready for Rome

Coming soon: Sarah and Amy head for Italy

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Final Random Musings

Dear Rick Steves: You have been much maligned in this blog in the past (mostly by Andy but I usually agreed with him) but in your Paris guide book you seem to have gotten it right. I found your suggestion to head to the Marais for shopping on Sunday to be right on the money. Yeah for the Jews having their holy day on Saturday! I did have to shoot the gauntlet of Falafel shops but it was a small price to pay ( does accosting people to eat your food really work? The Chinese food places at the Colonie mall take
this approach as well and all it ever inspires me to do is to cross to the other side so that I don’t have to walk by them. I never all of a sudden realize that I’m hungry).

Dear Andy: I managed to successfully cross the street without getting hit by a car, window shop without running into anyone, and not step in any animal excrement (although I did have one close call) all without your help! Twice though, I did that thing where I turn invisible and other people ran into me when I was standing perfectly still. If only I could learn to harness that talent and use it when I wanted to!

Dear Michelle T: Thank you for literally giving me the hat off of your head. I would have frozen to death without it. It did pose me a bit of a fashion challenge since it was bright yellow and orange and my coat is red, but I paired it with my purse that has a bright yellow and orange butterfly painted on the front (thanks to the little Thai women who painted it) and I think I got away with it!

Dear guy in front of me at the ticket window for the Arch de Triumph: When your girlfriend says that she doesn’t want to climb the 284 steps to the top because she is claustrophobic, what she really means is that she doesn’t want to expend the effort as it will mess up her hair and makeup and will hurt her feet in the the 3 inch high heeled boots that she is wearing. Trust me on this!

Dear Elizabeth: You are so right that two hours is the time limit for a museum. Turns out this rule applies even when you are by yourself and the museum is something world class like the Louvre!

Although there is a book that claims that French women don’t get fat, some of them must because every bus stop had an advertisement for Alli.

You’ve had too much to drink and should probably go home when the sight of Place Saint-Michel sets you singing “Look Down” from Les Mis “here in the slums of Saint-Michel, we live on crumbs of humble piety….” out loud as you walk down the street!

Walking through the snow blanketed Tuileries Gardens with a steaming hot cafe au lait in my hand and Paris surrounding me is definitely a moment I will never forget!

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I am waiting at the airport, I am waiting at the airport, I am waiting at the airport. The first security check happens when you get in line to check in. For some reason these people decide to ignore me so I ignore them. Then when I get to the counter to check in a ruckus ensues because I don’t have a security sticker on the back of my passport. After this gets straightened out I proceed through regular security to get to the gate. Something makes me beep when I go through the metal detector so I get the full body pat and bag search. Cool, a massage first thing in the morning. Once I am through security I find it odd that 90% of the gate areas are roped off but I don’t give it too much thought as I get in line for a coffee. Soon it becomes clear that the ropes are up because we will be going through another security check where everyones bag will be opened and everyone will be getting the full body pat down. This also means that once you go through this, there is no access to bathrooms, food, or shops. I wait in this line for almost two hours texting the few people I can think of who might be awake at 4am to keep myself from being the passenger who does go ballistic! Finally we are all sitting and waiting and they call for the first class passengers to board. Oh wait, just kidding. They bring them back inside and have them sit down. Now they have made an announcement that due to security concerns on our plane our flight has been delayed indefinitely! I have to go to the bathroom at this point so I do and come back and go through the full body pat down and bag search yet again. As I write this they are boarding the 12:50 flight to Newark five gates away which appears to have no problems and will be leaving on time! WTF!!!

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Adequate Photos

I have posted some photos from today which, while not great, are fairly interesting to look at. Next time I go away I will be bringing a photographer with me!

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It’s Late

It is 11:30 which is way past my bed time, but I just wanted to say a couple of things. First, last night on my way home from the ballet I bought a crepe and tried to eat it while walking. I ended up throwing most of it away because it was very difficult to do. Tonight I saw a man walking briskly, successfully eating a crepe with one hand and carrying his little dog in the other! Maybe if I practiced more?

I have posted five more photos which all frankly suck, except I paid 2 euros to the “homeless” man from the other day to get a good shot of him and his dogs. Now Elizabeth you take a good look at that and tell me if you think any of them are starving!

I had nothing but wine and oysters for dinner. I got three different kinds and what I have learned is that bigger is definitely not always better, at least when it comes to oysters!

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Churches and Shopping

I spent all day looking at churches and shopping, two of my favorite things! Repetto make point shoes and apparently regular shoes for the people who live in France. It seemed like a shame not to support their efforts, so I may have been forced to buy a pair of red, patent leather pumps! I assure you they are adorable. I may have also spent 60 euros on tights, but if you had seen the selection you would admire my restraint. I atoned for all of my shopping by going to St-Germain des Pres and St-Sulpice.

I really enjoyed my lunch again today. I finally had the chance to have escargot, which I love (see photos)! In fact I was on such a roll that I ordered dessert! I know, the words were out of my mouth before I even realized what I was saying. I never get dessert! It was also quite yummy! And for the record It is not my fault that they want you to order your wine in half or whole bottles!!  At least I didn’t get a whole bottle!

Today’s random musings:

To the well dressed woman at breakfast- Why did you steal all of the sugar cubes off your table? Are you going somewhere that is having a shortage?

To the maid-I hung my towels up because the sign says that if I do so, you will not replace them and thereby we will help save the environment. The towel I hung there did not have a hole in it and the towel that is there now does!! From this I deduce that you did not just do a crafty fold job on my towel, you replaced it! Tomorrow I  am taking all 4 of the towels regardless of whether I have used them or not and throwing them on the floor. If you are going to replace them anyway I might as well make
it worth your effort!


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I posted some photos. Go to Links on the top right hand side of the page and click on Photo Gallery- Paris ’10. Once the gallery opens click on the photo of the plane and the gallery will open. As you will see, I did not inherit the photography gene but a couple of them are worth looking at. Once in the gallery you can just click on the first picture and use the next and previous buttons above the photo, or there is a slideshow option on the left.

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