Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Florence, Italy - Day 4 of 12

Well, it started in Rome. I woke up in the two twin beds pushed together with Court on hers, Roo on mine and myself in the middle towards the end. Roo had to bounce out of there and discovered his phone was missing. We looked all over the place, even in the trash can. It was no where to be found. I gave him our map and outlined where he lived as we rely on our phone so many things. As you or I would be, he was pretty upset and left without a farewell except a 'Later, ladies.' We felt terrible.

We had to catch a train to Florence that morning as well. We packed and had our continental breakfast. They served cake, pastries, toast, cheese and charcuterie, cereal, juice, tea, coffee and fresh fruit. I always had the fresh peaches. So good. I also had the succo which I believe was a blood orange but I'm not quite sure.

Unfortunately, Marco, the gent at the concierge wasn't there that Monday morning and we didn't get to say goodbye. We paid our hotel taxes which was 8 Euros per night and we were on our way with our almost 50-pound luggage. Thankfully we were a block from the train station.

I checked with the Italo club and they gave us the correct train number. We are also thankful for Roo's tip that people wait near the boards to see which train arrives at which platform. As soon as we saw ours, we had to race over there. It was at the other end of the terminal. We showed them our tickets and they let us in through security. We didn't have to go thru screenings or metal detectors. We were assigned to particular car and had seat numbers.

On the platform, people will blindly step in front of you as if you weren't waiting in line to board. Fine, whatever. People will also be smoking on the platform. I can't stand the smell. Thank goodness no smoking is allowed on the train.

We boarded finally and I was in no rush to get to my seat. There was no point. People had to find their seats, store their luggage and get comfy. My bag was too thick to be placed above us. Courtney and I tried to do it together. Her's was fine. She wins the luggage weight and now size challenge. I had to roll my bag to the opposite side of the car and just leave it next to the stroller. I was oversized.

I took my seat next to Courtney and we had already started moving. The motion made me nervous so I took a Dramamine. Before it kicked it and it made me fall asleep, a couple with a baby where in the next row and across from me. For some reason, the parents thought it was a brilliant idea to give the child a toy and have it repeatedly bang it on the metal tray. The father was in view and he was on his phone with a baby blanket in front of him. Why don't you put the blanket on top of the metal tray, Sir? I really wanted to ask instead I just kind of said 'What the fuck?' a few times because I could hear it through my headphones. Eventually I passed out but was awoken to show the agent our tickets with our passport. I thought it was a quick ride and that we would be off boarding soon. Nope, I had 40 more minutes to sleep. Thankfully the child was what I presume was asleep as well.

We headed into Florence and it looked familiar to me, in the way it looked to get to Pisa. I saw the top of a duomo but didn't know which one it was. We arrived, unloaded ourselves with our enormous luggage and headed out of the station. I was dopey from the Dramamine and didn't feel like talking. We got in line for a taxi and it was our first female driver. No flirting went on as the men did in Rome. It was pretty much a silent ride to our hotel which wasn't too far away.

We checked into our hotel and jumped in their narrow elevator to the second floor. We had an actual key attached to a metal hexagon shaped piece with a heavy weight wrapped around its end. Lugging our luggage, I was ecstatic about the extra weight.

I can't remember if we took a nap before we went out to explore but regardless, a nap was necessary every single day of this trip so far. We just wandered around, took wrong turns, used the wrong crosswalks, think we were on certain streets but wasn't. We eventually got the hang of it. Honestly, I was kinda crabby and tired from that pill so I probably wasn't the best company. I wasn't really talking and nothing excited me. I was just tired.

We randomly came across the Galleria dell'Accademia where the David was. Museums were closed on Mondays so we couldn't see him that day. We kept walking, saw leather shops, gelaterias, ristorantes and eventually saw the building Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and continued to move that direction. As more people were in our way, we knew we were approaching a busy piazza. We went into the cathedral and it was huge, beautiful and free. There was a way to light candles for your loved ones but in order to that you would have to blow out one and replace it with another. There just wasn't any candles left. I remember doing this at other churches while I was in Europe and prayed for those I love.

Still tired, I moved on with little enthusiam until I was under the dome. The ceiling of the rotunda was painted and the inner circle made it look like the people were hanging off ledges. Like the Sistine Chapel, how did the do that? It must have been so dangerous and took years. It was beautiful.

You could climb to the top of the duomo and get a panoramic look at the city but 463 steps and paying to do so was not of interest for me. I was still sore from the Spanish Steps and my abs were sore from that workout.

We went out to the piazza and had pizza and a Coke outside. I read the a-frame board wrong and thought I was getting a deal on pizza and a soda. We selected the pepperoni pizza and the funghi pizza. They weighed each slice and then temporarily placed it in the oven. It came out to $16. The Coke alone was 3 Euros each. I guess it was decent. I thought I was getting it for 6 euros each. Oh well. The pizza was tasty. Of course I preferred the mushroom one and the Coke in Italy is less sweeter than the ones provided in America. The pepperoni was definitely spicy and a bit on the chewy side. I couldn't finish my pieces and I had to dab the pizza with a napkin to collect some of the excess oil. I could feel the potential heartburn coming on.

We continued to walk on and saw Prada, Gucci, Armani and more. Shopping? I'm doing that while in Milan. We passed a piazza with a carousel, many vendors with leather goods, jewelry and souvenirs and then we came across a little covered square with all the leather products you can ask for. Find belts, wallets, purses, backpacks, jackets and scarfs, pancho and more. Court bought herself a scarf. I will probably buy myself a leather jacket in Milan.

We continued on and found ourselves at the base of Ponte Vecchio. Cugino and I randomly found ourselves at the Rialto Bridge when we first arrived in Venice. We turned to our right and saw a bright elevated walkway. And that's how we found and realized we were on the Rialto Bridge. We were already on it. I didn't want to step on it until I saw it from afar. We walked a block west and was able to take some photos of the bridge. The water underneath it was brown and muddy.

Continuing on, one of my former bartenders and Sommelier, Thom, provided me some points of interest, including Santo Spirito. We eventually found it and it wasn't really happening. We walked in and walked out. Perhaps during the evening this would be like Rome's Piazza Nevona. With no real destination, we headed East and came across more ristorantes, gelaterias and museums. A banner flew about works of fashion and I was so unenthused. Poor Courtney. I was grumpy pants.

Passing another outdoor seating area, I pointed out the empty martini glasses that were sitting in front of a couple to Court. I presume the were once filled with an affogato. We found a little square with four restaurant options and picked one to sit at and have one. Our server was pretty and reminded me of Maria, a server I worked with while at Buon Appetito in Hayward. She had an accent, spoke English well and her makeup was perfect and eyelash extensions were on. No other server we have come across looked like her.

We sat next to an older couple. They were grumpy too. The wife was getting agitated that he couldn't read the servers writing for the wifi password. After letting her try to decipher the code herself, I passed her my menu that had the password in print on the first page. No point of getting angry over not being able to access the rest of the world. Trust me, I know! Wifi in our hotel rooms haven't been the greatest.

We had our affogatos and they were tasty. It takes me back to the cruise Cugino and I were on and I had one every day. I seriously gained weight so fast on that trip. Well, when it's all you can eat and drink! The gym was there but I was on vacation. These were good and it seemed like Court and I were in competition over who can finish it first. We were quiet and I could hear the spoons clinking on the glass and we both tilting the cup to make sure we got every drop.

I was beyond tired. I proposed going back to the room to nap. Court was game. We headed in the direction of the hotel but crossed over Ponte Vecchio. I was surprised to see that every single shop there was a jewelry shop. During my trip in 2012, I made it a point to get a piece of jewelry from every city that we visited. I was very much into selling Stella & Dot at that time.  Now that I think of it, I can't remember which piece of jewelry did I get from Pisa.

We made it to the hotel and we crashed. I woke up and was hungry. Surprise, surprise. I asked Court if she was hungry but she laid back down. I offered to bring her something back. I used my good ol' Yelp app to try to find what was open. I found one close by and headed that direction. When I arrived at where it should have been, the restaurant was not where I expected it to be. So I went in the other direction and headed to Perseus. I went inside and asked for a table for one. The restaurant went father than expected and there was meat everywhere! The decor had paintings on the wall, pots and pans hanging from the ceiling and the lighting was dim. I was sat at a table and I felt my Italian was escaping me that I felt like I failed when the waiter finally asked, "English?" Yeah. Damnit.

I looked over the menu and thought about what I could get that I can split with Court. I went with the pennette with carne which was steak, lamb with balsamic and grilled vegetables. I didn't eat all the pasta and was getting a little full. I pushed it away and asked if they had to go boxes. He said no and I didn't think he understood me so I pulled out my phone and used the Google translate app. I showed him what I meant and he said no again. I was puzzled. No to go boxes? What if I don't finish all this meat? Well, the pasta was taken away and the lamb was good but filling. On my grilled veggies platter I had red bell pepper, some thing that could have been endive, eggplant and a potato. The potato was wrapped in foil. A-ha! I could wrap up Courts meat in foil. The potato was good, the eggplant a bit tough and the bell pepper sweet. Also on my table was a huge bowl of raw veggies - celery, radishes, what looked like kale and carrots. I snacked on a few carrots in between my bites of lamb. I placed the piece of foil on my plate and started cutting up pieces to put in the foil. I then wrapped it up and placed it far to the side of me to where they would have to reach pretty far to get it off the table. I felt like I was hiding chewed up meat in a napkin so my mom wouldn't see and I could eventually going to throw it away in the trash without her even knowing. I paid and left holding my piece of foil. Is taking food home with you frowned upon? I have no idea.

The walk back was quiet and short. Court was still asleep so I left her dinner on the desk. I played on my phone, texted and ended up working until 1:30 AM. I had a hard time falling asleep. Something was on my mind and I hated it. I think I fell asleep at about 3:30 AM. I then get called via WhatsApp from work and them needing some financial docs that I could most likely find and send to them quicker than them trying to find it themselves. I got my laptop back out and sent them what they needed. Then I went back to sleep. This time until at least 9 AM.

Rome, Italy - Day 3 of 12

Day 3 of 12

It was our last full day in Rome and we had a 5-hour tour of the Colosseum, Palantine Hill and the Roman Forum scheduled starting at 11:30 AM. Court and I took a nap starting at 8 PM the night before and I woke up at 10 PM and started to write the previous posts. Court slept longer but was awake before I even realized. I was concentrating in the dark typing on my phone. I am now attempting to write this post with my laptop while now in Florence and a sleeping Courtney in the next bed over.

With ending up writing and texting home until 3:30 AM, it was best that I went to bed. We had a long day ahead and we were going to make the most of it. I slept for 5.5 more hours and did some abs on the floor with Court. I am definitely sore today that it hurts to cough or sneeze. Then we got ready to go for our walk which we thought was going to take awhile. It didn't. We were making great time and seeing the high walls and arches of the Colosseum was exciting but still not enough to wake me up. I needed some caffeine.

As soon as we got to the street that kept us from the Colesseum, the many runners for the hunger run was happening and polizia was doing their best keeping tourist out of their way. We probably stood there for about 10 minutes watching them pass until we saw a big gap and about 20 of us impatient tourists made a dash for it.

We made our way towards our meeting spot for our tour. Along the way, un oumo said I had a stain on my shirt. I was wearing my 49ers Faithful shirt because it was Sunday and we were playing the Buffalo Bills. I assumed he was a Bills fan. He said he was from New York and unfortunately pointed us in the wrong direction to use our voucher for our tours. I knew where we were supposed to go. We didn't let him waste our time.

We found our spot at the Palentine Hill entrance and I needed a snack. We had our continental breakfast at the hotel but this was going to be a 5-hour tour with a lunch break but who knows when that was going to take place. We walked towards the main street where our tour bus dropped Cugino and I off four years ago. We saw food vendors and trucks then. I remember getting a Ringo cookie packet. Thinking they would be there again, we walked to the far end with no trucks in sight. I didn't pack any snacks and I was concerned. We ended up walking around the other side of the Colosseum so I can get some grub. I ordered a macchiato, inquired if an omelette was going to take long and it did, but I also ordered 4 mini pizza like pockets to go as a snack. I asked for the omelette to go and I ate it as we speed walked to our meeting spot.

We found our group and got situated. A couple was there from Sacramento and the husband had a wandering eye. He would look somewhere else when he spoke to people. We had a lot of time standing around because someone left their bag in their driver's car and other people just showed up 15 minutes late.

We finally went in with our tour guide, John. He was friendly, spoke clearly and was a bit funny. We started out waiting another 15 minutes for people to use the restroom with all this time, John speaking in our ear through our headsets.

Palantine Hill was massive and truly fit for an emperor. It had gardens, a large open area for exercise where they also displayed statues and art, a hall, underground passageways for servants, deliveries, etc., his own army dormitory and of course a hall where he would sit upon a throne.

John took us to a lookout that showed us the Circus Maximus that was built before the Colosseum. It was a long track for chariot races. It held more people than Colosseum. Also from this look out, you can see the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

It was a warm day and I was still sore from the squats from the Spanish Steps and being tired from the night before. Because we could hear John thru our headset wherever we wandered to within reason, I often tried to find some shade.Though wearing my Brooks, my feet were also sore.

We went to a lookout pint where John explained the Roman Forum, how it was a gathering place for the government, announcements for the people, retail and more. There were places to make sacrifices to their Gods and there was a God for everything.

Then we had a break. We went off to a different direction from our group and dined across the street and didn't bother to wait for a table outside like we normally do. It was warm, there was a sign that said air-conditioning and I needed to get off my feet. We were sat inside and the AC was not as strong as I would have liked. We ordered food, wine and beer. I ordered the anitpasta seafood selection and Court had her caprese salad. My platter came with smoked salmon, a few slices of what seemed to be octopus bologna. It was interesting but tasty. I also had shrimp with shredded vegetables. My platter was perfect. It wasn't heavy, it was seafood and it went perfectly with my wine. We had to go meet our group for the Colosseum tour but first, we got gelato. It was warm and we walked a lot. We deserved it. I had Oreo, strawberry and accidentally said vanilla instead of coconut. It was still good though. I can't remember the last time I had a waffle cone.

After waiting for the stragglers and tardy tourists again, we headed to the Colosseum with gelato in hand. We entered in entrance number 49. I loved that, though we would lose that game to the Bills. It's a tough time to be a 49er fan right now.

I have been to the Colosseum before so there wasn't anything that I haven't seen before. Would I go back to The Vatican or the Colosseum again? Probably not unless we were able to go underground, but the underground tour isn't running around in the area in the center, it's just being under the stage/platform they had installed to show where the floor was. Some things John did mention that I didn't know was that they brought in elephants, alligators and rhinos to fight the gladiators or battle each other. John also mentioned that there have been reports that women versus women fights occured on a rare occasion. The Colosseum and the Circus Maximus and the like were the Emperor's way of keeping the people happy. Entertained community means an adored Emperor.

These places are incredible and it's amazing to imagine what they were like in prime condition, how they were even built with the lack of technology we have today and how they have been able to survive this long. You read about them in your textbooks but they become more real when you've walked on the same land, climb the same steps and gaze out in the distance from steeples still standing.

We left our group and tour guide, John, and headed to the Altare della Patria (alter for the familyhood). It is massive. At the gate, you will be stopped by security to make sure people can leave and then you may enter. Crazy that people have the courtesy to allow passageway. Climb the marble steps and see large beautiful statues of figures on horses and to the left and right of you. Reach one level and there are two gents in uniform guarding what is like the tomb of the unknown soldier in Washington DC with two torches ablaze to each side. Climb more steps on either side and enter inside for MORE stairs. Find yourself on the terrace for another view of this beautiful city. Pay 7 euros to take the elevator to the very top for another view. We declined and moved onto our next destination, the Pantheon.

On our way there, we stopped at a shop where a coat with a unique cut really caught my eye. I haven't bought any souvenirs yet and went inside. I love all the hats, coats and boots. I saw a military like jacket and had to try it on. I tried on the coat that caught my eye but I didn't like it on my. I found the military jacket and tried it in red and blue. I went with the red one. Can't wait to wear it at DW!

We continued on and found the Irish pub that Ivan, our cute cab driver from the night before was talking about. We didn't stop in. I could get whiskey at home and for nothing. Literally. We continued on and found the Pantheon. Unfortunately it closed 30 minutes before we had arrived. So... Wine?!? Yup! We headed in the direction of the Piazza Navona. We missed it the night before because we were so tired after dinner. We were headed in its direction but decided to pick up a taxi where we met Ivan instead. Before making it to the piazza, we picked up postcards to send home. I had to send one to Arya, Nate, Brent, Lola as proof that I went to church since she claims I haven't taken her since Easter, and to my Nikki B. who has inspired me to travel internationally once a year, whom I can practice my Spanish with and who has always been a supporter of everything that I do, plus my fitness aspirations. I had to send her a post card of the Spanish Steps and say how many squats and lunges we did on them.

We found our way to the middle of the piazza where there was a beautiful fountain and obelisk. We checked out the wine list at a few places and went around to find a spot that had crepes, gelato and wine. SOLD! We had a front row seat outside where we could hear music play and the sound of the fountain. We ordered a bottle of wine and I had a nutella crepe with fragolas e coconut gelato. Sooo good. We met Heather and Leo who were sitting right next to us. They were in Europe celebrating her 40th birthday. Who needs a big party? I too would also rather travel the world. They were a couple from Sacramento. Another one! We have met so many people that are either from Sacramento or have ties to Sacramento. Who knew! They were great and I gave them my card. Hopefully they connect with me and come by DW sometime. I invited them to come out and hang out with us that evening but they had other plans. They were doing a day trip to Florence the next day. And the way that night turned out, perhaps it was best.

Roo arrived and he had just come back from a day trip in Orvieto, which he loved. He ordered a bottle of wine and devoured pasta and it made me kind of hungry. But I decided not to indulge. As much as we're walking, I feel like I have put on so much weight. Damn you, carbs! Roo was leaving for home the next day and needed to be up at 7 AM. I convinced him to come out. He was talking about a place called Mr. Brown's across the Tiber River in the Trastevere area. He said that there were so many health infractions there that I would want to shut it down but he had a great time there and was given free shots. So we were game to walk about 15 minutes to this Mr. Brown's. We got there and it wasn't as lively as he described. We had drinks and I had my first cocktail there. Sapphire and tonic. Courtney wanted tequila and I said no. Bad things happen when Court and tequila happen and it's our last night in Rome. I don't want it to get too crazy.  We were feeling pretty good from the two bottles of wine. There was a stripper pole and Court got on it. Oh my! The bartender did a nice move. Well done, Man!

We then moved on and went to a bar called the G-Bar. Not really a great deal on drinks but it was still a good time. They sat inside while I sat on the other side of the table top on the outside. A group of guys came to sit next to us and were speaking Italian. It was all agreed upon that the one in the New York cap had the best body and was the best looking. Court and I have the same taste so I told her to go get her tequila and buy him one. She did and I asked the bello if he wanted one. He said no and that it was going to be an easy night for him. He spoke very good English which also means that he heard and understood every objectifying comment about him. No shame. Therefore, Court had two shots of tequila. I was not going to partake. Good thing I didn't. Read on.

We went back to Mr. Brown's and I had the same cocktail there. They continued to drink and we met a guy in a beanie named Sebastian. His friend Pietro eventually joined us but was tired and didn't really want to drink. Sebastian pulled out papers and tobacco. It's been a long time since I've attempted to roll a joint as I haven't smoked pot in possibly over 12 years. I have never rolled a cigarette before. Sebastian let me do it. I did and Sebastian said it was poorly done but doable. I had to take one drag from the cigarette I rolled. And done. I actually cannot stand cigarette or weed smoke and Italy is an ashtray. Beautiful city but everyone smokes.

I was hungry and there was a place called Toast next to Mr. Brown's. I basically ordered three different paninis to share and I knew Court needed to eat. She was getting hammered. Her eyes were slowly closing and she was slurring. Roo continued to try to get Pietro to drink. He wasn't having it. The paninis were OK. To me, their sandwiches lack flavor and they're rather dry and simple.

We eventually walked back across the bridge with no particular place to go. We parted ways with the boys and we grabbed a taxi to go back to Roo's. We were only a few blocks away and we could do that walk in the morning when he had to go. They were in the back and I was up front sitting and chatting with Enzo our cab driver. I was obviously tipsy but had the best time speaking to him in my broken Spanish and Italian. We were laughing and he wasn't irritated with my attempts at speaking his language but he understood. Roo passed out. Court kept saying she needed to go to the bathroom. Mother role in me had to firmly tell her to relax and that we'll be there in a bit. We eventually made it to Roo's and for some reason, he said he didn't live there. He didn't recognize the place. I knew exactly where we were and I wasn't going to get any info out of him. Perhaps he checked out already. Perhaps he was actually staying somewhere else because Vicente left that morning. I don't know, so I apologized to Enzo and had him take us to our hotel. I gave my card to Enzo. He was so great and fun to talk to! We made it to the hotel, there, the two crashed hard on the bed immediately and I had to sleep in the middle at 1:45 AM. What a fun, last night in Rome.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rome, Italy - Day 2 of 12

Rome, Italy - Day 2 of 12

Court is still asleep from our nap that we started at 8 pm this evening. It is now 1 am. I have never witnessed this of my Court Court Energizer Bunny. I figured I'd let her sleep.

Today was day 2. We are sticking with working out a little bit every day. The last time I was in Europe, I put on 10 pounds in the first week. I'm already not at a good place and need to burn some calories on top of just walking all over the place. Our plan was to go to the Spanish Steps and work out, then walk to the Trevi Fountain, get ready for our Vatican tour and have lunch.

I woke up, worked and got ready for our morning walk. The city has not awaken quite yet at 8 am. The streets were being cleaned, the likeliness of being struck by a car seemed to have decreased by the slower pace they were going at and the sun was shining. No chance of thunderstorms.

We made our path and started our trek. Eventually my body temp started to rise and the Puma jacket came off and I was ready to sweat in a tank top. A detour was made at the gates of the Palazzo Barberini. It was a beautiful building with grounds to match. We wandered around, went past the main entrance to the building and towards the long escalating walkway to a statue in the distance. Under the building, it smelled of morning and we found our way to two curving staircases that were roped up on both sides of us. I have always wanted a house with split staircases like that.

Walking up the elongated steps to the opening made me think of what a party would be like in a big gorgeous gown, a Venician mask, champagne in hand and dancing under the stars in the garden we were headed for. The light gravel stone walkway rolled under our feet with every step. At the end of the walkway, we could either go towards the street or explore more of the grounds. Explore! 'Scusa!' Oh, spiacente. We weren't supposed to be there and headed back towards our planned route.

We eventually made it to the Spanish Steps not knowing we'd find ourselves at the top of them. We looked down, took some photos but went inside the church first since we were at the top. My Lola would be proud that I went to church. Apparently I've been a bad granddaughter and haven't seen her since Easter.  I need to make it up to her when I get back.

Then our workout began. I would say we could run and up and down them as a group of other folks were doing but I didn't trust it. They were pretty slippery and I'm not trying to hurt myself. So we did variations of squats at every level. By the bottom, we could definitely feel the burn. I hope we made it in all those people's photos! I asked Court if she wanted to go back up. She declined. So we took a few more photos, shot a quick video for Christina aka my Sunshine who is in Colombia traveling the world and getting fit. She was my Events Manager, Personal Trainer and a friend I miss dearly. The video was thanking her for the inspiration to get a workout in wherever. Who needs a gym?

We made our way to the Trevi Fountain and my good sense of direction found us there. We weaved thru little streets and went towards the sound of many people gathering. And there it was!

There were hundreds of people there looking out, taking photos, tossing in coins and I got distracted by the gelato in the window. It looked delicious! We took some photos and did dips and push ups on an open rail. We didn't have any coins so we HAD to get some gelato so we can make a wish. It was 1€ per scoop. I got the the fragola, mango and a purple and white swirl that I want to say was 'amara'. Regardless, I didn't like it but loved the fragola. Sooo good. I love fruit. Always have. Court went with coconut and more coffee or caramel like ones. We got our change and made our wishes at the fountain. Let's see how that all works out.

Then we headed back to the room to shower, get ready for the Vatican and have lunch. The voucher for the Vatican said that backpacks are not allowed and you should be covered up. No shorts and tanks. We appropriately dressed and changed my purse from my Michael Kors backpack to the Coach crossbody.

Lunch was nearby. Court and I love grilled octopus and we ordered theirs as a starter and salads to keep it light. The octopus were whole little octopi! Oh my! Not what I was used to and it didn't sit with me well. It was all Court's! My chicken Caesar arrived. I haven't had a Caesar salad in who knows how long and I thought I might as well since I was on his former land. But the salad did not live up to his great rule. It came with sliced chicken and three squirts of what looked solely like mayo. Sadly, it was flavorless and I ended up adding balsamic to the mix. Court's salad was lacking as well. Balsamic was added as well. My bellini was decent.

Then we went back to our hotel to get picked up for our tour. Fifteen minutes later, we were picked up by some no name and speed walking bello for not being that tall. A lady was a driver and they just spoke Italian to each other with no interest in interacting with us. Then we arrived at our spot to meet with our tour guide named Moon. Our tour began with our headsets on, walking the wall to main entrance and our only opportunity to use the restroom.

Normally on tours, I make friends pretty quickly with other guests but our group was kind of annoying. There's a couple that was completely oblivious to their arm movements and just not paying attention, there's another couple that would rush and stop, rush and stop, girls with big camera lens banging into me, people pushing and bumping into us without apologizing, excusing themselves or even learning. The same goes for other groups as well that aren't part of a tour and just push their way thru. I was getting irritated but I've never seen Court's face stay irritated for that long of a time. Normally when someone else is more irritated than me, I check myself and try to make it better for the other person. So I ended up blocking people from bumping into her. People can press and push against me all they want but they weren't getting past me to do the same to her. The rudeness of other people really ruined the experience because you just want to get out of there and be free of them.

Pass the statues, tapestries and maps, you find your way to the Sistine Chapel. I loved studying Michelangelo in college and am so lucky to have had the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel twice. I tried to just soak in the experience and find my way directly under the creation of Adam. I thought of Michelangelo being positioned on rickety scaffoldings high above the ground and painting in body aching positions for our four years. It was just captivating.

Then we moved into the Basilica. Almost free of these people! We saw the Pieta, also made by Michelangelo, which is now housed behind protective glass as it was once vandalized by some Hungarian. We turned in our headsets and went as close to the altar as possible. Coffins housing bronzed former popes were in every direction. And we left.

We walked towards the Castel but wasn't going to pay for another tour. We crossed the Tiber River with our sore feet and decided to find some grub, wifi and get a taxi back for a nap (which Court is now awake from at 2 am).

I had a Bellini and Court didn't have any booze, but she did order lasagna again. I had what I thought was Roo's dinner last night, pasta, goat cheese, pepper and bacon. It was similar but way salty. We got out of there as soon as we could.

Though it was challenging to get a taxi in the line where people don't know what's going on and a guy totally steals a taxi, Ivan was a bello, funny and sweet. I love getting Court's age! He asked if we were going to a discoteca and we definitely were not interested in going to a club. He mentioned going to a pub and recommends an Irish pub nearby. We were supposed to meet up with Roo and Vicente but I slept until 10 pm and didn't hear back from them until late. Court had trail mix for dinner and I had Oberto turkey jerky. Now we're both up and our sleeping schedules are messed up. I am now going to try to go back to sleep. We have to be up in a 5 hours for a long walk to the Coliseum.

To Day 3 and final day in Rome! We have the coliseum, altare della patria, the parthenon and the the gay district with Roo.

Rome, Italy - Day 1 of 12

Rome, Italy - Day 1 of 12

Bumpy ride coming down the top of the boot of Italy to Rome. We were a few minutes late and I could not wait to get off that plane. Once we landed, people were very anxious to get off the plane. I wonder how much first class would have been.

Our transfer voucher said that our shuttle will only wait 30 minutes once we land to take us to where we need to go. A lot had to happen though!

Like using the little girl's room which are labeled toilets. I remembered them being called 'WC' for water closet. Rome's airport bathrooms were clean, with tall doors and no toilet seat liners like they typically do in America. Mexico also often does not provide toilet seat liners. So I make my own. Habit.

I let Courtney go first to get her first stamp in her passport. I told her it was going to be addicting collecting them. She was let into the country of Italy! Thank goodness. My first stamp was in Venice and it was faint, therefore a bit disappointing that it was a loud declaration that I'm a traveler!

Then it was time to get our baggage. It took quite a bit of time and people like to stand at the very edge of the carousel to hunt down their bags, basically being in the way of anyone else. I like to stand back and watch from afar. I was but wasn't in a rush. Standing close to the carousel isn't going to make my bags come out faster. What was interesting and worrisome was that I saw a grey sweater with a Hawaiian flower print on the carousel. I don't think anyone within 100 yards of me loves Hawaii as much as I do, but did I pack that? If I did, why is it out here not hanging out of my new, red, Samsonite luggage? I retrieved it. It was definitely mine. People around me joked that that was all I checked in! Kinda funny. Eventually our bags arrived and Ms. Muscles picked them both off the carousel. 'Como sei forte!' as my Dualingo has taught me. 'You're so strong!'

We also needed to exchange our money for some Euros. We did that and so it starts with the flirty Italian men. He was very friendly. Not friendly enough to give me more that what the exchange rate was though.

We exited the baggage claim area and thought we had to go thru customs. Nope! A crowd of people holding up signs with travelers' names were lined against the railing. I quickly scanned for my last name and found it immediately. We checked in and was thankfully asked to sit down and to know that we weren't holding up the group.

The airport has free wifi so we played a bit online while we could. I did buy the unlimited text and some internet coverage for $120 but if I use my phone like I do back home, I would be out of data in three days. I turned off all cellular data for apps I don't need to be hooked up to. I basically just have texting, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Yelp available. No need for that other stuff. It's unnecessary. I want to be less wired and more in-intuned with my new surroundings.

It was then time to go! The shuttle was not parked right out front. We dragged our almost 50-pound luggage down and up ramps, thru busy parking garages with black luxury cars. Eventually we were led to our black van that we crammed other travelers to. I tried to sit in the front but was denied by age and a Disneyland sweater that already claimed the spot. I get motion sick. So back to the van I go. I just had to keep looking out the window and at something in the distance. The air from the vents above also helped.

Though it was overcast, it was still warm. Our driver was booking it. The man was on a mission.

Our first stop was a Holiday Inn that seemed pretty far from the city of Rome. Half of the guests unloaded there including Mr. and Mrs. Disneyland sweater in the front. I jumped into the front seat. When the driver got to his seat, he was surprised to see me there. I said hi and asked if it's ok. He said his English wasn't very good but it's ok that I sat there. His name was Marco.

Front row is always good for me. For concerts, in front of the line and in racing shuttles through narrow roads and crazy scooter drivers. One car came very close to hitting us on my side and I tried to conceal my squeal as I lifted my right thigh up and tensed as if preparing to impact. We all know I've been there a few times! Marco laughed and said they are all crazy. Not him though! We didn't have to dodge the impact. The other driver stopped just in time, thankfully.

Going thru the town, I was reading every sign to see if I knew or could figure out the meaning of the word. Marco loosened up more as I attempted to speak to him. He was very confident in his driving. He took us though short, narrow, tourist filled streets and making multiple turns that reminded me that this city is not laid out in a grid. I have a pretty good sense of direction but he lost me. He squeezed us between a wall and a car that was jutting out into the road. Literally, it was maybe an inch on each side of the van that would allow us to get by. He got us thru. Insane. I would have killed someone and have taken out at least 20 review mirrors on our way to the hotel.

I was happy to be able to communicate a bit with Marco. He was fun. We talked about where we were from and what we did for work. Thank you, Dualingo.

We eventually made it to our street. There was construction going on so he couldn't drop us off right at the door but no big deal. We were thankful that we'll be able to set our luggage down for a couple of days. We said arrivaderci to Marco and found our hotel.

The hotel had a single glass sliding door, a waiting area with beaded chandeliers and white leather couches and a curved front desk where we were greeted by another man named Marco. We were checked in, given a key. I looked at Court, 'Do we just need one?' She said it'd be a bad idea if we got separated. This wasn't Vegas.

We took an old but thankfully well functioning elevator but has a max of three people at a time. Our luggage was definitely that other person. Our room was down the hall and actually opened in, not out, like our cruddy Ramada room in Hawthorne, California. It was small, had two twin beds real close to each other, a tv that I can't figure out how to turn on, a window with shutters and a decent bathroom. We were so excited to get out but I had to check my email and get a bit refreshed.

We winged it and decided to go left, only because Marco recommended it as we were leaving. We saw our first obelisk, learned from our ride with Marco that we will obey all traffic signs and be sure to look both ways and keep moving. There were bakeries with tortas in the window, cannolis that my Cugino would love to try, pizza and gelato on every corner, souvenirs shops, leather shops, a theater that offers opera and dinner and cars and scooters everywhere! It was a happening city.

We randomly picked some spot to eat at because for 11€ we could get a pizza, potato croquettes and a bottle of water. What a deal! That was our first meal in Italy. Of course we had to sit outside. It was a great day. And they had wifi. A requirement to wherever we dined.

Across from us, a gent receive a huge stein of a beer. It was Oktoberfest so it seemed appropriate. I asked him where he was from and he's from North Carolina. Of course I immediately thought of not being close to my nephew soon as they will also be moving to NC. He was leaving tomorrow with his wife who was shopping for leather goods down the way. She came back with a nice, brown leather bag and said the maker was in the shop as well. Pretty cool. Then a couple approached the table next to him wearing a Russian River Brewing Company shirt. They were not Californians but I like that California is present. Another couple sat to our right. Three tables across the way we're chatting up and I turned to them to see if they'd like to join in! The ladies were from London. Nice accent. North Carolina said they were actually traveling with friends from Sacramento and that he's very familiar with San Francisco. Of course I gave them my card before we left. I love meeting people while on vacation. You share these moments and you may never see each other again but perhaps you will!

I was seeing on Facebook that a former Legal Assistant of mine was in Italy as well! I haven't seen Roo, aka Reuben, in probably 4 years when I asked for a ride from LAX to a hotel but he took me to Hamburger Mary's in West Hollywood. Roo's great. So smart and funny. We talked about grabbing drinks and dinner that evening. Court and I decided to go back to the hotel for a 45-min nap and then go out. We crashed immediately.

As it was our first time out during the evening in Rome, we put some dresses and heels on. We would quickly regret that.  It definitely was not hard getting a taxi though! Waiters of restaurants on our street stared us down and said they will be joining us later! It made us laugh.

The taxi took us to Roo's AirBnB and it was so cute. Spacious compared to ours. We met his friend Vicente who is a professor in Madrid. Very friendly. Silly of me, I assumed they were dating. Wrong!

We walked up their road in our heels and had to take the boys' arms to avoid a heel getting stuck in the cobblestone and breaking our ankles. Then the flight of stone steps. We were about to get a calf workout! Thankfully the restaurant Vicente had in mind was at the bottom of the steps.

We waited about 10 minutes for a table, then we were sat in the corner with a wine bottle ordered and a mixed bruschetta platter. All of it was delicious including the olive tepanade. I'm not that big of a fan of olives but it was good. I told Court to try it. I was zero for two. Her piece was given to Roo.

Court ordered the lasagna, Roo had the goat cheese and pepper pasta and I had the rigatoni with three kinds of meat and a pomodoro sauce. Mine was incredible! I loved it. Roo's was great as well. We ordered another bottle of wine, this time a Shiraz. Very good.

We then went to a bar close by but they were closed and then had to back track to the piazza with a fountain and a small bar. We then got a bottle of Fiano and they had to pour it in plastic cups. We stood near the fountain. I chose the spot so I could have something to lean against in my BCBG heels. We made our way around the fountain because sprinkles were hitting Court and she was wearing a white dress. It was a happening square. Many people having a good time. No music necessary. Lightning struck above us. Another bottle was ordered.  And then it started to rain. Then it rained harder and the piazza cleared with people hugging the walls of the building, finding inches of shelter from the roofs at least three stories above. I took a few sips of my wine. We basically huddled together against the wall and it rained harder. We were laughing in disbelief that this was happening our first night in Rome.

The rain eventually lightened up and we found a taxi assuming the boys were coming with us to the next stop but remembered they were maybe two city blocks away. We said our arrivadercis and grazies and said we'd meet up the next evening.

I jumped in the front seat. Our driver was Danielo. Very flirty and direct with compliments and to seize the day and sleep with him that night! Non grazie, Danielo, but thanks for the laugh!

We weren't quite done for the evening and needed something sweet. We stopped at a restaurant across the street from us at the Hotel California and The Condor, which happened to be the same name of the strip club we went to on my birthday. Hilarious.

More flirting from the waiters and although they were closing up they let us order a bottle of wine and tiramisu. I devoured mine. We asked to one of them to take our photo and he did. But mostly focusing on Court's lady parts!

We took the bottle of wine up to the hotel room and decided to get silly on Snapchat because Periscope wasn't working. We had about 10 video segments that were about things we learned on our first day in Italy. We thought they were hilarious.

And then we passed out. We had plans to work out the next morning at the Spanish Steps, see the Trevi Fountain and take our tour of the Vatican.

Day 1: Done



We booked this trip to Italy visiting four cities back in February. I just finished a crazy holiday season of buyouts and private parties at DW. I needed something to look forward to. I knew I was going to be working at least six months straight after we opened our doors. It turned out to be over seven months.

Courtney came into my life as one of my servers around my birthday last year. She's young, fun, adventurous and we get along great. I remember my first time getting to know her other than just being a server of mine. I was working in what we call the PDR (private dining room) and she sat next to me to hang out during her break. I asked a bit about her, where she's from, her family and where she's worked before. Soon after, she and Rachel and I made up Team Dirty Water for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in San Francisco, and then we also met up for a birthday beer crawl for the co-owner of The Mujicians Brewing Company, the folks that will be brewing company.  That day, I got exposed to her Energizer bunny energy at 8 am and how the girl can hang! She was scheduled to work that night after a day of drinking, so on our way to our last bar, she picked up clothes for work and a great piece of jewelry at the Embarcadero Center. I was impressed. She didn't even have to try the clothes on!

Since then, we've gotten closer as friends and I have no filter, which I love. I can be myself with her. We've done country concerts, partied in Vegas, wine tasted in Paso Robles and had many drunken nights. We are now at the midpoint of our flight to Rome. It's going to be a great trip.

Our trip started on Wednesday at 4:30 pm when she arrived at my front door with a huge smile on her face and a black luggage to match. We called an Uber and that was the driver's second day of being an Uber driver. Very friendly but damn her driving made me a little sick. It was just not smooth. Court was excited and talking with her while I was basically silent and couldn't wait to get out of that car. I bought Dramamine for the train rides in between cities. Wish me luck.

We arrived at the Southwest terminal and checked in. I was warning her not to pack too much but as I put my luggage on the scale, mine was two pounds heavier than hers and barely made it under the 50 lb maximum. Otherwise I would have paid $75. I ate my words. She had the lighter bag.

But, she did get stopped at the security gate and they had to inspect her carry on. What was included in that carry on? Thirteen pounds of make up! Nice strategic move, Court Court.

We were a few hours early and I passed up a Jamba Juice for some grape juice. A whole bottle as a matter of fact. A French Pinot Noir that was $68 plus a $12 corkage fee! Say what? So many silly rules at the airport. If I could have brought a bottle from home. This would have been a great occasion to crack one of those babies open.

We had the cheese and charcuterie plate which took forever but they were apologetic. We offered our assistance in the kitchen. 'We're industry!' No go.

With more wine, more silly talk and fun Snapchat exchanges with #MyChamp, though he doesn't know I call him that. I said something inappropriate that his coworkers heard via a video. Oops! But how hilarious. We finished the bottle and fun FaceTime with him happened. Oh, dating and technology in this day and age.

I passed out on the plane and landed in LA. The pilot was what felt like speeding on the tarmac. Or, perhaps it was wine making me believe that. We got our bags and I called the Ramada to let them know we were ready and to send the shuttle. They connected me to the driver and he asked me which terminal I was at. Like the monitors not displaying which bags from which flights were going to come down which carousel, we couldn't really tell what terminal we were at and he hung up on me. Ugh. Not a fan of LA. If he waited one more second and wasn't so rude, I wouldn't have to call back, get transferred and tell him where we were. Where in reality, it didn't matter which terminal we were at. He had to stop at each terminal any way. Sorry, but he got no tip from me.

We got to the hotel, checked in, we were hungry and peeked our head into the Oscar's Restaurant and Bar. It was dead and though the sign says they're open til 11 pm, the guy at the front desk said they sometimes close at 10 pm if it's not busy. And it was a ghost town. Court confirmed that they would stay open and we went up to drop off our massive  luggage.

The elevator ride up to the second floor came with flickering lights like we were in The Ring. The door to our room opened out, not in, and the room was dark, not prepped for our arrival. We dropped off our stuff and I didn't want to eat downstairs and looked on Yelp as to what was nearby. I really should have Yelped that hotel but it was the cheapest in the area and it was only for one night. We can rough it, right? We went to dine at Flights, a sports bar .2 miles away.

Court let the server know that we weren't going to dine at the restaurant downstairs and he could close up if he wanted to. He kind of followed us to the front door of the hotel saying he stayed open for us. We said thanks but we're good and that we're going to the sports bar. 'Oh, I'll be right there.' Uhm, no, thank you. That was not an invitation for you to join us. Good grief.

After 10 pm in Hawthorne and here we are walking under an overpass to get to Flights. Not the brightest idea but we were hungry. The spot was near empty but the service was friendly. They had a good amount of beers on tap and typical bar food. I had an Angry Orchard. I didn't want a heavy beer. Court had a raspberry saison. She had the meaty quesadilla, shared the Carne Asada Fries and I had the buffalo wings and a side salad with balsamic. The carne asada was the best I've ever tasted. My wings were delish and cooked well like I asked and the balsamic dressing was pretty good too. We watched spots jeopardy and some hockey.

Then we had to walk back under that dark underpass. Nearby there was a dark tunnel entrance for a train. I couldn't help but think of The Walking Dead. Creepy. Almost as creepy as the elevator in our hotel. Then it was bed time.

I slept in until 8 am. Court was awake at 6 and too excited to go back to sleep. I needed to work out and like the great customer service the hotel had, no one picked up at the front desk to ask if there was a gym on site. There certainly wasn't any info in the room! So we ended up doing a BodyRock HIIT workout in the room. Without a yoga mat, we pulled the blanket and sheet off the bed and laid it out in the floor. Who knows what was on that carpet.

Court hasn't done any of the BodyRock videos but the last time we worked out together, I incorporated some of the moves and used the 45 seconds on and 10 seconds rest with cardio moves in between strength moves. We got some sweat out. Court told Lisa, the Trainer, that she hates her.

I got some work in, got ready for this 12-hour flight and packed to leave that hotel. We are supposed to stay there on our return but I'm going to change that. It's pretty bad. Thankfully the shuttle driver was actually nice. He got a tip.

We checked in, got rid of our luggage and headed to security. There were puppies sniffing every body out and very friendly TSA agents. I was told I was super fine in Spanish. Gracias, Senor! We also didn't have to take off our shoes, I didn't have to pull out my laptop and place in a separate bin, and I didn't have to take my hat off. I started to go thru the metal detector with my arms up and the guy said I didn't have to, 'it wasn't a stick up.'  Court and I were of course joking and being silly. That same guy said that he wanted to go where we were going, because we were just too energetic. 'We're going to Italy! Andiamo!'

Then we needed to eat. We were drawn to a place with Champagne and Caviar. Of course we would be! But we passed. Next door was Chaya. We had really good rolls at the one in San Francisco but this menu had standard rolls. We like the more unique rolls. We stopped at the xxxx to get breakfast. I had the egg scramble with smoked salmon and capers, plus fruit because I can't live without it, but it also came with sliced tomatoes and wheat toast. Court had the challah French toast. I ate everything except the crust and the capers that we're on crack. They were big and salty.... Go ahead and say it: that's what she said.

A gent also from the Bay Area but now lives in LA as a film editor was on his way to China was sitting across from us. He ordered a breakfast sandwich and as he bit into it, the yolk exploded all over his arm. He laughed, we laughed and we had a convo. Meeting so many people during traveling is great.

We then browsed thru the designer shops but I was not about to buy anything in LA. I'm saving my shopping damage to be done in Milan. We both brought an extra bag for it. I predict it will mostly be shoes.

I then worked again, picked up some snacks and water for the long ride and we went to have a drink. This time it was a glass of
Cava. I couldn't finish it. Chugging bubbles is not fun. My tummy wasn't happy with me after what did go down.

Then it was time to get settled in our seats. I watched Superman v. Batman first. Holy yummy cast. Ben Affleck and the guy from The Tudors and the new Wonder Woman! I can't wait for that WW movie to come out. Then I watched X-Men Apocalypse. Pretty good. Always enjoyed those movies. This was with Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne and Sansa from The Game of Thrones. Love it.

We are flying over the Atlantic right now and have 4.5 hours to go. My butt is numb, I can't sleep and the girl next to me keeps bumping me. Upgrade me!!!

Next stop: Rome!

Monday, September 19, 2016

#MyFitSquad 2016

So let's be real here, I did not reach #MyNextLevel. But it's my birthday week and I'm getting another year older. The bid is not where I want it to be. I need to get my BMI and fat percentage down. My clothes are not fitting the way I want them to.

I did up my cardio and really wanted to do my first 5K race as I never fulfilled that resolution last year. I was able to run a 5K but not during an official race. The last time I did before recently was on Halloween in bunny ears and a bunny tail. I can get back to it easily. I ran over a mile and had to stop last month. The next time I did, I ran a 5K. I was pretty proud of myself.

But 10 or so days ago, the top of my left foot started to hurt that I had a nice pimp walk. It got so bad that I saw a doctor and she asked me to go get an x-ray. The results came back a few hours later and I have arthritis and need to see a podiatrist. No running for me. I will have to find ways to get my cardio in. So I think I will try cycling.

I have #MyFitSquad to keep me going. I have Court Court, Cristen, Crystal and Erika.

The challenge is 8 weeks and fortunately unfortunately I have a trip to Paso Robles with a lot of wine drinking and a trip to Italy with more wine and all the pasta  during that time. It will be challenging but let's see if I can balance this out. It'd be nice to win some money.

Wish us luck! Feel free to find me on Bodyspace 'bappletree'

Monday, September 12, 2016

Maui 2016 - Day 4

It was time to go home. I enjoyed my time in Maui and loved spending time with my father. I am definitely a Daddy's girl, to this day. I woke up, packed, had breakfast thanks again to my Stepmom and told them I was going to go to the beach before leaving. It's something I do to take a moment and take in one last time of where I am, appreciate that I have rested and think about where I am headed.

I walked along the beach and stopped right in front of the hotel restaurant was where we dined and stayed when my Lolo was alive. I vividly remember taking a group photo there with them and my four other cousins. It made me miss him even more. It also made me think that my father is 62 and we all are getting older. I don't like to think about it but I can hear the sadness my father has for losing his own father. I couldn't imagine it. Papa and I were both at Lolo's side when he took his last breath. Sitting there on that beach made me feel close to them both at the same time. And it's been years since I felt that way.

During that time, a golden lab was wandering the beach by himself, didn't have a tag and came and set next to me, so close that he was leaning up against me. I gave him some love for a bit. And then he was off. Dogs are so sensitive to your feelings. I think he knew I needed some care. Perhaps that was my Lolo's way of visiting and comforting me.

I sat on that beach thinking of all the discussions my father and I have had the past couple of days. Both of these men made a lot of sacrifices in their lives to give their families the lives they now lead. I made it a goal to not disappoint.

By 40, I will be in a comfortable position. I will be smarter with my money and my time and I will make my money work for me. I will also work hard, but I want to work smarter. I will be taking small steps to learning more about the economy, business, stocks, options and real estate. Papa is willing to guide me. A sign of that success will be me owning property in Hawaii by the time I am 40 years old. I have definitely narrowed down the location to Maui recently after a Labor Day Weekend trip to Oahu. I am in love with Maui. So, wish me luck.

I have never been a fan of saying goodbye to my father. When he used to drop me off after having my sister and I for the weekend, I would just cry my eyes out. This time, I had my sunglasses on and tried to hide my eyes that were watering. He was headed to the mainland the next day so I could see him soon if I wanted to. But still. I hate saying goodbye to him. But I did, hopefully without him knowing I was still a big baby that loves her Papa so much.

The car was dropped off at Dollar, I checked in my bag and grabbed some grub at Sammy's. I remember having one last island cocktail with my cousin Shanti at the bar 10 years ago there, and had dined there a few times before traveling between islands. I didn't have Spam all weekend so I went with the Kama'aina Breakfast, your traditional two eggs, toast and choice of meat kind of breakfast. Spam it is! I grew up on that so I am not ashamed to eat what some people call 'Mystery Meat.' I don't care what it is. I like it. I just forgot to tell them to cook it well. Oh well. 

The plane ride was direct and they fed us lunch, a ginger chicken with rice and a three bean side dish. I don't typically like ginger but I ate all of that main dish. Not so much of the bean or cookie. Thanks, Hawaiian Airlines for the food. Mahalo!

From the airport, I rushed over to work the annual dinner I have been working since 2009 at Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. I made it just in time for the speeches. And so it was back to reality, One Busy Bee.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Click on the Travel label to the right for other travel-related posts.