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Posts Tagged ‘WhatsApp’

A lot of planning went into this trip/adventure/experience in Italy in order to make it  happen at a reasonable price and to accomodate two people traveling together but returning separately.

For one thing, we flew in and out of Rome which is not convenient to Guardia Sanframondi.  That neccessitatated each of us spending the night in Rome before we left for the USA for morning flights.  Also since Joel would be arriving in Rome at night, he would have to stay a night before taking a train in the morning to Campania to join me.

Peter left Guardia early on a Monday morning for Rome. He wanted to be able to spend the day there and meet up with Christina, our friend we met last year who manages a  B&B there.  Pasquale, who can arrange almost anything, got Peter a driver to take him to Rome right to the hotel, which I had booked right near the train station.  After he checked into the hotel I think he did have a few minutes of anxiety; it’s hard to be in a place where you don’t speak the language although in Rome that’s not such an issue BUT Peter didn’t also have a telephone there. Somehow he talked a bartender in the cccccc hotel into allowing him to make a phone call to me.  Without a smart phone or iPad he couldn’t check himself in early and didn’t remember his flight time or number.  I calmed him down and assured him I would get all this information to Christina through WhatsApp and she would relate it to him.  Really technology overseas can be your savior! samsung-galaxy-s6.

He spent the day roaming around Rome; the 9AD7035D-DE1F-46EC-BB2F-AF608C30D08F

And he found his way to the Luxe-Adventure-Traveler-Rome-Italy-Trevi-Fountain-1

He even discovered Rome’s own underground metro system which I might add he was a little disappointed in because they only have 3 lines AND the cars and stations are not very clean or pretty – Graffiti everywhere!!! IMG_5146

Later on he met up with Christina and they had tea and dinner while they waited for Joel to arrive.  Joel was due to land around 8:30pm and expected to join Peter around 9:30.  And when he did he was starving!  OK so they’ll all eat another dinner!  Look at cute these two guys are in Roma….  IMG-20180514-WA0003-2.jpg

I had them booked at the Hotel Marsala, Peter said his room was fine, Joel said his room smelled like dirty socks.  The next morning Peter took off to the airport and Joel headed to the Termini to find the train that would take him to Telese where he would be picked up and brought to Guardia.

ARRIVEDERCI ROMA

FAST FORWARD: All good things come to end eventually and the time had come for Joel and I to take our leave of Guardia Sanframondi.  It was sad, there were tears, we gave away any remaining food and we headed north to Rome, where we would spend the night and leave for the airport the next morning. 

With the pedal to the metal we made as good time as we could because we had to get the car returned by 1pm.  At least I didn’t have to encounter Andreas, the ass who was at the counter when I rented the car a month earlier.  Finally after more hairpin turns in the parking garage, we reached the 5th floor where two guys began poring over the car – finally I said, “It’s perfetto”! And we were off to the Hotel Marsala which was within walking distance but not by car which is exactly what can happen in Rome or Florence.  You can see your destination however to get there by taxi 🚕 (you remember the multiple suitcases), well we went this way, that way, and around and finally we arrived.  I was so hot and tired, I couldn’t imagine taking a room such as I imposed on Joel and Peter (single bed, shared bathroom in the hall)! So I upgraded us to a private bath and WiFi.  My room was glorious.  

I just wanted to rest because we had an evening planned for us by Jessica, one of my daughter, Chiara’s college dorm mates! Jessica moved to Italy shortly after college graduation to work in the travel industry. She married an Italian and they live in a very toney neighborhood in Rome with their adorable little girl, Beatrice.

Well Jessica outdid herself and arranged for a fabulous 2 hour golf cart tour of Rome for Joel and I.  She knew I would have  a really difficult time hobbling around with my boot and cane.  It was so much fun and our driver/private tour guide was exactly what you would expect – very good looking, tall, lean and very Italian! 

We zipped around central Rome, stopped at Church, Joel wanted to see, saw the Colliseum and learned that originally it had been totally covered in marble ( I’m not surprised after having seen marble in every house and store and bar in Guardia). The marble was stripped off to build the Basilica and the Papal Palace.  Of course we went to Trevi Fountain where Joel tossed the obligatory 3 coins in the fountain. He had received explicit instructions from our new Guardia friend, Michael on how to throw coins the night before.  I’m pretty sure he got the correct arm over the appropriate shoulder considering both he and Mike discussed this over many glasses of Luigi’s excellent wine and topped off with Limoncello.

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“Take it from me Joel, it works”.

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Mom to Joel: “Hey that’s a lot of Limoncello you’re chugging there”

 

 

Now if they work he will fall in love, get married and return to Rome….MMmmmm

To be continued…

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THE TAXI TO TICKETS – OH NO!!!

Didn’t have to wait very long for a taxi to come by, so we piled our bags in the trunk and hopped in.  “JFK sir, American Airlines terminal”.  There was a lot of traffic on 1st Avenue as we made our way to the FDR drive but our driver knew we were in a hurry (probably when he heard me in a high-pitched voice) say over and over again “OMG we are not going to get there on time”.  We were cruising along the Van Wyck Expressway when I received a text from my friend, Rosemarie asking me if I had my tickets and passport.  LOL – I wrote back to her in Italian that I had “i begligetti, il passporto e mid marito” – which translates to “the tickets, the passport and my husband.

We were about 15 minutes away from JFK and Peter and I were talking about taking photos and I told him I planned on using my iPad.  “MY iPAD! OMG I forgot to take my iPad :(.  OH NO! I forgot all the folders too”  Peter says, “What do you mean you forgot the folders”?  ” I mean the folders with all of the information I need AND the airline tickets! 😦 .  From that point on I was a total madwoman, I must have gone through my handbag 5 times and of course they were not in there.  I already knew that. I’m frantically grasping at solutions. 1) let’s call an Uber car and have them bring me the iPad and folders and meet us at the airport. N/G we would have to check in before the car could make it through the rush hour traffic. 2) What if I ask Jade to take the stuff to FEDEX and have it sent to the B&B. N/G I called FEDEX and found out it would cost around $600 to send an iPad. 3) I call Jade and ask her if she  can to Manhattan Mailroom and have them fax the paperwork to the B&B, she says yes she can now that she has located the folders in the kitchen!!?? N/G In order to fax, I need a fax number.  I hastily attempt to reach Pasquale through WhatsApp under the title URGENT.  He writes back saying why don’t I scan them and send to him through WhatsApp. WHY? Because I don’t have a scanner and Jade who is at my apartment doesn’t have WhatsApp!!  Pasquale sends me a phone number but never says whether it is a fax or not. I call Jade and give her the number, the store tries but it won’t go through. I write to Pasquale again and he reminds me that is very late there and the office is closed! 4) I have an email from my cousin Kathi with some of the documents. N/G That’s not going to work since I don’t have a printer. 5) I ask the taxi driver if he thought a taxi would take the stuff to the airport N/G Being worked up to frenzy is probably the reason why I a) forgot we had to check in and b) the taxi would never make it now that is was full blown rush hour traffic. A few more calls back and forth with Jade and I finally say Thank You and resign myself to NO iPad, NO documents and NO Airline tickets.  Peter remains calm as I have gone from upset to crazy-mad – Naturally.

American Airlines Terminal JFK Airport

We’re Here

The driver drops us off at the American Airlines terminal and out of guilt and embarrassment I give him a good tip!  We go into the airport and the American Airlines counter are NOWHERE to be seen. I am sweating because I’m still the aforementioned frenzied, wearing a jacket and long sleeve shirt because I’m sure the plane will be cold.  I find someone with a dangling badge and she points to the far other end of the terminal and says that’s where the American Airlines check-ins are located.  When we finally reach the area, it is a madhouse of people, suitcases and check-in kiosks that have a line of impatient passengers waiting.  

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Where’s My Boarding Pass?

We’re planning on checking in two bags and carrying on two.  After a while I get to a kiosk that’s working and begin to fumble around in my bag for a credit card to try to login and get the required check-in stickers.  Seriously I must have answered about 10 questions and after each answer the screen told me to wait while they processed my transaction.   Got ’em!  We get in line behind a woman who is literally standing 15′ back from the counter and there is one guy up there and he is futzing with his bags and shaking his head no and the American Airline clerk is also shaking her head – you just know this isn’t going to go well.  The clerk leaves her counter and is assisting the young man with the kiosk!!  The woman in front of us stands patiently.  THEN, the American Airlines person walks away and does not return to the counter.  I tell Peter to wait in line and I’ll go after her, but she disappears into the crowd.  When I return, Peter is already in another line and he is up at the counter.  He’s waving me to hurry and when I get there he says, “She needs the Boarding Passes”.  WHAT Boarding Passes?  OMG I never got them from the kiosk.  I race back to the kiosks and you know what they say, “they all look alike”.  I can’t remember where we were so I start reaching in front of people and looking into the trays.  I don’t find them but I found someone else’s.  Back to the counter and the woman tells me I can go through the process again on the kiosk get 2 more Boarding Passes – REALLY? Why didn’t she say so in the first place?  

After all that we’ve been through, it was a pleasure to board the plane even though our seats were way in the back which meant negotiating business class, then the first economy section, then to the back, literally.  When I booked the tickets I knew we each had an aisle seat but I thought they would be across from one another – NOT!  My seat was a double and Peter was 2 rows in front of me in a triple on the aisle. I planned on asking my seat mate if he or she wanted Peter’s aisle seat so he could sit with me.  Well, as it turned out, my seat mate turned out to be a young woman with her husband and she wasn’t too happy that he would be sitting behind her next to a very good-looking Italian man.  I decided to take charge and see if I could negotiate a settlement.  I politely ask this man (in Italian) if he spoke English and as he did, would he mind switching the seats with my husband who will switch seats with the young woman and then everybody will be happy.  He smiles a most charming smile and says he will.  

                                                                                                           to be continued…

 

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