Have you ever planned a trip where you double, triple and quadruple checked things to make sure that all details were in place and when you get there one of those details falls apart? Oh good, so I’m not the only one. Last Thursday we made sure to get to the airport with plenty (read: way too much) time before our flight. The flight was uneventful, we found our driver and we headed to the hotel.
That’s when things started to get interesting… We get to the hotel and no one is answering the door. We wait a few minutes and still nothing. We go ask the very friendly security guard of the building if he has any ideas where they are, turns out that this is not a traditional hotel, but rather an apartment that was furnished with several rooms for guests. He directs us to an internet cafe where we can call the landlord. JP calls the landlord who informs him that we need to call back in 30 minutes so he can get home to check the computer for our reservation. Ok, no problem we just hop down the street a bit and grab a snack (read: big portions of gelato!), then we wander around for a couple minutes, buy some water and head back to the cafe to give the guy a call back. Turns out that Expedia canceled our reservation! Cue panic attack/major stress freakouts. And to top it off the guy wanted to charge us double what we were originally supposed to pay and didn’t have availability for our full stay. Cue more freaking out. So we jump on a computer to check my email, no cancellation email, and I hadn’t gotten any calls since we made the reservation informing me of this. Then it’s a matter of trying to find something not too far away that won’t break our budget too much (big shout out to my parents for covering a hunk of the hotel bill with Christmas money!) and ended up finding something a couple doors down from the internet cafe! Whew. That was a relief because due to the car service we didn’t want to trek all the way across Rome early Sunday.
So we go check in, they calm us down, and take us to our room. By the time the lobby boy/waiter (since it was a hotel and cafe hybrid) leaves us we’re starting to relax, then he comes back and says that they’re going to move us to another room that’s a little nicer for no extra charge. Score! Here’s where we ended up staying:
That and we had a private bathroom and breakfast was included — two things that the other “hotel” didn’t offer. It wasn’t the most updated hotel, but it was still pretty nice. The location was perfect in proximity to Vatican City (as well as our car pick up location for early Sunday morning) and it had an AWESOME shower! Think a shower head the size of a dinner plate!!
And the view from the room wasn’t too bad either:
After taking a few minutes to finish calming down from the hotel scare and freshening up after the flight we grab the camera and other things we needed and headed to St. Peter’s Square to look at the Basilica (since due to the hotel drama we missed the last entry) before heading to dinner and stopped by a souvenir vendor to snag postcards to send to family and friends back in the States from Vatican City.
We had our first dinner in Rome down the street from the hotel, we started with some fried and stuffed olives, JP ordered lasagna and I got gnocchi in a mushroom sauce with prosciutto, and then we decided to head out for a walk to alleviate some of the pasta bloat. 😉 We ended up making a circuit by walking down Via Cola di Rienzo towards Piazza del Popolo then headed south towards the Mausoleo Augusto and then along the river until we reached Castel Sant’ Angelo and then back up to the hotel.
After passing Castel Sant’ Angelo I saw a HUGE rat running around the grounds. The thing was bigger than a guinea pig! It also had some sort of food wrapper that it was taking home. Oy. After our walk we addressed and wrote post cards to people, and then went to sleep since we had a pretty early ticket time for the Vatican Museums. Which you’ll hear about in the next post 😉