Roman (Rainy) Holiday

Before I go into the events of the day, let me say a few things. First, thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments on our blog. I haven’t responded to any yet, but just know that we appreciate them & will try to keep you informed & entertained.

Second, for all of you in the extended Claar family, I have to say that I don’t believe Lloyd Claar when he said that Claar isn’t a Dutch name. Everywhere you look there’s a Dutch word spelled with the double ‘a,’ and I even checked the Amsterdam phone book. There were two “Klaars” listed. OK, so one was for a business. But still. (Actually, now that I think about it, that particular phone book might not have contained the whole of Amsterdam, either. It wasn’t very thick.) I’m wondering whether I might need to update the old Claar history book…

On with the trip. We spent the whole day traveling from Amsterdam to Munich to Rome. Our plane was a little bit late leaving Amsterdam. Then we were dumped out on the tarmac in Munich & had to board a bus to get to the terminal. Bill looked at our tickets & we had exactly 5 minutes before we were to board the next flight. Meanwhile, the bus was waiting & waiting for some dumb jerk (Bill claims he was from Russia) to get off the plane & board the bus. (We figured the guy must have been looking for something he lost, such as his passport or something.) Why the bus didn’t just leave him is beyond me, but finally he sauntered out of the plane looking very sheepish, & then we drove off.

By the time we got to the terminal, we had to run to our next gate. We did get there in time, & it seemed that a bunch of other people quickly lined up behind us. We boarded the plane. Then it occurred to us that maybe we had actually cut into the front of the line ahead of all those other poor people. No wonder that little old German couple right behind us looked so dismayed. Oh well!

The flight was fine for awhile but then we began to experience more & more turbulence. Finally the captain came on & said there were some strong winds accompanying a storm that was brewing over Roma. If you know anything about me, you will know that turbulence is not one of my favorite things. (Nor are hassles–just ask Willie.)

We did have a surprisingly smooth landing, however, though we saw that it was pouring rain by this time. We then went off to look for our luggage. And look we did. And look. Finally, we concluded that our luggage did not make it on our flight. We found a customer service lady (who was very pleasant), who told us it would be better for us if we waited for the next flight to bring our luggage, rather than wait for it to be brought over to our hotel. We might not receive it until the following day in that case. So we waited for about another hr. & a half, & finally, here came our two bags on the baggage claim conveyor. (One of the photos shows Bill looking hopefully for our long lost bags.)

On to the taxi. We were told to use only the white taxis, so we quickly located one, & we were then on our way to the hotel. Besides the fact that the guy drove like a maniac (pretty much on a par with the taxi drivers in NYC), we finally made it to our beautiful hotel, where we are enjoying a couple of Peronis right at the moment & deciding where to go for a belated dinner.

I didn’t have a chance to take many photos today. But I did take a couple special ones just for our little daughter. Ciao for now! Tomorrow we see the Colosseum!