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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, September 09, 2013

Italy

Chris and I just returned from nine days away from our Paris apartment. I needed to take a two part trip for work: two working days in Rome and two days in Vienna. Chris and I tacked a day on either end of the trip (a beach day outside Rome before and a night in Bratislava, Slovakia at the end). I'm going to blog about each part of the trip separately because this post will never end, otherwise. This post covers our four days in Italy.

After a 04:30 wake-up and dealing with all the headaches associated with Ryan Air (inconvenient and distant departure airport, printing boarding passes, online check-in 4 hours prior to boarding, ensuring compliance with stringent carry on and check-in requirements, etc.) we arrived at our hotel in Lido di Ostia. The room we were initially given was dumpy with peeling paint and a scummy shower - far from the pictures advertised on-line. After much protest, we eventually got a room in the renovated area of the hotel, which was very spacious, modern and had a balcony overlooking the water. Once the hotel room was sorted, we headed to the water, where Chris and Fiona (slathered in sunscreen) swam in the Mediterranean waves and I lazed under an umbrella. Fiona liked the water okay, but I don't think she closed her eyes when the waves crashed over her so they got a bit red. She loved the sand. I love the picture below of her with sand on her mouth, as though she's asking us, "Why didn't you tell me that sand tastes terrible?" We spent the afternoon and early evening on the beach and nearby vicinity. We had a great meal in the walled garden hotel restaurant, and then Chris and I sat on the balcony after Fiona went to sleep and wound up talking about President Obama's speech on Syria, which we had watched live earlier. We don't have cable TV in Paris or at our house in Minnesota so it was interesting to hear Obama's speech and reactions.
From Lido di Ostia, we took a train to Rome and spent the night walking around our hotel area near the Parthenon. Chris and Fiona did more exploring while I worked Monday and Tuesday, but they didn't hit the Colesseum again. When I returned in the evening, we had a couple great meals.
  Heading out for work Monday

Castel Sant'Angelo and other sites
 The jailbirds break free in Rome
 Enjoying a great meal and wine on our last night in Rome

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