Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Honeymoon of Horrors, Part 2

See Part 1, here.

So we were packing our bags and with me that is a big deal. I hem and haw and make lists, lists, and more lists. Since it was mid-winter and we both have a tendency to get sick when we are not wanting to (man, if I knew how true that was then...I would have invested in Nyquil), I packed my carry-on with a ton of cold medicine, books, and guides. I did not pack anything absorbent because I knew that my cough medicine would spill everywhere.

Well, there are only two things wrong with this picture:
1.) I had no socks or clothes to change into or keep warm with.
2.) Yes, it did spill...all over the place. All of our Italian guide books are still stuck together with green hardened gloop.

Before I realized all of the Nyquil spilling had happened, we had crossed the Atlantic with our friendly Washington Post reporter who was stuck in a cross-Atlantic parenting scheme (neither of us could remember his name but remember that his kid's name was/is Niko) and were trying to navigate the 9th circle of hell that is the Charles D. Gaulle Airport. Customs was boring but uneventful, finding a bathroom as interesting, as was finding food before our connecting flight.

But we, like all Americans, persevered. We came, we ate, we left. We also made fun of the mid-western families wearing Paris sweatshirts. Seriously, shouldn't that be an oxymoron: Paris Sweatshirt.

So, we traveled with our trans-Atlantic parent all the way to Italy. It was a good flight, and we were ready for some sleeping and sightseeing. We got down to the baggage claim area, and waited and waited and waited.

And you've guessed it, our luggage was lost.

This is where our trans-atlantic parent travel companion comes in handy. He helped us fill out our claim forms and figure out when our luggage would come back to us.

Assured that our luggage would be behind us on the next flight from Paris, we waved goodbye to Father-of-Niko, who was reunited with Niko at this point, and went off to the Hotel d'Inghilterra. Italian translation: Hotel English. Yes, they spoke English and it should have been our saving grace and a pacifier.

The Hotel D'Ingleterra is located near the Spanish steps over Prada and/or Gucci. They knew it was our honeymoon and had a bottle of champagne waiting for us, but we weren't sure if it was free and were too scared to drink it in case they charged us for it. Yes, we were that stupid and cheap. It was very nice and was a very safe place. But paranoid Alex was scared all the time of being mugged or looking stupid or being mugged while looking stupid: way to go, Alex!

At this point of the trip is when I realized something very profound and telling about my husband: when in a new city, he is a tourist from HADES.

He must see and do and go and check things off of the lists that he has ever found about the city. Despite the fact that we had no luggage, no change of clothes, and no walking around cobblestone street worthy shoes, KW headed us into the direction of the Coliseum at a break neck pace. So at midnight in a foreign city, we go trapsing down the Via dei Fori Imperiali to see the Coliseum basked in moonlight. To say that I was in a foul mood would be an understatement. I had been to Rome before and did not have my husband's excitement to go around a strange city in our smelly clothes.

We did not get mugged if you thought this is where this story was going...but I spent many hours in panic that it would. Fear not, readers, my purse and KW's wallet was safe. We made it back to the Hotel, but not before stopping at the only open restaurant nearby: The nicest McDonald's in the world.

This would be our home away from home during our trip and where we would eat the majority of our meals.

Why? you ask, in the city and country with the most wonderful food would you be subjected to only McDonald's? Because, dear readers, our luggage was as elusive as the Pink Panther.

More to come, fallout with no clothes and not in the "ohhh, we're on a tropical island with no clothes kinda way" or "hey we are in the fashion district of Europe, let's shop" kind of don't go there. I did and was sorely disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Waiting for the next post...

You're such a great writer, Alex! I can "hear" you speak when I read your blog!


amanda said...

mickey d's in italy??

please friend say it ain't so!!

Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

I'm telling you, I can't wait for more!

When I went to Germany my favorite place to eat (besides the ice cream stand) was Pizza Hut, so yeah, go figure.

Elaine A. said...

That does look like a pretty Fancy McDonalds. Sorry about your luggage...

Buffalo Betty said...

Oops! I have no clothes and I'm staying next door to Alberta Ferretti, Battistoni, and Prada... if only you were an impulse shopper like me ;) Hope the Second Honeymoon was a blast!