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Posts Tagged ‘traveling’

Alright, leg 2 of this whole cumbersome process was lovely, mostly. First of all, British Airways has some of the nicest, most wonderful flight attendants ever.

We tried, unsuccessfully, to order a gluten free meal when we booked my flights, but what with the cabin crew strikes, evidently GF is not an option for this route- story of my life. However, once on board, the head crew member went out of his way (working his butt off!) to come up with something, to the point of asking other guests if they could give up their first choice from the dinner menu so that I could eat- tell me that doesn’t deserve a round of applause.

Club World fast-tracked me through security at Heathrow which was nice, but because our flight was an hour late, my layover was a little shorter than perhaps I would have liked – or so I thought. As it was, because of the crew strikes, British chartered my flight to Rome to EuroAtlantic and we ended up being almost an hour behind our scheduled take off, but only 15 minutes late on the ground. Neither Heathrow nor Fiumicino had free wifi, which was extremely inconvenient, but I was able to purchase a cell phone at Fiumicino and met up with another UW student who was studying at through the Classics department. We took the train into Trastevere and shared a cab to the Piazza del Biscione where I met with our TA, dropped off my bags and went to the Trattoria Moderna for a fantastic, fantastic dinner.

Let me regale you with a description of our dinner…
Primo: risotto with spiced sausage and radicchio
Secondo: veal and pork pizzaiola (tomato and caper sauce), with whipped potatoes and creamed spinach
Dolce: whole pears poached in red wine with star anise, cloves and cinnamon.

Jealous yet? Unfortunately, our apartment does not have internet, so while I’ve written this off-line, I won’t be able to post it until tomorrow. On the docket for Tuesday: Maria and I have to check in with the UW Rome Center (UWRC) and fill out some paperwork, then we have a 10AM meeting with all of the other programs for our Rome Center orientation, a brief meeting with Profs. Lingo and then — ! We’ll see!

Ciao!

Pictures of our apartment…


My little nook…


Our bedroom


Living Room


Kitchen

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All my bags are packed…

landscape, California, Sierra Nevadas, mountains

Well, D-day (that’s departure day, folks) has finally arrived! I’m writing to you from on-board flight 464 to Los Angeles via my iPhone and I’ll be sure to post from the British Airways lounge ASAP. I can honestly say, I don’t know what I would do without my phone. I know it sounds cheesy, and I do know what I used to do (sleep, read real books), but this whole process is just so much more pleasant. I can sit here and draft a post to you, dear reader; I can listen to the first several chapters of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden through LibriVox which, in addition to being much more interesting an experience, means I only have to carry a single, ahem slim (22.6 lbs is relatively slim, right?) carry-on; I can boost my Italian vocabulary and hear how different words and phrases are pronounced; and of course, I can play solitaire – in case I wasn’t sick enough. To be fair, I did sleep through the majority of the flight, but this gives me great hope for my second leg: LA to London, departing in 6:25 PM local time.

I have to say, LA is gorgeous. Admittedly, the palm trees don’t do much for me, but the bougainvillea and the wildflowers and the ridiculous number of swimming pools (do they reproduce on their own, or what?) is just charming. More than anything though, was the evidence of real suburbia: straight streets, lined with trees and single-family homes with groomed front lawns, real sidewalks, and mailboxes all in a row — nothing like Seattle suburbs, or those in Europe for that matter, and there’s something oddly comforting in the cliche… not to mention the beautiful blue ocean.

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“Go FISH!”

Woke up at some ungodly hour, drove to some tiny little town between Seattle and Bellingham in rural Washington and babysat two kids, for two hours, for free. Above is the little girl, 8, and then her brother, 11, wouldn’t quit making faces so he didn’t get a nice picture! But honestly they’re two of the coolest kids I know.

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