Due Settimana in Italia
An Apolitical Travelogue
by Eric S. Piotrowski
Day Fifteen: Rome and Home
We got up at 8:00 and began the arduous trek back to the Lamezia Terme train station. Three minutes later we were on our platform, waiting. The train was an everyone-all-together dealie, instead of cozy compartments for groups of six. We were next to a pregnant lady and her husband, who got up several times and went to the restroom together.
The trip to Rome was five hours. I got very hungry, despite the leftover crackers and bread we munched on. I got a touch of motion sickness from reading on the train and lack of food.
We got into Rome at 2:30, went back to the Hotel Cervia and settled. Then we wandered a bit. Diane wanted to get an Italian dress before returning to The States, so we tried a bunch of stores along the various sidestreets. We also bought a banana, a peach, and some postcard stamps. And a bookmark of the Trevi Fountain. Also a Pope magnet! (A magnet featuring a picture of The Pope, not a car which promised to attract Popes.) In the supermarket, each piece of fruit had to be weighed and got a sticker slapped on for easy checkout.
After snapping a pic of Diane with Pizza Dude, we went back to the hotel room and read and napped a little. (Goodness, it sounds like we spent most of our time napping in hotel rooms, eh?) Later, we had dinner after enduring the Guy Staring At Us While We Read The Menu Ritual. We shared a seafood appetizer: a salad with chopped-up bits of octopus or something chewy, and a few shrimps. I had my usual entree.
The next morning, we got up Silly Early and rode the commuter train back to the airport. The plane was full of college students who had been in Italy as part of a month-long school trip around Europe. I switched seats with a young lady who indicated that it was the last time she might ever see a new friend of hers.
The flight back to the US was long, but I played around with the in-seat video games (which mostly sucked; solitaire was okay) and watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also think my eagerness to return home made the trip pass more quickly.
Customs was literally one glance at our passports and a wave-through. We changed our Euros back into real money and ate some overpriced airport food. Our flight into Chicago wasn't very eventful, but we arrived at the bus depot just as the bus for Madison was pulling in. We listened to The Ricky Gervais Show on my iPod during the ride.
The taxi from the Memorial Union pulled up to our house at 4:30 AM. We dropped our bags. petted Eileen for a while (she's always wildly excited when we return from a trip), and crashed into a deep, profound sleep.