Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day of mishaps ending with a beer and Milka chocolate in Sofia--by Marie

Greetings from Sofia!
Today may have been the longest day. Ever. Seriously.
8 hour flight from Atlanta to Rome, in which we all had our own rows.  ^^ see above for my sweet set up :)

After a quick pass through customs and immigration (a glance at dad's passport and mine was pushed back at me without looking at the picture) we headed to a bathroom and a cafe-mart for h20.  I opened mine right away and drank about half before the man communicated to us that his credit card machine was not working. OHHHHH CRAP.  Luckily, James had 2 euros, almost the exact cost of water bottle, and we were on our way to get train tickets into the city.  The wonderful man selling the tickets said that James was not 12, as we tried to say because we thought 12 and under ride for free, but rather 11 which is the "free" age.  We were then scolded on the train for not validating our ticket, being told "This is Italy.  You get fined 50 euros without validation next time." Okay, okay, sorry, stupid Americans over here!  My wonderful papa got us tickets to the Colosseum.  I didn't get to go into the Colosseum on either of my Rome trips in the past so I was THRILLED to be able to tour this.  Along with the Colosseum the ticket also gained us access to the open air museum that I could have spent an entire week walking through.  Unfortunately we only had 2 hours. (Pictures to come..when I'm not so tired!!) We dined in an authentic Italian bistro.  I had .  a margarita pizza (YUMMY), papa got a ground meat stuff cannelloni and James had spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and basil.

Here come the mishaps...Because we were only in Italy for a few hours papa only got out a small amount of cash, to reduce loss of funds in conversion.  We checked 2 bags in the train station so we didn't have to lug around bags (and scream TOURIST).  Baggage place only took cash, as did the ticket kiosks.  We missed the first train back to the station; papa went to get us tickets while James and I waited with the bags.  Jumped on the train and hustled to the security line.  Of course, we were in the LONGEST line ever; what seemed to be the newest and untrained workers mixed with the oldest and slowest moving people.  Crunch time--20 mins before plane departs and we hustle to G gate.  Check the board and we have been switched to H gate.  Which is all good and well except for some odd reason we had to go through a second security check to get to the H gate.  Papa tried to get us to the front of the line; he was told to go back and wait.  In Stolz family English that means "push to the front, ignore nasty stares and comments in Italian."  James and I ran ahead to the gate; luckily we weren't the only ones thrown for a loop with the gate change and we made our flight.

Ushered through customs and immigration quickly and met our helper.  She was friendly enough and we got to the van quickly.  From there we spent about 20 mins in traffic before making it to the hotel.  The stupid WIFI won't work on my Ipod, which really makes me mad (I miss my husband!) but we got a cab to the Happy Grill and we were made happy. :)  A $2 USD cab ride got us there and the 2 large beers each and delish food (not to mention working WIFI) made for a tolerable, even pleasurable walk to the hotel.  It is about 1.5 miles to the hotel and we stopped at a quick mart for Milka (the best chocolate ever), beer and coke and fanta.

A much needed shower and chat with mama and we are ready to hit the sack to prepare for another long traveling day tomorrow!  Deyan, here we come, little guy! :)

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