After our typical, frantic last minute packing scrambles, our 6 bags and 85 lbs of luggage consisting of three carry-ons and three checkers made it to San Francisco
International with Goldilocks’ timing—not too early and not too late. We got all of what we needed to get done in the airport and made it to the gate a short time before they called our seats. The San Francisco Airport portion of our journey went smoothly other than the jolting sight of a gentleman washing his dentures in the airport restroom sink. I got over that quick enough, fortunately.
When the long flight dropped us in Frankfurt, we passed by the typically disinterested German border agent who could care less whether we knew Bill Schmelzer or not. Moving on, we reached to the always way-to-thorough German airport security. I always cringe at going through security in Frankfort, remembering a prior personal body search administered by a particularly detailed agent whose investigation found places on my body that even I didn’t know existed. All that with gruff commands issued three times in German until he was certain that I did not, in fact, understand German. I believe the results of his search were published in several leading medical journals.
This visit to the German Airport security was looking up right away. As we were waiting in line, I noticed that the agent doing the body searches was a friendly and attractive woman. Unfortunately, I must have not been her type as there was no physical search this time. Just my luck! They did look in bemused amazement at the complicated collection of electronic paraphernalia buried in the carry on luggage. The searcher seemed to find the Gorilla Pod rather amusing (http://www.joby.com/uk/products/gorillapod/slr/) and gave Becky a knowing wink. I’m not quite sure what the woman luggage searcher thought it was!
After a 6 hour layover (or beer vom fass and pretzel tasting, depending on your perspective) in the Frankfurt Airport, we boarded out flight to Rome. From the airport in Rome, we caught the train to Roma Termini Stazione that is close to our room. Belmont to Rome, our trip took us about 24 hours.
A recent rain shower had passed, leaving the streets of Rome shiny and slick and the air fresh, cool, and moist as we scrapped, rolled, and rattled our luggage brigade over cobblestones to our room check-in location. We are staying at a room associated with The Beehive (http://www.the-beehive.com/). The Beehive proper is an upper scale hostel that offers private single rooms and rooms in nearby apartments along with the more traditional hostel-style dormitory housing. It seems to cater to English-speaking tourists. Though our room was located in an apartment nearby, we did get to see that The Beehive was clean and smartly decorated with lots of artwork. The smell of the food from The Beehive’s restaurant permeated the air and brought pangs of hunger to our travel confused bodies. We decided to eat at The Beehive.
The “restaurant” at The Beehive was really more of a small kitchen with 6 tables. A chalkboard listed the night’s food offerings, all vegetarian, but no prices. We were low on euros as we had to pay for our room upfront with cash, so we asked what the prices were.
“Whatever you want to pay,” our chef/waitress responded.
Still somewhat confused, we sat down and ordered a salad, pasta, and spelt soup, to be shared along with two glasses of wine. The food was surprisingly good with the homemade noodles in the pasta topped with a creamy tomato, ricotta, basil, eggplant, and garlic sauce being our favorite. I’d go out of my way to eat more of that!
Still confused, we asked our hostess to suggest a price for the meal. She said 16 euros, which seemed so much like a steal that we left her 20 euros. The meal was a good start to our visit to Roma.