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Travel
Weekend Warrior: Washingon D.C.
August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm 2
Recently I went on a weekend trip to Washington, DC. It was my first trip to this part of the country and I went with my boyfriend and his parents to celebrate his nephews 3rd birthday party. Luckily for me we stayed at a lovely hotel downtown. I was excited to get a chance to do touristy stuff but also, since it was the first time I was meeting his brother and his family it seemed a little strange to sleep in their house. We arrived in Washington on Saturday morning and after we checked into our hotel we did some touring around. We went to the White House, the Reflecting Pools and War Memorials, and the city streets around our hotel. On Saturday evening we had a big family dinner and on Sunday we had my boyfriend’s nephews 3rd birthday party. It was very cute, but very different for me too. I realized that living a very “downtown” life in the city, with mostly single friends, or at least most of my friends don’t have babies, I’d never been to a birthday party with all families. I think I was the only woman at the party without a child! It was interesting to see how all the kids different personalities worked and all the families interacted very differently. It was so cute to spot the very curious little personalities looking at everything, putting their fingers in places they don’t belong, chasing the bubbles from the bubble maker and smearing cake icing all over their little faces! On Monday morning we woke up late and did a bit more touring around, this time to Capital Hill and the train station. The train station was fascinating for me. It was so beautiful and had such great design inspiration inside. It’s one of the few train stations I’ve seen in North America that is spotlessly clean and has facilities for tourists and travellers, but also restaurants and cafes for locals. I really enjoyed Washington, DC. It is a beautiful city and I’m excited to go back already. I’m hoping to go back in the Spring, and see the famous fruit tree blossoms – so fresh and beautiful…and everywhere!
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Travel
Rome: Italian Dream Part Three
July 23, 2009 at 9:43 am 3
Rome We left Tuscany very early in the morning and drove to Rome hoping to arrive prior to rush hour traffic. You’ve probably heard that the drivers in Italy are crazy, and that’s 100% correct. Luckily for me my boyfriend drives like an Italian very comfortably – he’s an expert at driving inches away from other cars at one hundred miles an hour, changing lanes like a madman, and passing people on roads that only fit one car. For most tourists driving in Italy is stressful, but for my boyfriend it was the ultimate driving test, and he passed with a gold sticker! As we were driving into Rome I thought my boyfriend was going to explode with enthusiasm over the architecture and historical buildings. After stepping out of the car many times to see the buildings we were passing we finally arrived at our hotel, only to leave within seconds and see the sights – and they are sights to behold. We went to the standard tourist spots like the Coliseum, the Forum, the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountains, and then we just walked around the city getting lost, taking little alleyways, and stopping for coffee and wine often. I really wanted to go shopping in Rome and shop we did! We were all messy and sweaty from walking around all day but that didn’t stop us (even though I’m sure many shopkeepers wish it did). Shopping in Italy is a serious activity, it’s very expensive, and not something to be taken casually. Everybody dresses up and looks their very best to go to the shops and be waited on. And, there is a definite etiquette to be followed….I don’t know what it is, but I know that I don’t know it. The funny thing is, the salespeople in the luxury stores were much friendlier than at the mid price stores. We went into Prada and although we seemed like misfits (messy, dirty, looking like tourists and touching everything) they were very nice to us. But at Furla the girls were so obnoxious and rude. It made me crazy that this girl was two steps behind me re-organizing everything that I touched and huffing and puffing the whole time, like I was causing her major undue stress. Ummmmm – you work in sales right? Customer service? Oh well, I was on vacation so I wasn’t going to let that bring me down! After two full days, and plenty of sight seeing and shopping, it was time to move on. I really enjoyed Rome – it felt like an actual Italian city and not just a tourist spot. There are locals around, going to and fro work and they tend to co-exist much better with the flocks of tourists than in Florence. I could have spent a few more days in the city, but it was time to move south. Up Next: the beautiful Amalfi Coast For more Italian travel journals see my posts on Florence and Tuscany
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