Tuesday, March 25, 2008

24 Hours in Italy...

Our flight from the states to Roma was pretty quick & painless. I'll write more about that later. I have to share the last 24 hours & the sheer fun & excitement we are experiencing.

Ok, So we have been in Italy for just over 24 hours. If the next 2 1/2 weeks are like the past 24 hours, we'll be perma-grin for life.

We started our trip by being picked up by our personal driver Mimmo. Mimmo is probably in his late 50's or early 60's & just the nicest little man. You can tell that he takes service to heart. He was funny & quick with a little humor. It was super refreshing after an 8 hours flight. Thank you Liberty League for having Mimmo start our trip off on the correct foot.

Mimmo took us to the Sheraton Roma, where we "deposited" our conference luggage. We'll be back to the Sheraton for the Summit Conference sometime next week??? From there, Mimmo drove us into historic Roma & told us all about the sights & history of each little area. We decided to spend our 1st day in Rome & then head out from there. We checked into Hotel Cosmopolita Roma, which is a block from several ancient ruins & buildings, to include the Colosseum (Colosseo), the Imperial building (Fori Imperiali), the Forum, the Arco di Tito, the Arco di Costantino, Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo) & a ton more buildings. After checking in, we made a choice not to nap, dropped off our luggage & hit the streets. We walked all around the area looking for a quint romantic restaurant to grab a much needed bite to eat. We found a great little place & ended up both eating the same thing. It was so yummy that I had to ask for seconds. I probably could have eaten a 3rd helping, I was so hungry & the food was so good. Don't ask me what it was exactly, as I am not sure. It was a sandwich of some sort with tuna fish & egg salad on it. Other than that, no idea.
We started walking around and taking in the sites once we were regenerated with food. We walked throughout the most amazing church that is located within Campidoglio. The decoration inside is breathe taking. Leslie & I instantly noticed that every nook & cranny is decorated. The ceilings have intricate attention & are gorgeous. Even the marble floors are decorated. We took at least 3 dozen pictures of the ceilings & floors. We left the sanctuary & were walking around this compound of sorts that surround the church. We found ourselves on the room for the building looking over Roma. We could see the Vatican Palaces off a few blocks away.
We found a rooftop bistro & grabbed our first beer. I found it rather peculiar that they only served German beer when I order us a couple of Peroni's. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our beer & headed out for more exploration. The biggest hunt of the day was locating bathrooms... We found a restroom that required a charitable donation in order to use the facility. The woman in line behind us thought we were silly Americans since we put 2 Euros each in the attendants basket. She kept telling us that it was too much!!! The funny thing was, I would have happily paid 100 times more in the moment.
We explored for hours & had so much fun. Later in the evening, we decided to clean up & go find food. We learned that the Monday after Easter is considered "Little Easter" & that most Italians take the day off. It is a holiday, which they literally translated "Holy Day". We ended up walking several blocks from our hotel room & found a great little place that was on the way to the area we were heading to.

We started with a bottle of Chianti from the Tuscany region. We instantly noticed it had a strong bite & a beautiful finish to it. Leslie ordered lasagna & I opted for the spaghetti with clams. Our waitress Mimmy was from Romania and was an absolute doll. She guided us through the meal. We were joined by Deidre and her daughter Madison who were in Rome from Cincinnati, Ohio. We had a blast talking with them.

From dinner, we walked to an Irish pub that was packed with people from the UK. We enjoyed a few drinks & conversations before we headed back to our hotel.

Leslie & I had a video conference with our daughter back in the states. She is enjoying her time with Leslie's parents. It was super cool to be able to assist my team members back in the states make money while we are here playing in Italy. I enjoyed another video conference with our team member Kathryn, who is enjoying a month long visit to Italy. She has been in Florence for the past 16 days. I worked for about an hour calling people back in the states that answered our ads looking for an opportunity to work from home (or Rome or anywhere else for that matter) before retiring for the night. How cool is this? I used to be a cubicle worker when I was in the office. Now the world is my office. Should you want to see how this business can change your life, like it has changed ours, please feel free to call me. Remember to check the time 1st... Rome is 5 hours ahead of Eastern time. Our mobile number while we travel is +44 (792) 444-6007 (UK based mobile).

We'll be on "The Board" this week for $11,000 profit so far! That is net profits earned & we are not even home or in the states. That's sexy if you ask me. And to think, that is a single week of profits & a third of Leslie's ANNUAL income working 40-50 hours per week in a cubicle. Yuck!

This morning we had breakfast in our hotel overlooking the street. After being here for 24 hours, we have noticed several differences between Italy & the States:

• The old buildings have lifts (elevators) that are slapped onto the exterior of the buildings.
• The showers are teeny tiny & have 2 doors that open in the corners.
• Italians do not stop @ Stop Signs & do not pay attention to traffic lanes, they don't have lanes.
• The ground floors in buildings are 0.
• We have to stick our room key in the wall in order to have lights, air condition & the sort in our hotel rooms.
• We have a bidet that is a toilet sink combo. Don't ask!?!?
• We've only heard American music everywhere we went. I never thought I would hear American dance club music everywhere.
• Rome is experiencing unseasonable rain for this time of year.

I'm sure there is more that I am leaving out... more to come. We are heading north today. When we get to the train station, we're going to flip a coin to see where we head next. Heads we go to Florence & tails we're heading to Venice. Hopefully, it is not raining in northern Italia.



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