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April 24th 2019
Published: April 24th 2019
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What a Day this has been!!!! (start of a song from one of my favorite musicals!) What a rare mood I'm in!!! WOW! Today was a travel day from Rome to Frankfurt. It is here that we will meet up with our tour guide from Image Tours and start our two week guided tour around Europe. Our driver showed up a little early so we were rushing around trying not to hold him up. No lift, so we had to drag our suitcases upstairs and through the gravel courtyard to the street! We got to the airport way, way early which Is rushing! We get to Lufthansa only to find out we have to check our carry ons because, as the agent said, they were too big. Now we have covered 5 airports so far and never had any trouble with our carry on luggage being too large. It kind of threw us. Then I realized I had a pack of spare lithium batteries so I grabbed min bag back and looked through batteries. They must have been in my checked bag, whih had already gone through the conveyer belt. I told the agent and we started the process of retrieving my bag. I had to wait an hour. go to lost and found, go through security,, pick up my bag,, get the batteries, and return my bag to check in. While I am doing this Marsha and Shealyn are finishing up their breakfast and waiting on me.

Finally we get to go through security for real! I have an American Express platinum card that I use a lost because it awards miles for Delta. It also has perks like free bags, priority boarding, sky miles lounge, etc. I spied a line with no one in it and it had a sign Sky Priority. I asked the agent and she shook her head no. I showed her my Sky Miles card and she let us through. Now I'm not really sure that we should have gone through priority security but it was fast and great!

Our flight for this trip was short...only one hour and a half. Marsha and I both took Dramamine so we both slept a little. Shealyn didn't. Once we arrived at Frankfurt and disembarked, . For the first time ever we disembarked on the tarmac and rode a shuttle to the main building. We were watching planes as they taxied to the runways and even had to stop for one. Once we got to the main building, Shealyn was feeling a little queasy. By the time we checked in to the hotel she was sick. We got a pretzel and some sprite for her and after laying down for a while she was back on her feet!

There was no security or customs to passport control to go through here. We were surprised. There was two door. One said enter to declare goods and the other said no good to declare. We really expected to see long lines and hoards of people. There was no one! Our hotel was attached to the airport which made it easy but there were no signs. We had to ask for help!

We have been gone for 8 days now and we needed to do laundry. That is the reason I selected this hotel. When we got to the guest laundry room were we surprised! There was only 1 washer and dryer. So we have been all evening washing and drying clothes. We are almost done.

This evening we have tried to reflect on our trip so far. We loved London! We loved Rome! We particularly loved the food in Rome and thought it was a less hurried pace, largely in part because the Italians aren't in a hurry. We loved how Italians greet one...both men and women....kissing each cheek. We had our favorite words or phrases Italy also. They included buongiorno, scusami, ciao, grazie, bella, aqua, and many others. We noticed there were many PDA's (public displays of affection) Some making uncomfortable.

One thing in Rome that we were warned about was the gypsy children. I guess they work together to take advantage of travelers and are very good pickpockets. We were warned by so many people. Even those we spoke to in London warned us of the gypsy children. We never saw one and we were on the look out for them.

Things we missed on our trip so far is the lack of wash clothes. Hotels don't provide wash clothes. The gratuity is charged automatically. It was just a dollar or two per person but was an automatic charge. There is no free water at any restaurant in London or Rome. You also had to watch or you would get carbonated water instead of regular water. Pop or soda was very different from American brands. And most of all we missed butter and ice! I even went to a McDonalds in the airport to get a Coke Zero with ice in any drinks there. This afternoon I final got a drink with ice and our hotel has ice buckets in the rooms We are in heaven.

What a great trip so far!

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