London, Rome, & Heart of Europe

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April 23rd 2019
Published: April 23rd 2019
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This was an easy day. Probably the most relaxing day we have spent so far. We wanted to walk around and revisit some shops. We wanted to stop at an outside cafe that the waiter had been trying to pull us in for two days. Every time we walked by and shook our heads "no" he said "I'll see you tomorrow"! So today we went there first. We really didn't want a full breakfast but something light and of course a cappuccino. This guy, Simon, was a delight. He remembered us for the previous days and seated us at once. He was very attentive and even took some pictures for us and with us! We have certainly enjoyed the people we have met in the various shops and restaurants.

Following breakfast we decided to walk around the areas near The Vatican that we had not yet visited. We found Tiffany's, which opened up to a higher end department store. We have quickly learned on this trip that all bathrooms are not equal. We knew when we went into this store that we had better take advantage of their bathrooms. They were certainly very nice. We continued walking around the town, pausing to take pictures, try on shoes, look for anything we need for the remainder of the trip. We found a neat Chocolate shop that still had their Easter candy out. Their molded chocolate was great to look at but also great to taste! Another really fun adventure was our trip through an open air market. The fruits and veggies were beautiful. They almost looked fake.

It was evident that there were tons more people in line at all the sights today as well as many more milling about the streets. We were so glad we hurried around and got to all the sights we wanted to visit in the first three days here. While the stores weren't crowded the streets, sidewalks, and restaurants were.

For lunch we wanted to eat at a little restaurant right next to our apartment. To be perfectly honest we didn't even know it was there until last night. It may be because it is in the basement and we didn't notice it, or it may be because it was closed for the Easter holiday. However when we walked by last night the place was packed and people were waiting out on the street to get in. We noticed that many were Italians, which led us to believe that it was a great place to eat. We were not disappointed today. Shealyn and Marsha has Rigatoni. According to both of them it was the best meal they had eaten on this trip! We have had some pretty great meals! I had the buffet. It was creamed zucchini soup (not my favorite as it was actually pureed zucchini), penne pasta with steak, baked potatoes (which are baked chopped potatoes), various veggies and salads. Everything was excellent.

We have tried a different restaurant for every meal. The only place we have gone more than once is a Gelato place that we particularly liked. Of all the gelato we have tried we liked this one best! It had great gelato and a cute place to sit with tables and chairs like ice cram cones. Today we opted to sit outside. It was supposed to be raining and storming today but by noon the sky cleared up and it was a beautiful day.

One thing we knew we needed to do today was go to a bank or ATM to get cash. You have to be careful and know your card's cash limit or you will be rejected and it could cause you to have a lock put on your card. It can be difficult, because of the time difference, to get that all straightened out. We were successful. For the remainder of our trip we will be using Euros, except the one day we are in Switzerland. There we will be using the Swiss franc. Most other European countries use the Euro. Britain still used the pound.

Our plan for dinner was to go to an Italian steakhouse. We had one in mind but it was too far and we wanted to be nearby since we leave tomorrow. I searched the Internet and found a place that had great reviews. We got there just when they opened, got seated, and looked at the menus. Most of their items were served raw...with salt and pepper. We decided that just wasn't our idea o a great meal so we left and started looking for another restaurant. We wandered in to Ristorante L'Eccellenza and are we glad we did. Marsha and Shealyn ordered steak. I ordered steak salad. It was NOT what I expected. I expected a large bowl of salad veggies with some sliced steak on top. What I got was a large plate of the most delicious steak with a handful or arugula on top. It was the best steak I have ever eaten! The restaurant lived p to its name....everything there was excellent!

One thing we noticed here is that there are many, many restaurants that you don't notice. They may only be open for dinner and they are in the basement of the various buildings. Usually those are the ones that are most packed. The one right beside our apartment is completely full again tonight with people waiting on the sidewalk to get in.

So we are back at our apartment. We leave for the airport in the morning and fly out early afternoon. We are flying to Frankfurt, Germany and will join 36 or so other people from the United States to start our guided tour called "The Heart of Europe Circle Tour". This is a tour through the Image Tour Company based in Michigan. We will travel for 2 weeks through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and back to Germany. Its hard to believe that a whole week has gone by! Night All!

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