Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Home after Rome . .

Yesterday morning, I got out of bed at 3:50 a.m. after a fitful few hours' sleep, and flipped the switch on the iPad alarm set to go off at 4. The only drawback to my great little find of a hotel (I'll do a hotel review post later) is that it's unstaffed at night, and, rather than have its own entrance to the street, occupies the 5th floor of a big old building with one of those huge wooden doors. Thus there would be no wake-up call, and if we overslept, no way the taxi driver could do anything more than wait and then perhaps honk, futilely: our fifth-floor ears would be unlikely to hear... And if said taxi driver failed to appear at the pre-scheduled 4:30 a.m., we would already have left behind our keys and would be alone, without a ride, and half an hour from the airport and our 7a.m. flight.

All the ingredients for high anxiety, especially if you know anything of my pre-flight anxieties.

Still, I did wake up before the alarm, less than 5 hours after we'd finished packing. By the time I was showered, Paul was up too, and we dressed, tucked the electronics, charging overnight, into our bags along with the cosmetics bags. That last look around the room (in Paris, doing this sweep, I'd spotted Paul's loafers hiding behind a curtain in the window bay), and we rolled our valises out of the door, down the hallway, along splendid marble floors gleaming warmly in the gentle guidance of the night lighting. Past the charmingly expectant breakfast room, the soothing sound of the fountain in the sweet little guest lounge.

In the open lobby area, Paul leaned over the desk to leave the key, and we saw that Marcello had left us a reassuring note that the car service was reliable and had been ordered for 4:30. He'd also included cell phone numbers for himself and his kind, equally efficient wife. The thoughtfulness of the gesture made us feel much better about the next step, and we shut the hotel doors behind us. Squeezing into the perfect little vintage elevator we carefully closed first the exterior metal net door, then the twin wooden interior doors, pushed the button for the ground floor, and refused to speculate about the possibilities of being trapped between floors as our plane filled up 30 minutes outside the city...

The final test, as we pulled our bags across the concrete floor of the inner courtyard, watched over by the splendidly nude male marble sculptures, genitalia well outlined by strategically placed night lighting (ahem, just one last look)....hauling open the ancient and vast wooden door, bumping the bags over the lip of a metal frame, onto Corso Vitto Emanuale II. And as we resolutely let that door close heavily behind us, our keys resting on a desk 5 floors above, we noted a car pulled off the road, onto the sidewalk, its interior illuminated just enough to show the driver napping behind his wheel.

It was 4:30 in the morning, 9 time zones away, as I began writing this post. Between those two mornings, a dawn drive through a city that seems not to sleep much. A chaotic, challenging 90 minutes at an airport I may try to avoid in future. Another, vastly more efficient airport (London) which insisted on its own security checks and punished me, with one of those shockingly intimate searches we have learned to accept in the last decade, for daring to have metal buckles on my Birkenstocks. We sat in the dark in the sky with hundreds of strangers facing tiny little screens full of moving figures and ate more carbohydrates than normal and tolerated someone else's seat back in our laps for far too many hours and carefully paced our drinking to coordinate with the flow of flyers to toilets.

And then we landed in Vancouver and it was sunny and we got through Customs and onto our Skytrain and back to our apartment, all in an hour from our plane wheels touching the ground.

Nap, sushi, Netflix, bed. . . And now it's dawn again and we're off to eat breakfast on a ferry. Perhaps there will be dolphins...

The photos here are ones Paul took after a beautiful lunch we had the day before yesterday (or the day before that? can that be right? It seems that there must be a time, like Harry Potter's Track 9 1/2, to make sense of the time zone transitions). As he snapped them, he said "here, this is what contentment and satiation look like, so we remember"...

And with that thought, I'd better run. Thanks for continuing to comment even though I rarely answered. I will do so much better now that I'm home....

 

14 comments:

  1. I get the anxious feeling when I leave the keys and slip out into the darkness. Your innkeeper and his wife sound thoughtful. You do indeed have a blissful look on your face. Did you enjoy Rome?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did end up enjoying it, and I hope to visit it again someday.

      Delete
  2. Welcome home. Gotta love traveling - all those amazing stressors amidst the pure delight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I do love it -- I suppose because the stress enhances the delight? although I'd love to try the delight without the stress. . . ;-)

      Delete
  3. Welcome home Mater! Yes, that last-minute sweep around the room is crucial.

    The minutes and metres between waking up and getting into the taxi were certainly fraught with anxiety - I think I would have been the same! I'm looking forward to hearing all about this hotel - perhaps we'll follow in your footsteps some day.

    Good luck with the jet lag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! as ebbandflo says, above, the delight and the stress seem to be proportional. . .

      Delete
  4. It sounds beautiful dispute your anxious feelings.
    How relaxed you look in that picture...traveling does appear to agree with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that relaxation was a rare moment. . . . I major in stress while traveling! ;-)

      Delete
  5. Enjoy home. And how wise of Pater to snap that photo as a reminder of what to carry forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he's a wise man. Too easy to forget the good moments. . . .

      Delete
  6. You've captured so well those anxious feelings of uncertainty that deal with reliance upon others rather than oneself. Glad you are home and settling back into life in a far different time zone. I'm catching up on blog posts today and am looking forward to reading your Rome post later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's especially true in foreign places, isn't it, that recognition that we need to rely on others, that we can't always control events. I'm catching up on your blog posts as well -- sounds as if you're taking full advantage of the new boat.

      Delete
  7. I still don't know what day it is! Seriously, though. It sounds as if we could power a small town with our combined pre-travel anxiety!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fun to see you moving through Europe just as I've left it -- and yes, I think we could bottle our anxiety/energy for a good profit! And I'd be so glad to get rid of it!

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...