Off To Rome Via Paris…Texas

March 20, 2018

By Tab Byrum

Before I start sharing the photos and stories of our recent Italian vacation I have to tell you a quick story. We were scheduled to fly out of Oklahoma City on a Thursday morning on Southwest Airlines at 6:25, headed to Newark, NJ, where we would catch our United flight to Milan. On the day before we were supposed to fly out, we were eating lunch and I received a text on my phone saying our SW flight for the next day was being canceled due to a cold front that had moved into Oklahoma and a huge amount of rain that was headed up from the Gulf of Mexico which would result in an ice storm. Needless to say, we panicked for a moment then went into action, I got on the phone with SW airlines and they said they could get us on a flight out of Dallas the next morning, Dallas is a three-hour drive, to St. Louis then on to Newark. Michael was on his computer looking at the roads and decided if we headed east out of Oklahoma City we could do it. We said yes to SW Airlines, finished packing and headed out. By the time we left we were already experiencing freezing rain so we drove about 90 miles east of OKC at 35 mph and that is where the cold front had stalled, from there we headed south across SE Oklahoma then into Texas and yes we passed through Paris, Texas. We made it to Dallas seven and a half hours later, spent the night at the Love Field airport and flew out at six the next morning. Our adventure had started and we weren’t even out of the country. Yikes!!!

We flew out of Newark to Milan, Italy then took an almost four-hour train ride from Milan to Rome where we were supposed to meet our friends, Donna and Geoff, on Saturday. So, by the time we arrived in Rome Friday morning we were living in a Steve Martin and John Candy movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with a car ride to Dallas, 3 plane rides and now a train ride. We arrived safely in Rome and headed to our hotel we had booked for the night, it’s about 2 in the afternoon. I’ll let pictures tell the rest of the story of our first day in Rome from here on out, just remember to NOT panic and where there’s a will there’s a way. Enjoy!!!

I have to admit I was SO tired the first day in Rome that I wasn’t good about snapping photos but I did get this one of all the dried meats and seasonings in the first restaurant we ate in, this is where we had our first authentic pizza. 

I had booked our first night in Rome at The Hotel Bolivar through Booking.com. The hotel was very nice, clean and well located. The Bolivar served a great breakfast for hotel guests in their rooftop room with wonderful views. 

On our first evening out after we had enjoyed our pizza we were just strolling and trying to stay awake and literally turned a corner and there was the Trevi Fountain. The fountain is so gorgeous day or night. 

The next day was Saturday and we were able to check into our apartment we were renting with our friends, they didn’t arrive until later Saturday evening, and we were so happy with it. I had found the apartment on a rental site called Rome Loft.

This was the view off the balcony of our apartment onto the busy square or piazza below.

This was the bedroom we ended up in, it was great. There was plenty of storage with closets on each side of the bed and a dresser you can see. The bed was comfortable and the whole place was charming. 

The downstairs of the building our apartment was in is a restaurant called Cajo & Gajo and we loved it, we ate there three times. Cajo & Gajo is not a large place but it’s warm and intimate and serves amazing food, even breakfast. 

This is a photo of the interior of the Cajo & Gajo, you can always tell a place is good if the locals eat there and it was always filled with people. 

As we went to sleep that night it was raining and I took this photo of the glistening cobblestones on the piazza below as young people are out enjoying their Saturday night. 

I hope you enjoyed this first look at our first couple of days in Italy. Check back tomorrow as we get into some serious sightseeing and visit some places you’ve seen and heard of your whole life. Enjoy!!!

Words and photos are my own.

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