Up early and off to MIA for our flight to JFK and then Rome.
As always, it was difficult to say goodbye to little Lucy. When she sees the black bags come out she gets upset, as she knows we are going on a trip, and she can’t understand why she can’t go with us.
As you might expect, traffic was light for most of our trip, then we encountered “construction” on I95 south of Ft. Lauderdale, which slowed us down. “Construction” consists of mile after mile of closed lanes with the occasional FHP cruiser with its lights flashing. On a very rare occasion, you will see a work vehicle, and, on an even rarer occasion, someone actually working. We left plenty of time, so didn’t have any major worries. It’s just exasperating to see miles of traffic backed up, north and south bound, for no good reason.
We checked in easily using the TSA PreCheck and headed to Admirals Club to relax before boarding our flight. We left right on time, and headed for JFK. We landed on time, and checked out our departure info. We had a five-hour layover, so headed for the Admirals Club. Again, our flight departed right on time.
American and Delta have reconfigured Business Class on many of their 767s, with a single seat, an aisle, two seats, and then another single seat. Unfortunately, we could not get seating in the middle section, so David was seated in front of me.
The flight was mostly uneventful. Edible food for a change. The only downer was that at least three of the restrooms were out of service within an hour of departure, making for lines waiting to use the ones that still worked.
An on-time landing and we headed off tor Immigration and Customs. Long lines, but they moved pretty quickly, so pretty soon we had grabbed our luggage and met the driver for the 40-minute ride to our hotel. As Sunday morning traffic was light, he gave us a nice tour of central Rome before dropping us off at the Sofitel, our home this trip.
We normally stay at the Santa Chiarra, near the Pantheon, but they were booked this trip, and Sofitel sent David a Fall offer with a nice rate for a Deluxe room, so that’s where we will place our nest for the next five days.
The hotel is gorgeous, located just two blocks off the Via Veneto and a quick stroll from the Piazza di Spagna. The staff couldn’t have been nicer. As it was only 0920 when we arrived, we expected a wait before we could get into our room, We checked in and settled into the lounge to relax until the expected noon availability. The manager came up and said they had shifted some things around for us (David is a Platinum Sofitel member), and a room would be ready in 10 minutes.
They showed us to our room, which was excellent, spacious and comfortable, with a large bath. We unpacked a few things, then decided to take a nap for an hour or two before heading out. We woke up at about 4pm, finished unpacking, cleaned up, and were ready to head out by 6pm.
At six the skies were threatening a shower or two, and we were still a bit jet-lagged, so we decided to head up to la Terrasse on the seventh floor of the hotel for a light bite. La Terrasse offers a terrace with views over Rome, and a hip, but cordial atmosphere. As always, we started our evening with a kir, while we looked out over the rooftops of Rome. The floodlit dome of St. Peters stood out, along with several other landmarks.
Rather than a full dinner, we decided to just have a glass of wine and some tapas: cheeses, bruschetta with Parma ham, olives, chips, and some Mortadella were just right. Finding ourselves yawning again after an hour or so, we bid room adieu for the night and headed back to our room to turn in. Tomorrow we’ll do some sightseeing.