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O Solo Mio

On our first day in Rome (Thursday), we knew we had to power through our jet lag and not let ourselves sleep until it was night time here. We did a lot of walking and enjoyed many wonderful sights, but by the end of the day, we were exhausted. With our first Italian dinner of the vacation, we had a few glasses of wine each, at a restaurant only one block from our apartment. On the walk back, Ken and Diane were feeling pretty “happy.” At one point they both yell out, “Tonto piacere” to no one in particular. This means “it’s a great pleasure,” as in, “it’s been a great pleasure to meet you.” Later, Ken leaned out the window of the stairwell that leads to our apartment and began singing. “O solo mioooo!” It was hilarious, if a bit embarrassing. After all, that IS a stereotypical Italian song, performed mostly by Venetian gondoliers and Roman street accordionists for tourists. Silly me, I thought I could kind of fit in here, instead of waving my tourist flag all around…

Favorite Part of the Day

Laura and I travel a lot – it’s one of our favorite things to do – but we rarely travel with other people. Having Laura’s parents with us on this trip to Europe has forced us to make compromises and slightly adjust our style. But it’s undoubtedly great fun. We have started a nightly tradition of sharing our favorite parts of the day over dinner. Sometimes, the answers are predictable – yesterday’s favorite for Laura’s parents was the Sistine Chapel – but other times the answers are surprising. For instance, despite the world-famous historical monuments we saw yesterday, I believe my favorite part of the day was renting a riscio max  – a four-person bicycle cart – in the Villa Borghese. Laura’s father has been very passive about this trip, but he was excited about driving the riscio. So excited, in fact, that he went a little crazy, speeding down hills and swerving across paths to narrowly miss children in strollers and small pets. (There was one large flower pot that we didn’t quite miss.) Eventually, he calmed down, after we hit a bump that knocked Laura’s purse out of the cart, then ran over the purse. Fortunately, there was nothing to fragile in the bag, except this tin of Altoids that was crushed. Despite making me incredibly nervous (my seat was very slippery, so I came very close to tumbling out of the cart multiple times), it was totally memorable!

Cart Crazy

Tire Tracks


Anyone going to Villa Borghese should rent one of these carts. I can guarantee a great time.

More Favorite Parts of the Day to come in future posts.


We are enjoying a glass of wine to prepare ourselves for our first Italian dinner of the trip. Our view is disgustingly charming, complete with an elderly Italian couple on their terrace, eating cheese and bread with their small canine companion. Why would anyone choose a tourist hotel over something like this?

Aperitif in the Sitting Room

Aperitif in the Sitting Room