I arrived in Rome to meet up with my friend Aine. She lives in Dublin. We take an annual trip together. Our planes arrived at the Rome airport, we hug hello and we hopped in a cab to head to our hotel.
Italians are crazy drivers, which is saying something. I live in Los Angeles, where being an aggressive driver is actually safer than being cautious.
Graffiti is plastered everywhere. Scooters weave in and out of traffic. Our taxi driver drives as if he's playing a video game. He's into it.
We stayed at the Leonardo Da Vinci hotel in Rome. My sister stays here with her airline crew. The hotel is great. It's centrally located, comfortable, clean, comparably priced and most importantly, has croissants and Nutella every morning.
On our first day in Rome, we walk and walk. Everything is so present when we travel. I have the map, Aine has the language book. Together we are a perfect traveling duo. I get us there and she gets us what we need when we get there. We aren't thinking about issues in our lives. We are only looking for a certain street here or piazza there because we heard it had the best pizza, gelato or antipasti.
The waiters become our best friends. They seem so delighted to see us. They kiss our hands when we arrive, they kiss our cheeks when we leave. I even had one old waiter sneak a kiss on my neck by the bathroom!
In Rome, it's not odd to get so many kisses. It's fun. We are adored. And we adore being adored.