I’ve been back in the US a week now and I have a lot to write out here. Things have been busy, but I have lots to share, always documenting life’s little idiosyncrasies. I hope you enjoy my journey as much as I did… I have to admit, I am a bit sad to be back in the US as Stephen and I had so much fun exploring the world together….. But back I am so here we go…. Enjoy!Phoenix to Dulles, D.C.
Today begins Stephen and I’s extended holiday adventure throughout Italy, Greece, and Egypt. I was so excited I barely slept, which probably wasn’t the best since we began the morning very early, but the thought of getting the hell outta Phoenix onto Rome was more than enough to pop my tired eyes open. I peeled myself out of bed and staggered into the kitchen in a zombie-esque state making a beeline to the espresso machine which Stephen had already turned on, heated up and ready to spew out it caramelly caffeinated elixir! (He’s so good…)
Like a bulimic at Hometown Buffet, I pumped out shot after shot of espresso, consuming each one with reckless abandon, no thought that in about a half an hour I might just turn into a Autistic ADD child on coke…
Showered and dressed, me in my GAP limited raw denim jeans, chocolate V-neck, Kenneth Cole monk strap loafers… Stephen in his GAP distressed jeans, Abercrombie polo, and Diesel tennis’s (so cute!), our travelling jet-set looks complete.
Our car arriving promptly at 6:30am and since our driver was a tiny little 20 year old girl who weighed 100 pounds wet, I lifted our very well stuffed bags in the black Mercedes. With the house locked up, I grabbed Louis, jumped in the car and we were off.
Visions of that Fergie video stepping out from the private jet as she sings G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S encased in that huge sable fur danced through my head as we were scuttled along our way towards Sky Harbor airport… Except I don’t have a fur (it is Arizona after all) and the private jet was a US Airways 747, but… the whole scene was close. Shit, did I forget my chapstick?
My glamorous Fergie song turned into a Kid Rock white trash anthem upon the check in with ‘Patricia’ - the gum smacking, very large and not-so-in-charge USAir check in counter troll (Ooops! I meant girl).
We were pleased our bags were to be sent straight to Rome, but Patricia suddenly decided she needed ‘supervisor approval’ on one of the bags that weighed over 50 pounds, 54 pounds to be exact. I kindly informed her that international travel allows you 70, but she retorted we weren’t in international air quite yet… sweet little thing that she was…
I wanted to ‘kindly inform’ our dear Patricia that “We’re flying First Class, I can stuff a goddamn elephant in there if I want!” But,… being more a man of refinement and subtly, I felt it better to bite my tongue.
After the faceless supervisor cleared our one bag, we bid farewell to our dear Patri-Troll and were off to our gate! Yeah!
Unfortunately, getting to one’s gate is like The Amazing Race with deceptive and enticing obstacles at every corner. And we failed…
Reaching gate A26, I was now magically with Starbucks in one hand, Cinnebon Cini-Mini’s in the other – Stephen somehow becoming attached to a Twix (King Size even!), US Weekly and In Touch trash mags. Thank goodness too because what WAS Jon and Kate doing two hours ago? We had to know….
Finally boarding our flight to D.C., we were greeted by JoAnne with her ruby red lips, ‘updo’, and perky demeanor. Quick with the coffee, JoAnne was a refreshing addition to the flight. I even decided to forgive her for the “oh my, looks like we’re a little hungry this morning…Coffee?” as I stuffed cini-mini’s in my mouth so that I could buckle up my seat. Nothing was gonna get me down – I’m on my way to Rome!
Breakfast included a delish frittata, crisp green salad, and smoked sausage (or sausage like material), OJ for Stephen, V8 for me, and of course, JoAnne’s never ending brew of steamy coffee. It was yummy.
At one point I looked back towards the coach section of the plane noticing what looked like a brawl over a small bag of expired peanuts. Fortunately JoAnne quickly snapped the divider curtain closed, glancing a smile my way that said “you shouldn’t have to see that ugliness.”
After frittata, I perused the magazines to see what Jon & Kate, Angelina, Brad & Jenn, those skanky Kardashians, were all up to. Glancing over at Stephen, engrossed in his Vanity Fair, looking so handsome.…
Let’s Back-Track a Little Recently I accidentally stumbled across a movie entitled ‘Hard Flyin’ Jocks’ about a college sports team on a plane…Let’s call it a discovering-who-you-are type movie. Anyways, there’s only one restroom on this plane and thus must be shared by a handsome duo. A steamy encounter ensues and our duo begin Cirque du Soleil like shenanigans in the well-lit, roomy airplane restroom. And in fact, the co-pilot (obviously taking a break from flying the plane) accidentally stumbles upon their antics (Oops! Forgot to lock the door!), whereabouts their twosome turns into a naughty threesome!
With this scene returning to my mind I began to wonder how possible it might be to officially join the ‘mile high club.’ This definitely warranted some further investigation….
As I opened the door and stepped into the bathroom cubicle I had a little trouble turning around to lock the door, being that the space was a bit small. After maneuvering myself back around I did have to focus my eyes while doing my business since the light was so dim, but straddling the toilet seat I accomplished my mission, although not quite the same as the movie had led me to believe.
Zipping up my jeans I hit my head on the paper towel dispenser because my knee was being crushed by the toilet paper holder. Unfortunately, there was a little turbulence as well which seemed to intensify in my little restroom cell. Jostled around, my hair slightly askew from when my head was smashed into the dispenser, I ended up drying my hands on my jeans since my body couldn’t maneuver itself into the Chinese fortune cookie form necessary to wash and dry! Finally, all hopes of a reality replay of my movie scene were dashed completely as I squeezed myself through the Hobbit door not to find a hunky co-pilot waiting, but JoAnne, fresh pot of coffee in hand….D.C. Dulles to Frankfort, Germany
Landing in D.C. Dulles airport we had to hurriedly exit so as to catch a small transport bus that would take us to our United Air connection gate. Apparently I must’ve touched something on the bus then rubbed my eyes because upon exiting the little bus, my eye had ballooned practically outta my head, red and swollen. We had a few hours to kill so we hid in the United lounge where my eye now seemed to want to escape from my head, making a run on its own. Obviously upset by this very UN-glamorous situation, I looked towards Stephen for help, who informed me I must’ve “done something wrong.” And why did he sit way over there almost across the room?
Finally boarding time came and we filed into our seats. Upon settling into mine, I immediately asked the stewardess passing by for A) a very strong Mimosa (hey, it could’ve been worse, I could’ve asked for a wine spritzer!) and B) a cool cloth for my eye … C) Pronto!
A few minutes later, Oz, my personal cabin steward arrived sans Mimosa. “I understand we have a medical issue here?” Horrified, I explained my eye (which really explained itself) and with a hesitant look, Oz disappeared to get me a cold press. That’s all I needed, under watch for Swine Flu quarantined in Germany of all places! And was it my imagination but was Stephen almost hiding behind that NY Times as this all played out?
With two Mimosas in me, and a cold press on my runaway eye, Stephen reappeared back in the picture to read our flights movie selections. Fast & Furious… No… Star Trek…. No…..Hanna Montana (?)… Hell No! …I couldn’t believe it, 30,000 miles up in the air and I still couldn’t escape that thing called Miley Cyrus… Stephen read our (limited) choices from an in-air magazine with a half naked Hugh Jackman on its cover – where was that movie?
Oz turned out to be a pretty cool guy, asking me eventually if I was “able to get all the make-up outta my eye.” I laughed, but later, as I sipped my Mimosa and paged through a Marie Claire magazine I wondered to myself “How’d he know I was gay?”
For dinner I enjoyed Chilean Sea Bass with veggie risotto, while Stephen had the Spinach Lasagna with baby asparagus. And even better, the hottie steward from New Zealand delivered the meals – and what a hot piece of Bass! Chilean Sea Bass that is… J
My belly full, eye back in socket, and too many Mimosa’s to count, I reclined back into my seat to enjoy the rest of the flight to Frankfort….
Frankfort, Germany to Rome, Italy
Our arrival into Frankfort was pleasant and anti-climatic – everything you’d imagine Germany to be. The large Ikea-esque airport was modular and impressive and clean. I loved that it was filled with people from all over the world as well. Experiencing other culture is all well and good, but more so I appreciated that this ‘international melting pot’ helped dissipate the horrendous German fashion sense. I mean one German eyesore is one thing but a whole group is quite another! One of my favorite’s being a gold lame’ sun dress with a purple spandex T-shirt underneath highlighted by Birkenstocks.
As I clutched my Louis, Stephen explained to me that the Germans were not known for their fashion sense, such as say, the French, but more for their efficient organizational skills. A harsh realization for me, I suppose….
This final leg of our trip took an upswing as we boarded our Lufthansa flight and the buttery soft accent of our young, attractive stewardess took hold placing us into her serene trance. Of course I didn’t understand a word she said….
At this point we had been flying a whole day and both Stephen and I are starting to feel a bit weary. We are definitely looking forward to Rome (only two more hours!) to shower and relax a bit after such a taxing journey.
I can’t believe that in a mere two hours I will be in Rome with Stephen, and at risk of sounding too dramatic, I have to be honest in saying I think my life has been pretty gifted.
But I won’t be saying that quite yet as I sit in my seat trying not to notice the two very large Italian men in the row across from me sitting barefoot, their crackly, corn cob feet forcing my earlier meal to make a second return….Rome, Italy
Finally arriving into Rome, it was one big zoo at the airport and one could tell immediately that this little Toto was not in Kansas anymore. Now remember it was the Germans known for speedy efficiency, NOT the Italians, so there was quite a wait for our luggage, but it was pretty fun all the same watching the Italian families (hug, yell, hug some more, yell some more) as they greeted each other with exuberant gusto.
Rome was polar opposite from Frankfort, but I loved it all the same, mainly the fashionable Italians replaced the horrific Germans. Even the walls were covered in half naked Italian models wearing the newest in Armani, Ferragamo, and Ferre’. And everyone was so thin, it was quite a noticeable difference (especially compared to the American herds of the mid-west I had just lay witness to while travelling recently….).
After picking up our bags, there were two doors to exit – one for Italians (nationals) and the other for everyone else. With my new Dior’s shading half my face from the possible paparazzi, I traipsed through the Italians-only door not realizing, newly constructed fabulous attitude radiating – and the Italian police didn’t blink an eye! After Stephen had explained what I had just done I felt a natural high like never before, I was actually mistaken for Italian Euro trash!
Our driver, a tall 30-something guy in a black suit, was waiting for us to take us to our hotel which I had found by doing research on the internet. He was nice enough to drive us the long way so that we could see some of the beautiful Roman sights which lay out for us to explore. Although tired, I held Stephen’s hand as I took in the beautiful city of Rome.
We arrived at The Hotel Lyrico at around 4pm, where we were greeted at the desk by Tony, a very chipper, sweet man with a full head of silver hair, and warm smile. It was a beautiful little hotel, located close to most everything, and the room attendant (who was Chinese – which was kinda weird because he only spoke Italian) showed us up to our room overlooking the Roman Opera Theatre and its frontal gardens situated next to the hotel.
Now at this point Stephen and I were feeling happy and exhausted. We took wonderfully hot showers and that’s all I remember because we both fell asleep only to wake up the early the next morning….