Days Three and Four: Clonk Clong
Note to all considering taking a tour group: Sleep will be little. Each day began with me waking up around 630am in order to make the tour/bus for the day’s activity. Having to drag a huge suitcase several blocks to a tour bus every other day, not so much fun. I had to take a vacation from my vacation!
So we went to see the Roman Colosseum which was cool but we decided at this point not to roll with Contiki anymore unless we had to so we left the tour group after that and then shopped at the Porta Portese flea market. Now if you are a shopper like me then this is a must to hit up. Great place to buy purses, scarves, jewelry, shoes and clothes. Remember to bargain! I am still angry that I bought a purse for 18 euros then walked a little further and found a similar purse for 7 euros. Lesson learned: good things come to those who wait!
That evening we went for pizza (yes again, don’t judge) courtesy of the Contiki package and I got serenaded by the wonderful Italian singer working there (Okay, I’m not special, some of my friends were serenaded too).
The next day we hit the Vatican City, it was just okay for me. I’m not Catholic or a history buff and after a two and a half hour tour, seeing the Sistine Chapel just didn’t hit me as profound. I just wanted to sit down somewhere.
We then traveled on to Florence where we were met with the same less than pleasant accommodations, however at least we didn’t have to hold the shower nozzle! We went for dinner where I had spaghetti with marinara sauce (not a red meat eater) which was still rather tasty. Then we went for karaoke which I love to do in DC so of course I had to try it out in another country at the Red Garter. Had a great time! Then we hit up a bar and some girls in the Contiki group wanted to go dancing so the tour guide took us to a club he heard would be good. My friends took a look around at the crowd and said, no thanks. Looked a little Jersey Shoreish (who incidentally were also filming while we were there). And no we did not see the Jersey Shore cast although some in our tour group did party with them (I’m not hatin though, okay I was bummed. Instead of taking us to a cool bar like he did these other tour group members, our guide sent us to a seedy club!)
Day Five: Chonk Chong (yes I will keep doing this)
We bought ourselves some real Italian leather. I got a nice tan purse which was stained by the blue US Airways blanket I sat it on. Did I tell you how I hate US Airways? I’m still trying to get those stains out but it’s a losing battle. Sigh.
We meant to do some real sightseeing (we did see some buildings) but the famous art galleries were booked. Booked! Who heard of that? Oh well, just a good reason to hit up Florence again (although, side note, you’d think Contiki would have booked one of the galleries for us like they did the Vatican Museum…). Oh and by the way, I guess someone spoke to the guide because this time he did wait for folks and no one got left behind after the first day.
So we did more shopping in the markets, and departments (like Coin and OVS industry) and checked out Ponte Vecchio (great place to by gold), then we were off to a dressy Tuscan dinner. I had the cutest one shoulder strapped dress and got called Shakira by a guy on the street. See profile picture, granted I straightened my hair and got blondish highlights but I look nothing like her (although she’s cute). Did folks just draw a blank on cute brown skinned women?
Anywho, after dinner we kept the party going and headed to a spot called Zoe where we encountered a group of Italian cuties who we engaged in delightful conversation with the rest of the night. Now this is what I came for, haha! One of the cuties gave me his card and wanted to meet up again the next night but I didn’t call him. I didn’t see the point, not a long distance kind of girl and like the Kelly Clarkson song, I Do Not Hook Up.
On a different note, with six women, I suggested we use the buddy method so no one ends up alone. That didn’t always work. My sister who was supposed to be my buddy kindly (kindly because she did say “excuse me”) shoved me out of the way at the end of the night to get into the first taxi that came for us. Did she get out when she found that I could not get in the first taxi? No, she went on her way! Grumble Grumble.
Luckily one of the cuties was a cab driver and drove me and the other two ladies left behind (for free) to our hotel in his taxi. It was a licensed cab and he had his taxi license information. Seriously I cannot afford to get Got, my father, unlike Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, does not have a special set of skills to get me back!
Next up, the conclusion of my trip.