Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1084: A Springtime Slow Travel Prize: Ten Glorious Days In Umbria And A Little Bit Of Rome
By Stella from New York, NY, Spring 2006
Page 12 of 12: Great Trip!
Well, we woke up to find out that Italy still had no Prime Minister. It reminded me of a certain election in the United States in 2000.
There wasn't much time to think about that, as we packed up and tidied our tacky apartment. The car service arranged by Rental In Rome was to pick us up at 8:00 AM. We hauled the bags down to the front of the apartment and waited.
And waited. And waited. No car. And no answer at Rental In Rome. I am not inclined to leave a car waiting, and I wasn't sure if the driver was even on his way, but we couldn't wait there any longer. At 8:20, I gave up and called a taxi company. The taxi driver arrived within five minutes and we were on our way. I don't care what I hear or read about Roman taxis. I haven't had a bad experience with them yet.
The delay did not hurt us when we got to Fiumicino, and we checked in without a problem. We set off to have our last cappucino and also stopped at a newstand to stock up: C. got some magazines and I picked up some newspapers and a few boxes of Pocket Coffee.
The trip back was on a Delta codeshare flight, so the seating was a little better. C. and I got to sit together and it wasn't as cramped as the Alitalia plane had been. This time, C. went right to sleep, which made me very jealous. I tried, but failed as usual to get a nap in. Wide awake, I read nearly every publication we had purchased and tried not to slip into the post-vacation funk. Instead, I pondered the past ten days, and the perils of vacationing with a friend.
Umbria had been beautiful; I would love to return there again and again. Rome was still as magical as ever to me, and even a short visit was precious and fun. C. and I survived our ten days together, even though there were a few bumps in the road.
All in all, traveling with a good friend was a challenging experience. Traveling with anyone involves some give-and-take, learning curves, and possible pitfalls. C. and I had been lucky; even though our friendship proved itself strong enough to weather the few storms, we could have made it a lot easier on ourselves. Before we left, we never talked about what we expected from each other, or what our traveling styles were, and that talk would have probably saved us from having our fight, as well as some of those moments in the mountains. The next time I travel with a friend, I will have that talk. And I will be sure to mention that I am afraid of tall mountains and precipitous curves in the road, especially when approached at high speeds.
Curbside at JFK, we looked at each other, realizing that our trip was finally, truly over. For a moment, we were both a little sad and a little glad, all at once. Even though we knew we would see each other the following day at work, it seemed like something huge had happened between us.
Did something huge happen between us? That is another story for another time. But I will leave you with the same words that C. said to me before we jumped into our cabs:
"It was a great trip!"
And really, it was.
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