|We took Ducky with us on our trip and he posed in front of all the big attractions. We hope that someday Heidi will be amused by these pictures we took on her behalf.|
It's nice to know that I've now reached an age where I can be in a Less Than Ideal Situation and be absolutely certain that this is something I'm going to laugh about later. To be certain about this almost allows me to laugh about the Situation in the moment. Almost. The particular situation I'm thinking of now is the unfortunate hotel I booked for our stay in Rome during our we-lived-in-England-for-two-years-and-haven't-yet-been-to-the-main-continent-and-will-go-even-though-we-are-expecting-a-baby-and-it's-financially-foolish trip. All I saw, after hours of scouring the internet for hotels, was "Vittorio Emanuele," and thinking it was that big monument with the horses on top (that you seem to always end up at no matter where you go), and thinking that this was just where we wanted to be, I booked it. Well. It turns out that there's also a very dodgy street, several miles away from the monument, that shares the same name. This Vittorio fellow must have been pretty influential.
We walked for those several miles until we got there. I was pregnant and my husband was carrying all the bags (and would have been carrying me, too, if I'd had my way). All we'd eaten was some salami and bread on the train from Switzerland. Tired, achy, famished, hot, and (not least of all) confused, we arrived at our hotel. To call it a hotel is an overstatement, but they were calling it a hotel, so for the sake of consistency, I'll call it one, too. The graffiti smeared doors had been broken into several times, it seemed, as evidenced by the big chunks that were missing and the business end of several locks that were dangling down. Somehow the door was, in fact, locked, so we selected what we thought might be our hotel from the very large list of indiscernible door bell buttons. The door unlatched and we entered a large entry way that smelled of minerals and worse. Ahead of us was the kind of elevator that should have someone there to help you operate it, with cages and unmarked buttons.
Somehow we ended up where we were supposed to be, even though the alarmed look on the concierge's face, followed by a lot of bellowing in a foreign language (not of a remotely Italian persuasion), might have made one think otherwise. We waited in the "lobby" for what seemed like ages, and what was in fact almost an hour, until the flushed concierge re-emerged and showed us to our room.
Now, in Europe, you book rooms by the number of people, so, naturally, I had booked a double room. What we ended up in was a room with a double bed in it. I'm not sure how they managed to fit a double bed in a room which had clearly not been intended for one, because as we opened the door, we nearly fell on top of it. On the other side of the bed was a wall with a window (through which we could see laundry that had no business hanging on a clothesline) and under the window was a Hole. This place wasn't a hole-in-the-wall. It had a hole in the wall. This was a Less Than Ideal Situation.
Nonetheless, we stayed there. There were nightly gripes concerning the quality of the place, or lack thereof, and we felt totally robbed. We both knew that we would look back on this, one day, and have a great laugh about it, but we certainly weren't laughing then, as we gripped our passports in our sleep.