OK, I admit, I’m not staying at the Hotel California. I am actually staying at the Guesthouse 1932 in Rome. So I guess I am (altogether now to the tune of “Hotel California”) “livin’ it up at the Guesthouse 1932”.
Today I reserved a room at this hotel. My flight arrives at 7:00 p.m. local time in Italy on November, 13. I will be flying Portland-Chicago-Dublin-Rome. I determined that the best plan for my travel would be to spend the night in Rome upon my arrival in Italy. No flights are available to Ancona, nearest major city to my new home, at such an hour so this made sense. The next day I will fly to Ancona, catch the train to Alba Adriatica, hail a taxi to the property management office and get my keys to start my new life.
Initially, I thought of a hotel room in the city center since that is where I’ve usually stayed. Then I started calculating: taxi, $65 minimum, hotel, easily $100-150. I hadn’t considered hotels near the airport, figuring they would be too pricey and catering mostly to the business elite. Then I thought, “why not check them out anyway”?
What a pleasant surprise. I found a number of hotels offering shuttle service within five to ten minutes from the airport. Of course, they all offered the free, glorious Italian continental breakfast of juices, pastries, meats, breads, fruits and coffees. I chose the first hotel I saw online. It captivated me when I saw the photo of the patio facing the Tyrhrennian Sea. Is that a reason to pick a hotel? In my book it is. I could sleep on a bed of nails knowing that I’m in such magnificent, quaint surroundings.
Fortunately, though,I will be sleeping on a regular bed! The room is spartan, but I’m accustomed to that. I will not be spending much time there as I will catch the morning shuttle on the 14th for Fiumicino Airport in Rome. As long as it’s clean, convenient and has Wifi, I’m golden.
However, I did choose to have a hotel room with a balcony and sea view. I figure in the morning I can have my coffee as I watch the sun rise.
I’m glad I reserved this hotel now. I had been on the computer all day doing all sorts of work in preparation for my departure when I realized I hadn’t reserved my hotel room yet. Perusing these hotels gave me a sense of being in Italy and drummed up excitement in me, excitement that has been kinda lost in my visa drama and the minutiae of leaving.
And, fortunately, I can postpone or cancel the room up to November 11 for free. This will help a lot if I have to (God forbid) move my departure date forward again for visa reasons. I haven’t yet purchased the airline ticket to Ancona because changing that would be expensive.
But just this one little thing has got me all verklempt. The photos took me to another place emotionally. The colors, the balconies, the flower boxes, the umbrellas. Everything grabbed me and lifted my spirits. I guess it showed me that I am already in Italy emotionally and mentally. I’ve kinda checked out of Oregon and am just biding my time.
Since I’m arriving so much later than anticipated, I now realize that the next two months will probably be useless to me in seeking work and even pursuing my citizenship. The holidays will be looming and, while I don’t know how much Italian society obsesses over Christmas, I’ve gotta figure that many people might be traveling or vacationing for the holidays.
No matter, I figure I can spend the time becoming familiar with the area and collecting information. I can travel around to visit out of the way towns and take photographs, and writing for future submission about these unique places in Italy. I can also get settled into my little apartment. DAMN, I can’t wait to get there!!
Oh yeah, $64 for the hotel room.