Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eeyore, taskmaster of Rome

*Let me say before I tell this tale that I adore Eeyore and any intimations of the violence I would have liked to do unto him were purely travel-related.

In 2010, we went to glorious, pasta filled Italy. (Yes, I know you haven't seen my Korean castle pictures yet, shut up. They are on the other computer and I'm sitting at this one so you get Italy.) Our trip was two weeks, five cities long. We scheduled it to overlap with Eeyore's seven week trip which was pure genius on our part. Eeyore is aficionado of Italy - been there multiple times and semi speaks the language. He can ask questions in Italian and they answer in Italian. He has no idea what they're saying but at least they think he's fluent.

Our next brilliant idea was to defeat the evils of jet lag by staying awake our first day in Rome. We created this plan with Eeyore since he would be on his fifth week there and completely acclimatized. We empowered him to do everything in his power to keep us awake. Our chief tactic would be the all mighty sightseeing tour. We would touch down midday after catching some zzzzs on our NY-Rome flight and visit a bunch of stuff we didn't care overmuch about. Totally simple, right?


Turns out, the zzzzs were not plentiful on our flight, they were nonexistent. Our flight routes were completely insane (we were using frequent flier miles) so by the time we arrived in Rome we'd been up thirty hours straight. A mere eight of them on the plane. Our total sleep tally was a thirty minute nap right before landing.

Honestly, we were so excited we might still have managed a lovely walking tour except for one minor thing Eeyore forgot to mention -- Rome is fucking huge. The sights are far apart and there are hills everywhere! EVERYWHERE! Every direction is uphill. You know how Grandpa says, "In my day, we had to walk uphill both ways..."? Well in Rome, I did!

Here's what I remember- hills, hills, hills, Trevi fountain, blur of cobblestones, some stairs, hills, a street with shopping, more fountains, hills, cobblestones, more hills. The whole day is a blur of hills, espresso, and gelato. Once we realized that our outing was turning into the Death Marches of Rome we started drinking espresso. When that wore off we ate gelato. Then espresso. Then gelato.

Oh, the ways Eeyore died in my mind that day.

Fortunately I couldn't even see him I was so blinded by exhaustion. Also, I was keenly aware that my survival depended on him. If at any time he had left us we would have simply passed out on the street and never found our way back to the pensione (boarding house). Actually, I wasn't "keenly" aware of anything except that I thought I might just die walking down the street. And that it was unbelievably hot. No one told me Rome would be a cobblestoned hell.

In the split-second before I passed out into a dreamless sleep, our planning conversation replayed itself in my mind, taunting me. Eeyore kept saying, "Are you sure? You're going to be tired. I'm gonna keep you to this. Are you sure?" The Hub and I blithely answering, "It will be fine. We'll sleep on the plane!"
Trevi fountain
Trevi fountain, pretty.
Hordes at Trevi fountain
Five billion people looking at Trevi fountain, not pretty.
This is how I remember my first day in Rome.
My every day meal
The addiction begins...


  1. I made my mother's day yesterday by telling her that I would accompany her to Europe next summer... wherever she wants for 20(ish) days.

    I may be crazy, but it was wonderful to here the sparkle in her eye (via phone) ... she's making plans...

  2. Europe for twenty days! Jenga!

    I think it's brilliant to accompany family members. They become the excuse for your awesome European vacation.


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