But first we had to get there. Luggage in tow, we disembarked the cruise ship, ready to explore my favorite city in the world. The horrors of hauling our massive suitcases on and off trains still fresh in my mind, and two additional (and full) pieces of luggage in tow, I was determined to take a taxi into the city, even if my husband considered it a giant waste of 100 euro. Perhaps it was sheer luck or perhaps Joey deliberately found the most repulsive taxi on the planet, but suddenly our luggage was loaded into a dirty, rusty, at least twenty-five year-old Fiat and Jabba the Hutt was behind the wheel.
This massive, wheezing blob of a man grunted and lit a cigarette. I'm not sure what came over me, but I was already disgusted and unwilling to smell like an ashtray for the rest of the day, so I totally fibbed and said "Signore" and patted my belly as if I was pregnant. He threw that cigarette out so fast I almost felt bad about my little white lie, but I figured it prevented him from his imminent heart attack at least for the rest of our drive.
Soon we were in Trastevere, where we checked into our hotel. We spent the next three days exploring the parts of the city we hadn't seen the first time, including Trastevere and the Vatican, as well as re-visiting some of our favorites, including the Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain. The last night of R&R we went back to the Cafe de Paris on Via Veneto, one of the first restaurants where we'd celebrated our honeymoon. The pianist was just as talented and the meal just as romantic; it was a fitting end to an incredible journey with my best friend.
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