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Across the Pond

We landed in Rome early this morning watching a beautiful sunrise from onboard the United flight we took from Dulles. Our flight was restful. I am a believer in acquiring airline miles and hotel honor points. We flew to Italy in United’s first class. This allowed us to turn our seat into a bed and get a few hours of sleep. I asked for champagne during the flight and since I was the only one drinking champagne, I decided to keep drinking the sparkling. It turned out to be a good choice. The appetizer was crab cakes followed by a bisque soup. The dry champagne paired well with both dishes. It also worked well with the sea bass entrée. Now that we are in Italy, I’m looking forward to meeting my goal of tasting wines from 50 varietal grapes that I previously haven’t tasted.

After collecting our luggage we took a taxi to our hotel. Again I firmly believe in collecting Hilton Honor points. We are staying at the Rome Cavalieri now part of the Waldorf Astoria family and the only Waldorf Astoria in Italy. We previously stayed at this hotel when it was a Hilton. Things have changed there. It is still a beautiful hotel facility. We went to checkin and Laura helped us. When she discovered that we were Hilton Diamond members she asked us to follow her to a special area to sign in for the hotel. We had water and orange juice while sitting in comfortable chairs. Lura explained some of the changes since becoming part of the Waldorf Astoria line. Lura was very friendly and helpful. She explained about the Imperial Room on the 7th floor that we were encouraged to use. Wow! what a nice room and we finally had a cup of tea done right!

The Rome Cavalieri is a bit out of the way for some sightseers who want to be closer to the sights. However the hotel runs an hourly shuttle bus to the main part of the city, where travelers can easily walk to the various locations of interest. During our first few hours we have been very pleased with Italy. For the next couple days we are on vacation, a real vacation.

Most of our friends and some family believe we are always on vacation. They don’t see going to Italy as work. It may not help that I constantly explain that on bad days we just swallow. However travel writing and wine writing as well as the winemaking is work. I can’t help it that I enjoy it. We are looking forward to starting the WinePleasures.com FAM tour on Saturday and the International Wine Tourism Conference on Monday. All work, but with a smile.


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