Epic Europe Trip 2014 Day 11: A Toast to Jenn's Mom

After a week in Santorini it was so nice to come to the Sofitel at the Athens airport, put our stuff down and passed out. We easily got our best night of sleep last night in one of the comfiest beds I've ever slept in at a hotel. We woke up at around 8AM and started getting all of our stuff ready for our flight from Athens to Rome at 11AM.

We checked out of the Athens Airport hotel a little after 9 in the morning walked across the street, dropped off our checked luggage and went in search of breakfast. Jenn made the wiser move and got a delicious breakfast croissant while I went with the golden archs of McDonalds. Not a bad choice by any means but its not necessarily Europe's finest. I had a double cheeseburger, fries, and a coke. It hit the spot and I'm not going to lie I loved it. 

After we filled up on junk food we were off to our gate to catch our flight to Rome. We boarded the two hour flight to Rome and the good news was we got in a half hour early. Does that ever happen? I've never had it happen, and it couldn't have happened at a better point on the trip. We collected our bags which were not the last ones off the plane but were close to it. We then grabbed a taxi and made our way to Hotel Majestic Roma. We got hustled quite a bit in the airport to get random taxi drivers but we went with the taxi line and it worked out even if the taxi driver was a bit odd. 

We made it to our hotel in a half hour and checked in to an awesome king room overlooking our favorite part of Rome, Via Veneto. We absolutely love the room. 

Because the weather is going to turn damp at the tail end of our Rome experience we decided to get out and enjoy the eternal city as quickly as possible. We grabbed a taxi at the bottom of Via Veneto and went straight to the colosseum. As always the area and the colosseum was under massive repairs but its still a sight to be seen. Its easily my favorite historic site in the world. Which is probably why I drag Jenn there as our first stop anytime we are in Rome.

After taking a ton of photos and enjoying the gorgeous day we headed off in search of St. Peters Basilica. I wanted to walk but when Jenn wasn't up to it we decided to try our hand at Rome's metro something we had never used on any previous trips. We were truly blessed to have a nice lady help us not only buy the tickets but to us how to get there. Jenn grabbed those directions and easily got us to St Peters Basilica. Right off the metro we both got some gelato which was out of this world good and then made our way to the square. If you've never been to Rome, this is another must stop in the city. Its incredible and such a sight to see. Having gone into everything before we decided to just take in the surrounding areas and take a ton of pictures.

From there we left back for the metro and back to Via Veneto and to our hotel. We did so much walking and were so gung-ho after arriving in Rome we wanted take a few minutes to rest before going out for the evening. So that's exactly what we did. We unpacked a bit, got ourselves a few minutes to rest and then headed back out to do some more touring. We made our way from the hotel to the Spanish steps a fifteen minute walk. When we got there it was absolutely packed. There was some sort of photoshoot happening which caused a bit of extra traffic.

We stayed at the Spanish steps for fifteen minutes or so before making our way to Jenn's favorite part of Rome the Trevi Fountain. We knew going into booking our time in Rome that the fountain would be closed for renovations and that didn't make visiting any less special. Jenn went into a gelato shop and broke a dollar so we could have a ton of change to throw into the fountain. And thats exactly what we did. The tradition/deal with the Trevi Fountain is that they say if you toss a coin in the fountain that you will be coming back to Rome. So Jenn and I put a ton of coins in, in the hope of coming back. 

From the Trevi we made our way back to Via Veneto for an extremely special dinner at El Restaurante. In 2006 on my first trip with Jenn and her parents to Rome we had an amazing meal at a restaurant on Via Veneto called El Restaurante. Its a small restaurant with maybe a dozen tables but the place holds some absolutely incredible memories. When Jenn and I decided to go back to Rome the first thing we said we would have to do is go to El Restaurante and toast to Jenn's mom, and that's exactly what we did. We got a bottle of Chianti and started off with fried calamari. For our main course we split a Steak and Spaghetti Bolognase which was out of this world. Easily one of the best meals we had on the trip so far. 

When we asked for the check over two hours later we were brought an after-dinner drink which completely reminds me of the curse of the lemon shots back on our Europe 2012 trip. I downed mine and even helped Jenn polish her's off as well. It was so great to be back at El Restaurante and to be able to recapture those memories. We could definitely feel Jenn's mom with us the entire time. 

After dinner we headed back to our room and called it a night. We both love Rome so much and its truly amazing to be back and to have been blessed with such a great first day. We both cannot wait for the rest of our amazing week in Italy.