On the bus ride we giggle sleepily with the realization and thrill that we are, in fact, in Italy. I believe at one point the overwhelming excitement and exhaustion causehe non-sequitor gasp of, "We're in Italy! Look there's corn!" to escape from Christy's mouth. Yes we were in Italy and yes indeed there was corn; it became a war-cry of excitement and approval for the rest of the trip, "hee hee hee. We're in Italy!" "Yep! Look there's corn." (Insert sleep deprivation level of humor here.)
At some point in this blur of the sandman's spell and excitement for the adventure that lay ahead we changed buses. The flavor of Italy was all around us and the soundtrack was....was...
was Eminem??? A few young guys on the bus were rockin' out to Eminem. We tried to capture this contrast: the Italian men and women on the bus, the architecture, the graffiti, the tiny cars, and the misplaced soundtrack on video but as soon as the camera came out one of the young men leaned in, put his arm around and me posed with a big smile for the camera. We had no choice but to capture this to on film (or memory card...whatever). As we were exiting and trying to conceal our smiles, the young man shouts after us with what seemed to be a very thought-throw and enthusiastic "bye" in his adorable Italian accent.
And just a side note here: Italian men LOVE Christy. I think our first few hours in Italy she was given 3 phone numbers. We had men stop dead in their tracks and chase after us just for a chance to speak with her. (Many didn't speak English but certainly kept trying in order to get to know this mysterious beauty from the west.) I got absolutely no attention whatsoever. I know many of you think I'm lying-but ask Christy, she'll confirm. I was invisible in the shadow of her her Italian tractor beam. Many of them looked at me only long enough to let me know they wished I was gone. Most didn't even bother with that.
We arrive at the Litus Hostel in Ostia, Italy and check in to our room. We spent a few extra $ and got a private room. This place is Posh. At least for a hostel and compared to many discount hotels. There are large, french doors I'd guess you'd call them (hee hee french doors in itally. hee hee hee), with huge shudders that open up and look right out on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Oh yeah. This is gonna work out juuuuuuuuust fine.
We decide to grab some grub (if you can even call such heavenly bliss such a thing). We head out along the beach and look for a restaurant but are delayed and distracted by what I shall forever consider in my heart and mind, "the colors of Italy". I'm literally talking about colors. They're unbelievable! Everything is saturated in shades and depth we can't even imagine here. The blues! The purple-blues! The oranges! The so many different shades of seemingly white, whites! So thick in pigment and rich vividity (vividness?)! I'm sure a new and previously unused portion of my brain needed to be accessed to experience those colors!
After a photographing session of the city and sea we decide on a restaurant and get our socks rocked. I was seated so that I was looking at the piano player (SCORE! Live music), who hammed it up and winked us whenever we caught his eye, and the sea. Christy was facing the entrance of the restaurant and snickered several times informing me that all of the male wait staff were hovering near a doorway and watching us (well, her). I quite enjoyed my view though, too.
A picture of us, both very tired, giddy, and ready to eat, if we don't fall asleep before the food arrives.
When dinner arrived we were both literally blown away by our dishes. I still dream of mine and have been in search of yellow saffron ever since. She had some delicious something with like vodka-type sauce I think...I don't remember...it was good....but I was too completely enamoured with my lemon-saffron linguini to focus on hers (which she seemed to be enjoying equally as much as I). Changed my life that pasta did. CHANGED MY LIFE. (Again previously unaccessed portion of the taste section in my brain. MMmmmmmmmmmmmmm!) Photos depict actual reactions to the first bite.
On our way home, Christy picks up another phone number as we walk back to the hostel. I'm pretty tired at this point but in good spirits. When we reach the hostel they inform us that they are playing Gladiator in the theater room. MAN! I've never seen it and what a perfect setting to see it in. However, I decide it's more important to be awake for Rome than to watch a movie.
Yet another guy who stopped us (by us, I mean Christy) and insisted on making sure Christy had his number.
And we head to bed. I'm out.