After our flight was changed three times since we first booked it in late 2018 (a hazard for using points that doesn’t get talked about much), we had no problem going through security at SeaTac but were a more than a little nervous to see that the previous flight hadn’t left yet. (And no, C-my-sister, we weren’t *that* early). Apparently air traffic control was delaying planes all over the country because of storms on the East Coast(!) Apparently, if you don’t want planes stacking up over Chicago at 4PM, the best thing to do is stop them from taking off at noon in the first place; who knew? Fortunately, ours was not affected! We’d splurged a bit and upgraded to first class, and it was indulgent, but worth it. Even the meal they served (chicken risotto) was tasty, and both of us managed to get a bit of a nap on our way to Chicago.
J. and I are pretty proud of how minimally we pack for long trips. Keeping our baggage to a roll-on and a backpack means we do lots of planning, but then have very little to mess with on our trip. At this point our toiletries and gewgaws take up almost more space than our clothes!
As this post goes live, we are in Greece. This trip includes a day in Frankfurt and several in Paris, so we have some tricky bits to navigate: it’s not just all sun and sand, but also some city walking and dining.
Here’s how we do it.
We left the thermal spa as quickly as we could after breakfast (buffet style, fine, but not great) which was made much better for the people-watching of a large family group. They clearly ‘took the waters’ as a family tradition and it was fun to watch them interact.
Our destination that day was the deserted city of Monterano, a deserted village sitting on the top of a hill — by which I mean a massive volcanic rock whose sides drop about 300 feet on two underlying gorges — inside the natural park of the same name, located in the center of Italy not too far from Rome. It is a ghost city made up of beautiful ruins.
Villa Adriana is said to be the most remarkable and extravagant Roman Villa, more of a small city than a country mansion. The villa was built for Emperor Hadrian who did not like his palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome. When not traveling Hadrian preferred to live here rather than in Rome, and during the final years of his reign he lived here permanently from where he ruled the Empire. Consequently, the villa complex was required to accommodate his staff, courtiers, guards and slaves. Originally the property of his wife Vibia Sabina, the villa complex covers some 120 hectares and includes a variety of buildings many of which have architectural features and decorative sculptures copied from various places in the Mediterranean that Hadrian visited.
It was AMAZING.