Rome and Bust (ed)

So we interrupt this program to bring you the special feature . . . Rome AND bust!!

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We made it to Rome . . . and there were many extravagent doings along the way, all of which are radically hilarious and well worth telling. But the trouble is that I don’t have time – not even to tell you about the uncouth and unruly Germans who are in charge of Neuschwanstein Castle and wouldn’t let us in, and what’s worse, didn’t show even a pang of remorse about it – even though we were there during opening hours. We’ll have to skip that bit – and skip the rest of the throw up stories – and skip the seedy hotel in Pavia – and skip the Italians’ failure to mark their roads. We also pass over the bit about minibus maneuvers that Ben was able to perform against all odds . . . even unto the part where he turned it into a pretzel and then drove back out the wrong way on a one way street.

We pass over these things, and move on to the spicy moment when we finally crested into Rome, and within the first (literally) 4 minutes of having found our hotel, we were robbed of absolutely all of our luggage! Not only were we the tourists who got robbed (that glamorous and special breed) . . . we like to think that we stand out from the rest because we were robbed in a rather miraculous fashion. Our 10 large and heavy suitcases appear to have been snatched up to heaven in a fiery chariot. We stepped out of the car, thrilled to have found our hotel, and within 3 minutes we were standing there with only what we were wearing! It was breath-taking really. Whoever the nefarious fiend was, made away with a lot of kids pajamas, toothbrushes, skivvies, jeans, winter coats, shoes, and church clothes . . . but thank the Lord they didn’t get any cameras, passports, computers, or children!

So we got a festive little glimpse into the inner workings of the Rome police, and the not-so-surprising news is that they are wildly uninterested in dealing with problems like this one. We then tromped around Rome today . . . and there’s nothing like seeing the sites when you’re wearing the same clothes that you put on in a seedy hotel in Pavia the day before and don’t have any toothpaste or hairbrushes or clean socks. That lends a certain extra zing to seeing the Pantheon – and we decided that it makes the whole experience much more authentic.

To sum up – St. Peter’s Basilica was unbelievable . . . and the Sistine Chapel . . . and I’ll have to stick some pictures up when we get to our next stop. But right now I need to wrap this up for the evening and go rinse out our socks for tomorrow in that short little drinking fountain thing next to the toilet. (Ok sorry – that was Ben’s addition, and I am fully aware that it’s completely tasteless to make jokes about a bidet.)

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18 thoughts on “Rome and Bust (ed)

  1. It’s a good things you all write so well, with material like this you should be millionaires in no time. This make my trip to Ethiopia so boring.

    The best part is that you all look like you are having a glorious time.

  2. Serves you right for vacationing on such short notice!

    I guess this means that Rome will never be on our list.
    We can all learn from your misadventures.

    Love the photos with the little stamp in the corner. Beckah you are the best!

    Hope the rest of the adventure is uneventful.

    Mark L.

  3. Oh, my!! Having toured Rome two years ago with only five children and one on the way, I am delighting with you in all the good parts and writhing in pain over all your luggage being snatched. The folks who helped themselves to all your goodies are certainly experienced at what they do. Be VERY careful with backpacks and such. We wore them on our fronts and had our oldest son act as guard when on the trains or anywhere in a crowd. I suppose it’s all part of the adventure, but I wish you could have avoided that aspect of Roman society! Thanks for encouraging us all with your continued sense of humor in the midst of trial!

  4. When I was France I stowed my luggage on the TGV and someone stole my alarm clock. I’m pretty sure they were expecting something much more grand…

    As for the clothes being stolen, way to be a champ. I would have sat down and cried. There would have been dollar signs in my eyes, and that ch-ching sound you hear in cartoons. Sigh.

  5. My daughter read this morning and we all came running as she moaned, “Oh No, Oh No!”. Our hearts go out to you, and I pray your luggage reappear miraculously and QUICK.

    Meanwhile, I have to share that one of my children remarked “They are such a clever and creative bunch. If they have sewing machines I’ll be they can just whip up some new outfits from the dinner napkins.”

  6. I think Signe has it right. Bekah, you have a book inside you, screaming to be written.

    I am SO THANKFUL that you still have your passports and cameras and computers and children. Hold on tight!

  7. Oh. I am SO sorry. This reminds me of one of the reasons why traveling outside the USA can be so tiring…the hypervigilance needed is so foreign to us. There are traveling bands of folks there who thieve for a ‘living’ and they do this very well. May God keep your spirits up.

  8. Did Ben and Nate canvas the neighborhood dumpsters? It seems likely that the disappointed thieves would have jettisoned the bags after discovering their loot contained little else than toothbrushes and a endless number of kids’ clothes….Hope you hit Old Bridge gelateria to help sweeten the Italian experience.

  9. Wow! I’m so sorry that happened–and even more amazed that it doesn’t seem to have changed your travel plans! Bekah, I really think your life in England and European travels deserve a Mark Twain-style “Innocents Abroad” full-length book!

  10. There is this to say about it: you dear, story-loving adventure-magnets should all KNOW better than to expect to go anywhere together, under any circumstances, without having something completely zany happen to you. It just won’t happen.

  11. It sure is a blessing to the rest of us that God seems to send these misadventures only to those with a knack for writing. Enjoy the rest of your stay in the heart of the civilized world!

  12. By the way, I would be a stark raving lunatic by this point.

    I thought of another theory: if this is all a plot by your brother to inspire some more brilliant interview stories tell him to cut it out!

  13. Oh dear Bekah. I’m so sorry about the stolen luggage. You’re such a brick. If it had happened to anyone but you all, it would seem so much more tragic. I just feel that for Merkles and Wilsons it will just make for more really good stories, for generations to come. I have to say, I put my vote in for the future book. In all your spare time, between raising five kids, taking care of a brilliant hubby, designing amazingly cute children’s clothing… you know, all that other time you must have. Can’t wait!

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