Phase 2

Last night, the power went out in our hotel in Rome around 1:00 am, which for some reason caused bright emergency lighting to come on in our room that was impossible to turn off. Gus had moved in with me for the night because the GDYO group was getting a wake-up call at 3:30 to head to the airport. He opted out of that experience. Anyway, while I was trying to figure out what was going on, Gus went to the bathroom. Meanwhile, the power came back on, and I was able to turn off the light and settle back down. Gus, however, was taking an exceptionally long time washing his hands. I finally figured out he was in the shower; he thought the alarm had gone off and it was time to get up. We finally got settled back in, and the phone rang at 3:30. Apparently, the tour director had neglected to take my room off of the list when she set the 3:30 am wake-up call. Luckily, we were able to get back to sleep and have a leisurely morning, as our train wasn’t until 10:30. We made it to Bologna and settled into our apartment for the next 12 days. It’s a great set-up for us and is a few blocks from the heart of Bologna–a bedroom, living room, bathroom, small kitchen, and a piano. The piano tuner was here as we arrived. We dropped our bags off and headed out for a delicious lunch–mine was gnocchi with zucchini and shrimp; it might have even been better than the seafood risotto yesterday. After lunch, we found a local market and got some basics. We have a small washing machine, so we did some essential laundry but ended up finding a laundromat since we have a full week’s worth and wanted to have everything dried, as well. Gus got some good practice in, and then we needed a break from pasta, so we tried the WSJ’s pick for one of the top 5 burgers in Europe. What WSJ knows about burgers, I have no idea, but nevertheless, it was a good departure from the pasta and pizza. It rained in the afternoon, which made today much cooler than the past week has been. It is going to rain in the morning tomorrow and clear up in the afternoon, so we’ll start some exploring then. So far, from what we’ve seen, the city is very walkable and has very few tourists. My kind of place! One hobby I have when traveling is to notice the businesses that seem disproportionately common–literally one on every corner. For instance, when we lived in Evanston, it was Oriental rug stores. When we visited Granada over Christmas, it was bridal shops. In Southlake, it’s definitely nail salons. In Bologna, from what I’ve seen it’s a close race between hair salons and sushi restaurants. I’ll report back on whether or not that trend holds over the next 12 days and what I consider to be the best sushi restaurant in Bologna.

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