Favorite Quote

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel,
read only one page." St. Augustine of Hippo

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kennedy comes to visit Oma and Opa

When you start reading you'll ask yourself "Why is she telling us all this?" but seriously, it's all part of the very stressful trip ... each thing plays a part in this story.

On January 9th, Ron and I were in Rome.  The internet at the hotel was HORRIBLE and it had been a few days since I had been able to check Facebook.  Finally the connection was okay enough that I got online and checked.  Our daughter-in-law DeAnna had posted that things weren't going good, so I sent her a private message to see what was wrong.  Due to circumstances beyond their control, it was decided that Kennedy was going to come and visit us for some time.  She was going to come anyway this summer, but we just moved up the timeline.  Now we just needed to figure out how to make it happen, because it needed to happen as soon as possible but we were still in Rome.

So the next morning, I tried to get online and buy tickets but the connection wasn't good enough to do it.  So I called Delta and explained the problem.  I told them that I wanted to use my miles to get a business class ticket and wanted to know if I could do an "infant in arms" using miles.  They informed me that I needed to get my ticket first, and then call them and they would add her.  So, I went to the hotel desk and told them I needed a really good connection to buy some last minute plane tickets so I got to use their computer.  I bought my round trip ticket in Economy comfort that would get me to Illinois and then return me back to Norway after I returned her in March.  Then I turned in my miles to get a Business class ticket from Illinois to Norway and back.  As soon as that was done, I called Delta to get the rest worked out.  They looked up my ticket, added her and told me it was $110.  They said that normally I would need a paper ticket for her, but since I was currently in Rome, would only be in Norway for 2 days before leaving to get her, and only in Illinois long enough to pick her up and leave, that there was not time for a paper ticket so I was to pick it up at the airport when we checked in.  I thought everything was worked out and contacted Nick and DeAnna and told them we were all set.

We got back to Norway early Monday morning.  I spent the day doing laundry and packing.  We had been gone basically since Nov. 25th and there was no food in the house so Tuesday was spent trying to stock up on things and getting the house somewhat prepared for a 17 month toddler.  Then bright and early on Wednesday morning I headed back to Illinois.  I had a very uneventful trip - but while on the plane I did go up to the business class section to just ask them one question about Kennedy flying with me.  I told them I would be flying Business Class in just 3 days.  I was flying with an "infant in arms", would she get food or did I need to bring food for her?  They told me to just order a toddler  meal for her and all would be good.  So as soon as I landed I made sure I added that to our flight.

After I arrived in Illinois, I spent just a couple of days getting things ready.  We got a POA (Power of Attorney) so I could take her out of the country.  Did a couple of more things (for a variety of reasons I didn't get more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night while there) and then we were ready to go!  We left bright and early on Sunday morning at 6 a.m.  Which meant that with the trip to the airport and arriving a little early to make sure we had her ticket sorted out, I was up at 3 a.m.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, they said her ticket was all set except that when we got to Amsterdam I would have to check Kennedy in there.  But they checked our bags all the way to Stavanger.  Check in was a breeze, security was a breeze, everything was a breeze.  And Kennedy had been wide awake ever since I woke her and was a happy, happy baby.  Here we are in Moline, almost ready to board our first of 4 flights to get back to Norway.

First flight was uneventful, and she fell asleep as soon as we left.  She slept all of the way to Atlanta, Georgia and then I woke her up.  We decided to spend the 3 hour 48 minute layover in the Atlanta Delta Sky Club.  They told me that there was a closer club to our gate, but we decided to hang out here for a bit as I needed to change her diaper.  They were very happy to fill up her cup with apple juice.

And we looked across the way and saw suiker (sugar) waffles!  YUM!  And little cinnamon rolls.

Kennedy approves!

There is also a bag of cookies there that the flight attendant left for her from the first flight.  She ate all of them, the raisins, the waffle and the cinnamon roll and a whole glass of apple juice.

As soon as she was done we headed to our gate and the closer Sky Club.  With all the sitting we were going to be doing, I decided to let her walk.  At first she was very excited!

She walked the length of one of the moving walkways but then she was done.

So, now we are at the club closest to our gate and she is still hungry.  So she had some cheese, crackers and a carrot.

And now it is time to head to our flight to Newark, New Jersey.  The club is by Gate A17 and we fly from Gate A6.

 At the elevator getting ready to leave the Club.

 And she WAS wide awake, but from the short walk she is now sound asleep.

And there is our plane.

I woke her up and she's not sure she wants to wake up.

But after a few minutes she's good to go.  This is a short flight (1 hour 24 minutes) but she gets her first toddler meal.  What they didn't reveal to me when they told me to order her one was that one seat gets only one meal.  Since she got a meal, I didn't get a meal.  :(  But she shared with me.  She had 2 pieces of wheat bread with 2 slices of cheddar cheese, a bag of kettle cooked chips, a cup of fresh pineapple and a HUGE molasses clove soft cookie. It was a good meal but it made me very sad that I wasn't going to get a good meal on our next flight.  There was a pilot sitting behind us and he gave her some pilot wings for being such a good flyer.  She's holding them below.  She kept sticking them down her top though so I'm not sure what mommy does with things like that.  ;)

And now we are at the Delta Sky Club in the Newark lounge.  She is playing with a magnetic chess set.  I wanted something that she could play with that I didn't have to worry about the pieces going flying.  She loved it.  I also bought her a little bag that said "I love New York".  I thought it would be easier to put a few diapers and such in it and it was really cute!

Finally it was time for our flight from Newark to Amsterdam. We waited until boarding time (1 1/2 hours before flight takes off) to head to the gate and then got ready to board.  And they wouldn't let us board!  They said that Kennedy didn't have a ticket!  I showed them my ticket that said "Infant in Arms" and they said that it didn't matter.  I should have a paper ticket for her.  I told them that I bought it at short notice and that there had not been enough time for me to get a paper ticket and they told me to pick it up at the airport.  I told him that I was told that everything was fine in Moline and I had taken 2 flights already with no problem so I didn't understand what was wrong.  It took almost an hour to get things "fixed" so we could fly.  In that hour they told me that the ticket WAS mailed to me in Moline.  I told them I don't live in Moline!  How was I supposed to pick up a ticket at someplace that wasn't even my home?  He told me that the $110 ticket was actually  $969!  The $110 would have been for an economy ticket and I had a business ticket.  So I asked them how they could have changed the price without even calling me to tell me?  I had used my debit card, what if there hadn't been enough money in the account (there was more than enough but they didn't know that I didn't need that money for food or rent).    The whole thing was a mess.  And while all this was going on, a family that had a small kid about the same age as Kennedy made some comments about how they couldn't believe I didn't care enough about her to get her her own seat so that she could use her car seat.  And to top it all off someone else stole the "I love New York" bag out of the bottom of her stroller that I had filled with her diapers, wipes and medicine.  By the time it was all done, the guy felt  sorry enough for me that he moved us.  We no longer had one seat, we now had 2 seats.

As soon as we got on, I asked them about Kennedy's toddler meal.  They told me it was all taken care of.  I asked her if I got a meal as well and she said no.  How sad.  She went around taking orders (from a menu!) and came back to tell me that 4 people had said they didn't want to eat.  They were going straight to sleep.  WHAT!?!?!  They must fly business a lot if they don't even care about the meal.  So she gave me a menu with a huge smile and told me just to pick a main course.  And .... Kennedy's bag was returned.  The Flight Attendant said that the lady that gave it to him said that I had picked up her bag by mistake so she had my bag.  And did I have her bag so that he could give it back to her?  It only had food in it - but I didn't have the bag because I didn't take her bag!  It was in the bottom of the stroller in that bag for storage.  She must have taken it when we were busy with the gate agent.  Then she must have felt sorry for me when she found diapers, medicine and wipes so she made up a story and gave it back. That's okay.  God was watching her.

By the time we were in the sky and the fasten seat belt sign went off, Kennedy was sound asleep.  LOVE these seats that lay flat!  She had a comfy pillow and blanket. I went up front and told them that they didn't need to prepare Kennedy's meal as she was fast asleep.

And here comes the first course.  Shrimp with avocado.  It was delicious!

Still sleeping ....

Second course comes and I thought it was salad OR soup but it's salad AND soup!  And they brought a basket of bread around to choose from.

For my main course I chose Beef Tenderloin with BĂ©arnaise sauce, asparagus and lobster macaroni and cheese. It was so good!  And just as I finished, they announced that they were beginning service in the economy section.  Poor them!

Still sleeping ....


And then I noticed my fork!  Look at that! Obviously it doesn't take much to entertain me!

Still sleeping ...

And here comes the dessert cart!

I asked the Flight Attendant if I could take a picture of the cart as I was blogging about Kennedy's trip.  He said sure and asked if I wanted him in the picture or out.  I said in if he didn't mind.  Later we talked and he asked for the blog address.  I gave it to him and he gave me his.  His blog site is imrannaser.weebly.com.  I've taken a little bit of time to look at it, but I'll need more (someone is keeping me busy!).  He said he's into photography and is a pilot himself of smaller planes.

One of the desserts was ice cream sundaes.  Yum, but I was full.

Still sleeping .....


 I chose only fruit and a small creme brulee.

And she's STILL sleeping ...

After several hours I decided to try and see if I could sleep too.  I really didn't think I'd be able to but by now I was exhausted.  Ever since Ron was stationed at the Pentagon when the planes hit, I am scared to fly.  Obviously, I fly anyway but I have never been able to sleep.  Not one wink.  Even taking Tylenol PM it just won't happen.  I'm always afraid that the pilot might need me and if I'm asleep the plane with crash.  Actually I'm kidding about he/she needing me but I keep thinking that if I'm awake, I'll be safe.  So I went up front and asked the flight attendants to wake me up if I was sleeping and Kennedy woke up.  They told me that they would.  So I felt okay enough to try to sleep.

The seats go totally flat by moving forward.  My seat went forward and my legs went into part of the seat in front of me.  There really wasn't much room for my legs once they were in there, it kind of reminded me of a cat scan machine.  Definitely much better than the seats in economy though!

And wonders of wonders I did sleep!  For about 1 1/2 hours!  And the plane didn't crash!!!!  WOO HOO!  Then breakfast came.  He asked me if I wanted a bagel, a scone, a cinnamon ... - don't know how he was going to finish that because as soon as he said scone I told him that was what I wanted.  Then I had coffee and orange juice.  After I was done with that, I was FULL and they came around with bowls of granola or a crepe with scrambled eggs and cheese but I declined it.  Just more coffee as I still had a long time before we would be home.

I looked over at Kennedy and she was STILL asleep.  So I woke her up just as we were getting ready to land.  I just need to say something about that couple that gave me such a hard time before we boarded about not having a car seat for her.  They were also in business.  And their son cried and cried and cried and cried during the flight.  One of the ladies close to them moved back because she said she needed to sleep and it was too loud.  But she chose the seat that the captain needed so she had to move back to her own seat.  So, they may have been better parents, but I was a better seat mate.  ;)

Then we got to Amsterdam and I went to the self service terminal to get our boarding passes.  It said I needed to see an agent.  So off we went.  Checked in with the agent and GUESS WHAT?!?!?!  They said she had no ticket and she should not be in Amsterdam because no ticket was issued for her in Moline.  So ... here we go again.  After a long time going round and round and round with them, they said I needed to pay the portion of the ticket to get her from Amsterdam to Stavanger.  I told them I would gladly pay it and then I would get in touch with Delta and demand that they refund me the money.  I asked him how much it was and he said €18.  So I paid, he tried to issue paper tickets but his printer wasn't working.  So, I had to go to another part of the airport.  He told me to just go up to the desk though and ask for Vanessa, everything would be ready for me.  So, I jumped the line when I got there (got several glares), picked up our tickets and headed to the KLM lounge.

We are getting ready to leave the lounge and I told her it's our last flight.  She was very happy that she was going to be seeing Opa.

But she spilled her milk, so we bought her an "I love Holland" t-shirt, and went back to the lounge to change that and her onesie  that was under it.  Then we hurried to the gate.

And she was already asleep again by the time we got there.  And she had plenty of time to sleep because our flight boarded 30 minutes late.

I guess she decided to get more comfortable.  :)

Oh no!  I just looked out at our  plane.  We have to go down steps.  I asked them if there was an elevator and they said no.  They told me to wait to board last.  Then go ahead and take her out of the stroller and they would carry the stroller out to the plane themselves.

We got to our seat and the lady next to us immediately told the flight attendant that she wanted to be moved.  She did not want to sit next to a baby ... ummm okay.  Right away guess who went back to sleep?

And then I tried to join her, but it didn't work.  But I got to rest my eyes anyway.

I did get some good news though.  I had called Ron and told him all the trouble about the tickets and he checked and said that we were only charged $110 for the ticket, not the $969 that they said we were charged.  And, he didn't see a charge from KLM for the infant ticket so we probably had not paid that.  So all is good.

Ron's boss A.J. was at the airport ready to pick us up when we arrived.  We were home and everything was perfect except I was exhausted.  So I put Kennedy in her jammies and showed her Kennedy's bed. I said "Do you want to go nigh nigh?" She said "baby nigh nigh". So we went and got baby and she put her in bed. Then she wanted her other baby to go nigh nigh so we went and got him. Then she wanted Jaiden's alligator to go nigh nigh so he's in her bed too. Then she wanted the ball to go nigh nigh. Then there was no more room in her bed so she told them all nigh nigh and went out and started playing with toys. SO .... NO NIGH NIGH for me!  I really wasn't surprised but I felt like I really needed to try.  

Several hours later I was so tired, I just had to try again.  She willingly went to bed with me but when Opa came home this is how he found us.  It looks like we are sleeping but she's giggling.  She thought it was funny that I thought she would sleep.

About 6:30 p.m. though Kennedy laid down on the floor so I scooped her up and we went to bed. I told Ron we'd probably be up around 2:00 a.m. but I didn't care. I was tired! Instead, I woke up at 9 a.m. (14 1/2 hours of sleep!) and she was still sleeping! Took me almost 15 minutes to get her up. I told her I didn't really want to get up either but we'd never be able to sleep tonight if we didn't get up.

All in all, the flights themselves went very well.  This was actually my second time flying business.  Ron and I flew business on KLM when we had our "100th birthday celebration"  (we turned 50 8 days apart).  On that plane, business was upstairs.  We thought that was really cool.  But comparing the two flights, on KLM the seats were just recliners instead of laying down.  KLM business bathrooms had spray deodorant for people to use and Delta did not which was sad because I was up at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and didn't arrive home until 3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon and I sure could have used some!  I think the food on Delta was much better.  But KLM gave us little delft houses to remember our flight by.  Flight attendants were amazing on both flights.

Kennedy was amazing!  Every single flight I got compliments from the people around us that they had never seen such a perfectly behaved child.  Okay .... mostly she was sleeping but she did spend some time awake on each flight.  The take offs and landings that had other kids screaming their heads off she was fine, except she kept hitting herself in the head on her ears when they plugged, so I would give her the cup and she would take a drink and was fine.  I'm really excited about the next 7 weeks that we get to spend with her.  :)

And mom, I'm sorry I did this post first before your cruise.  I'm still working on that though.  But I NEED to keep DeAnna happy.  :)  I'm sure you understand. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm back! (Kind of)

We have been traveling SOOOOOOO much that I haven't had time to blog about it!  :( We got home yesterday after being gone for 6 weeks and we leave again tomorrow for 10 days.  While I LOVE to travel, I need some serious down time so I can get back to blogging.  I do plan to work on it and at the very least, have the cruise that we took with our moms done before the end of the month.  I promise mom!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Places to Eat in Rome

Ok Bill (Lucky1950), this one is for you.  :)  I've been SO busy planning for our next cruise, we've had company for almost a month, and now it's time to pack for the cruise.  But Bill has been patiently waiting for this post so even though I'm in the middle of a different one, I'll get this one out of the way.

While we were in Rome we did the Rome Walking Food Tour.  First, this tour was SO amazing that we are taking our moms on the same tour, with the same guide (Sarah Rose) next month.  At the end of the tour, we were given a Rome Food Lovers Guide.  It listed places to try, along with their specialties.  I don't have time to show pictures right now for the places we ate, but I'm going to list them here.  I asked Sarah Rose if the people had paid to have their information listed on the page and she said no.  These are the favorite places from the Eating in Italy people.

I'm just going down the page so these are not in order of best restaurant. They are in order of area of Rome.  If it's someplace we have eaten, I'll let you know.  The sheet does not say what the range is for the € they show, but as you can guess, the more € you see, the more expensive it is.  And I think it's in comparison to places of its type.  For example, there are Gelaterias with € and €€.  I don't think the €€ Gelateria (gelato) costs as much as a €€ dinner. 


Renato E Luisa  €€€  Wonderful Roman restaurant - love their saltimbocca (veal, sage prosciutto).  Phone - 06-686-9660.  Only Dinner - closed Mondays.  Via dei Barbieri 25

Il Goccetto €€€€  Release your inner sommelier - they have an exceptional aperitivo (pre-dinner drink accompanied by finger foods).  Phone - 06-686-4413  Open 12 -3 pm, 6:30 pm - 2 am.  Closed Sunday.  Via dei Banchi Vecchi 14

Roscioli €€€€  Super hip restaurant meets gourmet deli - fabulous food with a remarkable wine list in a funky setting.  Phone 06-658-5287  Closed Sunday.  Via dei Giubbonari 21-22

Forno Campo de Fiori € Maybe the most famous pizza bianca in Rome and in our opinion the best.  Phone 06-688-06662  Closed Sunday.  Campo de' Fiori 22

Gelateria Corona € The gelato is fabulous but the granita (Sicilian flavored ice) is worth a special trip.  We did stop here and loved the Gelato!  The gentleman was wonderful and kept giving us samples of all of his favorite ones ....even when we were NOT asking for samples. Closed Monday.  Largo Arenula 27 (no phone number listed)


Il Tempio Di Iside €€€€ Excellent fish restaurant.  Try the swordfish agnoletti (like ravioli) or any grilled fish.  Phone 06-700-4741  Closed Sunday.  Via Verri 11


Trattoria da Danilo €€ One of the best family-run Roman trattorias in town, recently voted the number #1 Carbonara in all of Rome!  We DID eat here and really enjoyed it.  I know in the reviews it says that they stuck the English speakers down in the basement but this was not true for us.  We sat upstairs with one other English speaking couple and everyone else was Italian.  Here is my review on Trip Advisor for it: Review  Our hotel did call and make a reservation for us and it was packed.  It's right next to an Italian police station.  Phone 06-772-00111  Closed Mon lunch & Sun.  Via Petrarca 13


L Asino d' Oro €€€  Creative Umbrian kitchen - the wild boar in chocolate sauce is divine!  Phone 06-489-13832 Closed Monday and Sun dinner.  Via Boschetto 73


Nonna Betta  €€ Fabulous Jewish Roman fare.  Order the fried artichokes in season. Phone  06-688-06263 Closed Saturday.  Via del Portico d'Ottavia 16

Forno Boccione €€ Jewish bakery - try the ricotta cheesecake with sour cherries, but it sells out by noon.  Phone 06-687-8657  Closed Saturday.  Via del Portico d'Ottavia 1

Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi €€€ Get your cameras out and say CHEESE!!!! Wall to wall goat, sheep and cow's milk cheese from all over Italy.  Phone 06-6819-2210 Closed Sunday afternoon & Monday.  Via S. Maria d. Pianto 9A/11


Trattoria Monti  €€€ From Le Marche region, for fresh pasta this is the place.  The duck is wonderful too.  Phone 06-446-6573  Closed Monday and Sunday dinner.  Via San Vito 13

Panella  €€ Jewelry shop meets pastry shop where you can indulge in edible works of art. Phone 06-487-2344 Closed Thursday afternoon - Via Merulana 54

Gelateria Fatamorgana  €€ The newest location from one of Rome's best artisanal gelato makers.  Try the wide variety of Zabaione (eggnog).  Phone 06-489-06955  1pm - 12 am, Closed Monday, Via degli Zingari 5


Armando al Pantheon €€ Family owned institution - any of the Roman pasta dishes are superb - try the Gricia (Gricia is a simple dish of pasta dressed with two products largely common in the countryside around Rome: Guanciale, a type of bacon made from the cheek of pork, and Pecorino, a very tasty sheeps cheese).  Phone 06-688-03034 Closed Saturday dinner and Sunday.  Salita Dei Crescenzi 31

Il Gelato di San Crispino  € Gelateria featured in the movie Eat Pray Love.  The ginger and cinnamon is a life-changing experience all by itself.  Phone 06-688-91310  Closed Tuesday Autumn & Winter.  Piazza della Maddalena 3.

Pizzeria da Baffetto   € Always long lines at this Roman style pizza institution so arrive early.  We did eat here and we LOVED it.  We were told that pizza actually came from Naples and Rome only started making it after WWII when soldiers came looking for it.  But the people in Rome were pretty poor so they made the crust really thin to make it stretch.  If you are looking for a thick crust pizza, don't go here.  If you are looking for a traditional "ROMAN" pizza, then this is the place for you.  The crust is thin!  We sat right where we could watch them making the pizza and that was a lot of fun too.  Mostly Italians here.  Phone 06-686-1617  Via del Governo Vecchio 114

Gelateria del Teatro ai Coronari € Favorite flavors include chocolate with red wine and any of their peach varieties.  Phone 06-454-74880 Via di San Simone 70


Spirito Di Vino  € Was a 10th century synagogue - their wine cellar is older than the Colosseum and the food is exceptional.  Phone 06-589-6689 Closed Sunday and Saturday Lunch.  Via dei Genovesi 31

Roma Sparita € The specialty is cacio e pepe (tonrarelli pasta, pecorino & pepper) served in a parmesan bowl.  We tried to go here but you HAVE to have a reservation.  I can't remember if this is the place that Anthony Bourdain went to on the Layover but I know I saw him show cacio e pepe in a parmesan bowl and I really want to try it.  It looked incredible.  Phone 06-580-0757  Closed Monday.  Piazza di Santa Cecila 24

Osteria Da Zi' Umberto€ As roman as it gets ... great food served with a little bit of attitude!  Try the sauteed mussels, you won't regret it!  Phone 06-581-6646  12:30 pm - 3:00 pm, 7:30 pm - 11 pm  Closed Monday  Piazza S. Giovanni d. Malva 14

Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti A selection of 70 types of cookies (biscotti) baked fresh daily out of an 8 ft. oven.  I could not find a link on Trip Advisor for this place so instead you got a link to 6 sweet treats in Rome.  We did eat cannoli at Ciuri Ciuri and we had gelato at Giolitti.  Both are excellent recommendations!  Phone 06-580-3926  Monday - Saturday 8-8.  Sunday 8-2; Via delle Luce, 21

Fior di Luna € Gelateria located right in the heart of Trastevere.  There will be a line for sure, but it's wroth it. Closed Monday, Via della Lungaretta 96

Pizzeria Ai Marmi € Known as "the morgue" due to the marble tables, just eating here makes you feel more Roman.  Phone 06-5800919 Closed Wednesdays, Viale Trastevere 53


Pizzarium  € Most famous pizza al taglio (by the slice) in Rome - right outside Metro Cipro.  Phone 06-397-45416 Closed Sunday, Via della Meloria 43, Cipro Metro

L Arcangelo €€€ Taste the suppli (Supplì are Italian snacks consisting of a ball of rice - generally risotto - with or without (Suppli' in bianco) tomato sauce and raw egg around a piece of mozzarella; the whole morsel is soaked in egg and coated with breadcrumbs and then fried usually deep fried. The dish is native to Rome from the region of Lazio in Italy) and the gnocchi all'amatriciana (Sugo all'amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale -cured pork cheek -, pecorino cheese, and tomato. Originating from the town of Amatrice, the Amatriciana is one of the most well-known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine.)  Phone 06-321-0992  Only dinner.  Closed Sunday.  Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59/61

That's it for the Food Lover's Guide.  We loved the places that we tried and I bet that they are all just as good.  We do have other places that we went to, but I'm just not going to have time to get those up before we leave.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rome and I Porchettoni

Right before we left for Rome, we caught an episode of Anthony Bourdain's The Layover Rome.  We had never heard of the show, but thought it sounded interesting so decided to give it a try.  For those of you that have never heard of the show, the Travel Channel sums it up this way "Anthony Bourdain is back like you've never seen him before. He is high octane, gritty, caffeinated and traveling with a sense of urgency. Why? Because he has only 24-48 hours to unleash an unpredictable story about a place, a people and their food."  I guess he goes from city to city but the only episode we've seen in the one about Rome.  And I took a lot of notes.

One of the places he recommended was I Porchettoni.  And what is the thing to get there?  Porchetta.  Porchetta is a savory, fatty, moist boneless pork roast that originated  in Ariccia.  The body of a one year old pig is gutted, deboned, layered with meat, stuffing, fat and skin, then rolled, spitted and roasted traditionally over wood. It is usually heavily salted and stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel and wild herbs.  This wonderful place brings their porchetta from Ariccia so you don't have to travel there to taste it.  And let me tell you, it is YUMMY!

We couldn't find anything that talked about hours so the first night we went there at 6:00 p.m. and it was closed.  So, we tried again  at 7:00 p.m. the next night and had better luck.

The restaurant that we went to is about a 15 minute walk from Termini station.

A few pictures that we took on the way to the restaurant.

 And here we are!  I Porchettoni's!

One of the things that we really liked about this place was the prices.  And, the fact that we were the only tourists there.  Typical Italian place for the typical working Italians.  No worries though as both of the waiters that we had (we went several nights) spoke perfect English and were very friendly.

We start off with porchetta for 2 with warm fresh delicious bread.  And it was absolutely wonderful. The skin was so crispy and yummy!  Worth the visit for sure, just for that!

And then we move on to the large mozzarella di bufala.  This was absolutely wonderful!!

I think we were full before the pasta even arrived!  Ron got the Cacio, pepe e nduja.  It was delicious and really spicy!

I just went with the Cacio pepe which is simply freshly grated pecorino romano cheese and freshly grated black pepper.  Simply wonderful and very traditionally "Roman".


Look out Miami!  This is Alessandro and he plans to open one of these wonderful restaurants in Miami this year!  You are in for such a treat!

We were stuffed yet he told us we HAD to have dessert.  So, we went with the biscotti al vino that he said his mom made.  It was sooooo wonderful!  Wonderful taste of anise.  And when we left, he gave us a bag of 6 to take with us for free.  To remember them by.  And it worked, because we went back and our mouth still waters just thinking about this place!

If you go to Rome, make sure you check them out!