Let’s go Rome, my best friend Willem said, so we went. Willem is a man with a plan.

Still suffering from my worst nightmare a month earlier, thinking this trip would do me good, I walked straight into the next. And my life would never be the same again. Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.

Thursday, 22-aug-19

I read (and apparently saved) this poem today. I packed my suitcase. Thank god I could check one suitcase in – imagine having to poor all my creams and gels in small containers. I would still be busy by now. After cuddling my dog Pip, I fell asleep with above poem in my head.

Friday, 23-aug-19

Gentleman Willem picked me up with his car (way too early), we dropped off Pip with my parents and went to the airport. I told Willem it was fine going by train to Schiphol, but Willem doesn’t like public transport. So we parked the car and took a bus (???) to the departure hall (man logic???).

We arrived at Schiphol (way too early). Getting up early is never good, but more time to shop makes everything better, so we went to the make-up corner to live it up.

All dolled up (hi Barbie, how are ya?), we took place in our next vehicle.

The plane was packed with Rome-anian enthousiasts. I mean, really packed. Willem just folded his legs in his neck, when an air hostess freed us by offering an upgrade to a better seat. GREAT! Some people have all the luck. But promotions comes with responisbilities. From regular passenger, we were now promoted to Emergency Escape Door Operators.

While still reading the instructions (haha… Not really), the air hostess offered us escpecially something to drink: bubbles. THIS IS SO COOL! Lucky us!

It was still in the morning. But time is an illusion, Einstein taught me.

After arrival, we took the taxi to our hotel. Willem is a “man with a plan”, so we had to get out soon again because he arranged tickets to visit the Colosseum.

Waiting for the taxi to bring us to the Colosseum

First, we went to get some food. We went to a pizzeria in front of the Colosseum. We shared a pizza four cheeses. But it looked like a pizza with one homogeneous cheese mess. The coke was great though :). And so was the bill.

Time to enter the Colosseum. It was a good thing Willem arranged tickets in advance. Since we could skip the immense queue.

It was nice to see. We oversaw it like a hawk in the sky and went away before it got boring.

Time to shop! Rome is quite compact. One of my bucket list things is to go to the Louis Vuitton store to check on the sunglasses. So in this case, there was no difference. I concluded that my own Louis Vuitton Mascot is still the best.

Being a walking Louis Vuitton perfume store, we ended up at a big square with stairs (and tourists). Later, we found out it were the Spanish stairs (or was it Spanish steps?). But more important, the square hosted a Sephora! Make-over time!

There was also a nice English tea room. And what do you do when in Rome? You go to an English tea room to drink Indian tea, of course.

Eating chocolates, cake, crisps, cheesecake and drinking Champagne all day already, we decided to skip starters and main course and going straight to desert. This ice cream shop was a recommendation from my colleague.

And it was brilliant! Being tired of the long trip (haha), we called it a day after some glasses of wine in the hotel lobby.

Saturday, 24-aug-19

Today one of my biggest nightmare became reality.

My idea of an ideal weekend getaway is doing some chilling in the hotel, sleeping in, going to the SPA, drinking wine in fancy places, do some shopping, go to museum, get dressed for a special dinner, celebrate life. Celebrate Rome-ance. Indulge all your senses and see what happens. Willem had other plans. We had to got up early (…). Willem arranged a guided bike tour through Rome, followed up by a (guided) tour through Vatican. And do a photoshoot.

I sent a message to my mother, checking how my dog Pip was doing. And telling her I missed Pip. She replied me that I had to call her immediately. Today, one of my biggest nightmares became reality. While listening to “Te Busque”, my mom told me Pip passed away in the night.

Pip some weeks before

I was devastated and still my heart beats restless in my throat, while I have to gasp for air and fight the tears when I think of it. Pip supported me through a very tough period while everybody else walked out.

And there we were, in the middle of Rome.

I still decided to do the guided bike tour for some distraction.

The tour led us along the Colosseum again.

And we visited the Trevi-fountain. I kept my glassed on, since I was crying all tour. Wishing the world could be stopped at this moment. Because every moment in future means a moment further away from being with my Princess.

If you throw some coins in the fountain, it brings you luck in love. At that moment, I didn’t think I would be needing it.

We stopped at the best coffee bar in Rome (I LOVE COFFEE). Where they were not so amused with me asking for coffee-with-milk.

And in the back you can see it already, the Pantheon.

I imagined Pip was the light shining though the hole in the roof. Bringing me some sunshine.

Props for our amazing tour guide Lisa! She was amazing. I believe Willem had a crush on her (haha), but I have to admit – she was really crazy, sexy, cool and I LOVE her lipstick, sunnies and the way she talks with her hands (and with a lot of Italian passion).

After the tour-by-bike, we decided to go for a little wine in our favorite luxury hotel bar.

After putting some appropriate clothing on, we had to rush to Vatican. I was still crying-ly.

The sun was generous.

This guy protected the pope. Cool outfit, better with sneakers :).

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, I tried to catch the sun again (left). We had a guided tour (Willem arranged as well – WOW – that’s why he’s the Best), but it worked via an App on your phone. My phone was almost empty (story of my life) and I had no headphone. But still, I tried to listen to all the explanations about Leonardo DaVinci etc. But both Willem and I got bored after 2 minutes, so we trusted on our senses. And went into the very old chapel to pray for my little dog and my star in heaven.

Enough of playing tourist! We went to an area in Rome which our tour guide recommended to us. I really wanted to eat some risotto and drink some (good) Italian wine in a non-touristy place. But before we got into a fight about where to eat. we just decided to go somewhere and make the best of it.

At least they were generous with truffles. And they served Risotto. Mission accomplished!

I was a little bit “going around in circles” this day, so Willem suggested to go to the Piazza del Fiore, which is knows as a studenty-square. We ordered all the cocktails on the menu and I believe at a sudden moment we even got engaged (hahaha), including a photo shoot from a local Polaroid street seller. Every time we asked for the bill, the waiter ignored us. We were not allowed to leave. And to be honest, we didn’t want to.

Playing, having fun

Sunday, 25-aug-19

Time to go home. To face the truth. To say goodbye for good to my best friend. After packing our stuff, we stopped at Sephora’s for our final make-over (we were already their favorite customer of the year).

And after a final Italian lunch at the Piazza del Fiori (the airconditioning was working! Cold), we went to the airport with our suitcases full of new experiences (and make-up). We were surprised of the (small) size of the airport. Only until we went to the plane (just in time) we discovered all the shops were downstairs. Apparently not everything is what it seems in life.