Planes, Trains, Automobiles and a Bus

Friday February 14,2020

IMG_1425I’m going to take a wee detour for a few days and just tell you some stories using my blog.  I hope you find them amusing or entertaining.

My friend was a columnist at The Globe & Mail in Toronto,  I was living in London.  My friend was planning a business trip to Rome.  I’ll meet you there, I said, Let’s spend the weekend together.

I tried to get a flight out of London City since I lived close by but instead had to take a BA flight out of Gatwick Saturday morning.  I packed the night before, got up early and stepped outside onto Narrow Street in E2 and to flag a London cab.

Victoria Station, I said. My plan was to take the Gatwick Express from Victoria Station to the airport and board my flight for Rome.  Easy peasy.  I have always been a “just-in-time”  arriver.  I hate standing around waiting, I don’t like to be the first person at the party, I also don’t like to be late.   I arrived at Victoria Station just in time to watch the train pull-out. Even though they run every 15 minutes, I know I will not make it to Gatwick on time.  But I board the next train anyways.  When I get to Gatwick, my flight is boarded whilst I stand in a queue waiting to see what my options are.  They are few.  Actually, they are one.  If I can get myself to Heathrow, I can get a 2:00 flight to Rome and still be there in time for dinner.  How does one get to Heathrow from Gatwick quickly on a Saturday morning?  Well, by bus of course.

And so I find myself on the bus to Heathrow on  a rainy Saturday morning and onto a flight to Rome at 2:00. It’s dusk when we land in Rome.    I go immediately to the cab stand and get in the queue.  It’s dark as we drive past the Collesium, but I don’t see it, it’s too dark.  Straight to our hotel where I check in and proceed to meet my friend for dinner on the patio.  It’s a warm Italian night and we relax with a bottle of red wine, later we wander over to the Spanish Steps nearby.

It’s late now and this weary traveler just wants to sleep.  Sunday is for shopping.  But first an espresso and a croissant, outside, of course.  Then we walk for hours.  I begin my love affair with Piazza Sempione, a beautiful Italian fashion brand.  I purchase a 3/4 length midnight blue and black silk coat for about 800 Euros.  It is beautiful, travels well and is still a favourite.  Buy quality, I always try to, especially shoes, bags, gloves. The right style can be timelessly beautiful.  We purchase Missoni scarves and beautiful Italian leather gloves.  Just thinking about it, I want to go back.  Sadly it is a much longer trip from where I find myself living now.

But it’s not that far.  I can be there in the Fall if I want. And I think I might want.  I wonder what my old friend is doing later this year.

And then, so quickly it’s over and I must head back home to Narrow Street.  It’s light when I leave for the airport and I realize all that I hadn’t seen as we again pass by the Collesium. At that time I vow to return.  But I haven’t done that yet.  It’s on my radar now, which means it is only a step or two away from being scheduled and on plan.

I am strong, I am beautiful, I am wanderlusty

I am awesome and you are too!


Happy Valentines Day!

May all your dreams come true!

Let’s meet in Rome again soon.



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