So we are home from our wonderful trip - exhausted, fulfilled and feeling blesssed - what an amazing experience. Just as I did last year, over the course of the next couple weeks I will be blogging a journal of each day of our trip - and in between some FUN, CREATIVE stamping ideas - so hope you follow along! I want to share this experience with each of you! This trip is a huge achievement as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator! Only 445 demonstrators from across the world earn this trip and our number of worldwide demonstrators now exceed 56,000!!! That's about .7 percent - crazy huh? Each year we can earn the trip between October 1 to September 30th and I'm well on my way to earning Maui in 2020 thanks to all my amazing TEAM and customers. The trip includes an all expense paid trip for two! Stampin' Up cetainly pampers us with a hospitality room filled with candy, display boards, we get to spin the wheel daily for prizes and it's a great place to meet up with other demonstrators or talk with staff. Every evening after coming back to our cabin after dinner - we are greeted by a pillow gift - and they were wonderful! You'll get to see them as you go through each day :) SOOOOOOOO, here we go -
We were up and ready for the shuttle to pick us up at 5:30 AM on July 4th - arrived down at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix around 8:40 AM and got to the gate just as our plane was loading. So no time for even coffee (although I had a quick cup at home and some eggs before we left). Here we are on the plane - ready for an awesome adventure!
We arrived in Charlotte, NC a few minutes late - 5:30 PM - and our next flight to Rome boarded around 6PM - so we hustled - I'd like to say ran, but I don't do that lol - but we moved quickly as the gates were far apart. We got there and they were delayed a few minutes - but not enough time to grab that cup of Starbucks - so no coffee again :( I've got to plan more time for these airport sessions. This leg of the flight from Charlotte, NC to Rome, FIUMICINO, ITALY took 9 1/2 hours - so we arrived there at 9:30 AM + 1 day (local Rome time) - July 5 with the time zone changes. At the airport it was 93 degrees and high humidity. After figuring out customs and trying to find out way out (no one spoke English) - we met up with another demonstrator (and new friend) Kim Wilson and her hubby who we had been on the plane with; and made it to the area for the hotel shuttle. It took a few trips back and forth to find the area - and everyone was so hot - and when the shuttle came, it was too small and we needed to wait for another larger. Needless to say we were hot and exhausted - but eventually did arrive at the Sheraton, got checked in and immediately got lunch around 2:30 PM. We had had nothing but plane food since leaving home on the 4th.
At every meal in Italy there was a basket of crusty bread and oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping to start each meal. And as you can see above - I immediately ordered a cappuccino - which was AMAZING! You can also see the bottle of water on the table - in Italy you pay for water at each meal - between 2 and 4 Euro a bottle - and you can order still or sparkling. They don't give you ice, unless you ask, and are usually a bit confused about the request. And although the water is cool, it is never cold. But it still hydrated us - and we needed it. I also had the cheese platter below for my lunch as I was hoping to take a nap and did not want anything heavy.
Paul got a Club sandwich which was very interesting, as it was three layers of bread as an American club - but it was layers of bacon, chicken salad and slices of eggs. He said it was okay but would not order again lol!
After lunch we did nap - it was very hot in the room, and the air conditioning barely kept it cool. We ended up showering and then throwing wet, cold towels on us to help us sleep. But we were so exhausted - didn't wake till about 7 PM. Then we walked the grounds a bit, chatted with other demonstrators, and ended up having a late dinner poolside at the hotel. Here I am - showered and slicked back hair, no make up, sparkling water and happy!
At dinner I had a coffee macchiato - it was a hot drink - but they served it in a drinking glass. I didn't mind at all - once again, it was yummy!
Since we had eaten a late lunch we decided to just go with pizza for dinner. We asked the waiter to recommend something delicious and spicy and we ordered a Norcini Pizza. It came to the table and looked flat and bland and we were a little worried. But let me tell you - that was the best pizza I had ever had - it was fire roasted, lightly sauced, a little cheese and each slice had a dollop of spicy Norcini sausage paste that you spread down the middle before eating. We loved it so much that we really wanted to order another - but restrained ourselves :)
We relaxed and enjoyed the cool evening air by the poolside - no one is in a hurry - so we tried not to be either. Got back to the room about 10:30 PM - showered again, more wet towels and sleep - good thing we were still tired! Come back later this week for Day 2! ~Maureen
Anyone wanting to place an order can click HERE - the SHOP NOW - and please use my current hostess code -