The day before my flight, I exchanged my USD for some EURO. I almost passed out dead in the booth. The Euro is so much stronger than the dollar. I now understand why the trip seemed expensive, it was the dang Euro. All of our tour expenses are paid in euro not dollars. I had to have a glass of wine to recover from seeing $800 just gone away as I gave the agent $2000.00 and they gave me back 1200 Euro. What the hell? Still I wasn't discouraged. The wine helped!
I get on the plane and make it to Rome, the eternal city. After a short cab ride, I arrive where me and nine others will live as Bellas on our Roman holiday. My arrival was a little later than the other ladies but everyone is happy to see me. I see a terracotta curly haired statuesque woman with a huge smile and energy of a full-blown five-alarm fire. She welcomes me as if I was a close friend. I look at the ladies buzzing around her all excited. I forget I am tired. I am now a Bella!
We follow Queen Bella aka Fleace' aka Bella Five Alarm. I also called her Five Alarm, because she is alway moving as if there is five alarm fire somewhere with her name on it. Like a local guide, she made sure we saw every major site and some we never heard of before. Handpicked for the tour, we all got along well. No cat fights, no side-glances. Did I mention that no one can join a BlackGirlTravel.con tour without a phone interview with Fleace. Yes, you read correctly, you must be approved. There is nothing ramdom about the tours not even the people on them.
We ate amazing food and drank great wines. We partied quietly and loudly. We learned makeup tips and fitness, about shopping and how to pick good Italian shoes and men. Fleace is an Avatar I suspected.. she can't be real to have this formula of success down to a science.
I was exhausted. Did Queen Bella Five Alarm eat? As she maneuvered through the city, all I could see is the back of her terracotta hair while people admired her as she parted crowds for her Bellas. This is very cool I thought. I found my second third and fourth wind to keep up. Bella Five Star stayed pleasant. I learned how to survive with the Queen Bella as I didn't have the energy she did.
Happy Hour on the Tiber River
Keeping up with 5 Alarm at the colosseum
She cared for each of us conscious of different personalities and levels of interest. I was Mac gruff the crime dog trying to find out how she does it. I stopped trying after the second day. I will share my survival tips to keep up with Queen Bella Five Alarm and to enjoy yourself. It was an amazing trip, well worth the money and then some. I am glad she saved me from traveling alone or with a bunch of grandies, missing out on all the fun of traveling with a group of like minded Black women. I have met great friends and learn how to walk faster ... even in heels. I am empowered with knowledge about maneuvering comfortably around the magnificent city called Roma. I learned eye make up tips and laugh my butt off to tears. Warning, please keep the pistachios away from her though. She will munch on them through the night... until dawn. Maybe they are the source of her super powers! :)
All the Bellas ready for a night on the town.
To survive Italy with Queen Bella here are my top ten tips:
10. Get B12 Vitamin shots to keep up with Bella Five Alarm
9. Stretch your muscles. She will walk you to death. Everyone lost weight on our tour.
8. Sleep when you can! I often nodded off on buses, trains, and at the table to power down before the next adventure.
7. Eat a big meal in the morning and carry snacks. She will eventually feed you. We have things to see and places to go first.
6. Realize in Italy your American curling irons have only two settings cold and fire breathing dragon. Even the adapters get extremely hot.
5. Wear a wide heels or wedges. Wearing stilettos take work and balance on cobblestone. Whatever you wear, make sure there are clouds or padding inside them. I just got the feeling back in the balls of my feet.
4. Practice walking fast NOW! Queen Bella Five will make sure you see many sights and God before he closes up for the day. You will shop until you pass out and eventually ... maybe eat.
3. Leave your attitude at home. You have arrived in a beautiful city, there is no place like Rome.
2. Sleep is optional and can be done on your flight home.
1. Be fabulous, you don't have any other choice when traveling with Fleace and BlackGirlTravel.com. Above all else enjoy yourself!
Watch Videos from the Tour
Watch me learn to ride a Segway!