After a smooth, comfortable flight in Delta and KLM "Economy Comfort" seats, we're all checked in at the fun, funky Hotel Christina.
We're in a beautiful corner room on the fifth floor, with a curved wall of windows looking out over the city. From here, I can see an exquisite specimen of the old, crumbling Communist era apartment blocks ... a vine-smothered, French-inspired residential building with wrought-iron railings and detailed plaster decoration ... tidy, compact homes ... and an office tower or two in the distance.
In theory, we're walking distance to some of the city's best sights, so, after a shower, we'll set out to see what we can see. For now, though, we're really just happy to be here. Everyone we've met has been friendly and helpful, from the (honest! yes! honest!) taxi driver who made no effort at all to cheat us to the staff here at the hotel, who have set out wine and cheese to greet us.
So you'll know: for less than the price of a pretty standard hotel room in the U.S., this little boutique hotel -- number one in Bucharest according to TripAdvisor.com -- supplies blindingly fast WiFi, in-room expresso, in-room water, in-room tea service, and a refrigerator, all for free. The room itself is decorated in clean, bright white (ceiling, walls, tile floors) and purple (the desktops and countertops in the living area). Light boxes placed cleverly under desks and concealed above the bed give the whole place a gentle, futuristic glow. I love it.
This is going to be a beautiful place to celebrate two decades together. Now ... should be have a late lunch (it's almost 3:00 PM here), or snack a bit and hold out for dinner at the city's number one restaurant? Hmmm ... decisions, decisions.