Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bye, Bye Italy

We are back home, but not without drama, of course.

First, here are a few pictures of our hotel and the airport in Rome.
This is the fountain in front of the Hilton. It was just a short 10 minute walk to our terminal from here:

This is a statue in front of the airport. I think it might be Leonardo DiVinci, but as usual, I am not sure :)

They were in the process of putting up Christmas decorations and I particularly liked this one:

So, back to the trip details. The flight from Rome to Paris was delayed, which caused a bit of stress thinking about the short amount of time we had between flights. I met a really nice woman on the plane who was also going to Austin. She and her husband were in Italy for only 7 days but toured Rome and gave me some info I didn't know about various sites there.

When we got to Paris, I told the woman and her husband that I would see them at the gate and went outside to give Seymour a minute to go to the bathroom. He wasted that minute by sniffing and not going - but I don't think he had to - then.

I thought getting to the gate would be easy, since we had about 45 minutes - wrong. You had to go through security twice and also go through customs. There were long lines and I was almost in tears trying to get to the plane on time. We were down to 10 minutes when I was in the last security line and some people let me go in front of them. I unfortunately had to give up my filtered water bottle I had been using all through Italy because I didn't realize I had to go through security again in Paris and had filled the bottle. There was so place to empty it, and time was running out, so I had to leave it. I hope to find another bottle because it was really useful.

I ran to the gate and got on the plane just a few minutes before it was scheduled to leave - and then we sat in the plane for an hour - another delay! We finally took off and again I was worried about the time I had between flights in Atlanta because I knew we had to get our checked in luggage and go through security and customs - again. The flight was 9 1/2 LONG hours. Mr. Seymour was stuck in his crate, but was quiet and good. I actually checked him a few times to be sure he was still breathing! Again I met some interesting women during the flight who had been to Italy for 13 days as a 40th birthday celebration for one of them.

When we got to Atlanta, we had just a little over an hour to get to the next flight. I didn't have time to take Seymour out of his crate, unfortunately. I headed through customs and then to get my luggage - and it didn't come! I have to say, I was expecting that to happen. That is why I hate to check my bags. The people told me to just get to my next flight - and again I am glad I had so much walking experience in Italy so my stamina helped get me through the airport. We got to the plane 5 minutes before it was to take off.

This flight was about 2 1/2 hours and this time Seymour was pressing his head against the top of the crate looking at me - in a pleading manner. I tried to calm him down and he did go back to sleep for an hour or so. He then found a way to unzip the top of his crate and climbed out. I finally let him sit on my lap and covered him with his sling so only the people in my row saw him. It is not allowed to let the animal out of the carrier. I let him stay out of his crate (remembering it is better to beg forgiveness than as permission) and he was happy just to lay in my lap.

We arrived in Austin and I immediately headed to the doggie area for Seymour to finally get his relief. He never had an accident in his crate, even though he was in it for about 17 hours!

I checked the luggage coming from Atlanta to just see if mine was there - it wasn't. So, I reported it to Delta. They found my luggage in Atlanta but it had come out on the number 10 carousel instead of numbers 3 and 4 that it was supposed to be on - and everyone else's was on! I was just happy they found it and they are supposed to be delivering it this morning. Hmmm, it is now noon and it's not here.

Back to last night. I went outside and didn't see my daughter, who was picking me up. I did see the first couple I met on the plane and borrowed their phone to call. My daughter had thought I was coming in the next night so she wasn't there! OK, I am glad I learned some patience in Italy, so I went back inside, got a salad to take home, gave Seymour more time in the doggie area, and waited.

She did come and had to wake up her baby to get there, but at least I got to see both boys and the ride home was great. We were happy to finally get home and I am still recuperating from the trip and the time change.

I do hope to go back to Italy in a year or two. And maybe my luggage will show up by then. I already miss a lot of things about Italy. For example, I made coffee in 2 different coffee pots this morning and neither lived up to the coffee I had in Italy. I am going to need to experiment. Seymour acted like a puppy, running around here. He was definitely happy to be home.

But, what a wonderful experience we had!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Welcome Home!!

    Once you've recovered from any jet-lag, (and travel-trauma) please let us know, so we can schedule to visit with you and see the movie.

    (FYI -- I've found that Mandola's Italian Market roasts an excellent coffee... they'll grind it for you. It's a little pricey, but consistently flavorful.)

    Can't wait to see you,


  2. Glad you made it home safely. Can't wait to get together with you and hear some of your escapades first-hand.