Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Trip to Italy (and maybe some runs) Part 13, Arrivederci Italy!


Our Ride
We were up before the alarm. The anticipation of a long trip home sort of weighed on us as we headed down the scary elevator to meet our "driver."

There had been a little bit of a joke about us opting for the car instead of the taxi. Well, not when we hit the curb. There was our guy in a black suit driving a black frickin' Mercedes Benz. Oh yeah, another solid choice!

The trip to the airport was easy, as was check-in, despite AlItalia not being the best communicators around (but what airline is?). We had every piece of paper we needed, checked those massive bags, and hit the waiting area. My carry-on bag.... yes, the Kevin Costner bag, nicely protecting my Luccan pottery. John and Patty's plane left an hour later, but we sill ran into them prior to our/their departure. And before we knew it, we were onboard.

I made a conscious effort for the NY-Rome and back flights to pay a little extra for stretch seats. It was so well worth it. Nothing much happened across the Atlantic (and that's the way we like it). I played some cool trivia game, was amused by a little baby, read a bit (Roger Bannister's book - Twin Tracks), and watched Free Solo one more time. 


Nice View!
Arriving at JFK, we were shuffled through customs in what seemed like record time, grabbed our bags and then unfortunately had to go OUT of JFK and back in to catch our flight to San Francisco. While it could have been a moderate pain, everything went amazingly well and being TSA Pre for the flight didn't hurt.

We had a few hours so we attempted to eat finding that the selection in our terminal wasn't the best. I can't even remember what we settled on, but it was not, as you can tell, memorable. The six hours across the USA seemed to take forever. I decided to pass the time with two oldies but goodies, at least I thought so. First I watched Gone With The Wind.

As always I was amazed at Margaret Mitchell's ability to write such a fascinating character in Rhett Butler. I didn't cry at the end, but I was reminded that this was my Mom's favorite movie of all time and that she thought, if there had ever been a real sequel, Scarlett would have gotten Rhett back. No way, Mom.
Looks like Denver to me!

The other movie was Breakfast at Tiffany's. My motivation here was that I had never actually watched it and I was anxious to see this epic tale of life in New York City. PLUS, Audrey Hepburn. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. This got an Academy Award???? Who was the competition???? Holy Crap, it might have been the most boring, nonsensical, useless movie of all time. Give me a break. I kept asking myself, why am I watching this? Couldn't I just open the exit door and jump? Lord have mercy!!!!

We arrived safely in San Francisco (except for the scarring left from watching Breakfast at Tiffany's), grabbed our bags without incident, and grabbed a shuttle to the closest dump that didn't charge $350 a night, a Super 8. We checked in, hid out in our room and after falling asleep initially, we woke up about 2 and spent much of the remaining night giggling about things that had happened on the trip and especially how terrible it was to watch Breakfast at Your Know Where's.
The Gang in all their glory! Front: Leslie, Me, Linda, Alex
Back: Blane, Kaci, Kyle, Rachel, Joey, John, Patty, Kevin

The crappy Super 8 had a great shower and our Uber arrived bright and early. We made it to SFO just in time to catch our flight home. As hoped, our luggage made it, our Uber driver delivered us home, and everything was intact. Excellent.

It was my first trip to Italy, first trip to Europe. While I could wax poetic about the entire experience, I will only say this: it won't be my last trip like that and I couldn't have done it without this bunch of cohorts. Thanks to John and Patty, Blane and Leslie, Kyle and Kaycee, Rachel and Joey for your awesome company. Thanks to the many wonderful people who helped us all over the place with a special shoutout to Chiara, without whom I'd have never had Chiara's Car.

And big time THANKS to my honey, Linda for being a wonderful companion. Welcome home.

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