Friday, February 19, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

Our flight plan was simple--fly from Portland to Atlanta, rest the dog, fly out to Rome from Atlanta the next afternoon.  It didn't go as smooth as glass but no big complaints--we all (Di, Doug, Vincente the Dog) made it to Italy safe and sound-- albeit a little bit the worse for wear. If there was a theme for the trip, it was next time, travel light!  The cause of most, but not all of the trouble along the way--6 overweight and oversize bags plus one dog:

A very accomodating limo driver came to pick us up and had to leave his spare tire at Doppio Coffee, a business below our apartment in the same building:
I won this limo trip during a charity auction.  Since we couldn't buy objects to pack, I thought it would make sense to leave in style. Next lesson: Limos don't have giant trunks.  We ended up sitting with all our bags with Vince on the floor shaking (his reaction to unusual situations).  He never had any tremors that we witnessed after that ride.  He seemed to be OK getting in the cage.  I think it's a good thing to get dogs used to the flight cage.  It was his cave for months.  We left him at the oversize baggage area of Delta and didn't know what awaited us at the gate:
By the time we arrived at gate (after giving Delta all our savings plus first born son--long wait on that--for baggage) the plane was boarding.  Then in five minutes it was deboarding.  They said there would be a three hour "maintenance".  The plane was missing a valve or something.  Here is the port engine with its hood up waiting for a part.  Three hours later we would be part of a crowd applauding a thumbs up from the mechanic.  The rest had all rebooked.  So anyhow we finally got to Atlanta, somehow managed to get all those bags in one of those hotel shuttle vans--a driver from another hotel offered to take just us and the baggage.  It wasn't a pretty sight getting curbside--since we couldn't find any big carts.

The photographer wasn't feeling well in Atlanta.  Consequently, we don't have any pictures of the nice hotel and all.  We had a pleasant morning there.  It was sunny, the WIFI was free, the people friendly, and our last American breakfast buffet good.  But now Doug had a sore throat.  Soon we both realized we had new colds.  Otherwise, things were looking up for the rest of the trip.  We set off alone in the hotel van and drove right up to curbside baggage service.  They didn't recharge us for all that baggage--our only victory with Delta.  Things seemed fine until Doug said he didn't know where his passport was.  Doug knows that when I really get upset I go all quiet.  I remember just saying, "I don't believe this, I don't even know what to say..."  After he left to go back and get the passport that he was hoping was still in our hotel room, I did say a few choice things to the clerk who was very nice and understanding of Doug--more than I admit  I was.  So we went through security after the return of the passport and the flight was longgggggggggggg and tiring but landed in Rome!!!

Vince came out of the oversize baggage door after we told the guys helping us (Doug used his Spanilano while I was getting the bags off the carosel) that we were waiting for un cane.  They had no worries about yelling at the luggage crew to get the dog.  No document checking, no nothing.  Just another piece of baggage and out the door--also no Customs.  Gotta love Italy.

The only fun left was driving from Rome to Santa Domenica.  The autostrada was not very crowded, we remembered the route, and it all went well even though we both were sick.  Vince turned out to be the strongest traveler.  We passed some new sights on back roads during a rest stop:

We arrived in Santa Domenica during passeggiata so everyone immediately knew the Americani were back.  We saw our front door and fairly quickly got all that stuff inside--with some local help:
So now all that is left is......Life!  See you here.


  1. Hope you guys are well on your road to recovery!

  2. Yeh! You made it. Sorry to hear that you both got sick. I hope you feel better soon so you can start enjoying your new life.

    p.s. The deputy fores supervisor from the GPNF will be our acting area manager. Do you know anything about her? Marge

  3. Thanks Marge and Gil.
    Marge, I never knew anybody on the GP in management.
    What's her name?

  4. I have stumbled on to your blog on what appears to be a pretty important post - ie your arrival in Italy - in bocca al lupo for your new life over here!

  5. Benvenuti! The scenes of luggage and duffel bags sure brought memories of our flight over!

  6. I completely understand terrible travel experiences. Consider yourself lucky that it didn't take an additional 3 days like my recent travel experience. I am glad you all made it safely and I hope you enjoying your new adventure in Italia!


  7. Giovana, I certainly do consider myself lucky. Considering all that could have gone wrong, it was perfect.'
    Thanks all for your comments. Hi Valerie.

  8. Di, I think her name is Lynn Burditt. One person said that she is naturally "angry". Lucky us. I think I'll be doing a lot of field work this summer. Still think you are the lucky ones. Marge

  9. Hi - Just found your blog and am so excited. I live in Portland with my family and we love to travel. One of our favorite spots is Italy so we will read your blog and follow your adventures with great interest. My husband and I dream of doing exactly what you're doing when we retire.


    Pamela in NE Portland

  10. Great and you're from Portland too. Well, there's lots of us here in Italy to help you along the way.

  11. Congratulations on your "successful" trip! So very jealous! Bright grey here in Portland today!

  12. Thanks, engred. It's been sunny here for a couple of days.



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