Ahh this Europe vacation was just fabulous. It was the best vacation I have ever had. Out of all of my travels over all of the years… this trip was IT! I loved every minute! It wasn’t the longest or the most adventurous… it was just wonderful to be able to see and experience so much with Bill. I have always loved travelling on my own but this trip, OUR trip, changed all of that!
Departure day! Hooray! Our preflight routine went perfectly. Bill stayed home and I worked half a day and got in the door just after 12. We had a quick lunch and after having showers we were ready to leave by 2.30. We have a check list to work off so we are not having any ‘Home Alone’ moments on the plane where we think we have forgotten something. I am one of those people that needs to have everything spotless before we leave so the days leading up to any vacation are crazily busy. On our day of travel, Bill got a final load of laundry done, powered down anything we could, vacuumed and set our light timers. Everything felt clean and sparkly so we knew we would return to some kind of tranquility!
Our journey started on a rainy afternoon. Our car service picked us up at 3pm and we headed straight to JFK. I always have trouble with the self service check in because I am not a US Citizen but I am also not returning to the USA as a visitor – so after some back and forth we were finally checked in. I was worried Bill and I would be split up because we acutally had two separate bookings as Bill used AA points and I used Qantas points. Thank goodness, our seat request was honored and we were beside each other. We then braved the long security line and got to the Admirals Club with two hours to spare.
Here we go!
Unfortunately, being used to flying to Australia means I always get to have lots of excess luggage. On this trip we were limited to one suitcase each so we actually bought on a small carry on case. I hate travelling with any carry on luggage and always have only minimal stuff on board. We used our carry on case for toiletries and a spare outfit in case our bags were lost. The case was essentially empty but I wanted to use this for any purchases we made.
We chowed down on pizza (it actually wasn’t bad for lounge food) and I had a lovely big Shirley Temple. We were so excited, the time seemed to fly and it was time to board. After last minute goodbye phone calls to Australia and Albany we were on our way!
They do an awesome Shirley Temple in the lounge –
Our charging setup –
Here was our view before leaving –
The plane was old with no individual in flight entertainment unit. This was a bonus as we HAD to sleep on this flight – leaving at 7.30pm, we would be arriving in Rome at 10am and it was important that we stay awake for our first day in Rome. Unforutnately, the plane was full of very annoying passengers who were going on a cruise. They made the biggest deal out of everything. But even worse was the couple in front of us. The plane had only JUST taken off… as in the wheels had JUST lifted when the guy in front of me moved his seat back.. and then the girl in front did exactly the same. WHAT PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE ON?! I shoved the chair back but no good… it was about an hour into the flight until our dinner got served and I requested that our attendant tell them to move their seat forward. They did, but before the trays were even collected, they moved them back again. The person in front of them hadn’t reclined – they just wanted more room. In all of my flights and all of my travel experiences these seat recliners are my pet peeve. What makes it worse? HE WASN’T EVEN TRYING TO SLEEP! It is SO RUDE to not even turn around and say “Do you mind if I recline my seat?” It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate people are… and it only seems to be getting worse.
After dinner, we got about four hours sleep and before we knew it, we were having breakfast and prepping for landing. Here is my view when I was waking up –
Here is the usual.. plane food pics!
Our first snack –
Bill’s stir fry –
My curried tortellini –
Breakfast… thrown on the tray.
We got off the plane and walked through the terminal and onto the train that connects the terminals so we could go through passport control. Passport control in Italy was interesting. We had to line up, get out our passports, hold them up to the man sitting behind a glass screen and walk through. SERIOUSLY. No forms, no passport swiping, no stamps – nothing. Trying to be ‘Mrs experienced traveler’ I explained to Bill how they will probably get some kind of documentation off us at customs. We collected our bags and… walked straight out of the airport. That was it. No-one knew we were there! No-one checked who we were. No-one knew where we were staying. We were in a cab within five minutes and zipping around Rome in no time and arrived at our accomodation before noon. It was so exciting… ROMA!!!!! ITALIA!!!!!
The angels were looking after us because when we checked in… our room was ready!