Thank you all for your continued love and support you show to me. Your prayers and good thoughts truly helped us along our travels. I should start by telling you a tiny bit about my travel companion. I am one of 7 girls. The oldest girl is Laura. She was a teenager in the 60s and remembers well the day JFK was shot. She was a hippie in the 70s, participated in Peace Marches, lived in San Francisco. She was a girl scout all the way up the ranks. She could entertain any one of her younger sisters without a problem. Long car rides – no problem – Laura would lead us in sing alongs. I am the 6th of the 7. I was barely two at the time of JFK’s death – some would venture to say I’m of a different generation. Yet together we are a great team. I feel very “safe” traveling with her. For me, she has always made me feel safe. Perhaps that is just the role of the oldest. So it is her and I traveling to Italy to learn more about the two sisters that immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island (one was my great-grandmother.)
Your prayers helped us make it to Dallas on a day where severe thunderstorms and tornadoes were forecast. When we arrived Dallas; we noticed the American Airlines customer service line was snaked around and around and around while they tried to help all the people whose flights had been cancelled. I’ll post a picture and video below of the weather conditions. You’ll see the rain just pouring down like someone was just throwing buckets of rain at a time. We ended up being delayed leaving Dallas (by three hours) but we didn’t get cancelled and we were able to fly safely. So thank you for your prayers.
Laura picked some great seats for us with plenty of leg room and right by the bathroom. We had good seat mates and we were off. 10 1/2 hour flight. Sometimes you think just because you’ve done something before (flown to Germany) this will be the same. It was not. On our flight to Germany, they constantly brought us water and snacks. On this flight once they served you a meal, they didn’t come by again for hours. Suffice it to say I was very thankful I had taken the advice of my trainer and packed some snacks and I had bought a large bottle of water in Dallas that I brought on the plane with me.
I believe your prayers also helped avert another situation. As I stated before we were right by the plane’s bathrooms. With about 2 1/2 hours left in the flight, I was trying to sleep with I heard a loud thud and a quiet female voice saying, “Help, I need help, please.” A young man – maybe early 20s had passed out and hit the ground hard. He had been in line for the bathroom and then he just dropped. Thankfully a doctor was on board and seated right there. He immediately tended to the young man for the next 45 minutes or so when the lad got back in his seat. It reminded me of a similar situation when our 14 year old son had the worst headache in the face of humanity on an airplane ride. He was seated next to a doctor. That doctor took great care of my son eventually needing to give him a narcotic which helped him fall asleep and take away some pain. Thank God for the doctors. I doubt we will ever cross paths with that doctor again, but we were so thankful he was seated where he was that day.
ROME – WE ARRIVED
I had all these great ideas of getting the perfect picture next to the grandiose sign that said, “Welcome to Rome.” But I never saw a sign. Border control went very smoothly and then on to baggage. I picked up my bag, Laura picked up a Sim card, and we headed to the train/shuttle that would take us to the train station. Once at the train station we had two hours so we took time to eat before our 5-hour train ride (which again – no food service – thank God for the snacks.)
I started writing a blog post on the train and fell asleep mid-sentence. When I woke up and looked over at Laura, she had fallen asleep too. We snoozed a bit, but mainly stayed awake and looked at the countryside and talked to each other. When we arrived to our final destination, we were responsible to carry our luggage down the stairs and then back up the stairs. (Not escalators – stairs.) It was all good. Someone helped Laura which was very nice. We arrived the top of the stairs to meet our driver who was holding up a sign for us. We got in his van and started the approximately 25 minute ride to our hotel.
When we got to Pizzo, the streets were VERY narrow. The driver only spoke Italian, but he stopped the van, gave us our bags, and pointed down a narrow street and said “on the right.” So we began walking down the narrow street. About halfway down the street, a man popped out of a hidden doorway and said, “Lombardi?” We had found our hotel. Be-Yoo-ti-ful!
We checked in and then walked less than 5 minutes to the town square for dinner. While walking there I noticed a vending machine. We turned left at the vending machine. So remember how the boy passing out on the plane brought back the memory of my son getting the migraine on the plane? Well this vending machine brought back a memory I hadn’t thought of in years. When Dave and I moved to Grand Junction 16 years ago, we were interested in starting a business. One of the businesses we looked into was “vending machines.” But not just any vending machine – a friend of ours had been super successful with “condom” vending machines. And so we looked into that. Ultimately we started a window covering business not a condom vending machine business. But i kid you not, on the street corner here it is — a condom vending machine. Well at least we are practicing safe sex???
Oh my – memories. Anyway we headed to go eat supper and then afterwards, we went to bed. I believe we were in bed at 10:30 pm Italy time. Today – Monday – is a free day to explore Pizzo. I’ve been up since 5. My sister is up now and we will head to breakfast. I wonder where our adventures will take us today.