e’stato un piacere–arrivederci Italia

Second day of travelling…

Three hours, waiting, in an airport.

Reminds me of our return trip from Nairobi last spring. Arriving at Heathrow Airport, after nine hours on the plane, three days stopover in Paris, a Eurostar two hour train trip to London, we hoped for a smooth transition.

We didn’t get it.

We walked like Matt Damon in a Bourne Identity flick, with a flock of four following, to quickly board our nine hour night flight home. Instead, the plane was delayed, three hours.

With nothing to do and well-past exhausting our “kid distracting games”, we were at the end of the end.

We let the kids fly up and down the escalator until they were even tired of escalators. What kid TIRES of escalators?

Needless to say, it stretched us. And we’ve learned through travelling especially, when one HAS to do something, one better do it with as much HAPPY spirit as one can muster; or one is turning pain into self-imposed torture.

So back to the present.

Jim wakes me at 7 in our Roma hotel room to a news piece: Alitalia (plane we’re flying in two hours) is in deep debt to fuel companies. It’s expecting to bankrupt Monday. It’s Thursday. Ha ha ha, guess we can be late…they probably won’t fly this morning.

We take the Leonardo train, leisurely, and eventually arrive two hours pre-boarding, to slowly weave through airport security lines, passport check lines…then they’re searching our long line for anyone flying to Chicago, because we’re minutes away from departing.

A mom behind me barks at a man trying to cut through the forty five minute line: Get out of the line. You’re cutting. We’ve been waiting and I’m about to miss my flight! You go girl!

First time we’re in a line-up late and my hubby is not worried, but I am.

It’s okay, they’re not leaving on time, he attempts to calm me. They were forty five minutes late last time.

Okey dokey, I’ll stop checking the time on my iPod.

Five minutes later, we’re searching for our flight number and ta da, there’s the crowd, waiting. We’re only twenty minutes late for our flight.

The airline rep comes over the loudspeaker to announce in romantically slurred Inglese, it will be another forty minutes, no explanation. Forty minutes later, it’ll be another twenty minutes. Another twenty minutes later, it’ll be an hour.

We create a circle on the floor and start shuffling cards.

And then they call for Business class. We board after, and we’re happily buckled and told we’ll be sitting on the runway for another fifty minutes, because of France, and their strike, or something I did not understand in Italian.

An American fellow next to me asks how long we’ve been in Italy.

Just over two and a half weeks. Possibly three weeks by the time we are off Italian ground.

He laughs when he realizes I’m serious.

And now here I sit, on the airplane toilet, amusing myself with a plug-in, a laptop and, oh, a brisk knock on the door to come out already.


The first day of travelling….

Italia 2013 017

An uneventful, pleasant, but five hour train trip through Venice, Tuscany, Umbria and into Roma, to stay the night blocks away from the train station.

Our travel day started at 7 and ends at 6 where we eat our final Italian meal and hunker down in a single room of two twin beds and two doubles lined up side-by-side.

Italia 2013 020

The final day travelling….

The guy sitting next to me, travelling from Toronto to Calgary, tells me it’ll be a long plane trip (3 ½ hours), ha ha ha. He hopes the kids will be okay.

Italia 2013 025

At the conclusion of every plane trip, we always hear, Wow, you’re kids did so well! Good for them! Good for you guys!

Italia 2013 027

Poor people next to us are always desperately frightened that they were booked sitting next to the family of six. Who can blame them?

My routine reply to their praise is always: They get lots of practice, thanks.


IMG_3273[1]Selfies at the airport…

Travelling with kids IS a lot of work. Every parent knows that. These travel to or from days strengthen that patience, build our character. It makes for a memorable story of self-induced trouble.

IMG_3274[1]The only person to not sleep on the planes…usually hilariously funny when tired, today is incoherent…

IMG_3256[1]Things we only do at airports…

But it is SO worth it. So, though we might not book our next years’ overseas medical volunteer trip by turning around and travelling to New Zealand afterward, we’ll find a way for the Wiedricks to wander the world.

And as part of our family’s story, we’ll pursue that charmed life. Or as I was told by someone, unaware of my blog title, Abbiamo la vita molto felice! You have a charmed life!