home sweet home

19/9/09
i woke up and almost immediately needed a xanax because i was so nervous about flying standby. i hated feeling responsible for everyone else without any internet to even check the boarding totals! not to mention, that when i booked the flight there seemed to be a problem with the credit card. regardless we made our way to fco on the leonardo express train.
leaving rome
at the airport it was like a maze trying to get to the check-in terminal and then back to our departure gate. we did have a problem with the booking but the ticket counter man took me to an upstairs office where i could rebook joann and gaylyn’s travel plans. for some reason ed’s card and the coair site do not play well together. while i was rebooking i checked the PBTs and felt confident we’d all get on.
once through ticketing, security screening, and passport control, we got on another bus back to the terminal where we shopped and snacked until it was time for our flight. we actually rode the same bus as the crew on our way over, which was definitely to our advantage since we wouldn’t get seats in first class. being on that bus really made me miss the camaraderie that comes together with being together on the flight crew. the crew took care of my family and me throughout the whole flight. as joann said later, we’re kind of like our own family, looking out for each other.
we made it back to newark and since i already knew all the flights to dallas for the next day were full, i was coming up with some other ideas. we could get to houston that night, stay in a hotel and try to get to dallas the next morning. at least it would put us in texas… so that’s what we did. it was a long journey but by 10am sunday morning we were back in dallas!

rome again rome again jiggity jig

18/9/09
we made it back to rome today, but not without a train mishap – jo left her backpack with copies of her passport and credit cards, gifts for the girls, books and her blackberry! we tried to get it back but it seems like a lost cause…
there was a little miscommunication between mario and his wife so no one was at the apartment b&b to meet us. once we got checked in, it was too late to see inside maria della vittoria church from angels and demons so we booked it on the #71 bus to the pantheon. i couldn’t have imagined how marvelous it was inside. the experience made it worth the stress of re-planning our flight home.
the pantheon
the oculus – i wish it had been raining
inside the pantheon
we ate dinner at piazza navona again, but at a different restaurant with just as, if not more, handsome of a server as the other! we had champagne and wine and i had one last serving of gnocchi.
piazza navona one last time
on the way home we stopped at an internet café to double check our flight plans and check in on grandpa. he was not answering his cell phone – in fact, it was just going to his voicemail! as we passed in front of a restaurant, i picked up two more proposals, and it was then that i decided maybe i should just stay in italy!

a fairy-tale ending

17/9/09
we tried to cancel this portion of our trip when we found out we were leaving out of rome instead of milan. we’d be there for less than 24 hours, and it was pretty far our of the way, but we were all happy that we couldn’t cancel once we got there. the sea was beautiful and the town relaxing after a very busy florence. we weren’t able to do the cinque terre hike because of time restraints, but the trip was more than worth it even just for the scenery.
by the time we got there and settled in, it was after 2pm. we sat up on our rooftop terrace with a great view of sestri levante and baia de favole. then we walked along the shore and crossed over to baia del silenzio for an afternoon drink at citto beach bar. the atmosphere made for a perfect end to the otherwise sort of hectic trip.
 relaxing on the terrace
view from the terrace
baia de favole
drinks at citto beach bar
happy feet… and tummy
while the others rested, joann and i visited the TI which was when we realized the cinque terre hike wasn’t feasible. i was pretty bummed, but tried to keep in mind that i can always come back…
for dinner we ate at a great restaurant with a beautiful outside patio. the food was tasty and i had a nice local-ish wine.
sunset on the way to dinner
cutest menu ever
enjoying our private dining experience
we headed down the main road for gelato from a stevie rec but it was closed. this actually turned out to be lucky for me because another place next door was open and i got the best cone imaginable for 2€ – three flavors topped with whipped cream and nutella! to say the least, i slept well that night!