We woke at 06:00. Everyone got dressed. We put all the chargers away, and put all the devices in ‘Airplane Mode’. Somehow it was already 06:30. This happens when there are five of you. We went down, settled the bill with the hotel, and got into our cab. The airport is very nearby, so we were there within ten minutes.

We were able to check in straight away, without issue. Security was the same – no issues. It took quite a while to get to our gate. We had to go on one of those driverless trains. We had coffee and pastries. I may or may not have bought copious amounts of chocolate in Duty Free. That fact (or not fact) is irrelevant to this monologue. It may have involved Milka, Dairy Milk, and White Toblerone. I can’t stand waiting in line to get on the plane. I wait until almost everyone else in on before getting in line. I know lots of people prefer to stand, because we’re all going to be sitting for such a long time on the plane. It is a long flight. 10.5 hours. However, if you’ve crappy knees, and standing is quite sore, then screw that!

So it’s 17:25 in Roma. We took off about seven hours ago. We’ve about three hours left. I might just survive. I usually hate long flights. And I’m usually a nervous flier, but I’ve been fine for the most part on these two flights. Maybe I’m just too tired to care!

When we get home the very first thing I’m going to do is put on a laundry. The make sure the A\C is set right. Then get a cup of crappy American Starbucks. This real Italian coffee lark is too much. But God that last cappuccino in the airport today was bleedin’ rapid!

O’Hare was a pain. Usually I’m coming from Dublin. U.S. Customs and Immigration is done there. It is a nightmare at ORD. It took us an hour to get through. They are so unfriendly. Bring me back to Italia per favore. Funnily enough, #2 started using the Italian I tried to drum into him for the last 11 days on the plane to the American air stewards. Couldn’t have done it in Italy – no!

We landed roughly on time, around 13:30 local time. By the time we’d dealt with bureaucracy, idiocracy, and trying to get a cab, it was after 15:00 when we got home. A shop, a Starbucks run, some food, and some typing, and it’s bedtime. I am so tired. It’s 20:20. My body thinks it’s still in Roma, where’s it’s 03:20 on Tuesday. I’ve been up for over 21 hours and my body is telling me to stop typing and go to sleep.

I had never been to Italy before this trip. I was a wonderful experience. I am so happy my sister and her husband chose Italy to wed. Much as I love ‘home’, I am glad I came from Rome today and not Dublin. It was so nice to experience and country, culture and language I had no experience I had not experienced before. In my teens I reveled in that. I loved being abroad in foreign lands. My world shrank dramatically. I want it to expand again. I am no whiz when it comes to languages, but I’m good enough to get by in a relatively short time. I’m already planning the next trip.

Arrivederchi Italia. Caoi.

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