Getting Here from There
We headed to the airport in Orlando via über driver on Monday, June 6 in the early afternoon. Andrew and I were both flying out on United, he to Sacramento, CA and I to Rome, Italy. Security was tight, and the lines long, but we met up on the opposite side of security (he with his TSA PreCheck and I with my CLEAR) and took the tube to Terminal B where there is no Starbucks. I have long considered not flying United, because of this, but it is what it is… Zaza Cuban Coffee.
We were at gate 42 and gate 44, conveniently sharing an egg, cheese, and ham pressed Cuban breakfast sandwich. We sat and waited for our flights to board while I did travel planning for my next trip. There’s always a next trip, no rest for the wicked.
OK so what’s the best way to get from Philadelphia airport to Atlantic City in order to meet up with Emilie at Headliners Dance Nationals? “Train” was the answer.
After a short flight and shorter layover in Washington, DC, I boarded the main event flight from DC to Rome. This was an overnight flight that was betting I could actually fall asleep in an isle seat.
Yeah, not so much.
Welcome to Rome
Upon arriving at 8:00am, I stood in line for the ladies room and then headed down to baggage claim. The signs are easy to follow, in English or Italian. They guide you through customs and on to bag claim in a jiffy. Just ignore the military officers in camouflage, toting the big guns.
Pamela had told me where to meet her and her driver Emanuele, upon my arrival. But of course I spaced it. Something about exiting bag claim and heading left. Ultimately I had to call her. “Where are you? I’m looking for your hair?” she said excitedly. “Oh! I see you, you have a hat on! You had us both fooled.”
And here I was, back in Rome with the folks from Off The Beaten Strada. “Just like Old Home Week,” as my Mother used to be so fond of saying. Well, it’s nice to have that warm and fuzzy feeling of meeting my peeps in the airport again. It’s going to be a great two weeks!
We threw my luggage in the trunk (I am already collecting papers for the Italy Packets) and off we went. As we zipped through the Italian countryside, I marveled at the mountains and fields of poppies. So good to be back.
You’re Getting Sleepy….
Having caught about two hours of sleep total on that flight, I needed the coffee and my friends knew it. We pushed through the rest of the trip, joking and talking about the week ahead. Ultimately, we arrived at the home of Pamela and Louigi in Fabro, my home away from home for the next couple of days until our class starts at the Villa.
I can’t thank Pam and Lou enough for their amazing hospitality. They took my bags down stairs to my own private apartment, fed me cookies and fizzy water, and let me nap. After the nap and a shower I was feeling ready for a walk before dinner.
Shake it Off!
Pamela decided I needed a walk, in order to stay awake for dinner. We walked around this rural neighborhood without any busy city noises, so quiet, there’s hardly even any traffic on the street leading to Pam and Louigi’s home. You might encounter the occasional rogue sheep, however.
After walking, I helped Pam prepare dinner by slicing the biggest red bell peppers I have ever seen in my life, she had already cleaned artichokes from the back yard garden.
Somebody Pinch Me
Pam and Louigi kept saying how happy they were to have me back as their house guest in Italy. My response was, of course, “OMG, Thank you for having me!” I still cannot believe I am here. I mean really, look at the view from our outdoor patio dinner table.