Thursday, July 07, 2011

I Remember ... Goodbye Rome, Hello Portland

We decided to sign up for the first departure van to the airport. We probably could have slept a little longer and gone with the second group but Walt was concerned about going through customs etc. We were looking forward to a long day ...
We woke up at 5:00 a.m., got the last minute packing done, and set our luggage outside our door. The hotel had breakfast in the lobby area with only a few of us up and ready to depart. We so appreciated having John and Jan there to say goodbye. They were planning to stay several more days so they really didn't need to be up that early ... but that's the kind of people they are ... very sweet and thoughtful.
After our final goodbyes and hugs we boarded the shuttle bus for the ride to the airport.
The airport was the same routine ... going through all the procedures to get through customs and finally to our gate. We faced a long wait since we arrived too early. It was a good time to read and relax a bit. There were a few shops open so I spent the rest of our euros picking up a few more souvenirs.
For some reason the flight seemed so long returning to Philadelphia. And to think ... when our flight landed there would be another six-hour flight to Portland. When we deboarded in Philadelphia it almost seemed to take longer to reenter the United States than leaving it. So many lines to go through. When we were going through customs we noticed John and Carmen behind us in line. They had left in the second shuttle ... so I guess we could have gotten a bit more sleep after all.
The gate to Portland was packed and the airport was extremely warm. We really didn't have time to eat but wifi was available so we contacted family members to let them know we were on our way. By now I felt very "antsy" to get home. Thinking of sitting on a plane for another six hours seemed unbearable. Seems like once you know you're heading home ... you just can't wait to get there!
It was good to see Oregon once again from the sky ... nice to be home. When we left our gate we noticed our grandchildren holding signs saying, "Welcome Home" and Brian and Tim were there too. What a wonderful welcome back! The first thing Walt wanted at the Wendy's (in the airport) was a large iced tea with extra ice ... but wouldn't you know it ... it was not available! By the time Brian dropped us off at home it was 11:00 PM ... and with all the time changes ... it made for a very long day.
Grazie ... I hope you have enjoyed "looking back" with me ... maybe learning something new about Italy or perhaps you are now considering traveling there sometime in the near future. Hopefully one day I will listen to / read about your travel stories. Arrivederci!


Anonymous said...

Hard to see it come to a end :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great tour of Italy. It was almost as good as being there and I enjoyed every minute of it.