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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rome Trip - July 16-17: Going Back Home

Up at 8:30 for our last morning in Europe. Izzy is still queasy so we skipped the breakfast buffet. Hailing a cab outside the hotel was every bit as easy as we’d been told it would be. We were inside one within a couple of minutes of getting our bags outside. After a couple of minutes of driving and attempted conversation, our driver found a chart of the airport for us so we could tell him which terminal we needed. For G, who cares about such things, it was T-1.

Madrid’s airport, at least T-1, was under construction and seemed a bit disorganized, but folks seemed to be able to find their way into the correct lines. We’d heard explanations of how Spaniards can go to a grocery store, stand in multiple lines simultaneously (deli counter, baked goods, etc.) and always know who is at the back of the line and where they are in each one. So what may look like line-cutting is not perceived as such to them; it’s just a person showing up when it’s her turn.

Madrid airport chapel

We had a rather nice brunch at the airport. Izzy had Danon yogurt with fruit (in a glass jar), agua con gas, and some vino tinto. We both had small cheese and bread plates with a blue cheese, some brie, and something like a havarti/gruyere mix.

I’m writing this journal entry on the plane at the gate. We’re waiting on pull-away clearance. The child behind me has stopped kicking for just a bit (she wants to go get in the car now), and Izzy has fallen asleep. Soon, off to Philadelphia.

Movies I watched in Flight (couldn't sleep):
• Wild Hogs (Izzy also watched this one)
• Dream Girls
• Pursuit of Happyness.

They were “mono” instead of the intended stereo; only one earphone speaker was working in each of our systems.

Blood sugars were elevated today, even five hours after a meal. Travel stress.

My in-flight notes end here.
Addendum, not in original notes:

Landed in Philly and made good time through customs, getting our bags, more checking & opportunities for declarations, giving our bags back, etc. Checked the board a couple of times and plopped ourselves down at the far end of terminal B to await our 5:45 PM loading call.

I enjoyed taking shots of a bird that flitted on a couple of spots at the gate.


At 5:50, having heard no call, I checked with the agent (there were no signs at this gate) and learned that our flight was currently loading at the far end of Terminal C. We did the OJ-worthy dash and managed to get onto the plane. We were joined 5 minutes later by a German woman whose boarding pass had directed her to Terminal A-East - ever further away.

We had hurried up, now it was time for the waiting. We took off about an hour late, waiting on a long line of planes.

Can't see the ones beyond the bend, nor the ones at the other side. We were 15 back when this was taken.

Landed at RDU, where we were re-united with our car. We dropped off the young lady who had been using it and headed for home.

I took the first leg, and had to stop after 80 miles of very late at night driving in hard rain (my body now thought it was 4 AM.) Izzy did another 80 miles, then we switched off again. I managed to get us home by just before 1:30 AM.

We wandered in and discovered a new-cat's worth of hair on the mattress cover - obviously Callie had missed us. We cleaned off the cover using packing tape, re-made the bed, grabbed essentials (meds, C-PAP) and stared at the pile of mail.

Up the next day, and we've been working on this project ever since. I am determined to get this done before Craig Ferguson ends tonight (almost made it!), having taken only 18 days to download, sort, transcribe, edit, illustrate, etc., our trip.

Izzy and I are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have taken this trip, and are both glad that we approached it as a pilgrimage. Can't wait for the next adventure.

Flickr set for today:

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