Finally!! Today’s the day!! And of course it was pouring this morning & Vito was upset because he was driving me to Miami today. My flight to Rome was scheduled for 8:35pm. I wanted to be at the airport by 5ish to go thru TSA security. I heard the lines are very long. I insisted that Vito stay the night in a hotel rather than driving 3 hours back.
Driving south on 95 the rain let up after an hour & the traffic wasn’t too bad. But of course, after we exited for the airport, the traffic at 12:30pm was bumper to bumper & it started pouring again. Plus people in Florida do NOT know how to drive in the rain. Unreal!!
By chance we found the hotel & checked in. At 5pm we took the airport shuttle. Vito wanted to make sure that I was okay & got to Alitalia. I had already checked-in online but had to check my luggage. Alitalia has a section for “Online Check-in Baggage Drop-off”, so within 15 minutes it was done, then through TSA & on my way to Concourse H.
Lots of people traveling & the plane was an Airbus 330 with 40+ rows of 8 seats. It was storming again as we were boarding. As soon as everyone was settled the captain announced that there would be a ½ hour delay and then again another ½ hour delay. I knew it wasn’t going to be good, as I had a 2.5 hour layover in Rome before my flight to Palermo. Finally, after 1.5 hours we were 18th in line for takeoff!!!
The crew was great as was my veggie meals & the onboard digital entertainment. I read, wrote, listened to music and watched a movie (The Intern – very funny). Plus I had an aisle seat so no climbing over people! BUT, there were 3 small babies on the flight. And yes, I cursed when I saw them as I knew it would be a very bad night for me. [I was right as I did not get 1 minute of sleep!] They cried all night like a relay race – one, then the next & the last one. 12 hours of non-stop crying!!
By the time we landed in Rome, it was 1:30 pm, I was exhausted!! Because of the delay out of Miami, I had 45 minutes to schlep from the international terminal to the domestic terminal, which was of course, at the other end of the airport!! I had to go through a TSA check again plus go through customs. The customs line moved like a snail and I was beginning to wonder if I would make my flight!! I finally got through, in less than a minute, and flew through the terminal. Unbeknownst to me, the gate had changed twice. Alitalia Gate B is the furthest gate in the terminal!! I arrived at the gate soaking wet from running and got on line to board.
I arrived an hour later in Palermo, had to go through another baggage check for international travelers and then finally exit. Finally!! I saw the sign with my name and was greeted by my cousin-in-law Felice. We had a lot to speak about on the drive to Castellammare del Golfo.
We arrived at Felice’s Nonna Gio’ B&B.
I was shown 2 rooms, one on the 2nd floor & one on the 3rd floor. I took the 2nd floor room.
But before I settled in, cousin Bernardo arrived. It was great to finally meet him! I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. He told me to rest, as tomorrow he had many plans for me.