Road Trip – Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily to Miami, FL

I know that I should have written this entry a while ago but…I’ve been trying to block it….you’ll understand when you read it….a bumpy road trip….

Corso Garibaldi

My last morning in Castellammare del Golfo and I was up at 3:30am, so I would be ready by 5:15am.  The first leg of my road trip. Felice, my cousin-in-law, was bringing me to the Punta Raisi aka Falcone-Borsellino airport in Palermo. He drove by Corso Garibaldi for me. By 6:00am, I said “A presto” (see you soon) to Felice and went through TSA in no time. On the quick flight to Rome, I had an espresso and cornetto.

Arrived in Rome, went through TSA and passport control then trekked to the farthest international terminal, of course!! Thankfully my checked luggage would have its’ own trek.

Once I arrived at the Alitalia gate, I checked on my seat assignment and waited to board the flight to Miami. A little while later, there was an announcement of a delay due to a strike of the French air traffic controllers. Really??

Now, those of you who have traveled know all about these strikes, especially in Europe!! They can be a P.I.T.A (rompicoglioni) and cause all kinds of travel nightmares.

As I waited, with another espresso, I thought of the time my younger sister Sarah and I went to the Seville Expo (Spain) eons ago. The day of our return to NY, via Madrid to JFK, there was a strike by Spanair in Malaga.  We had to re-book our flights and unfortunately had to stay in Torremolinos, on the beach, another two days!!!  A very big inconvenience! Vito laughed when I called him to ask him to call my boss and tell her the news. Mmmmm….maybe an extra day or two in Rome wasn’t a bad idea….

Two hours later, an announcement was made stating that the Spanish air traffic controllers will be taking over and we could board. Once everyone was settled and Alitalia turned on the in-flight entertainment, I turned my favorite news channel – BBC.

That’s when I heard that EgyptAir Flight MS804 crashed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.  Holy #$!)  All  you could hear was gasping all around the plane. Except for a  young couple sitting across from me, who were still complaining about the delay. When I told them what happened, they continued complaining. I then said “Stop complaining. It could’ve been you”.  They finally shut up!!

Finally arrived in Miami!!  Then a 3 hour trek home!!

Another Road Trip Back To Sicily After Many Years

Since my sister Laurie & I went to Rome & Sicily in 1999, and met our wonderful cousins, so many things changed. My youngest niece Lori lost her battle with cancer at age 34. My “road trip” older sister Laurie died the following year. Mom died 3 years later and my younger sister Sarah died 2 years after Mom.

So, for many years, I was deluged with paperwork & lawyers to settle all their life affairs. After my niece died without a will, I begged both my sisters to get wills, living wills, power of attorney for medical & finance. My sister Laurie saw the struggles I had with her daughters’ affairs & did get a will, as did Mom, but Sarah didn’t. Things still popup now & then that have to be addressed.

[And as anyone who knows me, will tell you, I am always asking people if they have these 4 documents. I know, it does get embarrassing for my Vito. But it will save their family a lot of heartache & cursing!!]

I had planned 2 trips to Sicily but cancelled after Mom died and again after Sarah died.

Also, 2 years after Sarah died, in October 2010 I received a fax from cousin Bernardo informing me that cousin Lorenzo died. Now, I was devastated. I never saw Lorenzo again which is my biggest regret.

I joined the local Genealogy Society, volunteered to co-chair the Italian Genealogy Interest Group (GIG) & continued researching our family history. But as any genealogist will tell you, there are still many more missing pieces to the family history. As a matter of fact it is a never ending story!!! And Sicily was calling my name.

So, in response to Sicily calling to me, I answered. I told Vito I wanted to go back to do more research. He just rolled his eyes. I sent flowers to cousin Maria with a note that I would see her in May; called cousin Bernardo in Germany to tell him I was going to Castellammare del Golfo to do research; booked a room at Nonna Gio’ B & B (owned by cousin-in-law Felice); and booked my ticket on Alitalia.

On my way back to Sicily!!

View of Harbour in Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily from the Villa Comunale
View of Harbour in Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily from the Villa Comunale