October 1 -Going Home and Epilogue
Today we rose at 5AM and left the hotel at a few minutes before six. Our taxi to the Leonardo DaVinci airport was fast due to the low volume of traffic at this early hour and we arrived by 6:15AM. None of the check-ins were open and we waited until 7 when things began to turn on. We went through a pre-check, then immigration, and finally we got to check in. The terminal was just waking up and Tom found a place to get rid of a few Euros on breakfast. The croissants in Italy are more like donuts and our French friend (Xavier) from the Africa trip would have rejected them, but it was food. We had not realized that the dollar had fallen soon after we began out trip and the exchange rate for our last 75 Euros only yielded a few percent above par for American dollars. Oh, well, the cost of international travel.
The plane took off right on time and the long flight was made to seem shorter by a good array of in-flight entertainment. However, when we hit JFK in New York City, things ground to a snails pace with a long wait in customs and a ridiculous security check that we have never had in other airports. With hundreds of transferring passengers from the international flights to domestic in Terminal 4 the security had only one X-Ray machine! We almost missed our connection to Rochester and our luggage arrived the next day.
We have been home a week and just about over reentry. Tom caught a cold (probably from the confines of the planes). We have been thinking over the trip as we often do. We liked Rome the least of the locations we visited. We knew we had to go there, but probably would have done it first (get it over with) and saved the best for last. Venice was the best and the part in Tuscany was great too. The Cinque Terre was OK, but a bit crowded and too much of an air of "rich and famous," especially Portofino. It's possible that we tried to see too much because we found the best part of each day was at dinner when we were able to relax and not feel rushed.
Are we thinking about another trip to Europe? Anne is already reading Rick Steves "Backdoor to Europe" and thinking of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Of course, we still want to visit East Africa. Tom is way behind on the sorting through the pictures from England which was 3 trips ago (not counting Florida) let alone the pictures from Africa and these from Italy.
We hope all of you have enjoyed our travels and of course, we will invite you back for our next trip. We love to hear from you as we travel. Our next travel destination will take us to Florida for January and February. See you then!