My Trip Begins. Read All About It In My Trip Journal.
Monday night to Tuesday Morning – I got to the airport early and when I say early I mean really early. Atlanta traffic is unpredictable and I am a worrier when it comes to missing flights, especially flights to Europe so I over compensate and tend to be way too early. That plus you never know these days what the security line will be like. So, I managed to spend about $50 on some necessities and some not necessities in the time I spent wandering around the concourse.
The necessities were liquids – water, hand sanitizer, nose drops (to keep my ears
clear while flying), snacks and a cloth sunglass case which I somehow forgot to bring.
The not so necessities were more magazines and some small things that looked cool but that I really did not need and only took up space in my already full backpack. I also ate my last really bad pizza for at least 10 days.
The plane was slam, packed full! I don’t know why I was so surprised. I don’t think I have ever flown to Italy from Atlanta when the plane has not been full. I was very lucky though as I had a seating companion, who respected my personal space, was quiet and did not squirm about too much. On top of that he was very charming and clean (which is not always the case on these long flights when some people are already on their second or third leg).
The plane I was on had one very nice upside, the seats were a lot roomier than those on most planes, and one downside, you did not have your own console to watch movies or play games on. So I was subjected to a Kevin James/Vince Vaughn movie.
The atrocious movie was only surpassed by my atrocious dinner – the chicken was almost inedible and the wine undrinkable though the sweet potatoes were very good. I was beginning to feel good about the stash of granola bars I bought during my long wait to board my plane.
My seating companion, whose name I never learned and shall hereafter be referred to as Paolo had a very unusual and interesting job. He worked for someone who made a “gazillion dollars” in the fashion industry. Apparently he is rich enough that Paolo sometimes gets to fly back and forth to Italy on a private jet.
In any case, Paolo’s employer has a 12 year old son who races Ferrari’s around Italy. Paolo follows him around in a RV (which I cannot imagine driving on the narrow streets in Italy) as a support service. He generally stays at hotels near or at racetracks so he has only seen most of the great cities of Italy from a distance but he knew a lot about the suburbs. He said he was lonely and he missed his family (he was middle-aged and divorced or at least no longer married). I can understand how it would be lonely travelling in an RV all day in a foreign country by yourself. I think I would be willing to give it a try, though I would have to be driving something smaller like a support Fiat.
To be continued………..