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Report 1924: Another Attempt at La Dolce Vita!

By Podie from Florida, Spring 2011

Trip Description: 5/25/2011 thru 6/8/2011, two weeks spending a few days in Rome, Siena (with a day trip to Montalcino and Montepulciano), Florence, Pordenone, Venice.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Other Italy Region, Rome, Tuscany, Venice

Categories: Family/Friends; Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 13: Orlando to Rome, A Welcome Culture Shock!

My husband, Rich, and I left Orlando on Wednesday, May 25 2011, on our third trip together to Italy. I had gone several times without him, but once I finally got him there in 2006, he was hooked!

I accomplished the impossible this trip. I convinced Rich, the heaviest packer in our family, to just use a carry-on and a "personal item" which was basically another carry-on. No matter - it was fine with Delta. We breezed through security in Orlando in less than five minutes and our very full flight to JFK left on time.

Having grown up in Queens, New York, flying into JFK is always fun for me. We flew over the hotel where I attended my high school prom in 1973 and landed a little early. Unfortunately, there was no gate so we drove around awhile and finally stopped and waited until two big "lunar buses" hooked onto the plane and took us to the terminal. This was a first for me and I was glad we had plenty of time before our flight to Rome.

JFK was, as usual, somewhat of a zoo. There was a high school class waiting to board a flight to Israel and their teacher had them in a circle, where he threw obviously amusing questions at each one. It was fun to see how the kids really liked and responded to him.

Our gate area had too many people or not enough seats, but there was a Catholic priest on our flight so Rich felt good about that. He does not like to fly. He was clutching the bottle of Xanax our doctor is good enough to give him before he flies.

I knew this was also a full flight but luckily our two carry-ons and two personal items fit overhead just fine and there was still plenty of extra space. The bulkhead seats in front of us were empty within two minutes of departure and we considered offering a bribe to the flight attendant, but at the last minute two big guys ran in and claimed them. They had thought the flight left from Newark instead of JFK and paid a cab driver $120 to rush them to JFK.

Why couldn't there have been more traffic?

So we settled into our two seats with our little movie screens and hoped the plane would leave on time.

Well, it left the gate on time but drove around in a circle for almost a full hour. I found myself wondering about fuel, and everyone was just kind of looking at each other. The pilot finally came on and said we had been directed to use an outer runway and would get there shortly. A full hour late, we took off for Rome.

We ate BBQ chicken and mashed sweet potatoes, I turned on a Harry Potter movie, and Rich's Xanax kicked in. I looked forward to waking up in Rome.

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