2017 – The Adventure Begins & Ends In Florence

What can a person say about air travel that’s interesting and without disaster to report. (Note to self: do not watch the movie “Sully” on this plane trip.) Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go. We were able to smuggle on an extra passenger (Nemo) that will be joining us on our adventures. Since we couldn’t wrap up the bonus grands and take them with us, Nemo will be enjoying the journey on their behalf. 

Good-byes to the dog – we left our dog Cuffy in the very capable hands of Olivia and Ellie and their parents, and grandparents. Cuffy will get more attention than he probably ever has! I imagine they have all the details worked out as to who will feed him, whose turn it is to walk him, etc. He won’t miss us one bit unless I forgot to pack his pasta treats. Yes, our dog loves pasta – raw or cooked and his favorite treat is a few pieces of raw pasta noodles. Well, look who he lives with!


Off we go into the wild blue yonder – we’re in the air and on our way! Our trip originates in Portland (Oregon), with stops in San Diego, Frankfurt, and ends at our destination Florence, Italy. Since we’ve been flying Condor Airlines we’ve had direct flights to Frankfurt and then to our destination of choice. This year, the best-priced ticket took us a little out of our way, but we saw it as an extra opportunity to get a little exercise walking around the airport before the long haul to Frankfurt. After all, I haven’t been on a plane in two years and don’t know how my back will react to all the sitting and vibrations. (Note: I fractured my back last year at this time right before boarding the plane to Italy – so it’s been a year of surgery and recovery.) All is good now and we are both more than ready to travel!


Musings while in the air. There will only be light in the sky about another hour and wouldn’t you know, we always seem to be on the wrong side of the plane to see what the pilot is pointing out as we fly over it. Paula Poundstone does a comedy routine on airplane flights and out-of-the-window views. If you click the link on her name you’ll see about an eight-minute segment of her comedy, but if you fast forward to about 5:30 into the video you will hear the piece that I am thinking about while flying today. She does a great job on this subject. Since we were on the wrong side of the plane, we decided not to talk to the people on the right side. (This will make sense if you watch the video.)

However, in about 2003, on a trip with our son, Brian, I  should have been cured of looking out the airplane windows, at least at night. Here’s the scene: We’re on our way to Italy (can you see a theme in my travel destinations?). It’s sometime in the middle of the night, the lights are out in the airplane cabin, most people are asleep, and I have to visit the bathroom.

So here I am standing at the back of the plane waiting to use the facilities (yes, there was a line even late at night!) and I open one of the window shades to look outside. I see a bright light that looked like it was moving towards us. I imagined it was another plane was headed straight for us. I panicked inside but remained calm on the outside. Do you know how hard that is for an Italian to do?

Then it was decision time. It was my turn for the bathroom. Do I go in and risk being caught in the bathroom if another plane crashed into us? Do I alert the airline attendants (which of course were nowhere to be found at this time of night)? Well, I decided to go to the bathroom, because either way this turned out, I would pee my pants.

I was astonished when I came out of the bathroom that we hadn’t crashed yet. I looked out the window again before returning to my seat and yes, the light was still there and it was getting closer in my mind. I returned to my seat and woke up Brian to tell him what I saw. He opened the window shade and looked out. Somewhat disgusted he turned to me and said, “Mom, that’s the light on the wing of THIS airplane.” I’m sure at this point in the trip (and it had just begun) he was regretting traveling with me. 

Italian family photo from our 2003 trip. Brian is in the bottom row on the very right, I’m last row 4th from the right, behind Brian.
This is what Brian felt like after taking his mother to Italy! Actually, we saw these bottles just laying in the grass on the side of the road in Rome and thought it would make a funny picture. 

Studying Italian during the flight – not that it will help much. I haven’t been as diligent this year in my Italian studies so thought I would brush up on key phrases on the plane. The three most important to me: “Dove e bankomat” (where is the ATM,) “Dov’e il bagno” (where is the bathroom), and “Quanto costa” (how much does it cost). I have them memorized!

Dick decided he would study the “Speak Italian” gestures method instead. 

Here is the phrase he is most interested in: “drink.” I think he has this gesture perfected. 

Silly me, I’ve been trying to learn to SPEAK the language. Gestures seem so much easier.

Buononotte. (Good night.)

2 thoughts on “2017 – The Adventure Begins & Ends In Florence”

  1. Hi Dick & Christina, Loved seeing you waiting for your at the airport. Have a wonderful trip and be safe I will be thinking you as you fly. Love you guys, Julia Loyacano

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top