Tuesday, November 28
It was time to return home. We were packed and waiting in the lobby at 8 a.m. for the van to the airport. As we left the town we passed the Colosseum and crossed over the Tiber. Check-in went smoothly, almost. Everyone else quickly checked-in and got their boarding pass. Margaret and I were in a different line. The lady behind the counter had absolutely no idea what she was doing. Each time she had to enter something into the computer she had to get a supervisor to help her. It took nearly 30 minutes for Margaret and I to get our boarding passes.
Once through security it was time to spend the lira I had left over. I purchased shirts for Paige and Clint and a calendar for myself. We then hopped the tram out to the International Terminal. Sallie, Jody, and Alan had staked out seats for us at the gate. Boarding started on schedule and Alan once again got taken aside to be searched by a man carrying a large machine gun. This happens to Alan everytime we travel.
The plane was only three-quarters full and I two seats to myself (aisle and window). We flew north along the coast and the view was incredible. I could see roads encircling the islands we passed over and each of the tiny villages. On the ocean I could see fleets of fishing vessels. We eventually climbed above a level of clouds and the view of the ground disappeared.
We had a decent meal and I watched one movie and part of another. The first movie was about a group of ballet students in New York. The second movie was "Small Time Crooks" This is a Woody Allen movie that quickly had me snoring. I managed to sleep four or five hours. The flight back was nearly two hours longer than the flight over.
We arrived in Philadelphia with nearly three hours before our connection to Birmingham. This time we didn't have to run. After finding our gate, Margaret, Alan, Jody, and I went to find somewhere to eat. Margaret wanted Burger King after seeing someone walk by with a bag - twenty minutes and a mile later we finally found a Whopper.
Back at the gate we pulled out the cards and played Spades as we waited for our flight. The flight back to Birmingham was uneventful and I slept most of the way. Margaret's father was waiting for her when we landed. Sheila and Aunt Peggy arrived just as we were collecting our luggage. Back at the house we spent an hour talking about our trip.