We took a shuttle to the Fiumicino airport at 6:30 to get there by 6:45 a.m. The United gates didn’t open until 7:00, so we got there early for no good reason. Check-in went quickly, as did security and passport control. We enjoyed coffee and croissants in the airport and then waited until our 9:45 departure, with a 1:35 p.m. arrival time at Dulles International Airport near our home in Northern Virginia. Before boarding, I finished the book I’d been reading in Morocco and Rome, The Forgiven.
During the flight, I watched Crazy Rich Asians, On the Basis of Sex (about Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and I started the TV show My Brilliant Friend, but I didn’t have time to finish it.
We had a lunch of spinach and ricotta manicotti and bread. I took a Valium after lunch and managed to sleep for a couple of hours, but it was so freezing on the plane, it was hard to get comfortable. I had on my black knit flowy pants, a t-shirt, my gray knit zipper jacket and my jean jacket all buttoned up, plus a very thin blanket provided by the airline, but I was freezing the entire flight.
Lots of seats on the flight were empty. We paid for Economy Plus, so we had a little more leg room than others. Mike had the window seat and I had the aisle, 23K and L.
It was 12:01 p.m. Washington time (and 6:02 p.m. Italy time), and we were to arrive at 1:35. I could see were were flying toward Boston on the flight path screen. We were over the Atlantic most of the flight, soon after flying over Ireland and Great Britain.
I hoped we’d get one more snack, but none seemed to be coming. I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and to get warm in our cozy home. By that time, we’d traveled 4,728 miles and we were at 34,009 feet in altitude. The outside temperature was -50°C, or -58°F.
Everyone had the window shades closed through the entire flight, so it had been dark in the cabin. It seemed it would warm up if they opened the “blinds” and let the light in.
Neither of us was excited about having our youngest son move back home as life had always been stressful with him in our house. He had agreed to the conditions we had laid out our last night in Rome, but neither of us were convinced he would actually meet them. He had agreed to get therapy, go to AA, work on his drinking, and gain a skill. I didn’t think he would make much money as a massage therapist, so I didn’t see that as a long-term solution, but it was a step in at least some direction. We would be seeing him back in our house soon after we arrived home. I was decidedly not looking forward to our homecoming.
My older son had already arranged to come home that week upon our return, as he would be the best man in his friend’s wedding. As my older and younger sons had several months earlier had a huge falling out over their shared living situation in Colorado, this would create additional stress. When we informed my older son that the younger would be home when he came home, he was very upset, as we figured he would be. I could perfectly understand his feelings.
We came home to a very stressful situation, although it was wonderful to see my older son and to have a tenuous glimmer of hope, once again, that our youngest son might actually follow through on his commitments.
Once we settled back in at home, we watched a couple of movies set in Italy that we hadn’t had time to watch before our trip: Three Coins in the Fountain and To Rome with Love. We also began the fabulous TV series, My Brilliant Friend, which we are still watching.
Eventually, I wrote a number of posts about our travels in Italy:
- on journey: morocco to rome
- rome: forgoing the colosseum & dipping into the “heart of rome”
- rome: continuing the “heart of rome” walk past the trevi fountain & the spanish steps
- my last day in rome – to, from & around part of the vatican museums
- promises, promises in the vatican museums
- on journey: a drive from rome to la spezia
- the cinque terre: monterosso al mare
- the cinque terre: a crowded hike to vernazza
- cinque terre: charming portovenere
- cinque terre: a vineyard walk in stunning manarola
- italy: pisa’s campo dei miracoli & the leaning tower
- lucca to florence, italy
- the uffizi in florence, italy
- a first glimpse into the glory of florence
- a morning at the galleria dell’accademia in florence
- florence: a day of sweeping views & perpetual grazing
- florence to montefioralle to greve in chianti
- under a wisteria sky at panzano in chianti
- a quick climb in castellina & an epic detour in the maze of san gimignano
- san gimignano: a city of medieval skyscrapers
- volterra in tuscany
- tuscany: exploring siena
- a short stroll through damp monteriggioni
- tuscany: an encounter with the fiat 500 club italia in asciano
- tuscany: montalcino
- tuscany: sant’antimo > san quirico d’orcia > montepulciano
- montepulciano > bagno vignoni > san quirico d’orcia (again)
- umbria: a chilly afternoon in perugia
- assisi & the basilica di san francesco
- umbria: a short stroll around spello
- umbria: the gorgeous town of spoleto
- poetic journeys: eight ways of looking at italy
- orvieto in southern umbria
- umbria: civita di bagnoregio & on to fiumicino
We enjoyed our travels in Italy. We especially loved most of the Cinque Terre (despite the crowds) and Portovenere, Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano and Volterra, the Tuscan countryside, Assisi and Orvieto. The major drawback was the weather, which, once we got to Tuscany and Umbria, was fickle: rainy, cold, windy, with bouts of sunshine too few and far between.
*April 23 to May 10, 2019*
“ON RETURNING HOME” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about returning home from one particular destination or, alternately, from a long journey encompassing many stops. How do you linger over your wanderings and create something from them? How have you changed? Did the place live up to its hype, or was it disappointing? Feel free to address any aspect of your journey and how it influences you upon your return. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.
For some ideas on this, you can check out the original post about this subject: on returning home.
Include the link in the comments below by Sunday, November 1 at 1:00 p.m. EST. When I write my post in response to this challenge on Monday, November 2, I’ll include your links in that post.
This will be an ongoing invitation on the first Monday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time.
Your lovely photographs are always my ‘go-to’ first when I open your posts, then I read the text – which I hardly need. I hope your younger son didn’t cause any more problems when he arrived to visit and I feel for your eldest son having to put up with a sibling who doesn’t obey the rules yet seems to get attention nevertheless. But it was ever so.
I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures from Italy, Mari. Well, the younger son did well for a while, but by the time I went to Charleston in November, everything was falling apart again. To be expected. And yes, it’s a bummer for my eldest son who works hard and never asks for anything to have to deal with the younger son who never takes responsibility for his life.
I hope your homecoming worked outOK. Great images from Italy, oh to be there again…..
It was okay, but not in the long term. Thanks, Sue. Yes, I’d love to be in Italy again. 🙂
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Your Italy photos send me back into memories of my time there and make me wish to browse through my own images of exploring the country. Usually, I also watch movies set in the country or read books from there to help layer my ideas about the place. I read Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend” a while ago and loved it so I’m intrigued to hear that you are enjoying the tv series. Wishing you strength and patience as you readjust to the new living conditions.
Thank you, Atreyee. Nice to see you here! I also have the Ferrante books, but now we’re immersed in the series, so I’ll have to get to the books later. I do love the story. As far as the living situation, we returned home from Italy in May of 2019, so things looked up for a while, and then went downhill, as per usual. Our youngest son has been in Nicaragua since the pandemic began in March.
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Wow, that header is fabulous!
Thanks, Anabel. 🙂
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I enjoyed travelling through Italy with you!
Thanks, Carol. It all seems so long ago now. 😦
Loved all your Italian adventures Cathy, even if the weather didn’t cooperate you certainly made the most of your time there. I’d say you almost needed a holiday on your return home, especially as you did the trip on the back of Morocco! Hope things are still good with the offspring!
Thanks so much, Jude. The weather wasn’t the best, so a little disappointing, but we still managed to have a good time. And yes, it was a lot with Morocco too. I don’t really know how things are with the offspring this week; the youngest is recovering slowly from a motorbike accident he had last week, but we haven’t heard from him this week.
Oh, goodness, that’s not good news. Never rains eh!
That’s for sure. 😦
Italy certainly can charm! Fantastic series of blogs!! Thank you! When driving around Europe and camping with my ex-husband on a monster Eurotrip in 1994, I sadly realize looking back that Italy was the only country where we never had an argument. Unfortunately, within a few weeks of leaving Italy behind, we split up, and that was that. I remember I was more pissed off that the road trip was cut short than the fact that my marriage had disintegrated, but sometimes, I wonder what would have happened had we decided to stay there a bit longer ….! Oh well! I have so enjoyed your Italian Journeys! A great book of the same title was written by Goethe, and that would be a wonderful book to add to your reading list.
As for My Brilliant Friend, I am reading that right now!! I did not know it was made into a TV series! I will finish the book(s) first (I believe there are 3 in total….?) before I watch it.
How I will miss these wonderful blogs! They bring such joy especially now during a time when no one is travelling anywhere. What memories you two have to feast on though, while you wait for the world to re-open. 2021 cannot come fast enough.
Hi there, friend. I remember hearing how your Italy trip with your ex-husband was so wonderful. I guess it is tempting to wonder what would have happened if you had lingered there longer.
I’ll have to check out the Italian Journeys by Goethe.
As for My Brilliant Friend, I also have the books but now we’re into the show, so I’ll have to read the books later. The show is very well done, I think, but you might think differently since you read the books. Books always seem better than movies or TV shows.
Thanks so much for your kind words about missing my blogs. I may miss writing them too, but I really look forward to a good long break so I can explore whatever else comes along. I do love reliving my travel memories, so maybe I’ll be back to blogging after a year hiatus. Who knows what the future holds.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! 🙂
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