Day 34 – From Rome to Home

Buffalo, NY

Early morning alarms woke us up at 4:45 am. We need to take showers, pack and check out by 7:00 am when our car arrives to take us to the airport. Everything went smoothly despite our eyes being only half open.

We checked out with one of our favorites – Mauro. While we thanked him for everything, he thanked us back for staying there and being such good guests. We really enjoyed the moments and conversations we had with him as we were coming and going.

Our car was right on time and whisked us to the airport. It was like a thrill ride cutting down side streets and zooming along. I know we hit 140 kph at one point, so I stopped looking. When we arrived, the Delta counter was empty. We were able to walk right up to the counter, check in, go through security, catch the shuttle bus and get to our gate in less than an hour. So much for having to worry.

As it turned out, our plane was delayed by almost an hour so in reality we had a lot of time to kill waiting.

Once we did board, the flight went smoothly. The meal they served was tasty and they routinely walked around with water to keep you hydrated. The flight time was just short of 10 hours, but went by pretty fast, even without snoozing.

We flew into Detroit Airport and couldn’t have been happier about the choice. We used the re-entry kiosks for customs, went through passport control, got our bags and re-checked them, went through security all in about an hour. We’d probably still be standing in line today if we went through JFK.

Unfortunately, we do have a five hour layover, but that means plenty of time for a decent bite to eat. I had a craving, after all the great Italian meals, for a good, old-fashioned hamburger. Found a place and topped it off with a bottle of root beer.

After eating, we walked down to the gate area, found a spot by a charging station and waited. By the time we were ready to board, we were both pretty tired. Just another hour we kept telling each other. The flight to Buffalo was only thirty nine minutes, but my eyes only lasted about five.

Once on the ground, we grabbed our bags, grabbed a taxi and were on our way home. It felt strange driving along – all the lights and all the English, nobody tail-gating, no scooters diving in and out of traffic. Even stranger was pulling up to the house.

We’re home again, though we never felt like we weren’t home throughout our travels. A final victory kiss to celebrate an awesome vacation!

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