Fall 2022 – Heading home from Italy

After forty-six days of meandering our way around Italy, it was time to head home. It wasn’t a direct route to home though. We flew from Rome to Washington DC, but due to the schedules, we decided to stay overnight in Washington.

Our driver arrived a little before 6:30 am – Ugh! We checked out of the hotel and we were heading to the airport in the blink of an eye. Our flight doesn’t leave until 10:40 am, but they said you never can tell how busy the airport will be.

The airport was not busy at all. We checked in our bags, went through passport control and security and still had a little over two hours until boarding. We did have access to the lounge, so we had a comfortable place to sit and could at least grab a small bite to eat.

****** UPDATE *******

We left Rome on Thursday morning. On Friday, there was an air traffic controllers strike that caused all sorts of flight cancellations.


We were looking forward to the flight home. We were flying on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and we had Polaris seating, meaning fold flat seats and a little more room. When we boarded, I was very surprised. The seats fold flat, however the “pods” are pretty tight. Not at all what we expected. We’ve flown Air Canada, Delta, Air France and Swiss Air and they were all much more comfortable.

The important part was that we arrived in Washington Dulles safe and just about on-time.

I remembered why I didn’t want to fly into Dulles on an international flight as soon as we stepped off the flight. First there is a long walk to get to the US Customs. You walk for literally ten minutes down a corridor, then they put you on a bus to go over to the customs building. We are enrolled in the Global Entry Program, so there is a separate area and that went fairly quickly. From there you go to passport control. We lucked out as our luggage was some of the first pieces off of the plane. The entire process took about fifty minutes.

By that time, our original flight would have already started boarding and we would have had to catch the people mover to the proper gate area and then get down to the gate. We’re too old for that nonsense.

Since we knew it would be tight and we knew it would be stressful, we had decided to stay overnight in Washington. We were able to relax, have a decent meal and get a good night’s sleep before heading home. A little extra expense, but mentally worth it. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Dulles and got a good deal on Booking.com for a king family room. The room was really comfortable, decently sized and we had a beautiful sunrise view.

Our flight to Buffalo was at 12:40 pm, so we did sleep in a little bit. The hotel had a shuttle to the airport, which worked out great. The airport wasn’t too busy, so we were able to scoot through security and head to our gate. We did manage to sneak in a sandwich before the flight and finally find some cough drops.

Once our departure time rolled around, it was only about an hour and fifteen minutes flight. We grabbed a cab at the airport and we were home and shivering just a bit after 3:00 pm.

Why did you guys shut off the sun while we were gone?

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