Thursday, September 13, 2007

Europe - Day 0 - Departure for Italy

My first travel to Europe several years ago was a five-cities-in-twelve-days adventure that involved planes, trains and automobiles, four languages, and six currencies. This time, we arrived at the airport anticipating an adventure of a different sort.

Traveling with Adventures by Disney, the itinerary for this trip called for us to stay in three cities over nine days, with stops in two more cities along the way. [In fact, we would see a total of six cities and two countries before finishing our tour.]

Having packed only the day before, I had spent nearly zero-time on preparation for the trip. This was somewhat of a leap of faith, except that past experiences with Disney left little doubt that our Italian adventure would be meticulously choreographed and flawlessly produced. ...we would not be disappointed. [I wrote this while recovering from jet lag at 2:30AM, the night after our arrival. By the conclusion of the trip, we would find that "meticulously choreographed and flawlessly produced" were the perfect words... the trip couldn't have been better.]

We departed IAD in the afternoon, anticipating an arrival in Rome the next morning. For someone who has sworn "never again" about red-eyes, this was just crazy.

Our last-minute decision to upgrade to United "Economy Plus" was worth its weight in gold -- not only did we secure the extra legroom (which at 6'3", I really need) but we also were lucky to gain the entire center row on our 777 (5 seats) for the two of us.

I didn't bother trying to sleep. So, the evening/night/morning was a blur of movies on small screens, with brief intermissions to eat and read
Fast Bikes. The food was passable, most notable because this was one of the rare non-business/first-class flights where we didn't have to pay for our choice of meals. After Perfect Stranger, The Waitress, Blades of Glory (the end only, thank god), Fracture (beginning and end) we made our descent into Rome with the Tyrrhenian Sea on our right.

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