Departure Day... Round 2

Palaia Travel Blog

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Round 2.  Our new flight route is from DCA to ATL to Paris to Pisa with departure at 3:00pm.  We arrive to the airport and everything is going smoothly.  FINALLY!!  We arrive in a balmy ATL in the evening and immediately hop the Paris flight.  I have to sit next to a very scary looking guy who is a few years younger than me who is traveling with his family and from the smell of it hasn't showered in quite a while.  Fortunately some of the other passengers must complain and the flight attendant moves him to an aisle of his own and does maintenance air freshener sprays.

This flight with Air France is through the night and the seats are cramped.  With eight seats across the center we are in the middle.
Flight!
  Since I had gone out drinking with my friends the night before, I had eaten nothing all day and was starving at this point.  Dinner was served at around 8:00-8:30 pm EST.  We got a fairly large dinner of chicken with wild rice in white cream sauce.  A strange couscous and cold salmon appetizer, a muffin thing, cheese, bea, and tapioca pudding.  Not too bad for a plane meal.  Now just a whole lot of hours with no leg room to go!

We arrived in France at 8am-ish (2am EST) at the Degaulles airport.  OH MY GOD! It was a seriously confusing airport.  We had to take a metro shuttle and walk and take a bus and go through customs to get to the next plane.  I am now on a little plane with three seats across.  We are puddle skipping to Pisa for a few hours flight time.
The Villa
  When we got on, there was no tunnel thing, we just walked out into the tarmac, climbed the stairs and got on. 

I had spoke to T-mobile ahead of time b/c my phone is supposedly gsm or whatever.  They had cleared me for overseas use.  But it didn't work when we got to Paris! I will be contactless! Of all the unholy things!

I must say after my moms lost luggage story (after her last trip to Italy) I am anxious about my stuff being los since we have had a lot of transfers... guess I'll find out...

I know randomness.  but on the other plane it gives flight status stuff.  It said we were going 600mph.  I can't even really perceive going that fast...  Another random thing, I've been eavesdropping on the people sitting across from me in this tiny plane.
The Giant Beds!
  They were strangers before sitting down.  Within the first 15 minutes the woman was talking about her husbands ex and how crazy she is.  She talks about her step son and husband.  He talks about his kids and his business.  They exchange cards.  She is from Rome and he is from Florida.  Is this unique plane behavior?

Last leg of the race and we finally ended in Pisa.  My mom's friends Rocky and and his partner Joe met us there after which we hopped into his 1990's four runner and set off to the house.  It is warm and sunny; I am tired but so happy to have finally arrived.  The country side is beautiful with lots of large old ruins and marvelous villas.
The Patio
  Other cars are tailgating, some mercedes fly by at about 90 slowing only for some invisible cameras in the bushes.  We drive four about 40 minutes before arriving at Rocky's villa.

It is wonderfully charming.  The house has personality and I assume because of its age is like nothing I've stayed in before.  There is a huge open fireplace with a pizza oven in the living room.  Everything is large and spacious, although slightly unconventional by US standards.  The flooring is cold and stone, there are little shutters in the inside, the stairs are big, the kitchen has been redone, the bedrooms have monstrous beds that Rocky had made from beams from the ceiling, the patio is awesome and overlooks the rolling hills below, and the pool although too cool for water sits unused outside.
Countryside


Once arriving at the house, at approximately lunch time, it was time to eat, of course!  It's Italy!  Joe had cooked some spaghetti with mushrooms the night before for us.  After eating we decided to go on a hike to look for wild asparagus and orchids (my mom loves flowers).  Tromping through the underbrush in big rubber boots looking for asparagus for dinner was fun but a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The asparagus is not like the supermarket asparagus from Giant Food.  It is small and dark and difficult to spot in the undergrowth.  As we walked, a cockoo  coo'ed and a donkey not too far off brayed.  The purple orchids my mom was searching for were not quite as exciting.  They weren't as pretty as I thought but I guess fun to compete for who could spot it first.
 

After the asparagus and orchid hunt rocky showed us his cave which he had made with a arch and door.  It was cool, but I don't know what he would use it for.  I offered it could be used as a wine cellar but I guess it's not cold enough. 

At this point, I was getting tired, so retired to the house where I tried to read but ended up passing out from jet leg.  When I awoke, I was happy to find it was dinnertime!

For dinner, Joe made some garlic and butter sauced/chili mussels with fresh bread which was all so great... and spicy!  For secundo we had pasta carbonera with the asparagus we had picked sauteed in olive oil from the hills below.  As Joe and Rocky had arrived only a few days before, and we had arrived that day, we were all tired from jetlag and it was time to call it a night after a quick gaze at the stars and blue Italian moon. 
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Flight!
Flight!
The Villa
The Villa
The Giant Beds!
The Giant Beds!
The Patio
The Patio
Countryside
Countryside
Lunchtime
Lunchtime
The fireplace
The fireplace
Asparagus!
Asparagus!
Ready
Ready
Orchid
Orchid
Palaia
photo by: emperial78