Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Firenze Holiday

We were collected by the airport shuttle at 5:00 am on Sunday, after having been up for most of the preceding 24 hours. We boarded our 8:10 am flight right on time, then spent the better part of the next 2 hours waiting to commence our flight while some maintenance folks did whatever it was they needed to do to clear a code in the cockpit that the pilot had deemed important enough to keep us out of the sky. That's my kind of pilot; if you're going to err, err on the side of caution. While the natural inclination for an airplane may be to fly, gravity is a powerful and tenacious opponent, and it always wins.

We arrived at Toronto, our intermediate destination, about an hour and a half late, which instead of a leisurely stop-over, left us with a mad dash, via immigration control, to our connecting flight; we made it with little time to spare. Our transatlantic journey was comprised of 10+ hours of reading, cat napping, working word puzzle books, movies, cat napping, a meal, some beverages, cat napping, movies, reading, cat napping...well, you get the picture.

Upon arrival at Frankfurt, and after standing in two frustratingly long security check-point lines, we finally got that the liquid spirits we had acquired at the Air Canada in-flight "Duty Free" shop while over the Atlantic would have to be stowed as checked baggage during our next and final flight. So, we put our libation in a duffel, checked it with Lufthansa and made another mad dash toward our next flight; but, strategically placed between us and our gate was yet another security check-point, which slowed our forward progress to the point that by the time we arrived at our assigned gate, the bus to our aircraft was already two minutes gone.

The nice Lufthansa lady booked us on the next flight to Florence, which was two and a half hours later, and it was at this point that we found out that there was every likelihood we would be continuing our journey without our luggage. No, not our "Duty Free" liquid libation that was safely ensconced in a nylon duffel and checked with Lufthansa, but our "real" luggage that we had checked in Seattle. So it was that we arrived in Florence two and a half hours late without so much as a change of socks.

We took a cab to our hotel, checked in, went to our room where I took off my shoes to give my tired and blistered feet a well deserved rest.

To be continued...

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