We knew the deadline was coming for months… January 3rd was staring us in the face for a long time. January 3rd rustled up feelings of excitement (me and Jen), nervousness (Jen…ok, me a little) and stress (mainly me).
It got here before we were ready. We still had a list a mile long on January 2nd and I don’t think either of us were as prepared as we thought to say goodbye to our friends and family. Jen’s girlfriends threw an incredible send-off hosted at Mike and Aubrey Ciatto’s home.
|Aubrey and Mike’s beautiful home – nice touch with the flag|
And then… all of a sudden, we woke up on January 3rd. We hugged our first set of goodbyes to my parents, Julia’s “Pop-Pop and Grandma” in Darnestown, and got a little misty when my usually stoic parents both shed a couple tears.
Next, we started our entourage-like caravan with Jen’s family and our massive amounts of luggage to Dulles International. Dom had the foresight to make a move that helped with our travel more than he may have known. He flagged down a caddy to assist with our ample amounts of luggage (four massive checked bags, two massive carry-ons, four personal items, a stroller and a car seat). This patient gentleman asked Jen to stand in an unending line, while he escorted me to the front to unload our luggage. He told me to guard my luggage while I waited for Jen to wind her way through the line and meet me so we can check in at our proper place in line.
When no one moved after 15 minutes, it became quickly apparent the flight was delayed. Actually… not delayed. Non-existant. The plane was still grounded in Sweden due to “technical errors” (must have been a new Boeing Dreamliner).
Picture this… Jen is standing in line, behind about 40 very upset, very impatient travelers. I am standing at the front with a mountain of luggage to meet her. After some time, I started to inch my way toward the first class line and acted as if I belonged there. As soon as a spot finally became available, I walked right up and asked about our options. We were put on a flight with a sister airline departing immediately that got us in Milan only three hours behind schedule. I heard a rumor it was one of the last flights of it’s kind and given the fact that they could only help about one person every 20 minutes, I am fairly certain we procured the last three seats on that plane (I know, I should probably feel a little guilty about this… but most of you know me well enough to know that I don’t).
We were escorted to security by Jen’s parents, “Nonno & Nonna” and her sister, “Zia Jess” and the second round of tearful goodbyes commenced. Dom gave us an encouraging look and with the confidence and support of the whole family, we rushed to make our plane.
We touched down on January 4th weary, smelly, hungry, and over-tired. But we were also very excited and thrilled.
We realize this is a very long and detailed post. It is our first on this blog (or any blog), so fear not – I’m sure that due to time constraints and a sheer lack of will power, most future postings will be much shorter. So hang in there and please continue to read about our tales. We hope that blogging about our adventure is as fun for you to read as it will be to write and experience.
-Greg, Jen and Julia