One day later in Italy

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It feels like we missed out on an entire day when we finally arrived home a little after 11PM on Monday. We left Sunday evening from San Francisco around 7PM and arrived at the Pisa airport on Monday at 10PM. Luckily, I was able to sleep for a few hours in the plane, which made me feel a little better about an entire day lost in flight.

We got to London in the afternoon on Monday and had to switch airports by bus. Our plane to Pisa wasn't until the early evening when it was already dark. There were probably only about 30 people on our Boeing 737. One woman wanted to move seats to the front of the plane before taking off and the flight attendant told her that she couldn't move because the seating has been set up to properly distribute the weight on the plane. Upon hearing that, I got a little nervous. They didn't weigh any of us and it seemed that most of us were concentrated in the wing section, which I hoped was a good thing.

We got off the ground as normal and I felt a little more comfortable. Towards the end of our flight, Dave and I were a little concerned about the landing since our arrival into London in the 747 was far from smooth. It was so noticeably rough that the pilot got on the loudspeaker afterwards and said jokingly that it was the co-pilot's fault.

When we arrived at the Pisa airport, we walked down the moveable staircase that was propped up against the plane. The air was warm and quite humid even though it was already 10 in the evening. I forgot how humid Italy can be.

When we got inside of the baggage claim area, we paid 2 Euros to get a cart for our luggage. We only had 3 Euros in coins, so we got one cart and put as much as we could on it. I felt sorry for anyone who didn't already have any Euros because there is no place to get change in the baggage claim area.

On our way out, we walked past a few policemen, one of which was holding onto a dog on a leash. The policeman with the dog tapped my suitcase and a young policeman in plain clothes came up to me and flashed a picture ID that was covered with plastic and said, "Documenti per favore." (Your documents please). For a brief moment, I was a little surprised and I pulled out my passport from my small carry-on suitcase. "Da dove viene?" (Where did you come from?) he asked. I hesitated as I wasn't sure if I was supposed to speak English or Italian. If I speak Italian, will I get in trouble for smuggling in Cheddar cheese? I said, "San Francisco," pronouncing it for him in Italian. He flipped through my passport, handed it back and said, "Thank you."

We got outside around 10:20PM and the last train and bus had already left. Luckily, I looked it up on the Internet a few days earlier because I was able to contact our friend Richard who came and picked us up. If we weren't able to get a ride, we would've had to either spend the night in Pisa or take a taxi to Florence.

We arrived at our apartment and dumped all of our luggage in the living room. We were both exhausted, but at almost midnight, I began to unpack by putting away all the goodies we bought in the States. Besides two 2-lb. packages of Cheddar cheese in our suitcase, I brought back some chili powder, tubes of Crest toothpaste, deodorant, pure vanilla extract, dried cranberries, green tea, chocolate chips, and a large stack of books.

I wanted to bring back a few other things that are either not easy to find here, like pecans, or much more expensive. Always after I unpack everything, I think to myself that I could've stuffed in a little bit more. We did have two suitcases each, with each one of them weighing 50 pounds or more. Luckily, my brother-in-law let us borrow a couple of suitcases that we use to bring things back. They'll be using them to take their Italian goods back to the States when they come in April next year.

We didn't see much of Italy when we drove home and unfortunately drove around the city so we didn't see any monuments. We did, however, look down the Arno from near Le Cascine to see the Ponte Vecchio and the top of Palazzo Vecchio. I'm hoping that I'll go outside for a walk around some time this week while the weather is nice to visit all my favorite places.

If you have any comments, please share them on the Living in Florence's FaceBook page. Grazie!

October 2006


December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

Travel Blogs