Heading home to Calgary

We get up at 6:30 a.m. For the first time in a long time, the sky is grey. Other than rain the first night and the rainy evening on April 3rd, the weather has been sunny.
Our room service breakfast arrives on a cart. The cart is folded out into a table complete with tablecloth. The service at the hotel amuses me. It’s only coffee and toast but they present it like we’re dining royally. On the other hand, it was €27.27 for just coffee for two and one order of toast, butter and wild berry marmalata.

We call the girls who are still awake since it’s Friday night in Calgary. I made some errors trying to figure out how to dial using the phone card. I see later that I got charged €.47 for each of those erroneous attempts.

We get a cab and are driven by a crazy driver, who cuts off others and speeds like a demon. A woman driver pulls up beside us and gives our driver a hand gesture in that universal language. He was pretty crazy, but also kindly rolled down the taxi window when we are stopped at the light by the Colosseo and lets me take a better video. Unfortunately, the video is too big to upload here.

Rome airport is confusing because of the lack of signs. We get self serve boarding passes, have to wait in a long queue to check our baggage, and discover we have to be in a different queue with our baggage if we want to get the stamp for the VAT claim and then return to the baggage queue. We decide we’d rather not queue for the VAT even though this is foregoing a lot of money — best not to do the total. Lesson is, if you want the VAT refund, allow a lot of time at the Rome airport. There’s another long slow moving queue to go through security with rude people jumping the queue. Where’s that grumpy British guy from the Vatican when you need him?

After a gate change, which was infrequently announced, we eventually get on the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt with people speaking Italian, French, German, Japanese and a lot of languages I don’t recognize. I see this is also a flight for some Polish airline. We hear a lot of southern American drawls on this flight, also.

During the flight, which leaves around 10:30 am, Scott accepts a glass of red wine. It is the purplest thing I’ve ever seen. Me, I’m too old to drink bad wine.

Frankfurt airport is crazy busy. Scott keeps looking at planes passing near ours as we get close to Frankfurt. We get off the plane on the tarmac and onto a bus for a ride to Terminal 1 where we catch our flight to Calgary. We can see a plane driving straight for the bus when we cross one runway. Scott takes a photo of what looked like it could have been a near collision.

We find some indifferent food and some hefty tasting German beer after looking around to see if there’s anything we can get for the girls. Most of the jewellery is made in Italy. Instead, we get them German candies.

The trip from Frankfurt to Calgary is uneventful but long. We find we’re eating terrible airline food out of boredom. We arrive back to sunshine and brown lawns in Calgary. The girls and the dog are still alive and the house is intact.

We’re quite tired and remain that way for a number of days. We wish we were back in Italy.

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