Leaving Rome

Up at 6 AM this morning and I requested an 8 AM car to the airport. It was difficult leaving that amazing suite. Mom and Dad seemed a bit down, but I think that was because they were actually heading home, whereas I am going on to London.

Yesterday, he11o_sunshine warned me that Da Vinci Airport in Rome was a virtual nightmare. In a series of text messages, I learned from her that there were long lines, that it was unorganized, that you couldn’t even check in until your flight posted on the board, and that once in line, you didn’t move. In general, it sounded pretty bad.

We had a great driver from the hotel who gave us a mini-tour of Rome as we left. We arrived at the airport at about 8:45 AM. I’m flying Lufthansa to Munich and then catching a connecting flight to London, so he dropped me off at the Lufthansa check-in first. With much trepidation, and having prepared myself for the worst, I lugged my bags and found the check-in line. It was long, but not LAX long. However, after about a minute, one of the agents came by and asked if I had electronic tickets. I did, so he lead me to a machine through which I was able to get my tickets (and seats on both flights) without a wait. From there, he led me to the quick baggage check-in, where there was no line and where I checked in my bags, had my passport scanned, and was directed to the gate.

There was a short line (3 minutes) at the security checkpoint, and once through, it was a 2 minute walk to the gate. In fact, I was at my gate at 9 AM, fifteen minutes after having gotten out of the car. I don’t know if this is because I am traveling to another country in Europe (restrictions are tougher to the U.S.) or if Tuesday is just not as busy as Monday. I can’t explain it. It will be interesting to find out how things went for Mom and Dad. They are scheduled to get into LAX sometime around 10 PM PDT and they probably won’t be home until sometime after midnight PDT, which means they will just be getting home while I am getting my breakfast tomorrow morning.

Oh, incidentally, I got a text message late last night, and he11o_sunshine and jkashlock made it home safely last night.

I have a very short layover in Munich and then I head on to London, at which time, I will be five hours ahead of my friends on the East Coast, and eight hours ahead of my friends on the West Coast. (And six hours ahead of thepopeswife and Trevor.) In London I’m staying at the Sheraton Park Lane, right smack in the center of everything. I arranged to have the hotel send a car to pick me up at the airport. If everything is on time, I expect to be at my hotel sometime between 3 and 4 PM local London time.

In the meantime, there are plenty of pictures to look at.