We made it in early this morning. Finally. It was a very, very long day.
We caught an airport shuttle bus at 820am in Rome, drove for over an hour through the city picking up passengers, and heading to the FCO airport near the coast. Once we boarded our 1130 flight (at 11am), they announced that we would be delayed and sitting on the tarmac for about 2 hours. There was volcanic ash over parts of England and Ireland that was causing some airspace closures there, meaning that northern transatlantic flights would have to travel further south. Our flight was far enough South to not need to be redirected, but the airspace in Spain was saturated with these extra flights, so we had to sit and wait for people to move out. Not the news that you really want to hear when you are already expecting a 10.5+ hour flight. Anyway. We were sitting in the middle section (configuration is 2 seats, aisle, 3 seats, aisle, then 2 seats), which was much better, I am thinking than the side sections. The ceiling is taller and it feels more roomy. No window view, but still much better.
After our 2 hour wait (they did give us water...), we headed off. LOOOOONNNG flight. I watched Young Victoria and the Soloist (both, meh), read a book (the Devlin Diary--very good 1700's setting book with a sort of Da Vinci code feel--I need to get the author's previous book that has some of the same modern-day characters in it--the book is about some modern time people researching a murder that is linked to a diary from the 1700's. Goes back and forth in time and is really good), read some of The White Queen (Phillipa Gregory book), ate a million times, got extremely bored and ready to get off that plane. We FINALLY landed in Chicago at about 545pm. Our connecting flight to Seattle was scheduled at 530pm. Not so good. THe flight attendants were utterly unhelpful in determining what to do, but did tell me there was an 830pm flight to Seattle, so when we landed (and spent another 30+ minutes sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open up), I took Ethan's cell phone and called American Airlines and asked to be rebooked on the 830pm flight. Off the plane, through customs....then I see the departures sign and see that the 530flight is delayed until 650. We have just enough time!! We drop our bags and re-check them, then literally RUN through the airport to our gate......and re-book back on our original flight...which is delayed and delayed again. The plane broke. And the other, 830pm flight is also delayed. Broken plane. Not looking so good for American airlines.... We sat there sweating and tired, but sorta punch drunk because we are exhausted. Both flights eventually leave around 945pm, and we fly home and amazingly enough our bags are NOT lost and we live happily ever after. All in all, 25+ hours of travelling to get home. Woo to the hoo.
At home, the cats are frantic to see us. Shadow screamed at the bedroom door all night (went to bed around 2am), and now has a hoarse voice. Poor baby. Needs some extra loving this weekend. We really wanted to bring home/adopt this little Boo kitty we met in Rome named Frank Sinatra. SOOO much like our Boo. Frantic but very sweet, just wants to hide in a dark hidey hole and be safe. He would have loved it here. THe shelter staff says that US adoptions are tricky, since it is pretty spendy to fly an animal here. They also said they discourage us from adopting to the US, since animals here are put to sleep in shelters, and THEIR animals will never be. They would rather us save a life here. So, we left little Frank Sinatra behind. Such a sweetie, though. And so tiny--maybe half the size of our kitties, and they are not overly large, either. We may now actually get another cat. Not a kitten, but a young adult. Probably from PAWS, because they house them in an open area/big room where we can see a cat interact with others and figure out personalities. We want another Boo kitty, it has been decided. Which is odd, because I definitely adore the Shadow man the most. But the Boo kitties need us more, and we have a good environment for them (no kids, rare visitors; calm, stable environment with lots of hidey holes for kitties). Anyway..
Will update lots o pictures at some point. Need to do some editing, but I have oh so many stories to tell from our trip. We had a fabulous time, and adore each of the cities/areas we visited. They are all back on the list of places we want to go.