Pandemic Flight

I could have inserted an image of an airport, or the plane, but I thought the destination would be prettier. Colledimezzo in all its glory, taken today as I enjoyed my first morning walk.
Back to the flight, not as bad as I thought, but not great. My daughter dropped me at the airport in Denver. It was an emotional good bye for me. I miss her!
My Italian residency/ID card was the only documentation I needed to board the flight, other than my passport. Delta airlines did a great job. They kept folks distanced, boarding, and during the flight. More than I could say for other airlines, where folks jostling and pushed to board. I’ll remember how well Delta did during these awful times and fly with them again.
Atlanta was uneventful, but I noticed the airport was not so strict on mask wearing. The international terminal was pretty empty, so I just kept my distance from folks. I’d already completed my documentation allowing me to land in Amsterdam. For those passengers who hadn’t, it was handed out at the gate prior to boarding. Thanks to my daughter I was in first class on this flight. Food was delicious, as was the champagne.
This was the first time I’d flown through Amsterdam. Busy airport, even during a pandemic. My temperature was checked and my documentation stamped before I could proceed to my departure gate.
My flight from Amsterdam to Rome was a little uncomfortable due to an ignorant selfish idiot sitting in the same row as me. Luckily there was an aisle and three seats between us because he wore his mask under his chin and proceeded to cough and sneeze into his hands throughout the flight. He was warned more than once by the flight attendant, but as they say…”you can’t fix stupid”.
I was very relieved when we landed in Rome, and even more relieved to collect my luggage. I always fear it won’t be there.
My husband was waiting for me…I survived a pandemic flight.

14 Days

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Counting the days until I sit in this little piazza in a tiny village in Abruzzo. Can’t wait to enjoy a cappuccino in the bar after my morning walk. This little village that will be my forever home. I’m longing to see it again and see the folks who live there. No cheek kissing for a while, but I’ll still feel their warmth as they welcome me back to stay.
My worldly possessions and treasures are there, including my husband. He quarantined for a week after his long journey from Colorado, then took a COVID test and yes…it was negative. Today he ventured out with friends and bought a car. It’s all becoming real.
In 14 days I’ll follow him. The same ugly route with two plane changes because flights from the US to Italy are few and far between right now.

14 days and counting!

Shedding my Stress

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The last six weeks have been incredibly stressful. Making an International move during a pandemic isn’t the easiest thing to do.
On Friday July 31st, we left our home of 22 years for the very last time. It was no longer a home, just a house, an empty shell. The lovely couple who bought it will make it their home now. They were excited and full of plans and ideas…all I have now are memories.
Exhausted, and still stressed, we checked into the airport hotel. After a “bon voyage” dinner with my daughter and son in law, we had an early night. My husband’s flight was at 6:30 the following morning. A flight to Rome that filled us with trepidation. Fear of catching COVID on the way. Fear of being refused entry to Italy, even though we’re residents…so much fear.
Still trying to relax, I headed up to the Rocky Mountains with my daughter, son in law, and their pups (Queen Tess and Fendi).
We drank wine, had some good food and watched lovely sunsets, but I couldn’t relax until I knew my husband had arrived safely in Abruzzo.
Finally, yesterday morning, my cell phone rang and the number displayed was “Lester Italian”.
“I’m in Pescara, I made it.”
Pescara was the last leg of his journey before he picked up the rental car and drove to our home in Colledimezzo. Now he must quarantine, and then be tested for COVID, but I’m not worried about that so much. My gut tells me he’s okay!
Now, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, I can finally shed my stress and count the days until I join him.

Just Let me Fly

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To my friends my retirement plans appear to have gone smoothly. Things just fell into place!
They weren’t back stage watching me manage contractors across the Atlantic. Rising at 5:00 am, translating emails, working with furniture stores, banks, Realtors and trying to understand how to get things done the Italian way.
Luckily for me, the folks in our new village are wonderful, kind, helpful people. We couldn’t have done this without them.
“Oh things have gone so easily for you”
NO! It has taken perseverance.
Now we’re in the final chapter. House sold, furniture donated or sold. This final piece of the puzzle should have been easy. Book a flight and “hey presto” we’re on our way to Italy!!!
Not quite! Thank you Mr. Trump, for not being a great leader, actually for not being a leader at all.
Thank you for making Americans unwelcome in Europe! Luckily for us we have Italian residency and UK passports, but getting a flight from the US to Italy is almost impossible. We’ve had two cancelled already.
This isn’t the fault of Delta Airlines, who have been outstanding and helped us through this mess. I rebooked my flight for the third time yesterday, thanks to the great travel agents at American Express. They went above and beyond to help me. Lets hope the third time is a charm.
It isn’t COVID 19 that is bringing the USA to its knees. It is the way it is being handled, or should I say, not handled. Please Mr. Trump, in your last few months as President, show some compassion and decency to the folks of country you promised to “make great again.”

It’s good to be back!

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No, I’m not back in Italy yet, but will be soon. The little door at the bottom of this alleyway, is the back door to my new home. Looks like a little castle doesn’t it!
It makes me smile.
We’ve had such a year with this horrible virus, COVID 19. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go away (who doesn’t)?
It left me frozen for a while. I’ve never been so stressed. Every time I showered my hair came out in clumps…didn’t think too much of it until I went to my hairstylist again, “what happened to your hair?,” he asked. He looked at me with concern at the amount I’d lost. I hope it grows back. Have other folks suffered in similar ways? I’m know I’m happy to be alive! Anyone got any stories to share, things to get off your chest!
Be safe my friends, and thank you for stopping by.

Italy

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It’s been a while since I wandered the cobbled streets of Colledimezzo.
Three months in fact
So much has happened
The world has changed
Can’t wait to be back

It’s been a while since I gazed on the mountains and tree covered hills of Abruzzo
But the memory is so strong
I smell the scent of woodsmoke and fresh mountain air
And meatballs and spaghetti and lamb and sweet delights
Can’t wait to be back

It’s been a while since I hugged my friends in Colledimezzo
Enjoyed their laughter
Reveled in their kindness
Enjoyed their warm hospitality
I’ll  be back as soon as I can