Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 14: All roads lead to HOME...

To be honest, by day 14 we were ready to get back to the comforts of home.  What we ended up coming home to was another story, but I will take you through the events of that day on our way back to the states. 

We woke up at 6:00 am thanks to Siri, showered, and packed the rest of our bags up, ready for our return journey home.  The day before we had decided to arrange to have a private car take us to the airport from our Rome rental apartment.  The owners of our apartment even called and set it up for us! This definitely was not the most affordable option at 50 Euros, but after two straight weeks of transportation coordination, we were really tired of trying to figure out this stuff.  It was nice to know that we could get to the airport in time for our international flight without any hassle or unknowns.  The other options would have been to take the train to Termini and then get on to the Leonardo Express train, which came out to be about 17-18 Euros per person or the bus, which was significantly cheaper at something like 3 Euros a piece, but both of these options would take significantly longer.  It was a Saturday morning so fortunately we did not run into much traffic.  The car ride was much further than I thought and took approximately 45 minutes to get to Fiumicino or Leonardo da Vinci Airport in very little traffic. It definitely was worth it to us, as we had absolutely no worries and it was a smooth ride. 

We arrived at the airport.  No one was staffed yet at the British Airways desk so we got our boarding passes for our first flight via the computerized kiosk.  It did not give us our second boarding pass from London to Chicago, but I just figured we were checked in and could get our boarding passes printed when we got to London before we boarded... 

We waited quite awhile before our flight, as we had arrived early just in case. I was so tired I slept the entire flight from Rome to London! Perhaps it was due to mental exhaustion? When we arrived in London, we quickly made our way towards security again since we were leaving the country.  Remembering that we did not have our boarding passes, we stopped by the British Airways desk to have them printed first.  Well, it turns out that we were never checked in for our second flight at all.  With it now leaving within an hour and a half, they had given our reserved seats away! I can't even begin to describe the pit in my stomach!  I was terrified we had just missed our flight back to the US, and we would have to buy another!  Luckily, on employee worked some magic and got us on the flight (BARELY), although we would have to sit apart from one another on the 9 hour flight.  Oh well, we were just happy to have seats! 

I managed to watch two movies and a TV show with some time to spare on our long trip home.  Why did this one seem so much longer than the flight there?  We arrived in Chicago and Sam's mom picked us up at the O'Hare airport in Chicago, and we started the three hour drive home to Muscatine. Little did we know that our little world was about to dramatically change. 

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