Tuesday, December 22, 2009


No photos today. I did arrive safely to one of the COLDEST days I have ever spent.

I arrived in Paris at 6:15 a.m. to snow and sleet. The airport Charles DeGalle is enormous. I had a wheelchair waiting for me. We went from my gate to customs to a train ride to another side of the airport and it took 1 hour 15 minutes. Can you say large? Then I was wheeled outdoors to a waiting handicapped van. I was taken from the wheelchair to the van. Then we drove to the other side of the airport. Oh my goodness how cold it was! The wind, the snow and the sleet were bone chilling. Eventually in 45 minutes I was near my gate for the next flight.

There I sat for nearly 2 hrs waiting for the flight to Florence. I was very lucky. My flight was the last flight to Florence that day. Paris cancelled 40% of their outgoing flights due to the weather. Now getting onboard was another story. Oh my! I was taken in a wheelchair lift to the ground level and moved outdoors again (can I say I am still cold cause there was not much heat in the airport). Then a truck pulled up, and lowered a lift from the tail gate. I was placed on the lift in the wheelchair and then moved up and into the truck. I then transferred to a seat. The wheelchair was removed and I was left alone. This area was like the inside of a box van with windows and seats. Then I was driven across the tarmac to the plane. My fellow passengers were coming down the ramp to the outdoors to load onto a bus and then taken to the plane. Everyone loaded on the tarmac in the foul weather. I waited and waited a good 20 minutes, then the rear door of the jet opened. The man moved a walkway from the truck to the jet door and I had to walk across to enter the jet. I am now a frozen popsicle! Finally I get my seat and curl up as tight as I can to get warm. Impossible!

Two hours later we landed at Florence. I saw nothing but clouds the entire flight. The area was so heavy with cloud cover. My cousins in Bolgona and Modena have much snow. I think I understood 18 inches. Florence had ice and snow. When we landed there my fellow passengers were taken from the tarmac to the airport by bus. I was the last off and walked slowly down the steps to the tarmac. There was a car waiting for me to take me to the baggage area of the airport. The high school building (main building) at Bauxite is about the size or larger than the Florence airport. It had 3 baggage claim areas- Lucia hit traffic and a wreck and arrived about 30 minutes after I landed.

We loaded all my luggage in the car and went to get a bite of food. I had lasanga and she has a sandwich (proscuoitto). Then we drove to Pisa. We arrived and parked the car within 5 blocks of the Leaning Tower to go to the hospital. Then we walked the 4 and a half blocks there. She went into Zio Corrado room and handed him a card. The card had a photo of us together. It said that since he was not coming to me for Christmas, I was coming to him. Afterall, it was promised. He kept asking what????? Then I walked in... he looked and me and I looked at him and then the tears started for both of us. He kept hugging and hugging me. It took him a good 15 minutes before he could joke around with me again. The he asked me if he looked the same. Was he still handsome? LOL.... we sat and laughed and spoke more.

After we left the hospital off to Hotel Golf we went to visit Lucia husband (sorry cannot find the apostrophe on this Italian keyboard to add an apostrophe + s) Stefano. There I had some nice hot chocolate. We visited a little bit and then came to Ilaria house.

Several hours later, all bundled up in my sweatsuit I curled up in bed. Slept hard and long. I woke this morning at 9 a.m. ( 2 a.m. Arkansas time). I got up and visited with Ilaria. Then we went to the bank to exchange dollars into Euros and went to the grocery store. We came back and had lunch. I watched a DVD of Ilaria and Gas wedding in Albania. Very beautiful. Next I must gather my luggage to move to Zio Corrado house. We go in the next hour. Just wanted to tell you a few things first.

Stefano is here so I must close now. See you later!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you really needed the wheel chair help!
    I am glad u made it safely. Were u nauseated at all?
    I am happy to hear that u surprised him so much! What an exciting trip, already!