Hello world! Sorry for the absence. Two days before leaving Italy, our internet went out, never to return. I was actually writing a blog post when it happened. Sorry to keep you all waiting.
2 car rides, 3 planes, a couple shuttles and 26 hours later: I’m home!
It was a long day.
When we got to the Palermo airport, I was surprised to see that there were a few people in wheelchairs getting around the airport. At least one of them was on our flight and –for the first time I can remember– we took a jet bridge to board the plane instead of taking stairs from the tarmac. I was curious if this was a special accommodation for the disabled passenger, but apparently, when using stairs to board, there is a machine that comes and brings people up and down. The way the flight attendant explained it to me, it seemed like a platform that would move you up and over the stairs. But I have yet to find a picture of this contraption so I’m still curious if it exists or if its the lock ness monster of the air(lines).
Next we were in the Rome airport. There were even more disabled travelers. Somehow they were always in twos. Even the wheelchair runners with empty chairs traveled in twos! This was very different from the Toronto airport (next on our itinerary), where all disabled travelers moved in herds. The smallest group was about 5 and the largest was probably 15. I don’t know if these groups were traveling together, or if they were segregated for some purpose, but it was a little strange to see.
Also strange about Toronto, we had to wait on the tarmac for almost half hour before we could pull up to the gate to disembark. Why? A swarm of bees. True story people.
As on our trip to Italy, we also hit some turbulence on the way home. This was the first time I’d ever actually used my seat belt. We had a nice drop, big enough so that my loose-fitting seat belt actually prevented me from flying out. Ok, I’m being a little dramatic, but I’d never experienced a plane belt restrain me before. And to be fair, the person seated in front of me had his water jump out of his cup (from the tray table!) and land on him.
There was a resounding “WHOA” from the cabin, sounding much like a roller coaster ride. Instead of letting our imaginations get the best of us (like on the way to Italy), the flight attendants told us to review our emergency instructions and locate our nearest emergency exit. And then they repeated it in 2 other languages. What kind of response is that?! Was that supposed to be reassuring? We are going to die.
Fortunately, the English announcement was made by a flight attendant that was laughing. THAT was reassuring–I think that should be in the flight attendant guidebook.