Roma Calls

Today is a travel day with a vengeance.

Leaving the house at 9am Friday and landing in Rome on Saturday morning.

Fortunately the travel wizards at Sully’s Bar, Grill & Discount Travel have me on the Italy Acclimation Route…I have a 4 hour layover in Newark NJ.
Having resided in the “Fergeddabout it State” for nine years I should be OK.

Traffic to the airport was pretty light so I was able to get something to eat before the flight

Mistake One

DSC00038 Peet’s may make some mighty fine coffee…
However one does not make a turkey sandwich with stale raisin bread…ever. Stale raisin bread can be disguised as edible by toasting and slathering with butter…and then serving to a person with a horrible hangover.
True, that does describe a number of air passengers today, however…as the kids say “I just can’t…like just, can’t”.

The Air Travel gods are messing with me today. On my flight to Newark I have been upgraded to seat 1F. That’s right sportsfans, right up there in first with the business execs and trophy wives. My flight to Rome? I’m in seat 321B. In that cabin, I think you are allowed to carry on livestock.
Fortunately I have a bunch of complimentary drink tickets so I’m thinking, “Happy Hour in steerage tonight!”

Flight One: Boston to Newark

As I predicted I was seated next to a typical New York biz-hole. He was travelling in a casual outfit his wife probably picked out at Nordstroms. When I sat down he gave me the once over and, noticing I didn’t have a polo pony on my Hawaiian shirt, I got the “How did you get this seat…peasant?” look.

Unfortunately for him, the freeby TV was not working so I needed to get myself in trouble. Twizzling my Virgin Mary, in my oh-so-friendliest voice I asked, ‘”So what do you do?”. He mumbled some corporate double talk about Advanced Response Digital Marketing or something and then asked about my business. I smiled behind my Ray-Bans and said “I’m the tour manager for Jimmy Buffet”

Mister corporate hotshot immediately turned into a slobbering fanboy.


“You like, know Jimmy?!? I’m like, the biggest Parrothead forever…I’ve seen him like 7 or 8 times in concert…is he coming here soon…what’s he like…is he like, really cool?…”

I said, “Yeah he’s a nice guy”, and then leaned my seat back and looked out the window. Sometimes it’s so easy.

Flight Two: Newark to Roma

A very good sign…first guy in line at the gate? A priest.
I strolled down the aisle following the “If you need  extra time boarding…” crowd. I think I put almost everybody’s suitcase up into the overheads. It’s a big plane – my seat was actually in Pennsylvania. Still there’s nothing more entertaining than being on the aisle right next to the restrooms.
Seems United is trying a new menu in the cattle car cabin. They were bragging about how their new dinner trays fit better on the fold down tray…read smaller dinner trays.

I always approach airplane food like going to your in-laws house for a “special” dinner and not being able to identify anything on you plate. The flight attendant was able to keep a straight face as she offered “Pasta, meatloaf or vegetarian?”. The guys on either side of me got the pasta and veggie. They all smelled the same, just different shapes. I assumed the miniature serving size would save most folks from Airplane Food Syndrome…I was wrong.
We’ll leave it there.

For some reason right in the middle of potty time they decided to turn off the cabins lights. This only added to the confusion around the “facilities”. I was really ready to to see some aisle rage. One scruffily bearded guy who looked like he had knocked off a couple of terminal pizzas in Newark got cut off twice by determined old ladies. I heard him mutter, “What’s the deal? They got Depends!”. Of course in the middle of the relief rush the captain turned on the seatbelt sign.

At last in Rome Airport…major confusion at the passport checking line. Combine Italian planning and engineering with two plane loads of Chinese and Egyptian tourists and it was every man for himself.




I found Amy for breakfast
On to Rome!


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