Roam’n Home

When I would leave each town that I had thoroughly enjoyed; Roma, Capri, Monterosso, Firenze, each departure would be bitter sweet. Each visit gave me more than I had anticipated. Each brought sites and experiences that delighted and surprised me. Yet each time, unless I was ready to take up residence, I was ready for the next step.
With the ending of this trip, I feel the same. I am not sick of travel. I am not lonely. I am not aching for the USA. But I am ready. Ready to hold my family. Ready to share. Ready to hear what was experienced in my absence.
So I walk out of Le2 with no regrets.

I had asked Gilles, my cab driver, to pick me up at 8:00am. With my flight out of Nice scheduled for 10:55, Gilles assured me 8:30 would get me to the airport with plenty of time for shopping there. I think that was his way of telling me to push it back even further. However, early arrival has been my mode during this trip. I would rather sit where I am to be than sit waiting to get there.

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I roll myself right outside the city walls and wait. I have no qualms about spending the extra euro on a cab this morning. The walk, bus, train, bus to the airport with a flight to catch makes my stomach tight even after the fact. Too many opportunities for issues there.

Gilles arrives right on time.
We talk a bit during the drive. He shares his opinion of visiting the US. He says he did once for a stop over heading to Hawaii when he was young. He says that now, when he travels, he wants to experience not necessarily an “adventure” but another culture and he feels like the US does not offer that. I think he has a point.

Check in at the airport goes easy. My United flight is being taken by Lufthansa.
We board on time and the first leg is a quick flight to Frankfurt, Germany.

I will tell you that I am sad at this point that German and French are the last two languages ringing through my head. In retrospect, switching my arrival to Vence and flying out of Roma….might have been better…..but……research…..a lot of this was about research.

Remember, my original intent 5 years ago was to “live” in Italy for the entire summer. But when it came down to making a choice of location, I simply did not have the background to make that choice. So, the trip changed. I roamed the areas I thought I would like thinking that would help me cross cities off and or highlight some.

This trip has definitely done that for me.
Cross off Albenga.

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Cross off in the Tuscan countryside with no wheels.

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Cross off France.

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Did I enjoy Vence? Absolutely. But did it surpass Italy? No. Did I think it might? I wondered…

Put another, darker line through Napoli.

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Do I still want to make a kamikaze run (with someone else) in searching for their best pizza? Yes. Do I think it can top the one I had in Sorrento? I challenge them….but don’t tell them that….they scare me.

Highlight Roma. Put a star by Trastevere.

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Highlight Capri. Know I would ONLY ever want to stay in Anacapri.

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Re highlight with stars and exclamation marks Monterosso!!**!!

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Now that I have visited all cinque of the terras, Monterosso reigns uno to me. I did like Riomaggiore too.

Firenze might move to the top of the list as far as a place I would want to “set-up house”.

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Loved the neighborhood I was in.
Love the size and accessibility of the town.
Love the art.
LOVE the FOOD!!

Question mark by Sorrento/Amalfi Coast.

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I enjoyed my time there very much. Probably would not stay in Sorrento proper again, but might want to investigate some of the smaller hotels along the coast for a place for pure relaxation. A perfect place to hole up and not do much exploring.

Know that Milena’s B&B in Chiusi is a wonderful location to use as a home-base for exploring Toscana and Umbria. There are still towns in these regions I would put on my list for next time.

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See….headway was made!

On the plane, I am happy that I brought my own stash.

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Going from the food I have been eating to airplane food is almost cruel.

I will say the flight attendance on Lufthansa were probably the cheeriest I have ever had. It is almost like they have told them, “Just this once, go out there and be the epitome of an old school flight attendant. Be super helpful and chipper…..just this once.”
They made me laugh they were so nice. So Lufthansa earned their wings with me.

By the way, those beautiful muffins I bought in Vence…so, so yummy!

Arriving in the US made me laugh too…

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Uuuhhhmmmm…I don’t think so Denver Airport foodcourt……

At the end of my flight from Denver to Austin is when I about had enough of sitting on a plane. I can never figure out how people sleep during flights….I just can’t do it.
This flight was delayed a bit but we finally arrived in Austin around10:00 pm. That makes about 22 hours of travel from Gilles to Austin.

I was SO HAPPY to see Dalton waiting for me at baggage claim (even if the Ferrari wasn’t….it made it to my doorstep the next afternoon though).

Blaine and I took Dalton back to his Austin digs and headed home. Of course I had to show Mom and Daddy that I had made it HOME safe and sound then it was off to bed.

I am sure that most of you have had enough of my stories by now.
But I do want to close this journey with one more post tomorrow.
Just seeing the “trash” I brought back will be worth it!!

See you then!

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