The Departure August 28-29, 2016

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The Departure
August 28-29, 2016

Traveling abroad can often be wrought with stress and anxiety from the start. Traffic getting to the airport, long lines to check in, and sometimes even misplaced passports or vital paperwork can start any trip off on the wrong foot. I have experienced all of these scenarios at one time or another over the span of my travels. Today, however, we had no such difficulties. The initial stage of getting ready to depart on our journey turned out to be stress free, effortless and undemanding.

Steve and Jeremiah transported us to Portland International Airport and deposited us at the Condor Airlines gate. We strode directly to the check-in desk, transferred our packs, and sauntered off toward the gate. The security line took less than 20 minutes and after finding gate D14 we decided to explore the terminal. Condor airlines declared in the paperwork that two meals would be provided on our route. However, if you have ever eaten airline food, it is wise to be prepared with something else all-together. Brittney and I hunted for a wrap to pack on the plane, but to our dismay, we had to settle for a sandwich. We returned to gate D 14 and boarded the plane in an orderly fashion.

Condor airlines generously gave us 45 minutes to board the plane. My fear of our unassigned seats was unwarranted. We were seated together in the center section, and the seats were fine. Shortly after takeoff we found ourselves hungry. Sadly, the sandwich shop had heated our sandwiches upon purchase, which made them tough when we commenced to eating them 2 hours later. Dinner on the plane was served shortly after we finished our sandwiches.

Pasta with red sauce, coleslaw, a hunk of Tillamook Colby cheese and two small pieces of packaged rye bread made up the bulk of the meal. A small roll with butter and a piece of very sweet carrot or spice cake with white frosting accompanied the spread. It was edible. The highlight of our joint dinner meal was the mini vanilla scones we procured at Starbucks prior to our flight. These little delicacies are very addictive. After dinner, we accepted a complimentary aperitif of Baileys. It was time to settle in and determine what we were going to do for the next 9 hours and 55 minutes of our flight.

Piazza at night

I plan to write daily and to post blogs every few days. My goal is to get enough information and ideas on paper, so that I will have fabulous articles to compose once we venture home. While on this trip I plan to pass away hours sitting in local cafes writing as part of my strategy for making this happen. Presently, I must suffice to write in my airline seat, which is far too short to see my computer screen adequately. We arrived at the Frankfurt airport in Germany at around 11:10.

Me in the Piazza

e had nearly four hours in Frankfurt to enjoy an authentic German lunch of Frankfurts. At 15:50 we boarded a Lufthansa flight to Rome which arrived early at 17:10. Europe runs on military time and once you figure out how to calculate it in your head it is actually easier than using am and pm. Valentino, our host, picked us up at the airport at 17:40 and drove us to the apartment. After climbing the 84 steps to get to our 4th floor apartment we dumped our bags and headed to the piazza for dinner. The 87 degree day did not let up until after 23:00.

Sitting outside the restaurant under a canopy of ivy and ferns we ordered ice cold Limoncellos to begin our adventure in Rome. Beneath the stiflingly air we savored cool melon wrapped in Prosciutto de Parma ham and a traditional Roman dish Tonnarelli Cacao Pepe which is a thick linguini pasta generously swimming in butter, Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper. It is a simple and delicious dish. After dinner we wandered the piazza, observed a fire juggler, and then ambled back to our apartment to sleep.

Fire juggler